Recent global events have shown that manufacturing excellence and growth will take India to the next level of economic prosperity.There is unanimity among Industry leaders and policy makers that the transformation of Indian manufacturing is the need of the hour.
In its report “Reshoring and China diversification indices”, AT Kearney tracked the “rebalancing” of US manufacturing imports away from China.It says that the future threats will force companies to reorganize global supply chains by accelerated “scattering” of suppliers. Strategic decisions will focus on resilience and risk mitigation, to ensure sustenance of the business. This move will bring huge business to new markets especially India, where the existing base is a strong incentive for global players.This is a“once in a generation opportunity” for the Indian manufacturing industry, waiting to be capitalized by us.
Many factors contribute to the success of manufacturing, including the availability of qualified manpower, good vendor ecosystem for uninterrupted supply, availability of power, industry friendly regulation and so on. While manpower & land reforms remain issues, improving the competitiveness of the supplier ecosystem must be managed by corporates themselves. Machine tool vendors are vital constituents of the supplier/vendor fraternity.
The machine tool industry caters to all kinds of manufacturing sectors and is particularly important for India to become a global manufacturing base. In the following points, we will see how the Machine tool industry can make a significant transformation to accelerate progress of the manufacturing sector, thereby providing excellent growth opportunities for the Machine tool industry itself.
In high precision manufacturing like auto components or aeronautics for example, the finesse, and value of the product is as much influenced by the quality of machine tool, as that of the raw material.
The performance of a machine tool is determined by the accuracy it can provide for the product; plus, the number of end products it can produce within a prescribed specification level. In effect, the machine tool is an essential consumable to produce the end product.
The nature of a machine tool depends on the complexity of the product, accuracy level ls expected and on the frequency of usage. Based on this, the demand or orders received for machine tools, can be broadly classified into three types:
In most machine tool companies, all three types of products are produced in the same manufacturing set up, which adds variability and offers different types of challenges.
The variability can be wrt :
While the entire manufacturing industry is poised to grow and establish a global footprint, it provides an opportunity for Indian machine tool industry to grow alongside.The machine tool industry can ‘Go- GLOBAL’ and cater to global supply chain, apart from meeting growing local demand.
However, for Indian machine tools to achieve this feat, they must meet international standards in product performance, delivery performance and the variants they can deliver. Given the complexity of the demand model and requirements of customers, as explained in the diagram above, the industry needs to take its processes to a new level.
Reliability(‘R), Scalability (S) and Flexibility (F) framework helps to achieve this objective and take the industry to global standards.
End users of the machine tool, i.e. the Manufacturing industry, will face new challenges when they go global and expand domestic footprints. In this situation, the requirement for them will be to be reliable and dependable across markets. They will have to provide scalable solutions to meet changing market volumes and at the same time be flexible to accommodate diversity and complexity from their clients. As an input provider, the machine tool industry therefore will also need to improve its product performance holistically.
The above framework is generic in nature. Based on the challenges specific to the company, the above framework can be suitably customized.
A 6-Step approach forms the improvement journey as illustrated below
This is India’s moment to seize the opportunity and make our manufacturing globally competitive. Reliability, Scalability and Flexibility are core capabilities to ensure global standards and capture customers. These strengths will make us self-sufficient for domestic consumption and target global export dominance.
Based on past engagements with the machine tool industry, we are convinced and confident that through a step-jump in reliability of processes + systems, by improving the throughput of the process and making the process agile, the machine tool industry can move to next level in revenues, profitability and cash flow.
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