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Technology advancing the machines of tomorrow



According to the Indian Machine Tools Manufacturers’ Association (IMTMA), production of Indian machine tools industry is projected to grow at a CAGR of about 20 per cent till 2020-21, whereas consumption is projected to grow at a CAGR of 15 per cent till 2020-21. The ambitious growth plans of auto, auto components and capital goods industry will drive the demand for machine tools. The demand for machine tools will witness a robust growth in the next 4-5 years from current levels on the back of these plans, understands Neellohit Banerjee.
 
With increasing industrial production, the machine tool industry is in the growth phase. The Indian machine tool industry is globally ranked 10th in production and 8th in consumption as per the 2018 Gardner’s report on world machine tool consumption. Current market size for the Indian machine tool industry is around $2.3 billion (Rs 14,692 crores), of which the domestic production accounts for almost 50 per cent of the total consumption. Machine tool production for FY 2017-2018 was around $1.1 billion (Rs 7,294 crores). There was a growth of around 26 per cent in production and around 27 per cent in consumption in FY 2017-2018. India’s machine tool industry has around 1000 members engaged in the production of machine tools, accessories, subsystems and parts.
 
Market scenario
The ambitious growth plans of auto, auto components and capital goods industry will drive the demand for machine tools. The demand for machine tools will witness a robust growth in the next 4-5 years from current levels on the back of these plans. According to the Indian Machine Tools Manufacturers’ Association (IMTMA), production of Indian machine tools industry is projected to grow at a CAGR of about 20 per cent till 2020-21, whereas consumption is projected to grow at a CAGR of 15 per cent till 2020-21. “To reduce the dependence on imports, given the sector’s growth potential, many machine tool manufacturers are expected to invest significantly in expanding capacities. Increase in capital spending will be supported by government policies, such as the ‘Make in India’ initiative and measures to improve transport infrastructure, which were highlighted in the budget,” says V Anbu, Director General and CEO, IMTMA.
 
“The market for cutting tools is growing and this growth is coupled with growth in the manufacturing industry, particularly the auto and auto ancillary makers. Cutting tools are primarily used in metalworking, in operations ranging from turning, milling, drilling, parting, grooving etc,” informs L Krishnan, Managing Director, TaeguTec India Pvt Ltd.
 
Even though there has been substantial progress in the manufacture of machining centres, a large percentage of the higher technology machines is still imported. When asked about a solution for this problem, Vivek D Kumthekar, General Manager, Sales and CoC Head, Milling & Threading, LMT Tools India Pvt Ltd says, “The manufacturer has to give confidence to the user that they have the required technology along with service back up. Till then the user may not be willing to take risks.”
 
Advancement in technology
Industry 4.0 is a boon for manufacturing sector to ramp up their shopfloor activities and manufacture high precision products. From users’ perspective, especially industry sectors such as automotive, power, defence, railways, aerospace and many others, Industry 4.0 application has helped streamline operations by establishing connectivity between humans and machines to work seamlessly for the end product. Operators however need to learn and understand machine language for deriving optimum results.
 
Intelligent tools suitable for Industry 4.0 are the focus areas for cutting tool manufacturers.
Of course there is always upgrade on tool material, tool geometry, coating for high speed machining. “For Industry 4.0 to succeed, we need reliable tools which will perform consistently. Hence, the improvement in cutting tool materials, coatings and geometry is very important. There are continuous efforts by the tool manufactures to improve these areas,” informs Kumthekar.
 
“3D printing is also a very good technology to build prototypes for new tools and also for special tools with low volume. We launched many new products during IMTEX. Some of them include the tangential evoline thread rolling system, which is made using 3D printing technology. Apart from that, we also have Copy Max, which is the world’s first double-sided ballnose insert and self adjusting fine boring tools with wear compensation and position sensors,” Kumthekar adds.
 
Using Industry 4.0 enables OEMs and suppliers get an agility to quickly adapt manufacturing specifications and respond well to the changing standards. Plants which are enabled with Industry 4.0 will have robust monitoring systems for identifying potential maintenance issues before they cause downtime. “Often customers seek to personalise the configuration of their products. Traditional manufacturing processes have limitations but with Industry 4.0, manufacturers can customise products as per individual needs besides shortening the delivery time,” Anbu reveals.
 
IMTMA held a special pavilion on Industry 4.0 at IMTEX 2019. The pavilion served as a platform to see and experience all facets of implementation of Industry 4.0 including sensors, analytics, connectivity, automation, smart machines, digitisation, Internet of Things (IoT), cyber security and so on.
 
Positive growth path
Make in India and other policy initiatives may attract investments in defence, railways and other consumer durables. With growth in user industry, the metal cutting machine tool industry is likely to increase at a healthy growth rate. Auto sector is the major user of machine tools and is projected to grow 3.5 to 4 times from the current size of $74 billion to reach about $300 billion by 2026. “The Indian manufacturing scene is dominated by auto and auto ancillaries and so it is for the metalworking industry too. They are the prime drivers of demand for cutting tools and other inputs for manufacturing,” reveals Krishnan. 
 
The market size of India’s metal cutting sector during 2017-2018 was Rs 11,724 crore. Indian metal cutting industry has a market share of around 80 per cent. Around 47 per cent of metal cutting machines consumed in India are imported. India’s metal cutting sector contributed around 45 per cent of the total machine tool demand in India during 2017-2018. Machine tool production during 2018-19 would touch $1.3 billion (Rs 8,751 crores) and consumption may touch $2.6 billion (Rs 16,894 crores). Production is estimated to grow by 20 per cent and consumption may grow around 15 per cent during the period. Metal cutting industry is expected to grow at a CAGR (compound annual growth rate) of around 8 per cent in the next three years.
 
India is poised to grow rapidly from the current $400 bn economy to $1 trillion manufacturing economy over the next 7-8 years. This is seen as an opportunity of a lifetime to participate in the growth of the country. Companies are building capacities and capabilities to meet the future demand arising from India’s manufacturing industry. “An increased focus by Government on the manufacturing sector to improve its share of economy will boost the machine tool & cutting tool industry,” Kumthekar concludes.
 
For Industry 4.0 to succeed, we need reliable tools which will perform consistently. Hence, the improvement in cutting tool materials, coatings and geometry is very important. There are continuous efforts by the tool manufactures to improve these areas.
Vivek D Kumthekar, General Manager, Sales and CoC Head, Milling & Threading, LMT Tools India Pvt Ltd
 
 
Often customers seek to personalise the configuration of their products. Traditional manufacturing processes have limitations but with Industry 4.0, manufacturers can customise products as per individual needs besides shortening the delivery time.
V Anbu, Director General and CEO, IMTMA

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