An Exclusive Interview with Mr. D. M. Sheregar, President of TAGAMA, with Modern Plastics India (MPI) magazine a Part of Modern Plastics Global Network
To start, could you share your insights on the currenttrends in the Indian automotive industry and their impact on the tooling sector?
The Indian automotive industry is undergoing a transformative phase. One notable trend is the increasing focus on localization, which presents significant opportunities for Indian component manufacturers and toolmakers. This trend fosters collaboration and business growth within the industry.
Another pivotal shift is the rise of electric vehicles (Evs). As the world moves towards sustainable transportation, India is following suit. This shift presents challenges for some segments, but it also brings forth tremendous opportunities, especially in engineering plastics and battery-related components, which are integral to Evs.
Frequent facelifts and new product launches in the automotive market are driving the demand for advanced tooling solutions. Toolmakers play a crucial role in providing the necessary tools for manufacturing these intricate components, contributing to the industry’s growth.
How do you foresee the impact of the emergence of electric vehicles on the toolmakers’ business?
The emergence of electric vehicles is a game- changer for the tooling industry. While traditiona lengine and powertrain component manufacturers may experience some impact, the shift to EVs creates new avenues for toolmakers. There’s a growing demand for components made from advanced engineering plastics, such as interior components, body panels, and structural elements.
Moreover, the battery technology in EVs presents another strategic opportunity for toolmakers. Tools required for the production of battery-related components and housings are expected to witness a surge in demand. This necessitates toolmakers to adapt and diversify their offerings to cater to the evolving needs of the automotive industry.
In essence, while the emergence of EVs may pose challenges for certain segments, it simultaneously opens up new and lucrative opportunities for toolmakers, particularly in the realms of engineering plastics and battery-related components.
How crucial is the automotive industry for toolmakers, both globally and within the Indian context?
The automotive industry holds paramount importance for toolmakers on a global scale, and particularly in India, it stands as one of the most significant customers for the tooling industry. I would estimate that more than 60% of the tooling business is directly associated with the automotive sector.
The intricate and precise components required by the automotive sector necessitate advanced tooling capabilities. As the automotive industry continues to evolve, toolmakers are presented with continuous opportunities for innovation and growth. The symbiotic relationship between the automotive industr y and toolmakers underscores the significance of this sector in shaping the trajectory of the tooling industry.
Can you provide an overview of the present state of the Indian tooling industry?
The present state of the Indian tooling industry is notably optimistic, marking an advantageous period for toolmakers across the country. While the automotive sector remains a substantial contributor to the tooling industry, other diverse sectors such as aerospace, packaging, medical, defence, electronics, and white goods are actively generating s ignificant business for toolmakers.
Post-pandemic, both the global and Indian tooling industries have demonstrated resilience and sustained growth. In 2021, the global tool room industry reached a valuation of USD 80 billion, underscoring the industry’s robust health. Specifically, the Indian tool room industry’s estimated market size currently stands at approximately INR 23,600 crore.
It’s noteworthy that around 34% of the tooling demand in India is met through imports, with a predominant share – about 80%—sourced from key nations such as China, South Korea, Japan, and Taiwan. On the flip side, India contributes to the global tooling market by exporting approximately 15% of its tooling production, with primary destinations being the USA, Spain, Mexico, and Germany.
Within the domestic landscape, Commercial Tool Rooms (CTRs) have experienced a commendable growth rate of approximately 8.1%, showcasing the industry’s vitality. Captive Tool Rooms have also contributed to the growth trajectory with a growth rate of approximately 1.5%, underscoring the dynamic nature of the Indian tooling ecosystem.
What challenges do Indian toolmakers face in the current landscape?
Indian toolmakers encounter a spectrum of challenges outlined in a recent report. Some of the prominent hurdles include:
•Lack of Capital Funding: While global tool rooms benefit from better access to capital funding, Indian counterparts face challenges in securing easy financing and subsidized loans, impacting their capacity to invest in advanced tooling technology.
