Innovation Filter System, with its innovative filtration and separation solutions, has created a benchmark in the industry. To ensure balance in the ecosystem with reduced pollutants and waste, it is helping companies take a step towards green manufacturing, and build a safer, healthier, and sustainable future for all.
The team behind Innovation Filter System (IFS) Pvt Ltd began its journey in 1999 with the idea to develop indigenous engineering solutions for Indian manufacturers. Its first assignment was the development of a ‘Mineral bed filtration system’ for wire cut EDM. The project included engineering a suitable, cost-effective system with regenerative filter media and provided the same filtration efficiency as a consumable cartridge filter.
“We collaborated with our customer's engineering and management team and developed a first-of-its-kind system, wholly designed and manufactured in India,” shares Ajinkya A Kelkar, Director, IFS.
“This success inspired us to start IFS in Pune, India. Over time, we developed our other products like the oil-water separator called ‘Coalescer’, edge filtration system called ‘Micropure’, solid-liquid separator called ‘Centrifuge’, etc. Now, along with our specially designed products, we offer a full range of filtration and separation products to serve not only the Indian market but also the global market,” he adds.
“We are blessed to have partners like Transor, Friess, and KMU Loft through this journey – all German companies with whom we have a long and highly profitable relation,” he adds further.
With Transor, Gmbh, Innovation Filter System has a joint venture since 2015 resulting in Transor India Pvt Ltd.
Wide range of products
Under the IFS brand, the company makes conventional coolant filtration systems like magnetic separators, paper band filters, compact band filters, and conveyors. However, it is more popular for providing customized filtration and tramp oil separation solutions. Some of the unique products that IFS manufactures cater to the following applications and industries –
Mineral Bed Filter System - For wire EDM application;
Eco-coalescer - For eliminating tramp oil on machining coolant;
Coalescer - For removing tramp oil from component washing machines;
Mega Coalescer - For removing tramp oil from paint pre-treatment baths;
CoolBot - A machine tool sump cleaner that removes burrs, fines settled in the machine tank along with tramp oil and anti-bacterial treatment. It does all these functions while the machine is running;
Phosphate Sludge Separation System – That eliminates the costly, time-consuming, and labor-intensive manual process of phosphate tank cleaning.
These solutions find their applications in industries including Die & Mould, Automotive, Auto Ancillaries, General Engineering, Aerospace, Bearings, Painting and Surface Coating.
Under Transor India, IFS provides neat oil filtration solutions for single machines, islands of machines, and centralized systems. The applications for which it provides solutions include tool and cutter grinding, honing, EDM, and superfinishing in the Cutting Tools and Aerospace industries.
With such a comprehensive range of products, the company has, therefore, awe-inspiring names in the list of its customers. Sandvik Asia, Bajaj Auto, SKF India, Electronica HiTech Machines, LMT Tools India, Ind-Sphinx Precision, Guhring India, and Carbide Cutting Tools make for IFS's Indian customers. The global list comprises OSG (Thailand), OSG (Indonesia), Lomas (UAE), Transor (Germany), Piaggio (Vietnam), and HPMT Industries (Malaysia).
Gaining customer confidence
IFS's products are regularly exported to various countries such as Germany, Italy, the UAE, Thailand, Malaysia, Vietnam, and Indonesia. In India, most of its sale is through machine builders who source the filtration or oil separation equipment from the company and install them along with their machines or systems.
Kelkar shares another of IFS's revenue streams which is the customized solutions that it provides to its customers, “Typically, we engage with customers who have requirements of super-fine filtration or need filtration solutions for not-so-common applications like filtering water-based emulsion coolant used in grinding tungsten carbide or silicon carbide.”
“What we have learned from our German partners over the years is that we prove our solutions to the customers rather than asking them to invest blindly. Hence, we ask our customers to send us their dirty fluid samples. We run them through our test rigs and then provide reports from accredited labs before and after filtration results. This process means much R&D and longer sales cycles for us, but we gain our customers' confidence as effective solution providers in the end,” he adds.
IFS’s pro-ducts get regularly exported to various countries such as Germany, Italy, the UAE,
Thailand, Malaysia, Vietnam, and Indonesia. Its list of global customers includes OSG (Thailand),
OSG (Indonesia), Lomas (UAE), Transor (Germany), Piaggio (Vietnam), and HPMT Industries (Malaysia)
Together to grow
Throwing light on IFS's association of 15 years with Transor Germany, Kelkar says that from Transor India, the company provides neat grinding oil filtration solutions for cutting tool manufacturers. “The beauty of Transor systems is that the filter elements are capable of excellent filtration (down to 3 microns). In doing so, we warranty these elements for one year from the date of installation. However, we have some customers who have not replaced their elements for close to seven years,” he adds.
“In a short span of six years, Transor India has installations with significant cutting tool manufacturers in India, the Middle East, and Southeast Asia. Transor India systems are currently filtering close to 20,000 lt of grinding oil per minute. Globally, Transor systems are filtering close to 6 million lt of oil per minute,” he shares.
The main reasons for IFS's successful partnership with Transor, according to Kelkar, are cutting-edge technology, unwavering customer focus, and ethical and transparent business relations.
Last year during the lockdown, IFS underwent an absolute freeze in its functioning, Kelkar shares the changes in the wake of the second wave of the pandemic. Many of IFS's orders got canceled since it could not deliver its systems on time; many customers delayed their investment plans stating they would think about it when things returned to normal. In some cases, the company had to hold on to the finished inventory since the customers were going through a challenging situation and could not accept the deliveries.
The main reasons for IFS’s successful partnership with Transor, according to Kelkar, are
cutting-edge technology, unwavering customer focus, and ethical and transparent business relations.
“However, some positives came out of this as well – it gave us time to rethink our business and reassess our plans. The phase confirmed for us the advantages of having good financial planning and sound financial management practices in place. But, most importantly, it showed us the trust our employees, suppliers, and partners have in us and are ready to stand by us in times of crisis,” he adds.
Another breakthrough that IFS achieved during these times is to focus its attention on building its brand. “Being an SME, we always thought that brand is something big corporates build. However, we have realized that big corporates get big because of their efforts to build a successful brand. Hence, we have now concentrated our efforts on setting up a marketing infrastructure within the organization. It has been a steep learning curve, and the task is not yet complete; however, we are certainly better placed than five years back,” he shares.
Self-reliance is key
To attain the goal of 'Atmanirbhar Bharat', the Government of India is looking up to MSMEs for turning the coronavirus crisis into an opportunity through sustained focus on making the Indian economy globally competitive. Kelkar lauds the initiative as it has brought attention to India being a viable manufacturing hub. “We certainly have the capability of competing on the world stage with great and diverse human resources. However, there needs to be a systemic, focused change in the entire manufacturing ecosystem. Governments and authorities will keep on changing, and the policies they implement may or may not always favor every MSME in each sector. Hence, it is up to the individual entrepreneur or business owner to chart a course of action for their organizations based on their ambition,” he sums up with a highly valid point.
Chief Copy Editor
Magic Wand Media Inc