India has moved up with two spots in machine tool production worldwide

  • Interviews
  • Aug 30,23
Indian Machine Tool Manufacturers' Association (IMTMA) is the apex industry body for the machine tool sector in India. Rajendra S Rajamane, Vice President, IMTMA in this interview talks about the production growth and export achievements of Indian Machine tool industry. Indian machine tool production has reached around Rs 11,956 crore in FY23, he mentioned during the interview.
India has moved up with two spots in machine tool production worldwide

How was the performance of Indian machine tools industry in 2022-23?
The Indian machine tool industry has performed well despite global headwinds. According to the World Machine Tool Survey 2022 by Gardner Intelligence, the Indian machine tool industry is ranked ninth in production ($1.38 billion) and seventh in consumption ($2.78 billion) worldwide. Compared to its position in 2021, the industry has moved up two spots in machine tool production, achieving its best ranking ever in terms of production value.

As per provisional estimates, machine tool production is estimated to have reached around Rs 11,956 crore ($1.4 billion), and consumption is estimated to have reached around Rs 24,164 crore ($2.8 billion). Production is estimated to have increased by around 28 per cent year-on-year in 2022-23, and consumption is estimated to have risen by approximately 53 per cent during the same period. India is among the countries alongside Brazil that have reported an increase in production growth figures.

How have been exports performances? What steps can be taken to increase exports?
India is exporting standard machines, special purpose machines, honing machines, etc to countries in Asia, Europe, and America. The Indian machine tool industry is building competitive products, establishing a continuous presence in prospective markets, and identifying local dealers and agents for marketing and support. Indian companies are exploring joint ventures and acquisitions as well as participating and displaying products in key exhibitions.

IMTMA has formed a special interest group that is expected to enhance exports to target overseas countries in a span of 2-3 years. Moreover, we believe that many SMEs need to participate in leading global shows such as EMO, IMTS, and bigger exhibitions held in Asia including China with which they could get acquainted with technologies and global best practices.

Are you seeing the effect of Make in India and AatmaNirbhar Bharat initiatives on the ground?
Implementation of various PLI schemes given by the government of India for propelling emerging and core sectors along with government spending on infrastructure and public procurement initiatives is leading to enhanced demand creation across sectors including machine tools.

On the technology development front, the Ministry of Heavy Industries’ scheme “Enhancement of Competitiveness in Capital Goods Sector” is encouraging industry and academia to come together and develop and deploy products and technologies and localisation of imports which is expected to contribute significantly to business growth in the coming years. On the ground, we are seeing some substantial progress in heavy engineering and capital goods and both these industries depend on the machine tool industry.

Similarly, the AatmaNirbhar Bharat Abhiyan is helping in the localisation of imports. Leading companies are setting up manufacturing plants in response to the government of India’s calls for self-reliance in manufacturing.

Is the machine tool industry diversifying to other sectors for opportunities and what role is IMTMA playing to enhance this?
The machine tool industry is diversifying into sunrise sectors such as mobile manufacturing, furniture/woodworking, toys, agriculture machinery, construction equipment, aerospace, defence, etc, apart from auto and auto component sectors.

IMTMA has formed special interest task forces which are working closely with all industry sectors. IMTMA along with its membership visited various industries connected with these sectors to obtain a deeper understanding of the opportunities for machine tools and the technologies to be adopted to serve them. Some of our member companies are developing sector-specific machines and exploring business opportunities.

Delhi Machine Tool Expo is all set to fuelling the machine tool industry in August 2023. What can we expect from the event?
The fourth edition of the Delhi Machine Tool Expo will be held in Pragati Maidan, New Delhi from 24 to 27 August 2023. Metrology Expo (metrology, testing instrument, and equipment), Weld Expo (welding, cutting, and joining), and Digital Manufacturing (additive manufacturing and evolving Industry 4.0 concepts) would be concurrent shows.

Indian and foreign exhibitors would connect with more than 15,000 visitors from user industries that will attend the expo. This makes Delhi Machine Tool Expo 2023 a one-stop destination for products and solutions needed to upgrade the manufacturing capabilities of regional industries, especially the MSMEs. The primary focus of the expo would be on bringing manufacturing solutions to the industries, especially the ones located in Himachal Pradesh, Punjab, Haryana, Delhi, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, West Bengal, etc.

What is the outlook for the Indian machine tools industry in the coming years?
Indian machine tool industry’s financial prospects are looking good in the current financial year as well. Along with technology innovation platforms, IMTMA member companies have undertaken product and technology development activities aggressively. Around 10 to 12 products are being developed in collaboration with premier institutes. Some of the industries are also enhancing their capex and are offering automation solutions for user industries. Offering solutions rather than machinery by member industries are bringing rich dividends and significantly contributing to retaining customers and expanding growth. Member industries are moving toward creating and deploying digital manufacturing solutions across the manufacturing ecosystem enhancing productivity.

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