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The container pioneer Textiles to pharma, real estate, financial services… The super forge master Innovators all! And in such diverse fields!
The super forge master
In 1974, S Seetharaman (SS) set up Micro Turns in Chennai to produce turned components. Reading literature on metal forming, SS was struck by the wastage involved in traditional casting, turning and machining of metal. The speed, elegance and economy of of forging impressed him; more so that of cold
GEETHA HAILS FROM Kolapakkam, a sleepy little village 40km south of Chennai. She has been
operating a sophisticated 400 ton press for precision forging of auto components at the rate of a piece every 10 seconds. The products require 100 per cent accuracy as they are shipped to Chrysler Motor plants in the US that do not tolerate any defect. The alertness, nimbleness and efficiency of this young, rural woman is not an exception. It is the same with the 350 odd workers at the Super Auto Forge (SAF) Kolappakkam plant as they are with the other 750 workers in the four other SAF plants. 

Predominantly for exports...

Walk into the unit, the lush greenery and the clean shop floors strike you. For an engineering unit operating with high temperature furnaces and heavy presses, this concern for cleanliness and environment was striking. Of course, it is for good reason. 

SAF thrives on export of precision parts to Europe and the USA. Around 70 per cent of its revenue
comes from supplies to renowned manufacturers of original equipment for automobiles and power
equipment. 70 per cent of the total exports are made to the US and balance to Europe. 
SAF  has  five  manufacturing  units  at  Ekkattuthangal,  Medavakkam,  Kolapakkam,  Tirumudivakam  and the  Madras  Export  Processing  Zone  at  Tambaram,  employing  directly  1100  and  through  dedicated  vendors, it provides jobs to another 1200.

The entrepreneurial urge...

Founder and Managing Director, S Seetharaman  received the ‘Forge Master’ Award at the International Forging Congress 2011 for his pioneering work in cold forging. His company also received several awards and special recognition certificates from Chrysler for flawless launch and zero defect for four successive years.

SS graduated in mechanical engineering and worked for Larsen and Turbo for three years. But his urge for enterprise was irrepressible. In 1974 he set up Micro Turns at Guindy to produce turned components.Reading literature on metal forming, SS was struck by the wastage involved in traditional casting, turning and machining of metal. The speed, elegance and economy of forging impressed him most. Again he was attracted by cold forging which eliminated the need for heating, with its inherent disadvantages. But there had not been any unit in the whole of India, involved in cold forging to access technology and processing.A chance visit to the MICO works at Bengaluru where cold forging was routinely applied in the manufacture of spark plugs, impressed him most. SS embarked on experimentation through trial and error.Of course, it was time-consuming and frustrating. He boldly purchased in 1974 a forge press from Ametep, Faridabad, spending around Rs 5 lakh which was a princely sum in those days. SS explained: “when we forged a part in room temperature, the high vertical pressure applied caused a huge horizontal force and the tools suffered frequent breakages.” SS focused on the metallurgy and the quality of the tools and succeeded in making a ring design that could withstand the pressure. “After developing and perfecting the technique in 1977, there was no looking back,” said SS. 

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