The state of Maharashtra is India’s most industrialized state, with Pune, the second largest city in the state after Mumbai, recognized as the engineering and automotive hub of India. Pune is considered to be the original ‘Detroit of India’ with most leading autobrands in the city, and for more than 30 years, ABB has contributed to its success and the success of many businesses in Maharashtra directly and indirectly through channel partners and suppliers. More than 25 percent of ABB India’s suppliers are based in Maharashtra and ABB technologies can be found in approximately two thirds of Pune’s automotive suppliers.
Building blocks of the automotive hub
India is the world’s fourth largest automotive market, after Germany, the USA and China. In Pune, from auto-rickshaws to luxury sedans, ABB technology can be found in welding, handling, painting and assembling. ABB robots paint 50 percent of cars manufactured in Pune and most automobiles maufacturing plants use ABB thermal mass flow meters in their engine test beds for quicker response times and reliability. In addition to the major automotive manufacturing plants, Pune has a thriving automotive tiers industry, which nationally is expected to grow in the domestic market from $43.5 USD in 2017 to $115 billion USD in 2021 as per India Brand Equity Foundation’s sectoral analysis, with a projected robust growth in export markets. In terms of segments, the contribution of engine parts to total production is the highest, followed by drive and steering transmission components, with ABB technologies contributing to more than two thirds of the leading ancillaries in Pune.
“We have experienced tremendous growth in the last decade,” said Amol Patel, CMD, Takshi Auto Components Pvt. Limited. “This is due to our constant endeavor to innovate and serve customers and cater to their changing expectations. Our partnership with ABB has opened up a wider horizon for us in terms of efficiency, quality, latest technology on the welding front with sustainable and safe operations. We look forward to deeper collaboration with ABB to take our business to the next level of growth as the city of Pune also takes a quantum leap in industrial growth.”
Supplier Sustainability Development Program
ABB runs a global program in a bid to continuously improve its supply base across the globe and in India. Through collaboration and partnership, ABB helps small and medium suppliers ensure compliance with ABB’s Supplier Code of Conduct, which covers topics such as working conditions, safety, and environmental impact, among others. Activities include capacity building, onsite assessments and assistance to chart a roadmap for the successful implementation of various operational and business recommendations. In Maharashtra, 49 suppliers participate in the program, including 11 in Pune.
“ABB’s detailed assessment revealed the need to manage overtime and shift from oil to electric furnaces in our operations,” said Prabhakar Pawar, CEO, Excel Engineering Industries. “Following the recommendations to streamline the work of skilled workers and changeover the furnace, we managed to increase the volume of production and optimise our manufacturing cost. Despite the significant reduction of working hours, we improved the number of pieces produced per man hour by 31 percent. These improvements had a multiplier effect on several aspects of business. The workers are motivated, focused and pleased to go back to their families earlier,” he added.
Accelerating growth for local machine manufacturers
In addition to being an automotive and electronics manufacturing hub, Pune is also a key city for special purpose machines, packaging automation companies and various machine OEMs. Alligator Automations is one such OEM which provides a range of packaging solutions from bag filling, secondary and case packaging, palletizing, conveyors and product inspection automated solutions.
“We believe in continuously innovating with our solid engineering base to cater to a range of customers from chemicals to agro commodities, food and beverage, cement, paper and many other sectors. ABB has been a valuable technology partner through supply of robots, modular manufacturing solutions, application software and sharing application knowledge combining its decades of global experience with deep Indian footprint. We hope to continue this association to expand our horizons in providing customer solutions and expand further across sectors,” said Srinivas Choudhary, co-founder and director, Alligator Automations.
Partnering for growth and profit in sugar
Maharashtra is also India’s second largest state for sugar processing, following Uttar Pradesh. The two states account for 45 percent of India’s sugar mills and 70 percent of the country’s production. In Pune, over 80 percent of sugar mills use ABB measurement and analytics solutions to motor control and drives, which are especially helpful in reducing energy consumption in centrifuge and refining applications. There are further opportunities for expansion in sugar mills abroad. For example, Hi Tech Automation has been making inroads into the sugar industry, armed with comprehensive products and solutions from ABB.
“Working with an ABB channel partner means having immediate access to experts with world-class skills and resources, plus an in-depth understanding of local business needs and conditions. ABB as a brand is well accepted in the sugar market because of its reliable and high-quality products, and this has helped us gain entry into this sector. Customers are always eager to learn how ABB solutions can help their processes. This brand recognition gives us an added advantage when we are facing tough competition and market volatility,” said Santosh Kalaskar and Chandrahas Anvekar, Directors, Hi Tech Automation.
Taking clean solar irrigation to the next level
The government of India has recently launched a revamped scheme to encourage solar irrigation, which will include solar pump subsidies as well as incentives for power distribution companies to buy power for farmers to replace diesel options. A leading start-up manufacturer of solar pump controller in Pune, Ecozen Solutions Pvt Ltd has been partnering with ABB drives, which provide additional value to solar pump irrigation packages to farmers across India.
“ABB solar pump drives complement our remote monitoring and analytics platform well. When enough radiation is available, the ABB solar pump drive starts automatically and the motor connected to it begins to run the pump to draw water, stopping the flow at sunset, thereby avoiding wastage.The monitoring and analytics helps us to provide aggressive after sales support to our customers. Hence, this collaboration is used by most of the solar pump installers across the country. In addition, ABB also has a large business network that will help us develop our business in the future,” said Prateek Singhal, Co-founder & COO at Ecozen solution.
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