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Preci TechTech INFORMATION Indian Machine Tool Manufacturers' Association Volume 19 Issue 2 T he question may

Indian Machine Tool Manufacturers' Association

Volume 19 Issue 2

T he question may legitimately be asked, “When there is insufficient capacity to meet domestic demand, what is the need to export?”

There are two assumptions in this question. One that domestic demand will continue growing indefinitely. The other that domestic capacity will remain stagnant. The first is too optimistic and the second two pessimistic.

Establishing an international presence through exports, cushions us from a downturn in the local market. It also gives that extra market edge that will make capacity expansion viable . And higher production yields economies of scale that makes an enterprise more competitive.

Exports lead to other benefits. By pitching ourselves against the world, we can benchmark our competitiveness in a manner that is not possible if we limit ourselves to the home market. By

operating in the global market we stay abreast of contemporary technological demands, something not possible by catering only to the internal market. This is because domestic consumer may not necessarily

take to latest technologies for their own cost and capability reasons.

'Export' is the best branding, with the unfortunate connotation that domestic quality and performance demands are inferior.

Simply because they can opt for the best in the world, the expectation levels of international customer is usually higher than that of domestic buyer. To meet these higher expectations and export, we will need to hone our production and management systems which will have beneficial fallout for our domestic customers as well.

Exporting is easier said is that we are used to a manufacture on-order consumer, whereas the

purchasing off-the-shelf. So, getting into exports can lead to finished inventory problems, and needs a muscular distribution network.

Secondly, there is the question of after-sales service to the overseas customer. This will involve considerable costs in spare parts warehousing overseas as well as sending service personnel to overseas countries, when the need arises.

Thirdly, when it comes to competing in the international market, we may have a development edge in our low-cost engineering manpower but we also have the disadvantages of high manufacturing costs due to inadequate infrastructure and logistics, low labour productivity, high tax rates and commercial interest rates. To cap it all overseas buyers looks at a 30 per cent net price advantage to buy from eternally 'developing' India, despite the IT shine to our country's image.

For the Indian machine tool manufacturer, the added handicap is the need to import many critical components not made in the country and the high prices of raw materials, compared to competing countries. It is doubtful whether the paltry income tax breaks on export earnings can compensate for all these extra costs. As a first step, the government can help boost our exports by removing import duty on critical machine tool components not made in the country and subsidising the cost of warehousing overseas.

Then again, if we want to export, we need to develop our own brands. This calls for a sustained and dedicated effort over many years and quite a bit of expense. But brands have their advantage, particularly in international markets, in terms of ready product acceptance and higher unit value realisation.

But export we must, if we have to raise our status and also avoid drastic suffering when the local market takes a downturn.

For a start, we should aim to consistently achieve export of 10 per cent of our production by 2007 and 20 per cent by 2010 . This lags our avowed target of 30 per cent, but we should be justifiably proud to achieve it.

than done. The first hurdle d e v e l o p m e n t a n d system for domestic global buyer is used to

C. P. RANGACHAR President - IMTMA.






Due to its highly cost-competitive manufacturing China has emerged as a major manufacturing hub for the world. Most global majors have production units in China, either as joint ventures or fully-owned plants. The share of manufacturing in China’s GDP is as high as 56 per cent. Its manufacturing output is estimated at US$ 672.00 billion in 2004.

The manufacturing boom in China has, in turn, led to a huge consumption of machine tools in that country, amounting to US$ 10.65 billion in 2004. The domestic machine tool industry, comprising approximately 2000 companies which employ about 2,20,000 people, meets about half of this demand.

The other half is met by imports and six countries – Japan, Taiwan, Germany, South Korea, USA and Italy – share more than 88 per cent of this business. Products like broaching machines, machining centres, turning centres, shearing machines, punching machines

and non-traditional processing machines form the major items of the import list.

It is projected that China will import US$ 7.00 billion worth of machine tools during 2005. Imports of machine tools have grown on an average rate of 25 per cent per year for the past five years. This may come down to 15 - 20 per cent keeping in view increased interest of global machine tool makers establishing production bases in China.

If Indian machine tool manufacturers want to make a quick ingress into China they may consider strategic alliances with German and Japanese machine tool companies for serving the Chinese market from India. Machine tool builders from Japan and Germany are reluctant to put production units in China due to high risk of IPR thefts and very little legal protection in the system. They do not have such fears in India.


establish joint sector manufacturing units in China can be another option

for Indian machine tool manufacturers.

Most of the production technologies have come to China through the joint venture partnering country, which have brought the equipment and

engineering along with the project. Therefore, the capability of providing total solutions to the customer has not developed in the Chinese machine tool industry. This is where the Indian machine tool industry has an edge with its ability to provide integrated engineering services to its customers.

Yet another market segment in China that can be exploited by India is low cost CNC machining centres for die and mould making industry that supplies its products in turn to the gigantic toy industry. There are about 20,000 companies in China who make dies and moulds. The local machine tool industry is not yet cut out to cater to this market.

The Indian machine tool industry needs to view China not just as a market but also as an outsourcing option for components. The real cost of manufacturing or converting a raw material into a product in China is half to two-third cost that of ours. Grey iron castings are said to be available at about US$ 0.6 - 1.0 per kg compared to about US$ 1.2 per kg in India. There are several Chinese manufacturers of ball screws who supply to domestic machine tool makers. Their price is around 40 per cent lower than Japanese ball screws. We could source Chinese ball screws for the lower end of machine tools made by our small scale industry.

With more and more international machine tool companies establishing manufacturing bases in China, the Indian industry has to seriously consider whether it should follow suit. Perhaps a beginning can be made with IMTMApromoting a ‘China Desk’at its Head Office. This can be supplemented by Indian companies putting up their own Tech Centres in cities like Shanghai

H. R. GUPTA Vice President - IMTMA

The Indian machine tool industry needs to view China not just as a market but also as an outsourcing option for components









It is raining orders for Japan’s machine tool industry - the world’s largest. Total orders during calendar year 2004 for metal-cutting machines surged 45.2 per cent to 1236 billion Yen while sales amounted to 966.5 billion Yen - 27.1 per



compared to a year earlier.

