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The machine tool industry is growing at a healthy rate



The Indian machine tool industry has positioned itself in the global market and has been at the forefront of industrial development. Speedfam (India) Pvt Ltd is trying to dominate this market by vast process experience almost in all industrial applications. Praful Govande, Managing Director, Speedfam (India) Pvt Ltd explains that monitoring the emerging technologies can help the business and benefit customers.
 
Kindly brief us about your company vis-a-vis the products and services offered by it.
 
We, at Speedfam (India), are engaged in providing flat surface creation solutions and cater to the increasing flat surfacing solutions. Established in 1991 in collaboration with Speedfam Co Ltd, Japan, it is a member of the Obara Group.
 
Backed up by sales and after sales service offices in India, we are able to respond to our customers all over India in a quick time. So far we 
have successfully installed more than 1,300 machines in India and neighbouring countries, with nearly 1,000 satisfied customers.  The manufacturing range includes Double Side Machines (DSM) for processing parts upto 400 mm diameter to achieve stringent surface finish, flatness, parallelism and thickness tolerances. 
 
Free Abrasive Machines (FAM) and Single Side Machines (SSM) are good for processing parts to achieve surface finish, flatness and thickness tolerance. Flatness measuring instruments are for measuring the flatness achieved by a comparator method in light bands. Lapping and polishing consumables are also manufactured, which are offered based on application and final tolerance requirements. At Speedfam, we have vast process experience almost in all industrial applications, to process and meet the high quality flat surface needs. This is complemented by our dedicated customer support division. These are major resources for us in extending quality services to our customers.
 
What are your views regarding the Indian machine tools industry?
 
The Indian machine tool industry has slowly but steadily positioned itself in the global market. It is growing at a steady pace and beginning to find its acceptance in the metal cutting and forming applications in other developing markets due to its competitiveness both by quality and by price. In this decade, the Indian engineering sector, especially sectors such as automotive, pumps and valves, witnessed increased investments as global majors started to outsource manufacturing to India. Sectors such as precision optics and optoelectronics have also started showing up. This led to a spurt in demand for machine tools. The machine tool industry, since then, has been growing at a healthy rate.
 
How do you serve the metal cutting sector in India?
 
Our range of lapping and polishing machines are typically used for very special processes, wherein less material removal with high degree of flatness, surface roughness, parallelism and thickness control are primary requirements. 
 
How is the demand for your products?
 
As we cater to the niche markets and the customer demands are ever increasing in terms of higher degree of tolerance such as flatness, surface roughness, parallelism and thickness control, these are driving factors for such demands. Added demands to address ‘enviro’ by the industry are adding new challenges to address safe waste disposals and its treatment as well. 
 
How do you intend to tap the automotive and auto component industry in India? 
 
Automotive and auto component industry has been the pilot of industrial development in India since a decade. We are proud to serve this industry through our surface finishing technology. We are working with OEMs and their partners directly and indirectly to develop critical flat surface lapping and polishing process of auto components. The immediate challenge faced by this sector is safe and economical disposal of industrial waste created during the manufacturing of auto components.
 
Can you highlight some of the emerging trends in this sector?
 
So far as flat surface lapping and polishing machines are concerned, we are seeing higher demands of surface finish requirements in terms of Rz and Faltness with increasing quality parameters and process capabilities like Cp, Cpk etc.
 
Industry 4.0 is a buzzword across industries. Are machine builders ready for Industry 4.0?
 
We are seeing many machine manufacturers already providing machines equipped with automation with the help of software and hardware to establish an interface between man and machine. Now, the next challenge would be Industry 4.0, wherein automation, communication, data exchange using internet or cloud will play a key role. For us, it will be too early a stage to comment on this. But we surely are keeping 
an eye on emerging technologies which can benefit our customers and our technology.
 
Tell us about your products/technologies/services that will be showcased at IMTEX/ToolTech 2019.
 
We will be showcasing all of our three range of machines – Double Side Machine, Free Abrasive Machine and Single Side Machine. All these machines are proven to the stringent specifications and yet very easy to operate.
 
What is your opinion of IMTEX/ToolTech 2019?
 
IMTEX has been the biggest platform for the entire Indian machine tool industry to showcase their technology and products. It has been one of the big global exhibitions. It really helps you to reach your customers through a common platform.
 
Are you planning to launch any product/technology at the IMTEX/ToolTech 2019?
 
We are going to launch the Single Side Machine with Sweeper Arm technology. The arm is positioned to lap/polish one part at a time, giving a very high degree of flatness and surface finish. As compared to the conventional Single Side Lapping process, the Sweeper Arm Machine can generate high degree of flatness. The machine being launched is also equipped with flexibility to convert Sweeper Arm Machine to the conventional Single Side Machine.
 
What are your growth plans for the company?
Since last decade, we have attained steady and consistent year-on-year growth. With emerging technologies like bonded abrasive grinding and lapping process apart from other additional features on machines, we are planning to get ready for the changes that the industry is going to adapt in future. Our focus would always remain on continuous improvement in our products and services which would ultimately benefit our customers.


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