The machine tool industry is a key to ‘Make in India’

Interviews post authorweldfabtechtimes 05 September 2017

The machine tool industry is a key to ‘Make in India’

Intro: ‘Make in India’ program has provided a broad direction for manufacturers to invest in India, focus on infrastructure development and enhance manufacturing growth.

Anbu, Director General & CEO, Indian Machine Tool Manufacturers' Association (IMTMA)
Anbu, Director General & CEO, Indian Machine Tool Manufacturers’ Association (IMTMA)

According to you, what is the current machine tool market in India? What would be the expected market size in the coming years?

The current market size of the Indian machine tool industry is around Rs. 11,600 crore. Domestic production accounts for over 45 per cent of the consumption. As per Gardner’s 2017 report, World Machine Tool Output and Consumption Survey, India is ranked 12th in Production and 8th in Consumption. During 2016-17, the demand increased by 12 per cent and production increased by 23 per cent. It is expected that the machine tool industry of India will continue to evolve in future. Indian auto component industry is envisaged to become the third largest in the world by 2025.

The demand for high-tech and efficient machine tool is rising. Is the Indian machine tool industry capable to fulfill the rising demand?

Indian machine tool companies are embracing latest technologies such as Industry 4.0, Internet of Things, 3D Printing, etc. Companies are investing in the fourth industrial revolution since, customers demand zero defect products. The machine tool industry embraces smart technologies and upgrades its machinery to modern ones which are compatible with Industry 4.0. We would see productivity levels moving up. This will enable the industry to fulfill the demand of consumers.

Your comment on the impact of ‘Make in India’ initiative on Machine Tool sector.

‘Make in India’ policy aims to promote investments in the manufacturing sector and increase the share of manufacturing in GDP to 25 per cent by 2025. The machine tool industry is the key to this flagship initiative of the Government of India, as it makes the machines required for the manufacturing sector. ‘Make in India’ program has provided a broad direction for manufacturers to invest in India, focus on infrastructure development and enhance manufacturing growth. It has changed the mindset of the machine tool industry and given a filip to their entrepreneurial side.  As a result of this, the sector is now more open to embrace new technologies.

Welding and fabrication segment being another major section for machine tool industry, about how much of demand does machine tool expect from this sector?

Although the Indian welding market is dominated by the use of manual welding equipment of late, there is a shift towards the use of automated equipment arising from demands by many end-users. With robust expansion of shipbuilding, construction, energy, wind and power sectors, the market is expected to grow further. Ease of FDI inflow into India has created opportunities in oil and gas sector, offshore activities, aerospace and heavy machinery industries. These have left a positive impact on the uptake of welding equipment and consumables. The demand for welding equipment in India is expected to increase in the long-term which is good news for the machine tool industry. 

Despite SMEs occupying majority share in the machine tool industry, they are currently facing multiple issues that are hindering its growth. Your views.

SMEs contribute to about 80 – 90 per cent of all manufacturing units in India. The operations are largely manual, using low-end solutions that are difficult to maintain. In this scenario, it is all the more crucial for SMEs to adopt automation.

What is the role of IMTMA in the national and international markets?

IMTMA is working closely with premier institutions such as IITs to foster R&D and innovations. Government of India is supporting the Association in this endeavor. The collaborative approach resulted in development of new products which were displayed at IMTEX 2017 in Bengaluru. The Association also organizes group participation of member companies in overseas exhibitions.

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