Most of the demand emanted from domestic industries. Of the eleven key domestic user sectors, the increase in demand was most pronounced in the fabricated metal products, general machinery and motor vehicles industries.

On the export front, December 2004 marked the 27th month of consecutive year-on-year gain for the japanese machine tool industry. Increased demand momentum for Japanese metal-cutting machine tools was visible in North America, Europe and severalAsian countries - in particular, those located in East Asia.

over 2003 sales. The order backlog till December 2004 was 576.5 billion Yen - a colossal increase of 159.6

per cent

Source & Credit :

Japan Machine Tool Builders’ Association (JMTBA).

Net New Orders for Metal Cutting Machine Tools in Japan

By Industry


Change (%)



1. Primary Metals



2. Fabricated Metal Products



Machinery & Equipment Industries (3-7)



3. General Machinery (of which dies and moulds)





4. Electrical Machinery



5. Motor Vehicles (of which auto parts)





6. Shipbuilding & Transport Equipment



7. Precision Machinery



8. Other Machinery & Equipment



9. Government, Public Agencies & Schools



10. Others



11. Tradings Firms & Agents



Domestic Total (1-11)




Foreign Orders



Total Orders (1-12)



of which NC type






of which NC type



Order Backlog



of which NC type







Located in Gurgaon on the outskirts of Delhi is the factory of Sona Koyo Steering Systems Limited. In June 2004, the founder of this company stepped onto a glittering stage in Tokyo to receive the 2003 Deming Prize from the chairman of Toyota Corporation.

The achievement of Sona Koyo is significant on three counts. First, it took five years of hard work and a single- minded focus to create quality systems for this award. Second, Sona Koyo is the first steering systems manufacturer in the world to win this award. Most important – the prize, which is awarded by the Union of Japanese Scientists and Engineers, establishes the company’s bona fides amongst international automotive majors. Now, not only does Sona Koyo have the confidence to step-up exports, it also has the self-belief to go global. Of course, it has certainly been helped and aided by the fact that there is a tie-up with Koyo Seiki of Japan. This arrangement gives Sona the access to the strong R&D base of its parent company.

That is a giant step for an auto component vendor, which had started with a portfolio of just three products in 1988. Sona Koyo today has a portfolio of 57 products,

as well as the skills to re-engineer existing products to

save costs.

For instance, it recently redesigned the

steering system for a small car produced by Suzuki’s

Indian venture – Maruti Alto. The rework combined three components into one and reduced the weight of the system by 15 per cent.

Today, Sona Koyo has successfully rolled out Total Quality Management (TQM) and Total Productive Maintenance (TPM) practices on the shop floor and throughout the organisation. After this, gaining acceptability in other parts of the globe should not be an issue.

Piece by piece, the company is putting together a well-crafted strategy to meet this goal.

Sona Steering is now putting together a plan to become an integral part of Koyo’s global sourcing strategy. In 2003-04, Sona bid for a 45 million US Dollar outsourcing contract for supplying 20,000 steering

systems per month to General Motors in United States. Sona competed and won against Koyo’s own subsidiaries in China, Thailand and Brazil.

Sona Koyo has already an export order book of around 7.0 million US Dollar for 2005-06. To cater to its increase in export demand, Sona Koyo has set up an export-oriented unit in Chennai for steering gears. Trial production has been completed and the unit is in the process of becoming commercially operative. The target is to achieve exports worth 22.2 million US Dollar by


to achieve exports worth 22.2 million US Dollar by 2006-07. Meanwhile, plans are being firmed-up to

Meanwhile, plans are being firmed-up to move up the value chain. The company proposes to design, develop and provide complete steering solutions to niche players in the four-wheel segment like off-highway vehicles. In this segment the company is working with customers in Korea, United Kingdom and United States. Besides, to create a platform to grow exports, Sona Koyo is continuously building up its infrastructure to support export activities. This includes appointing local representatives in different countries and building global relationships.

Sona Koyo is part of a booming Indian auto component industry that generated exports worth more than one billion US Dollar last year. With many overseas auto ancillaries setting up shop in India, Indian units like Sona Koyo upgraded themselves to effectively meet the challenges posed by such competition. In the process, they have now become world-class. In fact, not a day passes without an overseas automobile manufacturer announcing sourcing possibilities from India.



The country’s premier car manufacturer, Maruti Suzuki, through its cluster approach in the early Nineties, was the first to set in motion the quality movement among domestic auto ancillary companies in India. Maruti got eleven of its vendors to adhere to quality systems and processes. Sona was one of them.

The idea was to set an example that others could follow. Today, the cluster approach is being practised across the board and many of the auto ancillaries that have won the Deming Award are members of the Maruti cluster. Other global car manufacturers have also played an important part in the maturing of India’s auto component industry.

Companies like Sona Koyo and a clutch of others have taken this as a challenge. The company’s in-house rejection levels, supplier rejection levels and customer return levels have decreased considerably after the implementation of TQM and TPM initiatives.

Sona Koyo’s TQM initiative began in 1998 as a part of a cluster of companies promoting group learning under the quality guru Professor Tsuda. Professor Tsuda provided further mentoring to Sona Koyo. And in the course of time, the company has seamlessly integrated the various elements of quality management. This includes 5S, Exactness, Visualisation and Pokayoke on the shop floor; and widespread use of problem-solving techniques among middle-level managers including gap analysis, why-why analysis, deep analysis and 7 Quality Control problem-solving techniques.

Along with TQM, the TPM programme is also helping the company to improve operational efficiencies with its emphasis on zero accidents, zero breakdowns and zero rejections.

Company-wideKaizen activities have also met with great success. Sona Koyo has implemented TPM techniques like Jishu Hozen, which has resulted in the control of rejection at the source of production. All these initiatives have been deployed in the organisation using Hoshin Kanri or policy deployment tools, which have ensured that every line manager’s objectives are in line with the overall corporate objectives.

