Over the years, Godrej’s Tooling business has retained its position as a key player in the design and manufacture of tools and tooling equipment. Pankaj Abhyankar, Senior Vice President & Business Head, Godrej Tooling, Godrej & Boyce Manufacturing Company Ltd, shares with MMI’s Editor-in-Chief, Soumi Mitra the company’s current focus on the EV industry, its innovative offerings, the strategy to adopt Industry 4.0 technologies for sustainable manufacturing, and much more…
What was the vision that led to Godrej Tooling’s inception and subsequent remarkable growth?
Pankaj Abhyankar: As an industry leader with deep established customer connects and supported by an enhanced ecosystem of supply chain partners, we have always been able to recognize mega trends in the industry and strategize correctly to anticipate industry requirements well in advance. We have played a key role in our customer value chain to ensure that we meet demands well in time so that vehicle production and launch events are on schedule and as committed.
We are currently shifting our focus on increasing our R&D initiatives towards growing the portfolio of tools and dies with a special focus on the EV Industry, as the industry is rapidly shifting to e-mobility and the demand for new engines and high metal sheet parts is rising.
We continue our efforts to remain a key stakeholder in the Automobile industry’s growth and expect a minimum 30 percent YOY increase in our revenues.
Tell us about the company’s offerings and the industries they cater to.
We have retained our position as a key player in the designing and manufacturing of tools and tooling equipment. We manufacture custom-built, high-quality tooling that caters to a broad cross-section of players across industries. We have expertise in industrial machines, die casting dies, and complex and large-sheet metal tooling for auto panels. With a team of 500 people, including 50 designers and 350 trained associates, supported by 39 CNC machines and 140 conventional machines, we are a systems-driven organization, eager to learn and experiment while keeping abreast of the latest technology platforms, software, and manufacturing processes.
Some of the key industries that contribute to our business development include Auto, Indian Railways, Metro Railways, and Ordnance Factories. Apart from the Auto industry, the Electrical and Electronics segments have been projected to drive the most demand for the tooling sector, with 21 percent and 14 percent, respectively, in the coming five years. Some other emerging industries expected to create demand for tools in India include Plastic, Consumer Durables, Medical, White Goods, and Defence.
You have increased your investment by 10 percent YoY in R&D towards your portfolio of tools and dies with a special focus on the EV industry.
E-mobility is gaining traction in India due to its eco-friendly features and comparatively lower total cost of ownership. We have increased our investment by 10 percent YoY on R&D towards a portfolio of tools and dies with a special focus on the EV industry. In the coming year, we are looking to develop new engines, battery boxes, and high-precision sheet metal parts to keep up with the increasing demand for EVs. We also plan to explore tie-ups for exports across identified geographies. Moreover, we have dedicated a part of our R&D budget for EVs, such as light-weighting, alternate materials, and structural castings. We have also applied for a patent for our Cloud-based Smart Connected Die that can remotely monitor a set of operating parameters.
Godrej Tooling is known for its belief in sustainable development and its processes and products that are formulated to ensure a clean and green India. Please shed light on your initiatives in this regard.
Environment, Society, and Economy are considered to be the three pillars of sustainable manufacturing and are often referred to as ‘Triple Bottom Line’ (TBL). We are currently utilizing Industry 4.0 technologies, including IoT, 3D Printing, System Integration, Cloud Computing, Machine Learning, AI, Simulation Systems, and more, to address the challenges related to TBL of sustainable manufacturing.
So, Industry 4.0, which was initially a traditional concept of looking at digitizing operations for minimal human inputs, is now being utilized to its full potential by us to reap the benefits of sustainable manufacturing by taking care of resource depletion, waste reduction, energy efficiency, virtualization, and environmental protection. Adopting Industry 4.0 technologies is not just a beneficial and cost-effective concept, but a mandatory practice that will assist manufacturers in achieving sustainable manufacturing and saving costs while also protecting the environment.
