The size of hydraulics & pneumatics (H&P) industry is directly proportional to manufacturing activity in the country. For the growth of this industry in India, the local manufacturing activity must have an exponential growth. According to Manish Gavarikar, an Entrepreneur and Founding Member of Shuban Hydrotech, The average growth rate of Indian hydraulics & pneumatics sector is 15 per cent, which looks impressive only on paper given the opportunities and potential available in the country. In this interview with Rakesh Rao, he explains the impact of digitalisation on this sector and his growth plans for Shuban Hydrotech.
How are you serving the hydraulics & pneumatics industry?
We offer complete range of electrohydraulic products and solutions for industrial sector. The range includes pumps, control valves, cylinders & servo cylinders, proportional & servo valves, logic cartridge valves and explosion proof valves from Duplomatic MS SpA and Berarma Srl. We also have some of the products specifically developed for mobile and construction machinery.
What is the present status of hydraulics & pneumatics industry in India?
The size of hydraulics & pneumatics (H&P) industry is directly proportional to manufacturing activity in the country. Since Indian manufacturing industry has a long way to go to fulfill its true potential, we can be optimistic about the growth for this sector in coming years. Just to highlight this fact in terms of numbers, China has home sales of approximately $ 10 billion for H&P products, which is 10 times more than India. This exactly matches with production figures of machinery produced in both the countries. For growth of hydraulics & pneumatics industry in India, the local manufacturing activity must have an exponential growth. The average growth rate of Indian hydraulics & pneumatics sector is 15 per cent, which looks impressive only on paper given the opportunities and potential available in the country.
Has the slow growth in industrial demand and dearth of new projects and investments in sectors like steel, power and infrastructure affecting the hydraulics & pneumatics industry?
Steel, power and infrastructure are not only capital intensive, but also require various mandatory government clearances and land acquisition procedures. However, with the efforts of successive governments, these projects are given priority clearances. It would be beneficial for H&P industry, if India can attract investments in these sectors. Again, we have to look and learn from the leader in steel sector – China, who produces 9 times more steel than India. The same yardstick applies to power and infrastructure industry.
Adoption of automation is increasing across industries. How is this helping the hydraulics & pneumatics industry?
There is continuous development in the field of automation across industries. We apply lean manufacturing techniques to increase efficiency. We use “the assembly to order” model to produce only what the customer requests without the need to stock. We take the advantage of innovative, technologically-advance, flexible and interconnected machinery, according to industry 4.0 standards.
The digital electronics controls and IOT are being implemented to various H & P products to facilitate the automation in modern machinery. This helps to remotely control the machinery, store and analyse the data.
Will opening up of the rail and defence sectors offer new business opportunities for hydraulics & pneumatics industry in India?
Railway and defence sectors have good potential for hydraulics & pneumatics products. Considering sheer size of our country, in both these sectors, there will be huge requirement for H&P products. Also, there is always a high degree of operational reliability required in railways and defence sector. This will create additional skilled jobs in the country. India can also reduce the dependence on imported defence hardware by indigenous development and thereby reduce the cost of procurement.
What are the new opportunities for companies in hydraulics & pneumatics industry?
There are new developments happening in industrial process automation and controls, agriculture machinery, marine & naval industry, test equipment & simulators, automotive, aerospace and defence to name a few.
Companies have to keep pace with new technologies and be Industry 4.0 compliant, in order to succeed in future. Indian companies have to scale up production and also take the quality few notches up, to target the export markets.
What are the emerging trends in hydraulics & pneumatics industry (in terms of new technology, changing customer demands, market dynamics, etc)?
The digital revolution has caught up hydraulics & pneumatics industry. Some of the products have sensors, microchips built-in to have two way data transfer. This makes easier to set parameters digitally by means of laptop or even a simple smart phone. Products used in critical applications have SIL (Safety Integrity Level). More customers are adopting Industry 4.0 road map.
Customers want hydraulics & pneumatics companies to be more responsive to their demands - be it product development, deliveries or after sales support. Customers are well informed about the products, thanks to the amount of data available on internet. This means H&P companies have to offer the best package to customers!
What are the growth plans for your company?
Our aim is to have growth across the industry sectors covering all possible applications. In coming years, we shall increase our product basket and foot print in India either organically or inorganically.
We are planning to introduce special products in Indian markets for high end applications for power, marine & defence sector.