TQM tools that have been deployed at Sona Koyo include re-engineering the production processes to eliminate waste, reduce costs, improve output and speed of delivery and reduce inventories.

Along with TQM, the TPM programme is also helping the company to improve operational efficiencies with its emphasis on zero accidents, zero breakdowns and zero rejections.

These initiatives have fashioned a new culture in the organisation. They have also played a major role in bringing the company’s medium-term management objectives and annual policies in line with its long-term customer-oriented vision of becoming a “Supplier of Choice” to global customers by the year 2010.

Source & Credit :

Report on ‘INDIA NOW :

Successes & Prospects’ by India Brand Equity Foundation.




(In this second instalment of a three-part series, is a suggestion on how a CNC lathe’s specifications and features can be selected)

Once a decision is made to go in for a CNC lathe, the selection process starts. The selection process is illustrated in the flow chart. {Figure-1}

Machine specifications: Selecting a CNC lathe begins with deciding the machine specifications. Almost all CNC lathes used in production come in slant bed design with obvious advantage, therefore this is an issue that is not discussed in this article. Three factors, workpiece size, finish tolerances and raw material predominantly determine machine specifications.

Workpiece size determines the overall size of the machine. Standard CNC lathes come in different sizes starting with a 6 inch chuck and move on to 8, 12 and 14 inches. Of these the 8 and 12 inches are most popular. The chuck size is the body dia of the chuck. The chuck size determines the spindle nose, spindle bearing dia and the bore dia of the spindle. Normally an A2-5 spindle nose is used for a 6 or 8 inches chuck, A2-6 for 8 or 10 inches chuck and A2-8 for 10 or 12 inches and A2-11 for 12 or 14 inches chucks. Though this is the norm one can use smaller chuck on a larger machine with suitable back (intermediate) plate.

To use a larger chuck on a smaller machine one has to also check that the chuck with jaws extended does not interfere with any other machine parts, such as guards, covers, slides, etc. Besides chuck size one must also check the work envelope as stated by the machine tool manufacturer, to confirm the machine axes traverse are sufficient for machining the desired component.

This is very important while machining odd sized castings or forgings. Most machine manufacturers mention maximum turning dia. and the swing of the machine. The swing determines the maximum size of workpiece, which will fit into the machine and not what can be machined. The work envelope is the maximum size that can be machined while using standard turning tools and tool holders. For shafts, admit between centres must be checked.

holders. For shafts, admit between centres must be checked. While component size primarily determines







specifications, it








component finish tolerances and raw material specifications. If one considers machining of light alloys such as aluminium, brass, etc. one requires a machine with high rpm. Cutting forces are low. In this situation one can select a light duty CNC lathe. This machine will have a low powered spindle motor, but with a high rpm range.

It is observed that in machining such components the actual time when the tool is in contact with the component is quite low as compared to idle time. Thus productivity increase is through idle time reduction. The moving masses are deliberately kept low so that axial traverse rates can be high.

High traverse rates are achieved using linear bearing guideways. The chuck selected should also have as low a weight as possible (sometimes aluminium chuck bodies are used); therefore one must not choose an oversized chuck. This ensures that spindle acceleration and deceleration time is minimised. In case the machine has a turret, it should be a very fast turret. In essence one aims at a compromise in rigidity to reduce idle time.

This machine if used for carbon steel or alloy steel machining cannot do roughing efficiently. Many users prefer pre-turning on cheaper conventional lathes and for them a light duty CNC machine used only for finishing can be cost effective. However in case roughing and finishing of carbon and alloy steels is to be done on the same machine, a standard CNC lathe is necessary and not a light duty one.

One can understand this a little better if one looks at the spindle power/ torque Vs rpm (spindle speed) diagram. Currently available AC spindle motors provide constant power after a base speed (rpm). If the roughing rpm is lower than the base rpm, the power generated is less than the rated power of the motor, in turn torque is lower, and insufficient to remove material.



When it comes to machining stainless steel, hardened and tempered steel or components with tolerances closer than 20 microns, a standard CNC lathe may not be the ideal solution. Both these applications require higher rigidity, and very low deflection of machine elements. The machine needs to be built with closer tolerances, higher rigidity and higher repeatability. It is also preferred to compensate for thermal growth of the spindle while designing the machine.

For very close tolerance turning, the design of the machine would have to be closer to a grinding machine. This is the case for hard turning applications as well. Standard CNC lathes have an encoder feedback system, whose resolution is 0.1 microns and the encoder is mounted either on the motor or ballscrew. For better repeatability linear feedback scales are used with a similar resolution. Since they are mounted on the slide itself, and therefore nearer to the cutting point, it results in better repeatability.

The repeatability of a CNC lathe is of prime importance to the user; errors of positioning accuracy can be electronically compensated. It is therefore important that laser calibration of the axes is carried out as per VDI DGQ 3441 standard. Laser calibration indicates the intrinsic repeatability of slides under no load conditions. With this taken care of, especially on a heavy-duty CNC lathe, the machine’s contribution to repeatability errors is minimised.

If one still has problems of component repeatability one must look at other variables. In many cases such machines work at low rpms, due to which a gearbox is required to increase the torque at such low rpms. To conclude, a CNC lathe for difficult to turn, hard materials, must be more robustly built than a standard CNC lathe of the same size or one has to go in for the next larger sized machine. It must have a high power spindle drive preferably with a gear box, lower maximum rpm range, medium rapid rates and idle times and, if the component tolerance demands, a scale feed back system. Thus there is a compromise in idle time reduction for rigidity.

Thus one can find CNC lathes for the same chuck size but built as a light duty, medium duty (standard) or heavy-duty machine and priced accordingly. Users who do not understand this difference end up paying in the long run through poor cycle times or through rework and rejection.

Laser calibration of the axes is important to ensure repeatability

CNC turning machines come as plain two axes CNC lathes, CNC turning centres or as CNC turn

Machine features:

mill centres. Selecting one or the other depends on component features, production volumes, and related economics.