“Adopting Industry 4.0 technologies is not just a beneficial and cost-effective concept but a mandatory practice that will assist manufacturers in achieving sustainable manufacturing and saving costs while also protecting the environment.”
How has your growth been in the Auto sector – passenger vehicles and two-wheelers? Please share your thoughts on the key factors driving the Automotive market’s sentiments.
Established in 1935, Godrej Tooling became a commercial toolroom in the early nineties, sensing a surge in demand for tools for the Automotive industry; globalization was increasingly being accepted in the Indian scenario.
There was thus an expectation of a massive inflow of international auto majors accompanied by an intense need for higher technology tools that met global quality standards. Taking complete cognizance of this development, Godrej Tooling invested significantly in infrastructure, capability, and technology and continues to do so to maintain its position as a leading commercial toolroom for the Auto industry for two-wheelers and passenger vehicles.
The Automotive industry is a key consumer of tools, and it consumes over 55 percent of the country’s machine tool production. The pandemic, however, immensely impacted the sales of the Automobile industry, causing a decline in auto orders, thereby affecting the demand for conventional auto parts.
The Auto industry is now recovering, and although cash flow is still a concern, the buying behavior of consumers is gradually normalizing, thereby restoring faith in the demand and production of tools. A surge in the cost of acquisition due to frequent price hikes, an increase in petrol prices, rising pollution, tax rebates, and low cost of maintenance are driving the transition to e-mobility in India. Auto parts in EVs will have lesser moving parts, thereby reducing the requirement of manufacturing for specific tools proportionately. However, this would call for single-piece constructs, and hence the demand for more complex, higher value-added tools will increase. Production of micro-components, plastic, sheet metal, and cast components will rise as these will replace the moving parts in EVs. This will pose immense growth for the Tooling industry to re-tool and enhance the conventional tooling methods.
“As one of India’s leading tool rooms, we have adopted a robust approach that allows us to be agile to take on electric mobility, covering all bases in stimulation, design assembly, and production. Godrej Tooling has a longstanding reputation for being future-ready, and the introduction of advanced automotive dies implies our readiness to remain ahead of the curve.”
Your exports are up by 15 percent post the second wave of the pandemic. Kindly elaborate on the same.
We have always been exporting our tools based on our core capabilities of die casting and press tools, where we have gained credibility and have successfully commissioned such projects for Indian majors or Indian subsidiaries of overseas auto majors. While this is a continued strategy, the pandemic did present opportunities through import substitution and localization of parts in the Indian context. We assisted our customers in overcoming the challenges they faced on account of global stresses in supply chains, assisting in commissioning and ensuring business continuity.
Given our inherent focus on critical parts, we did offer our expertise and experience in this area to gain business and, thus, have been able to garner this pie of the business.
Considering the Indian Automotive industry opting for stricter fuel norms and increased electrification, Godrej & Boyce has recently announced that its business Godrej Tooling has created a range of advanced automotive dies. Please tell us about it.
With the Automotive industry rapidly shifting gears towards the adoption of electric vehicles in India, it has necessitated the development of new engines, battery boxes, and high-precision sheet metal parts. To meet the burgeoning demand for modification and replacement of automobile components in electrical vehicles, Godrej Tooling has made a head start by developing advanced dies. Godrej Tooling has also increased its capabilities with the addition of 3D printing and additive manufacturing to develop high-precision dies for components with complex geometry to meet higher functional standards. We have also applied for patent and copyright in overall dies.
As one of India’s leading tool rooms, we have adopted a robust approach that allows us to be agile to take on electric mobility, covering all bases in stimulation, design assembly, and production. Godrej Tooling has a longstanding reputation for being future-ready, and the introduction of advanced automotive dies implies our readiness to remain ahead of the curve.
Modern Manufacturing India
Source: Godrej Tooling, Godrej & Boyce Mfg Co Ltd