Robust manufacturing spurs Indian machine tool industry growth

February 16th, 2008 - 2:06 pm ICT by admin  

By Fakir Balaji
Bangalore, Feb 16 (IANS) Burgeoning growth in the manufacturing sector over the last four years has pitchforked the Indian machine tool industry into the global market. According to a study by Feedback Ventures for the Indian Machine Tool Manufacturers’ Association (IMTMA), the boom in automobile and auto ancillary sectors has resulted in huge consumption of die-moulds and cutting tools, accounting for 50 percent of the total production last year.

“Though 32 percent of the domestic requirement for metal-cutting and metal-forming machine tools and CNC (computer numerically controlled) machines is met by imports, the Indian machine tool industry caters to other sectors such as electronics, consumer durables, IT products, telecom and packaging, accounting for 50 percent of the total consumption,” IMTMA president N.K. Dhand told IANS here.

Captive tooling units of OEMs (original equipment manufacturers) such as Telco, Mahindra & Mahindra (M&M) and Vasantha account for 26 percent of the total production, while commercial tool rooms (units) meet 42 percent of the total demand.

“In the global machine tool industry of $15-billion (Rs.593 billion) market, India accounted for only 16.5 percent with $2.5 billion (Rs.98.75 billion) in 2007,” Dhand said on the sidelines of three-day twin expositions - DieMould India and Tooltech 2008, held here since Friday.

“As a sunrise sector, we have witnessed about 60 percent growth in the last two-three years, thanks to the phenomenal demand for our products and services by the manufacturing sector across verticals.

“On a wider base, we are poised to grow by 20-25 percent annually over the next five years,” he said.

With modernisation and expansion of existing manufacturing units, global OEMs in machine tools and CNC machines from Americas, Europe and Asia-Pacific are setting up production bases and service centres in the Indian subcontinent to consolidate their presence and increase market share.

“Even as we cater to high-growth sectors such as automobile and electronics industries, we foresee the emerging aerospace industry and defence sector triggering the next wave of demand growth for our range of products and services,” Dhand pointed out.

As in the case of other growth sectors, the Indian machine tool industry is facing shortage of skilled human resources. The industry is hoping to tap talent from ITIs (industrial training institutes), polytechnics and vocational schools across the country.

“The central government has made budgetary provision through the HRD (human resources development) ministry to upgrade about 1,300 ITIs and set up more vocational academies to meet the skill requirements of industries like ours,” Dhand said.

India has recently jointed the international skill movement to improve teaching and training methods and meet global benchmarks set for imparting skill sets to employable youth.

“If India has to become the manufacturing hub for capital goods and low-cost new-generation products in the knowledge economy, stakeholders, comprising the organised sector and the government have to enable the machine tool industry to upgrade and expand manifold, as no manufacturing is possible in large volumes without die-moulds, cutting tools and lathe machines,” Dhand asserted.

Tool and Gauge Manufacturers Association chairperson N. Reguraj said that due to high taxation, import tariffs, prohibitive energy rates and overheads, the Indian machine tool industry suffered from cost disadvantage vis-

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