CNC lathes or plain two axis machines are meant for components that have only turning operations or very limited peripheral operations. Gear blanks, housings, flanges, bushes are typical components turned on these machines. In case there are secondary operations, they are performed on other machines, for example cross-hole, flat milling, slitting, bolt hole drilling, etc.

In high volume or large batch production it does not make economical sense in India to use a CNC machine for these secondary operations. Conventional machines can be used with simple jigs and fixtures, and this becomes most economical. For large volume production CNC lathes can come as twin spindle machines as well, with or without automatic transfer between spindles.

In case of medium to small batch production, where the variety is large and volumes low, a CNC turning centre can make economical sense. A CNC turning centre is a multi-axis CNC machine, because besides the X and Z axes of a CNC lathe it has

a C axis for spindle orientation. The machine is equipped with a turret that takes rotary tools. It can machine cross-holes, flats, holes on faces, keyways, etc. If these operations had to be done on separate conventional machines it

needs manufacture of jigs and fixtures as well as their maintenance, and the factory would need to set up a tool room.

Another major advantage of operations carried out in a single set up is improving the quality, and secondary operations are not missed out. A major limitation of this machine is the size of drill, tap or end mill that can be held in the tool holder. The limitation of the drive for the rotary tools is due to size constraints as it comes through the tool turret.

Normally a CNC turning centre is justified where the turning operations are approximately 80 per cent or more of the cycle time and the secondary operations are 20 per cent or less, and the operation does not involve substantial metal removal. These machines are very useful in tool rooms, equipment builders, and general engineering workshops, though most users have not discovered their benefits in India.

equipment builders, and general engineering workshops, though most users have not discovered their benefits in India.




A CNC turning centre is costlier than a CNC lathe plus a conventional machine. However, one operator takes care of a turning centre against two when using a lathe plus conventional machine. Productivity in small batch production also can be higher for a turning centre, due to elimination of set up time, which is generally not factored into the cost calculation. It is also important to factor jig and fixture costs as well as their delivery time. Users must do their cost calculations correctly to justify a CNC turning centre.

Sometimes the milling, drilling and tapping operations on a component can be as much as 80 per cent and turning operations around 20 per cent. In this situation, one normally uses a CNC lathe for the turning operations and a vertical machining centre to complete all other operations. This is probably the most economical solution for volume production.

However, if batch size is around five, and if there are close geometrical tolerances, which get disturbed due to set up changes, one can consider an option of a turn mill centre. This machine is a combination of a turning centre and a machining centre. It has rigidity built in using a machining centre spindle, which can also hold turning tools. Thus it can turn and mill as rigidly and productively as a CNC lathe or VMC.

Quite often the tool spindle moves in the Y axis, which is over and above X, Z and C axes of a turning centre. It provides complete flexibility to the production unit. The major benefit of a turn mill centre is to crash through put times. For example a special purpose equipment builder, would have extended delivery times if he has to develop a casting, turn on CNC lathe, develop holding fixtures for VMC in several set ups for a new part. Against this he starts with a block of the raw material, and machines the complete part in probably a single set up. The first process may take several weeks, whereas as with a turn mill centre it could be days. However the flexibility comes with a hefty price tag.

Justifying a turn mill centre is not easy unless the complete production process is based on just-in-time production of small batch quantity. Crashing delivery times means encashing an opportunity, and fast turn around of money. Japanese manufacturers using similar machines go from raw material to complex finished products, such as machine tools, in as less as ten days.

Maybe it is worth illustrating this concept with an example. Let us say that the turn around time for a company is two months, i.e, on an average every two months the money invested in the business is converted into finished goods, sold and cash received. Thus over a year the money is turned over six times. Each time a 2 per cent net profit is generated. Thus over the year 12 per cent profit is earned. Now using a different set of equipment and process, this turn around time is reduced to fifteen days. If the profit margin remains the same at 2 per cent per turn around, then the annual profit would increase to a whopping 48 per cent.

Of course, the additional products need to be sold and investments made in plant and machinery. One finds justification for turn mill centres and similar equipment in such scenarios only. Every company has to do its own calculations and evaluate for itself.

As a first step, a machine tool builder can evaluate long lead time work-pieces, for example machine spindles, for installing machines for its just-in-time manufacture. However companies who wish to be globally competitive certainly need to look at ways to turn around their money fast and adopt processes and technologies suitably.

(In the concluding and third instalment of this series, would be the suggestion for selection of workholding, tool-holding and accessories for the CNC lathe)

Disclaimer: The above selection criteria are based on the author’s experience, and can only be treated as a guideline. It is possible that there could be other issues, not dealt with in this article, which may change the selection process. Neither the author nor the publication is responsible for any problems, which may arise if these criteria are used.

Author & Credit :

Mr. Gautam Doshi Productivity & Quality Improvement Services.

A CNC turning centre is justified where the turning operations are approximately 80 per cent or more of the cycle time and the secondary

operations are 20

per cent or less,

and the operation does not involve

substantial metal removal


9 SELECTING A CNC LATHE Light duty machine, low spindle motor power, Heavy duty machine,
Light duty machine, low spindle motor power,
Heavy duty machine,



Metal forming is and given shape to our liking. of most manufacturing an essential part
Metal forming is
and given shape to our liking.
of most manufacturing
an essential part
processes where metal needs to be
modern automobile is made from
Almost 50-60 per cent of a
metal formed tubular and
going to change in the near
sheet parts.
is not
likely that this is
future. However, what is going
way in which
to change is the
these parts are going to be made to
make the vehicle
lighter. Therefore,
towards developing a ‘weight-loss’ formula.
metal forming is aimed
all advancements and
research in
This article
new materials
way parts are metal formed today.
and technologies that are being
discusses the several
and used, and how
will impact
Subsequent issues will give details
of individual topics mentioned in this article.
a torsional
cost savings.

Lightening up with New Materials

The best option to increase fuel economy is to take weight out of the vehicles. Weight focuses on material choice and

driving the weight issue is the tussle between the traditional practice of using steel or substituting lighter-weight


materials like aluminium.

stampers is how to process these new materials into a usable component in the most efficient manner.


structural parts because of its low density and very high strength.

