Sundram Fasteners to build IPR portfolio

April 6th, 2008 - 1:24 pm ICT by admin  

Chennai, April 6 (IANS) Sundaram Fasteners, the Rs.15.75-billion auto component major, will focus on research and development to drive its future growth with an emphasis on holding a host of patented technologies, a top official has said. The focus to ramp up the company’s intellectual property will be on both product and process innovations, while seeking collaborations with leading universities, said S. Ramasubramanian, who is with the firm’s business strategy and systems group.

“The company’s fastener and powder metal parts divisions have already filed for five and eight patents respectively,” Ramasubramanian told IANS, as he explained the company’s strategy for total productive maintenance (TPM) - a innovative approach developed in Japan.

“The TPM process could be divided into three phases - routine, innovative and creative. We are in the second phase and have to move to the third where creative solutions are to be found,” he said.

“Building intellectual property is one aspect of this creative phase,” he said, adding Sundaram Fasteners got initiated into TPM in 1995 at the Japan Institute of Plant Maintenance.

A part of the Chennai-based TVS group, Sundaram Fasteners also makes radiator caps, powder metal parts, cold extruded parts, hot forged parts, pumps and assembles for the automotive sector.

Ramasubramanian said TPM was all about saving costs by cutting down wastage and it was important for the top management to be involved in the entire process. “They are not aware of the problems at the shop floor.”

According to him, the past 13 years has seen the TPM situation change in India for companies wanting to practise this innovative approach.

In the 1990s, it was very difficult to get foreign consultants to India. Those who came charged a fancy fee of some Rs.80,000 per day excluding expenses, he said, adding: “Today there are good Indian TPM consultants.”

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