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The industry has advanced in hardware and software applications: Aniket Sawarkar



Briefly inform us about your company and what products and services you offer?
Avcon was established by my father VS Sawarkar in the year 1984 with a team of four service engineers, as a service provider company for material handling equipment of all brands to customers in various sectors. We moved eventually to conceptualisation and solution providers of material handling application projects and selection of correct equipment, for optimum usage of warehouse space for maximum storage and quick access. Within five years, Avcon was service provider to all the major companies in western India with more than 1,000 major equipment under AMC, and more than 25 engineers in the family. In the year 1991, Avcon expanded its activities in manufacturing of non standard MHEs for special purpose applications. In 2003, Avcon set up its manufacturing facilities in Pune for special purpose material handling equipment, focusing primarily on scissor lifts and stationary hydraulic lifts. Having an experience for almost three decades and two generations, Avcon has set up a manufacturing unit for mobile battery operated equipment in 2013.
 
Share your opinion about the Indian machine tools industry, in general, and metal cutting sector, in particular.
The industry has advanced significantly in hardware and software applications. The future includes automation of processes into manufacturing and engineering sectors. Reduced manual intervention in process control, using machine tool control system and smart tooling would be the key to optimise cost, reduce scrap and improved machine utilisation. Integration of software and hardware cutting machines has increased precision in metal cutting and scrap reduction. 
 
How do you serve the metal cutting sector in India?
Our end products require good aesthetics and high precision cutting for alignment of all the sub assemblies at final assembly stage. We use metal cutting technology only for our end product consumption. 
 
What kind of opportunities are you looking at in India?
Material handling industry in India currently is on a very basic level, where new projects, automation and de-skilling are directly compared to cost investment. Material handling industry in India has a huge scope of growth in the warehousing sector. Small Indian manufacturers should be encouraged for new product developments discouraging low cost Chinese products, which have low shelf life and are difficult for maintenance. Introduction of Goods and Services Tax (GST) has helped growth in the sector. Initiatives like ‘Make in India’ will encourage the Indian manufacturing industry and create employment to masses and new opportunities for global presence. 
 
Which are the major end-user industries for your products and services?
We offer a wide range of products which are used in practically every known industry like warehousing, pharmaceutical, textile, chemical, heavy engineering, automobile etc. The specifications and equipment type changes according to specific application. We customise our products to exactly match user applications. 
 
How do you serve the automotive and auto component industry?
We have products for floor transportation, stacking, and truck loading and unloading applications, which are widely used in automotive and auto component industry. Our customised range of battery powered transfer trolleys have been designed to support faster operations in the auto component industry.
 
Tell us about your plans to capture the automotive and auto component industry in India.
We are focusing more on research and development of battery powered material transfer solutions for an efficient throughput, and create a 
faster system compared to convention material handling process.
 
Keeping in mind the demand for your products, what do you think is driving it?
Our hydraulic lifts, scissor lifts, battery operated stackers and pallet trucks are widely used by all major industries. Awareness of material handling is very important in today’s times to handle bigger volumes of goods in raw material inwards, as well as finished goods outwards. Our continuous improvement policy helps our products to be in constant demand.
 
What, according to you, are the emerging trends that are being observed in the metal cutting and machine tool accessories segments?
Automation in process and reduction of manual skills has completely changed the metal cutting and machine tool industry. Machining or human errors in reference to designed drawings have drastically reduced due to integration of design software with end process machine.
 
What are your growth plans for the company?
With our highly experienced team, we are more focused currently on product development and innovations in ease of handling material and various levels. We want to make high quality products with cost effective solutions for our customers, to focus on their business instead of equipment downtime and process loss. We want to mark our presence on the global map as an innovative material handling equipment manufacturer.
 
On the eve of IMTEX/Tool Tech 2019, what is your message to the industry?
The metal cutting machine tool industry in India has been serving the need for manufacturing through the manufacture of a variety of metal cutting machines. However, the industry has yet to meet the demand for higher technology machines. As a result, the market share for Indian machines is low, and imports meet a large part of the demand for metal cutting machine tools. We have to encourage Indian manufacturers and expect the government to subsidise manufacturers for development of high-end technology, for the industry to be self-dependent on the local market. We are very optimistic about it.

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