1 year ago

MDA Technologies 2/2015

MDA Technologies 2/2015


MACHINE ELEMENTS Schaeffler India – Focus on industry India, the partner country for 2015’s Hannover Messe, has plans to significantly strengthen its industrial sector in the future. This means that a major new market for mechanical engineering will be opened up. We sat down to talk with Schaeffler managers Dharmesh Arora and Rajendra Anandpara. What stage has India reached in terms of its economic development? Arora: India has great potential for development – and it has done for a long time – but this has never yet been fully realized. While it is true that India’s economy has experienced growth rates in the singledigit range over the last few years, the spirit of optimism that is now taking hold once again has only come about since the new government came to power in mid-2014. Economy and investment are among this government’s core priorities, and that gives us all confidence that we will indeed be able to realize the potential that this country has to offer. I am convinced that we will be able to achieve significantly higher growth rates over the next few years. Will India become an industrial nation in the future? 01 Dharmesh Arora, President and CEO Schaffler India and Presdient Automotive Schaeffler India 02 Rajendra Anandpara is responsible for all of Schaeffler’s industrial activities in India Arora: The fact that the Modi government is focusing strongly on the industrial sector can be viewed as a positive aspect – not just for Schaeffler but for the country as a whole. When it comes to creating jobs for six to eight million new employees a year, only the industrial sector is up to the task. Anandpara: Here is a specific example: We have invested around € 150 million in India over the last few years, including a new plant in Savli. This plant produces generation-C ball bearings – some of

which are for the domestic two-wheeled vehicle industry – and large-size bearings for wind turbines according to the same quality standards as Schaeffler’s plants in Europe. Thus far, this has allowed us to create more than 160 jobs in Savli alone. So how can you, as a mechanical engineering company based in Germany, profit from this? Arora: For a start, Schaeffler has been active in India since 1962. We have five locations in the country, which are run by Indian managers, so we are fully justified in considering ourselves an Indian company. Anandpara: We profit immensely from the investments being made in the country’s infrastructure and the measures being taken to promote domestic production. It all starts with the base materials: India is already the world’s second-largest steel producer with an output of around 100 million tons, and there are plans to double this capacity by 2020, even triple it by 2025. Many of this industry’s rolling mills even include Schaeffler bearings as part of their original equipment. Business in the replacement part and service sector now also promises significant potential. We ensure the maximum availability of the machines and equipment here, and this is a model that we also plan to implement in other processing industries. Urbanization in India is in full swing – what contribution can Schaeffler make to solving the problems that this brings with it? Anandpara: Mobility represents a major challenge for all fast-growing metropolitan areas – one that can only be overcome by increasing the amount of public passenger transport available. That is what is happening here right now: After you touch down at Delhi International Airport, you can be at Connaught Place in the center of town in less than half an hour thanks to the city’s metro system. The wheelsets used in the trains are a core design element and are supplied by Schaeffler. However, we also mustn’t forget that a considerable proportion of our growth comes from the development of small villages, where living conditions are also improving and people’s expectations are therefore going up. How is the company developing its expertise in conventional mechanical engineering? Anandpara: India’s mechanical engineering sector, like that of Germany, is very much shaped by family-owned companies. 03 With the Generation C ball bearings, Schaeffler is dedicated to the Indian two-wheeler industry Until now, it has been heavily focused on the domestic market, but the level of ambition is going up along with the level of expertise. Our own Special Machinery and Tool Shop departments illustrate this point: We have been able to bring more and more expertise to India over the last few years, and this process is still continuing. Arora: In-depth discussions are currently taking place in Europe about how production and the digital world can be brought together. India’s expertise in the IT sector is undisputed, and thanks to multinational companies like Schaeffler, manufacturing expertise is also available locally. Can we expect large-scale product development to take place in India, rather than the country simply becoming a factory for the rest of the world? Arora: We are already on the way to achieving that. For example, we assumed worldwide development responsibility for small motorcycles and tractors for the entire Schaeffler Group in 2014. We are doing this in order to follow the market, because India – with an annual production of around 20 million units – is by far the world’s largest motorcycle market, and it continues to grow. The same is true for tractors with an output of up to 50 horsepower. It is important to understand here that, in both cases, India’s OEMs are globally active and do not focus solely on the domestic market. One cause for concern among foreign investors could be employee qualification. How do you deal with the challenge of personnel growth? Arora: Firstly, let me point out that India is a young nation, and one in which demographic change is still just beginning. The country also has a good system of training in place, even for the engineers and specialists who are so urgently needed. Anandpara: That being said, every company has to ensure that it provides continuous qualification measures for its employees and specialists. We have set up a comprehensive exchange of expertise that allows us to work to the same technical standards as our colleagues in Germany. After all, it is not enough to simply install modern machinery here – the people involved must be able to work with it. What is the business culture like in India today? Arora: This is also an area in which the last 25 years have seen major changes. When I started out, value added chains were still not understood – every company did everything independently. Strictly speaking, there were no suppliers and no supplier industry. These sectors are well developed nowadays, and this is not just because a large number of international companies like ours have established themselves here. Anandpara: The new government is planning to clear the remaining obstacles that stand in the way of investment – such as the acquisition of land and employment of workers – without the need to compromise our democratic constitution. So you can see, it pays to be active here. About Company name: Schaeffler Technologies Brands: INA, LuK and FAG Headquarters: Herzogenaurach, Germany Turnover: € 11,2 bn (2013) Employees: more than 80,000 worldwide Products: Rolling bearing and plain bearing solutions, linear and direct drive technology, as well as high-precision products for the automotive industry MDA Technologies 2/2015 19


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