Both materials have advantages; both have shortcomings.

What matters most to metal

Aluminium is finding more and more applications in the construction of auto body panels and

However, specific material properties of

aluminium create special challenges for manufacturing of aluminium parts. For example, the lower ductile yield strength of aluminium puts considerable limits on the formability of the material as compared to steel. This has to be considered during part and die engineering. The other factors are the cost (2 to 2.5 times higher than steel) and the joining of aluminium. Lasers are proving to be the ideal means of processing aluminium, however, the cost of using a laser must be kept in mind. The complete

Audi lightweight aluminium space frame
Audi lightweight aluminium space frame
BMW aluminium rear axle
BMW aluminium rear axle

recyclability of the material underscores the environmental aspect of aluminium. The modern vehicle of today is made up of about 25 per cent of aluminium.

The use of aluminium extrusions with cross-sections designed efficiently with flanges, webs and non-uniform

thickness distribution are becoming popular because the high aluminium cost can be counter-acted with effective use of extrusions. Newer grades of alloyed aluminium like the 5000 and 6000 series are promising too and have been used in certain applications. Aluminium is being

considered to form body frames and has already been implemented in the space frame of theAudiA8 andA2, and the rear axle of BMW 5 series of cars.

Magnesium castings
Magnesium castings

Like aluminium, magnesium too (especially castings) is being looked at as a light weight alternative to steel. With both these materials, forming is the biggest hurdle and metalformers are experimenting with how to overcome this.

High strength steels (HSS):

automotive design and manufacturing. Their properties of high yield stress and

ultimate tensile stress allow thinner gauges to be applied throughout an auto body, rendering a stronger, lighter vehicle without significant changes in cost structure.As HSS content in a vehicle rises, the positive impact on fuel economy, emissions and safety will give OEMs the vital breathing room needed to build cars and trucks that still appeal to consumers. Also, the n-value characteristic of HSS stress-strain curve also means that yield stress will increase dramatically during the forming process.

But, like any other new material introduced into a process, high strength steels have unique characteristics that require attention in design and manufacturing. Hydroforming seems to be the most favourable forming method for HSS and most of the new generation hydroformed components are made using high strength steels.

High strength steels represent a new frontier in

Tailor Welded Blanks: Another response to the weight issue is tailor welded blanks. This laser welding technique joins metals of dissimilar thicknesses and properties to

prepare a sheet or tube ‘tailored’ to suit the strength/load requirements of the part and its application. For example, in a tube, the end product can

have the same diameter in its entire length, but wall thicknesses can vary from place to place, depending on where strength is needed. Cost is a deciding factor in the use of tailor welded blanks. Nevertheless, parts like door panels, floor pans, wheel housings, etc. made from tailored blanks are in use in many vehicles.

Floor panel Door inner liner Wheel Housing
Floor panel Door inner liner Wheel Housing
Floor panel Door inner liner Wheel Housing

Floor panel

Door inner liner

Wheel Housing


place in the manufacture of several parts for vehicles because of their attractive properties of low weight, corrosion and heat resistance.

Advanced sandwich steel structures are the latest development in composites. They consist of a thermoplastic core sandwiched between two thin steel skins. The material can be up to 50 per cent lighter than a comparable sheet of homogeneous steel without compromising performance. It shares the same processing possibilities of sheet steel like deep drawing, shear cutting, laser cutting, riveting, etc. but cannot be welded.

Steel Tubes:

because of the advancements made in traditional technologies and the introduction of new technologies like process

control of welding, laser welding and hydroforming.

generate upto 25 per cent weight saving.

tailored tubes to reduce weight of traditional tubular components.

Even with the introduction of these new materials, steel will still continue to be the main material of future vehicles. While plastics will be used for bumper beams, fascia, body panels, clutch pedal, lighting systems, trims, electrical, interior and other such applications, aluminium will dominate only cast iron

components and probably body panels. Magnesium’s future lies with intake manifolds, instrument panel support beams, seat structures, etc.

However, the chunk of the vehicle body will still be from steel, more specifically high strength steel. However, steel still holds its ground because of its primary advantage of cost. It also has an advantage where weight figures into space limitations. Steel, in the same amount of space is stronger than aluminium. Steel is far less expensive than lighter weight alternatives, especially in high-volume production. The second reason is ease of forming/processing.

Each kilo of tube when substituted for another solution can

The trend is towards replacing bars and sheets with tubes and by using

Today an average European vehicle consumes 33 kgs of steel tube and this is only going to increase

Composites and plastics have been around for quite a while now and have already gained a prominent

to increase Composites and plastics have been around for quite a while now and have already


The combination of high strength steel and hydroforming is probably one of the best ways to shave

off mass from the vehicle and at the same time increase strength. The process utilises fluid power to form tubes and sheets into complex parts. Parts consolidation, repeated tolerances, increased strength and forming flexibility make this the most attractive method for forming of chassis structures, engine cradles, exhaust components, safety structures, etc.

Joining and Welding Systems:

Joining processes like Water Jet Cutting, Laser Cutting & Welding, Plasma Welding,

Friction Stir Welding, ADRW (Annular Deformation Resistance Welding), Stud Welding. etc. have evolved into such efficient systems that it is very essential for forming people to study the recent developments and progress in these joining and welding systems.

Servo Presses:

achieve higher productivity, better component quality, longer die life and increased flexibility. While these capabilities are essential to maintaining an edge in today’s competitive environment, they come at a price. New servo press technology now offers one solution that can provide these benefits while minimising the need for large capital equipment investments.

Servo mechanical presses have programmable stroke and slide velocity, the ability to dwell in the stroke, and bottom dead center (BDC) accuracy in microns — all without energy loss. They offer high productivity, low maintenance, reduced snap-through loads, and low energy costs. Servo presses will not replace all flywheel mechanical presses. Each technology has its advantages and disadvantages, depending on the stamping application. For example, progressive or transfer applications that require forming, coining or blanking of high strength alloys with critical tolerances at production speeds of 20 to 100 spm can benefit from servo technology. However, if a progressive die application requires 200 spm or more, or deep drawing of 12 inch or more or over 300 tons force, servo technology does not offer a justifiable return.


