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Machine tool suppliers need to provide end-to-end solutions

Manufacturing sector is expected to witness 15-20 per cent growth due to thriving automotive sector, increase in production activity in aerospace industry, etc. This augurs well for machine tools sector. For companies in the metal cutting industry that make the right moves, the future of manufacturing in India looks promising, says T K Ramesh, CEO, Micromatic Machine Tools Pvt Ltd.
Ace Micromatic Group is the flag-bearer of CNC technology in India. Can you take us through the illustrious history of the company? 
Ace Micromatic group is a forerunner in the metal cutting industry along with being the largest machine tool group in India. The group comprises of six Principal companies which come with more than five decades of rich engineering experience supported by its leaders who are the pioneers in the development of many technologically advanced machines.
The group specialises in the manufacturing of CNC machines in the turning, milling and grinding categories as well as subsystems such as tool turrets, ATC etc. with hundreds of 1000 products and solutions catering to the metal cutting industry. We also offer turnkey solution, tooled up option, innovative work holdings, Cp/Cpk evaluation, real-time monitoring, and productivity tracking applications. We have recently added amace to the group which is an additive services company created by Ace designers and AMS, Taurus, a Special Purpose Machine tool manufacturer making us the most comprehensive group offering total solutions to 
the industry.
We have Tech Centres that are located across the globe to support our customers. Besides this, we provide free training to unemployed youngsters, making them certified machine tool operators who can then embark onto a fruitful career.
More than 700 employees are consistently working towards giving our customers the benefit of round-the-clock service to help maintain high uptime of machines.
Ace Micromatic group can certainly be attributed for bringing the CNC technology wave to SSI and SME industries that are, today, driving the Make in India movement.
The group has always remained as one of the most successful businesses in the country thanks to the affordable pricing, competitive range of machine with a variety of applications and best-in-class service. The group also has an installed base of more than 51,000 machines across the world.
What is the potential of the Indian machine tools industry?
The outline for the next three to five years for the industry is looking bright. We can expect a 15-20 per cent growth in the manufacturing industry. Especially, since factors like a thriving automotive and aerospace industry along with the residual effect of the Indian economy performing well are elements that are steering the growth of the industry sharply upwards. For companies in the metal cutting industry that 
make the right moves, the future of manufacturing in India looks promising.
How do you serve the metal cutting sector in India? What kind of opportunities are you looking at in India? 
We are now seeing a lot of opportunities from aerospace component manufacturing industries. Also, Make in India, non-traditional machining requirements, cell phone manufacturing, energy needs are all new opportunities have popped up in recent times.
We are proud to say that we are the forerunners in this industry with a major market share in turning, milling and grinding machines. We are the largest machine tool group with about 7 of major companies that completely cater to the metal cutting industry from providing machines to tools to service and with value-added services making Ace Micromatic a complete solutions provider.
Who are your major customers? 
The automotive industry is the key demand driver with aerospace manufacturing slowly opening up more opportunity in India. Our machines see major applications in a variety of industries ranging from general engineering to medical and from energy to defence and across all facets of manufacturing.
How is the demand for your products? What is driving this demand?
We are growing at a rate of 25 per cent CAG every year for the last three years. Our turning and milling machines have a commanding market share and our grinding machines claim more than 50 per cent shares in the market. More than 10 per cent of our sales are through exports and more than 60 per cent of our sales are repeat buying from satisfied customers. 
The demand drivers are the market growth, automotive and export of auto components. We are also driven by our internal value system of positive ethics, economic price point, wholesome service, ecosystem benefits and our immense importance to customer satisfaction which has resonated well within the industry. 
Automotive industry has been witnessing robust growth in the recent times. How do you intend to further tap the automotive & auto component industry in India?
The automotive and auto ancillary manufacturing industries used to make up more than 70 per cent of our end users but now with other industries rising up, it takes about 50 per cent of our customer base. With an extensive range and extremely versatile machines, it’s easy to say, we are a favourite in the automotive industry. 
Customers today are looking at economical, efficient machines that offer import quality technology. They are also looking for companies that provide all services in one place which we have achieved long before any of our competitors have. 
Could please elaborate on some of the emerging trends in metal cutting & machine tool accessories segments? 
We are witnessing three major trends in the industry - IoT/Industry 4.0, move towards one-stop-shop solutions provider, and automation.
IoT/Industry 4.0: Data has finally got its due recognition for giving new power to this sector. Manufacturers are realising the benefits of a connected shop floor through IoT by identifying variables that weren’t acknowledged as problems, giving companies ample data to make the right decisions. Industrial production involves many steps; it only makes sense to have a production facility that is highly interconnected.
One stop shop solutions: Manufacturers want to move away from multiple sources for their solutions to a single point solution provider. They want machine tool suppliers who will be able to provide end-to-end automated solutions. This would include tooled-up machines and automation which meets their production volumes and cost requirements. In an industry where time is of an essence, eliminating the time and effort put in by customers into setting up a production facility by offering these services all in one place will soon become a necessary step manufacturers will need to catch up to.  Automation: The industry is moving towards a shop floor with minimum human interference. Also now, with advancements in machine tool technology, complex components are becoming possible and for such requirements, automation is a huge game changer.
What will be the focus of your company at IMTEX? Any plans to launch new product/technologies at the expo? 
We will showcase up to 35 of our best machines among which there will be new models that will be exclusively launched at IMTEX. Sliding head automat SHA 20 Magna with alloy wheel turning, crankshaft turning and a twin spindle from Ace designers, DTC 400, HMC pallet Pool, with automation solutions enabled with IoT from AMS and Cam Grind machines from MGT are some of the few machines that will be featured at the event.
What are your expectations from IMTEX 2019/ToolTech 2019?
IMTEX is one of the most important events in the machine tool and manufacturing space. We are featuring some of the latest and best machines from our stable so we want our customers to compare the quality of our machines with our competitors to understand if our machines are well received by them. 
What are your growth plans for the company?
We aim to be among the top 25 machine tool companies globally and increase our footprint abroad. We are slowly breaking into the international market by setting up base in various countries and hope to speed up this process in the coming years.


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