“Electrical industry is quickly moving towards digitalisation”

“Electrical industry is quickly moving towards digitalisation”
Elmex started its journey in 1963 with the manufacturing of rail mounted clip-on type of terminal blocks for the switchgear industry. Elmex, which developed these products as import substitute item in the country, has moved from strength to strength and today it is regarded as the leader in manufacturing terminal blocks in India. In order to serve other sectors, the company added low voltage current transformers and products for solar PV applications in its product portfolio leveraging the core competencies and domain knowledge. In this interview, Vipul Ray, Managing Director of Elmex Controls Pvt Ltd, highlights trends in the industry and the company’s plans to tap these new opportunities.
 
Elmex is a pioneer in the field of electrical wire termination technology. How has this technology evolved over these years?
Wire termination technology in India began with thermoset engineering plastics (Melamine) and screw type connections. With the development of thermoplastic insulating materials like Polyamide 6,6, the industry moved towards flame retardant thermoplastics. Emerging trend in the industry is towards time saving and space saving along with reliable connections. And, in the trend, the Push-In technology is the latest followed by spring clamp and spring-loaded termination technologies.  
 
Some of the leading power equipment companies are your customers. What do you bring to the table for these companies?
We bring to the table globally approved and benchmarked products with local service and agility. We work with these companies to develop many critical application products typically for import substitution. Our inhouse design, development and testing facility is an added benefit to our customers.
 
What kind of new opportunities are you looking at in the electrical & electronics (E&E) industry?
Electrical industry is quickly moving towards digitalisation. We see new opportunities in renewable energy sectors like solar and in automotive segment for electric vehicles (EVs).
 
How real is the threat of imports to Indian E&E industry due to FTAs (Free Trade Agreements)?
The threat is quite real and data would show that we have imported more than what we have exported to the countries with FTAs. Having said this, the FTAs are a reality and what we seek is a level playing field and avoidance of inverted duty structure for our products.
 
What are your growth plans the company?
We continue to grow in our core product group of terminal blocks and our development is focused on introducing products with the latest termination technology mainly in Push-In and Spring Clamp. For our PV range of products, new standards have come and we have introduced new range of products to meet the requirement of 1500 V DC connectors and fuse block. Our capacity expansion is in line with our growth plans and we have invested heavily into plant and machinery in last couple of years and we will continue to invest this year for technology upgradation especially in automation and plastic processing. 
 
We participate in multiple international tradeshows (one almost every month across the globe) and this continues to give us new business in the export markets. Today, we are exporting to more than 40 countries. Our products are all IEC and UL tested and approved giving a level playing field in the international business. We are also adding new product lines in our portfolio every year to serve our existing customers as well as to expand our base in new segments. Earlier we brought, low voltage current transformer which is well-established in domestic and international market now. Our new range of Surge Protection Devise for PV solar industry is also an example of our drive of product expansion to serve existing industry. Our people are our strength and we have long term plan for developing skill and knowledge sets to meet business needs of the future.
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