Metal 3D Printing is being increasingly adopted by the industry

  • Interviews
  • Nov 30,-1
Vikas Khanvelkar, M.D, DesignTech Systems Ltd, showcases an interesting perspective on the Indian machine tool industry.
Metal 3D Printing is being increasingly adopted by the industry

Vikas Khanvelkar, M.D, DesignTech Systems Ltd, showcases an interesting perspective on the Indian machine tool industry.

What are the main industry segments the company caters to?

At DesignTech our primary verticals of focus are mechanical engineering industry. We cater to companies from cross vertical domains such as automotive, aerospace, industrial machinery, heavy engineering, consumer goods, power and energy, defense and many more. We provide the latest and most advanced product design and development technologies, services and trainings to the companies in India and overseas. We are planning to expand our reach to medical devices and implants segment as well.

How was the company’s performance during 2016?

DesignTech performed very well in 2016-17. The revenue growth is estimated to grow more than 100 per cent.

Any new Product launch or innovation attempted by the company?

Early this year DesignTech Systems signed up with Solidscape®, Inc. as their value added reseller for India. Solidscape designs, manufactures and markets high precision 3D printers. These 3D Printers build investment casting patterns in wax. These machines will act as an ideal manufacturing tool for companies that use investment casting as an integral technique to building products that require fine and intricate features such as jewelry. Solidscape 3D Printers produce wax patterns with excellent surface finish, accuracy and material castability thus eliminating the need for post processing.

Which latest technologies are being imbibed by the Indian Machine Tools Industry?

Companies into machine tools manufacturing are exploring new technologies such as metal 3D printing as an alternative technique of production for small batches. Metal 3D printing is being increasingly adopted by the industry to meet their demands of customised tools development and repairs. To cite an example, recently International Advanced Research Centre for powder metallurgy and new materials (ARCI) entered into an MoU with SLM, metal 3D printing solutions company and DesignTech Systems to set-up a 3D printing lab at their premises in Hyderabad to conduct research and explore the use and applications of metal 3D printing technology for automotive and aerospace industries.

The Scenario in India, even under Present government has not changed much for the manufacturing sector, what is your experience?

With Make-in-India initiative, and higher FDI sanctions, the manufacturing industry in India is getting a thrust. However, not much is being seen on the ground as there are several other key factors that contribute to the growth of manufacturing sector need to be addressed; such as infrastructural development; our complex taxation policies are also creating a hindrance for overseas companies to set-up their engineering and manufacturing operations in India. Ease of doing business initiatives such as GST would go a long way in revitalising our engineering and manufacturing sector.

How do you see the import situation of the Indian machine tool industry?

It is not possible to design, develop and produce complex and highly accurate machine tools in India at globally competitive rates. The volumes in the domestic market cannot provide economy of scale. The cost effective machines are imported from China and accurate high Tech machines are imported from Europe and Japan. Our domestic players have challenges to compete in both these segments.

How much scope does the present business environment provide? What are the marketing and promotion options availed by your organisation?

Present Business environment looks optimistic. There was some slack during the demonetisation months, however the industry has revived from that and is showing positive growth signs. We market our products and services through technology seminars catering to various geographies and industries, by participating in eminent trade shows, through digital marketing activities and other similar B2B marketing avenues.

What are the difficulties/competition faced by Indian manufacturers, compared to other global locations?

Complex tax and regulatory frame work is common challenge across all manufacturing Industries in India. Rapidly changing technology and adopting the same in indigenous product range with the same speed is also a big challenge. Manufacturing in India is quite competitive. We are next to only China. With more infrastructural development, and initiatives like skilling India and skill development programs will make trained manpower readily available for the companies thus making India the world’s most preferred destination for manufacturing. There is tremendous growth potential for Indian manufacturing industry.

Market for fake auto parts continues to flourish in India. What is the industry’s take on this issue and has our government taken any measures?

After market is a global scenario. World over auto parts are available in aftermarket at economical rates as compared to OEMs. There is nothing wrong in providing such parts but these should not carry the fake brands or logos. Everyone should be aware that these are aftermarket parts. Government should have strict laws and strict implementation of the laws against fake branding.

Given the current gap between demand and supply, what could be done for adding capacities in this sector?

Incentives should be given for manufacturing in India and exporting it. If we increase exports our domestic players will be able to invest in creating larger capacities. This will increase the supply of machine tools indigenously.

Do you have any overseas client. How is the present export scenario in the machine tool industry?

In the year 2015 DesignTech Engineering Services division signed a joint venture with Integrity Tool & Mold Inc. from Canada. They are the world’s largest mold makers. We have been working closely with them on their mold and tools design and engineering initiatives. India has a definite advantage in the exports market due to our competencies in this area and competitiveness due to cost advantage. While certain countries are making it stricter to issue work visas, working out of India to provide services looks potent and advantageous.

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