•Lack of Industry-Ready Tool Room Courses: Training programs in Indian Tool Room Training Centers (TRTC) often focus on fundamental machining and mould assembly. However, students often lack hands- on experience with advanced machinery, leaving them less industry-ready for the demands of the field.
•High Cost of Financing: Expanding into new sectors like aerospace and medical equipment manufacturing is hindered by the high cost of precision equipment acquisition. The expense associated with procuring advanced tooling machinery, equipment, and software for precision tools and moulds poses a significant challenge.
•Lack of Outsourcing Ecosystem: The dispersed presence of tooling suppliers in India contributes to a low level of collaboration. In contrast, overseas tool rooms strategically position themselves close to design and manufacturing facilities, creating an ecosystem conducive to large- scale subcontracting.
•Issues Related to Concurrent Engineering: The outsourcing dynamic often leads to a gap in concurrent engineering. Tool rooms receive projects post the design phase, missing out on valuable input in terms of viability during the design process. Consequently, the design for manufacturability shared with tool rooms may require multiple revisions.
Addressing these challenges will be pivotal in enhancing the competitiveness and capabilities of Indian toolmakers, fostering a more conducive environment for growth and innovation in the industry.
With Die & Mould India 2024 on the horizon, what are your expectations from this exhibition?
Our expectations from the Die & Mould India 2024 exhibition are substantial. As the largest exhibition dedicated to the tool and die- making industry in India, we anticipate several key outcomes:
•Anticipating a Strong Turnout: As India’s premier exhibition for the tool and die-making industry, we expect a robust attendance, drawing professionals and enthusiasts from various corners of the industry.
•Showcasing Cutting-Edge Technologies: Foreseeing impressive displays from machine tool companies, showcasing the latest advancements and technologies in the field, enriching the experience for all attendees.
•Exploring Tool Steel Innovations: With numerous tool steel exhibitors in attendance, we are eager to witness and explore the latest developments and innovations in the realm of tool steel.
•Engaging with OEMs and User Industries: Our concerted efforts in reaching out to a broad audience aim to attract OEMs and professionals from user industries, fostering meaningful interactions and collaborations.
•Expecting Record-Breaking Scale: With optimism, we believe that the Die & Mould India show will surpass previous editions, making it the most significant gathering in the history of the event.
•A Call to Industry Professionals: Through your media channel, we extend an earnest invitation to industr y professionals to participate actively, learn about the latest industry trends, engage with like-minded professionals, and collectively contribute to making the event an outstanding success. The more involvement we have, the greater the impact on shaping the future of the tool and die-making industry in India.
That sounds l ike an exciting and promising outlook for Die & Mould India 2024. Could you elaborate on how such events contribute to the industry’s growth and innovation?
Events like Die & Mould India play a pivotal role in fostering growth and innovation within the tooling and moulding industry. Firstly, they provide a platform for industry professionals to come together, exchange ideas, and form valuable collaborations. The networking opportunities at these events often lead to new business partnerships, driving the industry forward.
Secondly, exhibitions like Die & Mould India serve as a showcase for cutting-edge technologies. Machine tool companies and exhibitors use these platforms to display the latest advancements and innovations in the field. This exposure not only educates professionals about new possibilities but also inspires innovation within the industry itself. Moreover, events of this scale draw attention from OEMs and user industries. Engaging with these entities fosters a better under s tanding of their needs and requirements, allowing toolmakers to tailor their offerings to meet industry demands effectively. In essence, these exhibitions become a melting pot of ideas, innovations, and collaborations that contribute significantly to the growth and evolution of the tooling and moulding industr y.
As we conclude, do you have any final thoughts or messages for the industry professionals and enthusiasts looking forward to Die & Mould India 2024?
To all industry professionals and enthusiasts, I extend a warm invitation to actively participate in Die & Mould India 2024. This exhibition is not just a gathering; it’s a platform for collective learning, networking, and contributing to the future of the tool and die-making industry in India.
Explore the latest technologies, engage in meaningful conversations, and be a part of the vibrant community that drives innovation and growth. Your involvement is integral to the success of the event and, more importantly, to shaping the trajectory of our industry. Let’s make Die and Mould India 2024 a resounding success together.
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