The Walter Group is one of the leading international companies in the metal processing industry. With the competence brands Walter, Walter Titex, Walter Prototyp and Walter Multiply, the company offers a full range of precision tools and services for turning, drilling, threading and milling worldwide.
Pawel Duzniak, President Europe & India – Walter AG told Sandeep Menezes that it is imperative for cutting tool suppliers to continuously offer cutting edge solutions.
Excerpts from the interview:
Going forward, how much growth do you foresee across the machining industry? Tell us about the main growth drivers?
The machining and the cutting tool sector are witnessing lot of developments to keep pace with the changing market dynamics especially in terms of technology and new tool materials.
Second half of 2014 had shown many signs of revival of manufacturing industry. New government has put very high stress on “Make In India” strategy. Government is administering incentives for machine tool industry (already Rs. 900 crore fund is allocated).
As the Indian economy shows signs of revival, we are confident of growth across manufacturing sectors in the ensuing fiscal to spur growth. Policy reforms and a slew of actionable measures being taken augur well for the economy to revive. The progressive initiatives coupled with efficient governance and successful implementation of strong policies will ensure the momentum sustains.
The machining industry has seen rapid evolution during the past decade. Tell us the about the evolving technological trends across the industry?
The current positive sentiment calls for manufacturers to device processes and technology that not only address the markets requirement of price with profitability but also technological innovations that provide a competitive edge to meet the end user’s demand.
With the rapid and continuous technological development in CNC machines and work piece materials to be machined and customers’ dynamic objectives, it is imperative for cutting tool suppliers to continuously offer cutting edge solutions supported with best services to satisfy various customers objectives for example lower cost per component, increased productivity, latest innovation and technology.
The government has launched its ‘Make in India’ campaign to promote local manufacturing of products. Do you have any suggestions? Going forward, does Walter intend to manufacture locally?
PM Modi’s “Make In India” campaign has given a confidence boost to the manufacturing industry. The positive developments in areas of infrastructure, policies and steps that are being taken to simplify doing business in India will boost the India manufacturing industry to great extent.
India is a growing economy with a strong manufacturing sector and a vivid home market demand for premium cutting tools. Walter has ambitious plans for growth in India and we are keenly observing the Indian market demands based on which we will explore the option for expansion in our localized product content in the near future.
How are the customer requirements for metal cutting tools changing in recent years across India?
The perpetually growing competition in the manufacturing sector, both from local and global players, has led to an increased end-user expectation towards cost and technological competitiveness. Today, manufacturing companies need to act as cutting tool experts offering optimized machining solutions for increasing productivity and quality.
The unprecedented pace of technological change gives opportunities to businesses for creating growth through rapid conversion with newer technologies. Identifying customer’s needs – often before they realize it themselves and creating the right solution, drives business growth. It is most important to leverage the voice of the market and respond to their dynamic requirements. Every tool, every machining strategy, every solution is refined until it performs to perfection.
While the automotive segment contributes to a major share of Walter’s business, the company is eyeing other resilient segments like railways, aerospace, power equipment and so on. Comment.
While the automotive segment contributes to a major share of Walter’s business, Walter has established its dominance in other resilient segments like railways, aerospace, power equipment and so on post 2008 – 2009 recession. Walter has experienced a very good growth in Energy, Railways and Aerospace sector in last 3 – 4 years due to their focus on developing new tools, providing optimized solutions. The industry has a continuously evolving appetite for improvement which calls for challenging applications, surfaces & materials to be machined. On top of that greater precision are needed to be achieved at an ever increasing productivity rate with rock solid process security.
We have a strong product line and customized solutions for very specific machining needs of these emerging sectors. Walter India has a clear market strategy for these industries, with a team of dedicated sector specialists in applications explicit to these industries. Our Engineers bring world class technologies with our Global Competence Center, to Indian manufacturers.
Materials used in Thermal Blade, different Ti and exotic materials for Aerospace are difficult to machine. It demands extreme quality of the tools. We do not differentiate between Indian market and Global market in terms of providing the state-of-the-art tools and technology. I have experienced that majority of the machines used in manufacturing Energy, Aerospace or Railway segment in India are not different from what been used in the developed countries.
India has the advantage of labour cost in these segment and internal demand for Energy and Railways are high in India. Aerospace industry is mostly export based and it is showing a really impressive growth in the past few years.
Walter offers a complete range of metal cutting tools for turning, milling, drilling and threading, tell us about your company’s growth strategy for the Indian market?
Our competence brands Walter, Walter Titex & Walter Prototyp, bring together more than 350 years of experience and are known for having the best tools in the fields of milling, turning, hole-making and threading. Walter is globally acknowledged as the supplier for complete machining solutions.
I foresee India becoming a major manufacturing economy in the times to come. Large MNCs have invested and are shifting to India. India is a growing economy with a large home market for the manufacturing sector. It has a huge demographic advantage of young, educated and ambitious workforce which is a key ingredient for growth in the manufacturing sector. And Walter wants to partner Indian manufacturers in this growth; we will continue to undertake initiatives that will help Indian industries to achieve the highest standards of manufacturing efficiencies.
Walter India has ambitious growth plans through market share gain and distribution base expansion during coming years. We rely on a solid growth strategy, which enables us to provide our customers a competitive advantage through innovative technologies, premium product quality and expert engineering services.
While most of the standard offerings are imported from Walter’s main manufacturing facilities in Germany, we do manufacture some of our special solid carbide round tools locally. Also we have a local reconditioning facility available for our round tools reconditioning services. India is a growing economy with a strong manufacturing sector and a vivid home market demand for premium cutting tools. Walter has ambitious plans for growth in India and we are keenly observing the Indian market demands based on which we will explore the option for expansion in our localized product content in the near future.