Maharashtra’s Walchandnagar Industries Limited was one of the major contributors to the recent launch of 104 satellites by ISRO. A profile of the company and its presence in diverse sectors.
In the recent record launch of 104 satellites by Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), one of the companies that made a significant contribution was Maharashtra-based Walchandnagar Industries Limited (WIL). A more than 100-year-old company with strong engineering, project management and manufacturing infrastructure to undertake projects and supply of machinery and equipments in the fields of nuclear power, aerospace, missile, defence, oil and gas, steam generation plants, independent power projects, turnkey cement plants, mineral processing, bulk material handling and turnkey sugar plants, WIL manufactured and supplied S-139 head end segment, S-139 nozzle end segment, S-139 nozzle divergent aft end and PSO XL motor cases for the launch vehicle PSLV C-37. In fact, WIL manufactures these critical equipments for every PSLV.
WIL is also associated with various programmes of national importance like missile projects, strategic platforms and nuclear power plants. According to G K Pillai, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, “WIL has invested colossally in the exclusive infrastructure, facilities and skilled human resources to cater to ISRO’s requirements. ISRO’s chairman A S Kiran Kumar visited WIL last year and based on their future plans, we are augmenting our resources to increase production rate of the flight hardware.” WIL was established by Seth Walchand Hirachand, one of the renowned industrialists of pre-independence India. He carved out his name in the industrial world on the basis of his qualities like thinking out of the box, following up on the idea and acting on it without delay and with faith in his own capability.
With the belief that India has the potential to become a world leader one day, he strived to make India self-sufficient through various industrial and business ventures all his life. He was renowned for practicing appropriate management principles, impeccable planning, unparalleled human resource empowerment and rigorous project management. Seth Walchand promoted and flagged off business ventures in core sectors like automobile, civil engineering, aircraft manufacturing, ship building, maritime shipping, construction of dams, bridges and tunnels, and organised farming. Since 1934 WIL has grown and diversified into a high-tech heavy engineering project execution and manufacturing company across various sectors.
Elaborating about the company’s contribution to India’s space programme, Pillai says, “We are an ISO 9001: 2008 certified company with global presence and diversified business portfolio in projects, products and high-tech manufacturing. WIL has been associated with ISRO since 1973 and has been supplying flight hardware to all the launch vehicles. All the equipment supplied by WIL has performed flawlessly during the launch. The company entered into the defence and aerospace arena in the early 1970s and thus has a long heritage of more than four decades of supplying parts and services to the defence, aerospace and missile industry in India.” WIL is the recipient of the Technology Absorption Award, conferred in 1998 by Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO).
“WIL has been associated with various labs of DRDO such as Advanced System Laboratory (ASL), Hyderabad; Defence Research and Development Laboratory (DRDL), Hyderabad; Research Centre Imarat (RCI), Hyderabad; Bharat Dynamics Limited (BDL), Hyderabad; and Research and Development Establishment (Engineers), Pune for manufacture and supply of various equipments for defence applications,” Pillai adds. WIL has also been supplying core critical equipment for nuclear power plants and has been contributing to India’s nuclear programmes since the late 1960s. That apart, the company’s products and technologies find applications in a diverse range of industries including sugar plant and machinery, power plant and boiler, cement plant and machinery, mining and metals, gear boxes, process equipment, precision instruments and foundry.
Providing details of the company’s production infrastructure and manufacturing capacities, Pillai informs, “At Walchandnagar, our area under crane is 56,000 sq. metres and the facility is fully equipped with modern manufacturing facilities such as CNC horizontal and vertical boring machines with multi-axis control, lathes, plate bending machines, milling machines, gear cutting and grinding machines, etc. The crane capacity is up to 250 tons. We have sophisticated automatic welding systems capable of precision welding of exotic materials and dust-free halls for critical assembly and precision welding related to aerospace, defence and nuclear equipment. Also installed are large-sized furnaces with data acquisition systems, optical tooling and measuring instruments for precision measurements and dedicated manufacturing facilities for our various defence and nuclear products.” The company also has production facilities at Satara and Dharwad.
WIL also has proven capabilities in EPC and offers an entire spectrum of services including design, engineering, manufacturing, erection of plants and machinery for sugar, boiler, cement and mining industries. It has access to internationally acclaimed process licensors and their advanced technologies. Some of its past project milestones include 12 sugar plants and 12 cogeneration plants for the Tamil Nadu Electricity Board; a 13,000 TCD sugar and cogeneration plant in Ethiopia; a boiler plant in La Cabana, Colombia; a boiler plant in Providencia, Colombia; a dairy project in New Zealand; etc. With its contribution to the country’s defence, aerospace and nuclear projects on the rise, WIL has been putting efforts to continue and grow in these sectors with a planned turnover of about Rs 1,000 crore from its existing turnover of Rs 200 crore.