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Three million parts per month
 
Three million parts per month
Super Auto Forge Pvt., Ltd (SAF) commissioned a state-of-the-art, fully computerised workstation for mass production of cold forged high precision components.
SUPPLIED BY NEDSCHROEF, Belgium, this Rs 20 crore plus machine can turn out three million parts per month in three shifts.

Nedschroef, with a history of enterprise and continuous innovation, has been producing fasteners for more than a century. The rich experience has contributed to the company emerging a leader in building sophisticated, fully automatic, computer controlled machine tools. The range of products manufactured by Nedschroef includes screws, bolts, nuts, other cold forged and hot forged niche products, machinery and tools in 20 locations in 14 countries, employing 1600 people. Revenue in 2011 was euro 505 million (around Rs 3500 crore).

First of its kind in India...

Donald Eshuis, Managing Director, Nedschroef, mentioned that the equipment supplied is the first of its kind in India and is one of the few of its class functioning in the world.

SAF pioneered the manufacture of hot and cold forged precision parts that are used in critical applications in engines, suspension, brakes,... where safety, precision and quality are paramount. S Muralishankar, Director (Technical), SAF, who liaised with Nedschroef in processing the order, mentioned that the machine can handle steel wires/rods from 23mm diameter upwards and can cast 115 components per minute.

Access to technology too...

Founder-Chairman, S Seetha raman, spoke of the evolution of SAF from 1975 when it commissioned the first cold forge press supplied by Yodagawa, Japan. Tracing the different stages, Seetharaman said in the 1970s and 1980s volumes were low but the company gained knowledge and experience; from mid-1990s when volumes grew, the company derived advantages of low cost. “In the last 3-4 years overseas customers came to us on our strengths of quality, volume and timely delivery. When volumes surged, we found we could not meet demand the old way and we opted to go for high productivity machines. Nedschroef was a natural choice in the light of its rich knowledge in cold forging and its willingness to provide access to its technology,” said Seetharaman.

Over the last five years, the company has been rapidly expanding overseas markets. From Rs 181 crore in 2008-09, revenue has shot up to Rs 322 crore in 2012-13. Of this, exports accounted for Rs 220 crore, nearly double from the earning of Rs 123 crore from exports five years ago.

SAF has five manufacturing units spread around Chennai and employs 1100 people. With the shortage of skilled manpower, high rate of attrition due to multinationals pinching trained manpower, high cost of land and shortage of power, SAF has opted to go for high productivity machine tools. Director (Commercial & Business Development) S Ravi Shankar pointed to the advantage of multi-spindle CNC machine: for every forging press, 20-30 CNC machines are required with more space and more manpower. The new multi-station header will take care of the requirements of high volumes, precision and uniform quality.”

Belgium second largest trading partner in EU

Consul General of Belgium at Mumbai, Karl Van den Bossche, who formally inaugurated the machine, said: “over the past two years, the Consulate has been extending needed help to SAF to expand its business in Europe, he said. (SAF has a warehouse in Belgium apart from three more in the US).

Bossche said that with a 15 billion euro bilateral trade, after Germany  Belgium is the second largest trading partner of India in Europe. To further expand bilateral economic cooperation, Bossche inaugurated a visa application centre in Chennai. The GDP of Belgium of 400 billion euro is just about the size of India’s total foreign trade. Bossche is keen to make Belgium a hub for international trade in Europe.

SAF has already developed in-house capabilities for design and manufacture of tools and special purpose machines (please see the Super Forge Master-IE December 2012 issue). This close relation with Belgium should help the company refine and expand its capabilities manifold in quick time.   


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