Car A-column Exhaust manifold Engine cradls

Car A-column

Car A-column Exhaust manifold Engine cradls

Exhaust manifold

Car A-column Exhaust manifold Engine cradls

Engine cradls

Fuel tank Truck long member Car hood

Fuel tank

Fuel tank Truck long member Car hood

Truck long member

Car hood

Manufacturers are looking to

Super Plastic Forming:

Super plastic forming and diffusion bonding of certain steels, aluminium, and titanium-based metals is a precise art requiring pinpoint temperature control and a very responsive gas management system. The normal forming process employs a tool consisting of a container housing a die and a container cover. The blank is tightly gripped in the press between the container and cover. An inert gas (usually argon) is injected between the blank and the container cover and controls the amount and rate of blank deformation into the die. Under this pressure and control, the blank will conform to the contours of the die.

There are several other new advancements in metal-forming like high speed stamping, servo transfer presses, etc. that are being considered to efficiently produce complex parts in fewer stages and with less handling.

Author & Credit :

Mr. A. Rasquinha Chairman and Managing Director Electropneumatics & Hydraulics (India) Private Limited.


From the Regions


As part of its endeavour to further strengthen the close bonding with user companies in northern region, IMTMA Regional Council North (RCN) scheduled an ‘Interactive Meeting and Plant Visit to Tecumseh Products India Limited’ on April 23, 2005 in Ballabgarh. The meeting and visit to Tecumseh Products was scheduled with the objective of gaining an insight about their manufacturing and export excellence.

RCN Members as well as other IMTMA members based in northern region took part at the interactive meeting, during which key executives from Tecumseh Products made a very









manufacturing activities. In their presentation, executives from Tecumseh spoke about their current manufacturing processes and mentioned about their futuristic requirements. They called upon machine tool manufacturers to provide cost-effective and highly-productive manufacturing solutions, as the company is targeting to more than double their production volumes over the next five to seven years.

Tecumseh is amongst the leading global manufacturers of compressor units, and has a worldwide network of 27 plants, including 23 in the United States. Tecumseh India has two plants in the country – Ballabgarh manufacturing refrigerator compressors, and Hyderabad producing air-conditioner compressors. In Ballabgarh, the company manufacturers about 5,000 compressor units a day, and makes almost 2,000 variants.

Addressing IMTMA RCN Members, Mr. Vipin Sondhi, Managing Director of Tecumseh Products India Limited, said the company was looking for automated solutions, in view of their focus on cost-competitiveness. Mr. Sondhi pointed towards a greater partnership with the machine tool industry for mutual benefit.

At the meeting Mr. N. K. Dhand, Chairman, Regional Council (North) of IMTMA briefed Mr. Sondhi and other key executives of Tecumseh Products, about current status of the machine tool industry and on multifarious initiatives of IMTMA. Mr. Dhand assured Mr. Sondhi of the machine tool industry’s complete support and commitment in further strengthening manufacturing requirements of Tecumseh Products.

The interactive meeting was followed by a plant visit to Tecumseh’s four state-of-the-art workshops – press shop, machine shop, motor shop, and assembly shop. RCN Members were highly impressed by the latest manufacturing practises adopted by Tecumseh in their quest towards export excellence.



The story of Bharat Fritz Werner Limited (BFW) is one of transformation. Commencing operations 42 years back, in partnership with Fritz Werner a leader in German machine tool technology, BFW flourished and filled a critical gap in the machine tool sector of India, which at that time was dominated by the public sector companies.

When economic liberalisation came in the year 1992, BFW realised that it should be treated as an opportunity for growth and decided to transform itself. But, it was not an easy task with a baggage of about 660 blue-collared workforce, opposing every kind of change.

After several brainstorming sessions, the company's leadership decided to trigger the transformation by changing the mindset of the workforce to a positive one. This involved careful, honest, sincere and relentless work in persuasion, education and training.

BFW has been transformed from an old-fashioned brick and mortar company to a dynamic “brick and click” organisation. This was accomplished by inducting a large number of professionally- qualified young people. There has been a drastic reduction in number of blue-collared workmen from 660 in 1991 to just 40 now.

BFW is now an agile, lean, young and progressive customer-

oriented organization, while fully retaining its historical advantage

of having a blue- blooded German heritage. BFW believes in being

a company for the young, by the young and of the young and

moving much faster than many younger companies. One manifestation of this commitment to youth is the five-star Fitness Center and a Yoga & Meditation Center for the

employees in its factory precincts something which is rarely found in Indian engineering units.

The company's product range is continuously monitored and new products are periodically introduced. Constant change and innovative

product design is an ongoing process. BFW's products are, at all times, less than three years old. The product development team focuses on providing complete manufacturing solutions to its customers by

BFW is a 'One

Stop Shop' with the widest product basket of machines ranging from Rs. 0.35 million to Rs. 35.00 million for machining of all kinds of prismatic parts .

At one time, Indian machine tools faced the problem of poor aesthetics.

Improvement was not easy, because of poor quality of sheet metal, castings, paints, etc. BFW's R&D team took this up as a challenge, formed a strategic alliance with top technologists of German industry and brought about a change in aesthetics of its machines in a record period of ten months. Today, the aesthetics of BFW machines are amongst the best in the country and better than that of several imported machines.

BFW was the first to introduce the fairly low-cost, state-of-the-art BMV series vertical machining centers, as early as in IMTEX 1998. More than 1,000 of these machines have been supplied to medium and small scale industries within a short span of six year, which have, in turn, been able to supply quality components at economical prices.

“BFW is now an agile, lean, young and progressive customer-oriented organization, while fully retaining its historical advantage of having a blue- blooded German heritage”

Mr. S. N. Mishra President & CEO - BFW

heritage” Mr. S. N. Mishra President & CEO - BFW incorporating latest technology in all new

incorporating latest technology in all new products.

