We have already crossed the 2020-21 production mark

  • Interviews
  • Feb 09,22
Spring washers are an essential component where rotating movement of assembly due to vibration is required to be arrested. Presently, the automobile sector is the single largest end-user and this is resulting in driving demand for spring washers according to Subhash Khanwalkar, Proprietor, Khanwalkar Industries.
We have already crossed the 2020-21 production mark

Spring washers are an essential component where rotating movement of assembly due to vibration is required to be arrested. Presently, the automobile sector is the single largest end-user and this is resulting in driving demand for spring washers according to Subhash Khanwalkar, Proprietor, Khanwalkar Industries.

How do you see the growth of the company over the years? Any milestones of the company you want to share with us?
For an individual fresh from an engineering college, with no business/industry background, my decision to start an Industry in Indore was seen as very bold and courageous to say the least. Looking back, I find the growth of my industry satisfactory, if not phenomenal.

As the demand for spring washers was steadily increasing in the market, a need was felt for an improved machine that could produce spring washers at a faster rate; whilst also meeting the required specifications as also being operator friendly. And sure, in1980 we succeeded in making such a machine. It was a valuable achievement for us. Today, we are proud of the fact that an industry started under a mere1500 sqft shed with just 6 workers, has transformed into an18000 sq ft enterprise with a work force of 30 men and women working in 2 shifts at a premier industrial area in Indore.

What are the applications of spring washers? Which end-user industries are driving demand for spring washers?
Spring washers are widely used in transmission towers erection, railways, automobiles and in other engineering applications where locking action is required against rotation of the screw of bolted assembly. A spring washer is an essential component where rotating movement of assembly due to vibration is required to be arrested. Which is why, they are called lock washers also. Presently, the automobile sector is the single largest end-user and this is resulting in driving demand for spring washers.

What makes your spring washers unique from those of the competitors?
Our spring washers are manufactured conforming to the Indian Standard Institute's requirements as well as any other standard specified by the customer. The quality control begins with the purchase of raw material required in all the three processes namely coiling, heat treatment and electro plating. All the three activities under one roof, helps in continuously monitoring the product at every stage. The tools required for the manufacturing process are also made in-house.

How has been the performance of the company in 2021-22 compared to the previous year? Are you seeing an uptick in demand?
Yes definitely. Our spring washer production for the year 2021-22 has already surpassed the production in the 2020-21. Demand is on the rise.

How is the demand for spring washer machines?
The demand for spring washer machines is slightly on the lower side, compared to year 2019-2020. This may be due to the pandemic effect on the economy.

Which new products have you introduced in the market recently? Are there any plans to launch new products in the near future?
We have diversified into the manufacture of springs. We have already supplied helical springs to various industries around Indore. In addition, we are also developing products like indexing clutch and centrifugal dryer.

What are the key challenges faced by companies like Khanwalkar Industries in India?
Industries flourish in a friendly eco-system. Technology upgradation, easy availability of funds, market reach, and dealing with government rules and regulations, are some of the key challenges faced by SMEs today. Moreover, fluctuations in raw material, especially steel prices, logistics cost and also imports from China are worrisome.

What are the emerging trends in your industry?
The industry is fast moving towards the use of better coating material to make the product more corrosion-resistant, latest production technology and pollution- free processes.

Do you think initiatives like Aatmanirbhar Bharat, PLI (Production Linked Incentive) scheme, re-definition of MSMEs, etc will benefit MSMEs like you?
Except for Aatmanirbhar Bharat, none of the two other initiatives mentioned are useful to MSMEs. PLI is not applicable to micro and small industries. Due to redefinition of MSMEs, the small and micro industries got their voice muted.

How is your company gearing up for automation?
Automation is not only a buzzword, but it is actually a necessity to sustain production of quality products. We are making all efforts to include automation in our processes. We are upgrading our existing machines to having computerised controls for eliminating human error and achieve sustained quality production.

What kind of new opportunities are you looking to tap in the market?
We are exploring new emerging markets for our products. We are diversifying into the manufacture of springs, machine tools and components also.

What are your growth plans for Khanwalkar Industries?
Presently, we are undertaking modernisation of our plating plant to eliminate chemical electroplating, which means, turning to the latest technology for metal deposition. This will be a small effort on our part to achieving pollution-less coating on our spring washers and springs. As explained, we have already started manufacturing springs, indexing clutches centrifugal dryers, etc. We are planning to expand the same. Our next plan is to become technologically strong so as to venture into the export market.

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We have already crossed the 2020-21 production mark

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