Category — Industrial Goods

Solvay Increases Resin Production in India by 25%

Solvay SA, the 150-year-old Belgian company that’s moving from commodity chemicals to specialty materials and additives, will expand a high-performance plastics plant in India to cope with demand from smartphone and aircraft makers.

Production of polyether ether ketone polymer resins, known as PEEK, will increase 25 percent at the Panoli plant in the state of Gujarat, the Brussels-based company said. Demand for PEEK and related compounds is growing at about 8 percent to 10 percent annually as handset and tablet makers need heat- and chemical-resistant plastics to fit more technology into a smaller space.

“Today’s announcement to de-bottleneck capacity shows we are determined to keep pace with this growing demand worldwide,Augusto Di Donfrancesco, president of Solvay Specialty Polymers, said in a statement on December 3, 2014.

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December 5, 2014   No Comments

Localizing to Specific Customer Needs Spells Success for Cummins India

Located  42 miles from Pune in the state of Maharashtra is a village of rice growers, who for many decades had to trek to a neighboring village to get their raw rice de-husked because their village did not have the power supply to run the dehusking machine.

Enter Cummins Inc., or rather the Indian subsidiary of the Indiana-based engine and generator maker.

In 2011, Cummins Power Generation worked with the Indian Institute of Technology, Mumbai, and non-profit Maharashtra Arogya Mandal to develop a generator that ran on biofuel generated by the oilseeds of the Pongamia tree. This innovation was used to power the village’s own electric de-husker. “If you have to understand how Indian this company is and how specifically we tailor our products to the needs of our customers, this is it,” said Anant J. Talaulicar, chairman and managing director of Cummins India Ltd.

This anecdote explains why the maker of fuel systems and power generation equipment (among other products) has emerged as a rare example of a successful manufacturer in India, making products for both domestic and overseas markets.

There are four boxes that a company must check to demonstrate whether it has been successful in an overseas destination:

  • Has the company been able to use the country as a market for its products?
  • Has it been able to use the country as a production base, to manufacture for the market and the rest of the world?
  • Has it been able to use it as a sourcing base?
  • Has the company used the country as an engineering base, to design and develop products?

Cummins checks all the boxes.

While most multinational corporations get hand-me-downs in terms of technology from their parent, Cummins does a significant part of its R&D work in India. Cummins Research and Technology India Ltd, a division set up in 2003 does analysis-led design work that reduces cycle time for new product development and minimizes time involved in physical prototype testing. In fact, Cummins is setting up an advanced technical center in Pune that will house about 2,000 engineers and is expected to come up by September 2015. “Only about 15% of that work will be targeted for the domestic economy. The rest will be for global purposes,” said Talaulicar.

When India moved from to Stage II to Stage III fuel emission norms, several automobile manufacturers installed electronically controlled engines, but Cummins created a lower-cost mechanical solution which Tata Motors used very successfully.

“Today we have significant engineering skills in the country and we are completely integrated into Cummins global engineering network in terms of the reporting relationships. Information system is seamless. We don’t simply take global technology and force-fit them for India. We significantly customize products and localize heavily,” added Talaulicar.

Localizing sourcing and making products according to the specific needs of customers is a complex business. Talaulicar, though, believes that it is inevitable because the nature of the Indian market is very different compared with other parts of the world.

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November 25, 2014   No Comments

India: A Golden Opportunity for Global Manufacturing

Prime Minister Modi’s government is making an all-out effort to simplify and clarify labor laws and land acquisition regulations to ensure that India becomes more investor-friendly. New labor reforms announced in October seek to ease existing employment rules to boost manufacturing and job creation in the country.

“For the success of ‘Make in India,’ ease of doing business should be given priority,” says Modi.   The Prime Minister can speak with conviction, given his track record in the western Indian state of  Gujarat.  For example  Abbott Laboratories has just opened a  plant  there. In October the company began production at a $75 million factory in an industrial park. The factory is producing Similac baby formula and nutritional supplement PediaSure, which Abbott plans to sell to the growing Indian middle class. The plant will employ about 400 workers by the time it’s fully up and running next year. As for India’s infrastructure, John Ginascol, vice president, has no complaints. The officials in charge of the park “were able to deliver very good, very reliable power, water, natural gas, and roads,” he says. “Fundamentally, the infrastructure was in place.”

Labor reforms will go hand-in-hand with infrastructure development to support the manufacturing sector. (India has already acquired $57 billion in investment commitments from China and Japan since the new government took office. Much of the money will be used to build a giant industrial corridor between Delhi and Mumbai featuring high-speed trains and superhighways.).

India’s Labor Ministry will set up a website to allow companies to file a single report for compliance with 16 labor laws, keeping in line with the government’s promise of “minimum government and maximum governance.”  A program for skills development, in which the Labor Ministry will finance the first two years of training for apprentices in manufacturing units will be initiated. Additionally, a single universal account number will be given to each individual. This unique ID will allow for portability of payroll-financed pension and thus ease the difficulty of transferring money when workers changed jobs. India’s advantage in manufacturing is its hourly labor cost which averages 92¢, compared with $3.52 in China, according to Boston Consulting Group.

Vietnam and Indonesia are attractive, but they lack the deep supply of workers available in India. “It’s the only country that has the scale to take up where China is leaving off,” says Frederic Neumann, a senior economist with HSBC.

 

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November 7, 2014   No Comments

Huntsman India Sales Cross $500 million

Peter R. Huntsman, President and Chief Executive of the $12 billion chemicals maker,  Huntsman Corporation, inaugurated a new India corporate office in Mumbai on November 4, 2014. Initially, the 220,000 square feet, seven story building will house about 300 Huntsman associates, including over 100 technical staff spread across three floors including  laboratory and research facilities.

Commenting on the importance of the new headquarters to Huntsman’s ambitions in the Indian subcontinent, Mr. Huntsman said, “This opening is an important milestone in our continued growth and commitment to the Indian market. Our family and employees have been building a business in the Indian subcontinent for over 25 years and today enjoy a strong, profitable and growing organization in excess of $500 million.”

Paul Hulme, Huntsman Senior Corporate Officer for the region, said, “I am confident that the investment we have made in facilities and people will stand us in good stead for many years as we continue to develop strong strategic partnerships with our customers and continue to grow our business across all five of Huntsman’s business divisions.” Huntsman has manufacturing facilities in  Vadodara (Baroda) and Ankleshwar in the state of  Gujarat that manufacture textile chemicals, dyes, and surfactants; the Pune facilities manufacture polyurethane systems in the state of Maharashtra about 150 miles from the Mumbai location.

 

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November 7, 2014   No Comments

UK’s JCB launches new excavator in India

Construction equipment company JCB India Ltd, a subsidiary of JC Bamford Excavators Ltd  has unveiled  its 20 ton JS205LC Tracked Excavator, developed and manufactured in India for the domestic market.  Designed for earthwork, quarrying and road construction in Indian conditions,  the company’s advanced load sensing hydraulic system has been designed for lower energy needs which could save $2,500 annually in fuel costs.

What this means

As China construction cools off, India is becoming the focus for many Western and Japanese construction equipment companies.

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July 21, 2013   No Comments