- BFW incorporating latest technology in all new products. BFW displayed it's yet another ambitious move

BFW displayed it's yet another ambitious move at the last IMTEX fair in 2004. All products in the company's portfolio were thoroughly updated and some even replaced with brand new models with better aesthetics and a new attractive logo. The machines introduced were

vertical machining centre's like,

(BMV80); horizontal machining centres like,

(BMV70) and







Maxpro 400E, Maxpro 440E, Maxpro 500 and Maxpro 630 series,

Compact high speed production centres, CHPC 32H & CHPC 32V and several SPMs.


Innovation is a key to BFW's product development. Throughout 2003, BFW engineers were engaged in developing a state-of-the-art CNC milling machine at a target price below Rs. one million. During IMTEX 2004, this machine made its

- the “Peoples Mill”. This is a very low-cost, full-fledged CNC milling machine very-optimally

debut as Akshara

designed to enable ease of manufacture and maintenance.

hundreds of small engineering enterprises and made them capable of supplying quality parts to MNCs, aeronautical

sector and OEM industries.

On the basis of BFW's open and transparent partnership approach, the leader in machines for aeronautical industry, Starrag Heckert of Switzerland, approached BFW for a joint R&D project. In a record time of six months, BFW came out with a five axes vertical machining centre with an inclined and tilting head for machining turbine blades. Several of these machines have already been supplied to Switzerland, USA, etc. and many more are in the process of being exported.

has empowered


, along with its counterpart,


BFW is one of the largest suppliers of machines to the leaders of the Indian engineering industry like Bharat Forge, Honda Motorcycle & Scooter India, Kirloskar Toyoda Textile Machinery, Maruti Udyog, Toyota Kirloskar Auto Parts, TVS Motors, etc. BFW has also been exporting its machines in large numbers to France, Germany, Italy, Singapore, Switzerland and the Middle East.

Concern for environment has been a priority at BFW. It was the first machine tool company in India to be awarded the QS 14000 Certification . Besides having an extensive green belt

around its Bangalore factory, the company has achieved almost cent per cent recycling of water consumed and has also implemented full-scale rain water harvesting on its campus.

implemented full-scale rain water harvesting on its campus. A unique feature of BFW, not so well

A unique feature of BFW, not so well known, is that it has never suffered a loss in over four decades of operations . This is clearly a rare achievement in the Indian machine tool industry. BFW's revenues grew by over 25 per cent annually, in the last five years. The company has now set for itself an ambitious growth plan and aims to touch Rs. 5,000 million in turnover and be a truly global player by the year 2008.



Tooltech 2005, the seventh in the series of international exhibition of cutting tools, tooling systems, machine tool accessories, metrology & CAD/CAM – heralded unprecedented outcome in terms of visitors and business generation. The B2B exhibition was scheduled by the Association from February 03 to 07, 2005 at Plant 6 of Godrej Industrial Garden Township, Vikhroli in Mumbai.

196 exhibitors, including 98 overseas companies from 14 countries showcased their technologies in this product
196 exhibitors, including 98 overseas companies from 14 countries showcased their technologies in this product
196 exhibitors, including 98 overseas companies from 14 countries showcased their technologies in this product

196 exhibitors, including 98 overseas companies from 14 countries showcased their technologies in this product segment, over a net space of 3,000 square metres. Overseas countries represented at this exhibition included China, Brazil, France, Germany, Israel, Italy, Japan, Singapore, South Korea, Spain, Switzerland, Taiwan, UK and USA. The highlight of the overseas participation was a large group-participation from Germany, led by the Indo German Chambers of Commerce.

The five-day exhibition was inaugurated by Mr. T. C. Venkat Subramanian, Chairman and Managing Director, Export - Import Bank of India. In his inaugural address, Mr. Venkat Subramanian exhorted the machine tool industry to move up the value chain. This would enable the industry to be better prepared to take on newer challenges in the home and external markets. He suggested the need to proactively develop new markets overseas and increase penetration in existing markets.

Subramanian called upon the machine tool and cutting tool industry to continuously reorient itself

Mr. Venkat

towards imbibing latest technological advancements to meet stringent international quality standards. Towards this, he emphasised the need to focus on R&D and related activities, and reinforce the close linkages between industry and research institutions.

Mr. Venkat Subramanian advised the machine tool industry to diversify its export basket in line with contemporary buying and consumption patterns. He further underscored the need for a closer and sustained interaction between the industry and its users to better understand the changing requirements.


C M Y K Speaking at the inauguration ceremony, Mr. Jamshyd N. Godrej, Chairman - Exhibitions

Speaking at the inauguration ceremony, Mr. Jamshyd N. Godrej, Chairman - Exhibitions and Past President of IMTMA, said the manufacturing industry in the country is in a galloping mode. And it is expected to catapult India into the big leap of economies of the world.

Mr. C. P. Rangachar, President of IMTMA, spoke about the blazing performance of the machine tool industry in 2004. Future for the industry, Mr. Rangachar pointed out, is to reinforce the ‘Made in India’brand by showcasing the world- class competitiveness of Indian machine tool and cutting tool companies.

Tooltech 2005 was memorable for its exceptional turnout of 22,000 business visitors comprising chief executive officers, marketing executives and technocrats from the automotive, consumer durable, electrical equipment industries, as well as from the defence, aerospace, and railways sectors.

Many leading automobile organisations as well as various units from Ordnance Factories sent technical teams to witness technological trends in the product segment on display. The five-day exhibition was also visited by high-level delegations from Automotive Component Manufacturers Association of India (ACMA), Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited (BHEL), Indian Ordnance Factories, Railway units and The Institute of Indian Foundrymen.

Confirmed orders to the tune of Rs. 150 million and serious business enquiries worth Rs. 1,200 million was generated over the five days of the exhibition. About 87 per cent exhibitors felt that the Tooltech 2005 would generate more business for the industry in the year ahead.

