… says V Srinivasan, CEO of Meiban Engineering Technologies Pvt Ltd (an associate company of Muratec, Japan). Meiban Engineering, which started in 2004, established its first technology centre in India in 2011. In this interview, Srinivasan highlights the importance of automation in machine tools industry and growth drivers on the industry.
What are your expectations from IMTEX Forming 2018?
Visitors and users coming to IMTEX 2018 will have more clarity in mind in terms of GST and manufacturing growth. So this Imtex seems to be more fruitful and we expect more serious participation by visitors.
Although some of the MSE are still struggling to come out of Demonetization and GST effect, as they are facing lower demand in last 6 months, most of our users/prospects who are expected to visit Imtex seem to be in upbeat and expected to grow.
What is the current status of metal forming industry in India?
I feel that Indian sheet metal industry has always used advanced technology. More and more, the customers are looking for better processes, and consistency in quality and output. We can see a trend where the customers would be looking for automation and flexibility.
What types of products & services do you offer? Who are your customers?
Muratec offers CNC servo punching machines, servo press brakes, dual drive press brakes, automation equipment (like loaders & unloaders), automatic warehousing solutions and fibre laser machines. We also supply riveters for automotive industry. Meiban takes care of sales, service, installation, commissioning, and provide application support and training to our customers.
Our sheet metal machines cater to a wide variety of application industries such as elevators, escalators, switchgear panels, kitchen equipment, telecom & ATM equipment, HVAC industry, and mass transit systems (such as metro and railways).
How competitive is the Indian metal forming industry?
Competition has been fairly stiff in the phase of reduced growth in the Indian market. With the present Government’s pro-growth investment policies in infrastructure related projects (in roads, power and railway sectors), we expect the overall growth to become better. Then, probably, the size of the market would give us enough space to operate. As of now, there is a fair amount of competition and we try to overcome by providing value added services to our customers.
How do you cater to SMEs sector?
Machine tool is a capital intensive business. SMEs, while wanting to buy the latest equipment, always face many challenges right from arranging the finances. Meiban Engineering Technologies helps our customers in the SME sector to work out a proposal, and in helping them contact the right financial institution through consultants. While the initial cost of CNC machines could be high, the machines provide high amount of flexibility, good quality end product, consistency in output and quality, thereby helping our users to meet their customer’s ever changing demand.
The CNC machines come with rather sophisticated technology and help the users to stay ahead of their competitors.
How would you rate the performance of manufacturing sector in India?
Most of the segments related to automotive, infrastructure and government related project work are showing growth year on year. So overall, the manufacturing segment is doing well with some exception, related to MSME.
What are the growth plans for your company?
We are in the field of supplying technology, machines to Indian manufacturing companies. As automation becomes the key prime mover, we will have more important role to play in near future. Since the quality of the product and productivity should not depend on operator’s skill, automation is the only solution.
In view of this we are quite confident to have consistent growth in the coming years for our products and will find increased acceptance in Indian market, which will certainly drive us to double-digit growth year-on-year.