Interactive Meeting with Chairman and Members of Ordnance Factory Board

As part of its objectives of further strengthening the partnership with users and to support them to be competitive, the Executive Committee members of IMTMAscheduled an interactive meeting with Chairman and Members of the Ordnance Factory Board (OFB) onApril 29, 2005 in Kolkata.

The IMTMA group,

led by President Mr. C. P. Rangachar, made a detailed presentation and briefed OFB

Chairman and Members about multifarious efforts made by machine tool manufacturers towards meeting requirements of the Defence sector, in terms of technology and services.

Welcoming IMTMAmembers, Mr. P. K. Misra, Chairman of OFB, complimented the Indian machine tool industry for its capability to supply state-of-the-art machines. He said Indian Ordnance Factories are looking for machines with higher flexibility, smaller footprints, better looks and which incorporate hi-tech features.

According to Mr. Misra, OF units are in need of more automation in material handling, automatic gauging systems, equipment with multi-spindle and single-moulded, high speed machines, and tooling in certain areas. Large investments in these types of machines are in the offing, Mr. Misra said, adding that OF units are looking at turnkey projects.

Mr. Misra mooted a strategic relationship with the machine tool industry, for mutual benefit. “We are a growing organisation, and along with us, we would like the industry to also grow”, he reiterated.

While thanking OFB for this interactive meeting, Mr. Rangachar emphasised the industry’s deep-rooted commitment to strongly supporting all initiatives of the Indian Ordnance Factories, to fulfil the larger objectives of the nation’s security requirements.




The VISION process of IMTMA had been exercised at the highest and middle management levels of the machine tool industry.Aneed was felt to trickle it down to the next levels and further involve the several key links of the industry sub-suppliers, vendors, accessory manufacturers, R&D institutions, academia and the like. This would lead to truly achieving the VISION objectives.

In order to fulfil this requirement, IMTMA added yet another major initiative in its basket of activities 'Machine Tool Industry Summit'. A gathering of the entire machine tool clan was envisaged to learn from one another, share experiences and successful initiations and jointly understand the nuances of the emerging trends, while exploring new avenues for business development through partnership.

This Summit, held in Goa from May 06 to 08, 2005, had a spectacular response. Over 400 small, medium, and large machine tool manufacturers, component suppliers, dealers, distributors and others from all across India converged by the Arabian sea-side to deliberate on the many issues pertaining to growth and competitiveness of the machine tool industry. The maiden event was truly a unique opportunity for the entire machine tool manufacturing fraternity to network with one another.

The three-day mega event was inaugurated by Dr. Surinder Kapur, Chairman and Managing Director, Sona Koyo Steering Systems Limited. In his inaugural address, Dr. Kapur called upon the industry to emphasise on the bigger concept of manufacturing (“big M”). According to him, the industry needs to look at sales, after-sales, customer relation, management and marketing as very important areas of the manufacturing process, rather than simply concentrate on designing, manufacturing and selling of products. “Big M” also looks at global procurement and supply chain as an important aspect of manufacturing and strategies needed to develop R&D along with design and production.


Speaking at length about the journey towards manufacturing excellence of Sona Koyo, Dr. Kapur emphasised the vision of his company to make Sona Koyo supplier of choice to global customers. He pointed to the operational excellence initiatives, which transformed Sona Koyo into becoming a continuous improvement organisation.

Dr. Kapur exhorted the machine tool industry to transform itself in order to become global and competitive. “You need to transform the culture of your organisation; you need to be working with data and facts; you need to

be doing gap analysis; you need to be involving everybody in your

individual organisations. Only then you can really transform; only then the productivity, defect rates, lead time, etc. will improve. Otherwise, you will have improvement once in a while. Unless you intervene in your own organisations effectively, you are not going to make changes with it.”

The Summit agenda consisted of a keynote session and 18 concurrent sessions focusing on design, manufacturing, supply chain, marketing, people management, cost management and a special segment for the CEOs of small industries. The sessions involved extensive presentations and case studies on the entire gamut of manufacturing technologies including cellular manufacturing, process capability, design and value engineering, as well as effective supply chain management.

A key

interactive cross-fire debate covering contentious aspects concerning the machine tool industry second hand vs. new machines; investing in newer technologies; partnering vs. confronting; etc.








A special highlight of the three-day event was its

evening extravaganzas to spruce up the mood of participating delegates. A boat cruise was organised in the evening of May 06, 2005, while a Samba carnival was held in the evening May 07, 2005. And on the last day was a sight-seeing programme for all the delegates to take in the sights of Goa.

Delegates took back with them a great deal of practical information from the interactive sessions and pleasant memories of three days of togetherness and networking.





Coming together is a Beginning Keeping together is Progress Working together is success

Machine Tool Industry Summit

6 - 8 May 2005 Goa Marriott Resort, Panjim, Goa

“ Unleashing the power of Indian Machine Tool Industry “

Patron Sponsors

Fanuc India Private Limited


Siemens Limited

Bosch Rexroth (India) Limited

Kennametal Widia India Limited

Supported by

Microsoft Corporation

India Limited

Apex Precision Group

Hiwin Technologies


NSK Limited



Universal Limited

Messung Systems

R + W Couplings

Renishaw Metrology Systems Private Limited

International Centre for Advancement of Manufacturing Technology

FESTO Controls

Private Limited

Miven Mayfran

Conveyors Limited

Parametric Technology


SKF India Limited

Associated Sponsors

Ace Designers Limited

Ace Manufacturing

Systems Limited

Batliboi Limited

Bharat Fritz Werner

Micromatic Grinding


Technologies Limited

Motor Industries

Makino Machine Tool (India)

Company Limited

Private Limited

Electronica Machine Tools Limited

Taegutec India Private Limited

Tsubaki Nakashima Company Limited

Guindy Machine Tools Limited

Yuken India Limited

Edited & Published by V. Anbu, Secretary and Executive Director, Indian Machine Tool Manufacturers' Association (IMTMA), for and on behalf of IMTMA. Printed at New Prints. IMTMA, Plot No. 249 F, Phase IV, Udyog Vihar, Sector - 18, Gurgaon - 122 015.