Established in 2003, Kennametal India Ltd, a subsidiary of Kennametal Inc., USA, has been making waves in the realm of tooling and wear-resistant solutions that empower industry players to enhance productivity and performance. With a rich history and unwavering commitment to serving its customers through its well-researched products, the Indian arm continues to redefine industry standards and shape the future of manufacturing.
Kennametal India Ltd, a subsidiary of Kennametal Inc., USA, is an industrial technology leader in tooling and wear-resistant solutions, serving customers in more than 100 countries across the Aerospace and Defence, Earthworks, Energy, General Engineering, and Transportation sectors.
The company’s journey in India commenced in 1964 when WIDIA India Pvt Ltd was incorporated in Bengaluru with a strength of 30 employees and one shaping plant. Kennametal acquired WIDIA in 2003 and established Kennametal India Ltd.
With over 80 years as an industrial technology leader, Kennametal Inc. delivers productivity to customers through materials science, tooling, and wear-resistant solutions. Through its innovation strategy, the company improves customers’ competitiveness through advanced technology to master the toughest of materials application demands. “Our competitive edge is fueled by world-class innovation capabilities delivered through about 500 global scientists and engineers, three global R&D centers – one being in
India – and 22 engineering hubs, yielding over 1,800 patents and around 20 new product launches every year. These solutions find a plethora of applications that are helping customers improve productivity and performance and delivering on Kennametal’s vision of ‘transforming how everyday life is built’,” shares Vijaykrishnan Venkatesan, Managing Director, Kennametal India Ltd.
Core business focus
Today, Kennametal India continues to be headquartered in Bengaluru with a state-of-the-art manufacturing facility and a strong sales and service footprint. Its product portfolio is broadly divided into Hard Metals and Machining Solutions Group segments.
The company’s Hard Metals segment is dedicated to delivering world-class metalworking solutions and services through its two trusted brands: Kennametal and WIDIA. “Through these brands, we offer a complete portfolio of precision-engineered products and custom solution services. With an array of milling, turning, hole-making, threading, and tooling systems products, backed by a skilled network of authorized distributor partners and spares support, our customers can find everything they need from one single source,” he informs.
The segment also includes world-leading wear solutions, engineered components, and earth-cutting and construction tools that deliver productivity, reliability, and extended life to a wide range of industries in the harshest environments. “We help customers solve their biggest wear problems, avoid costly downtime, prevent catastrophic failures, and achieve significant savings,” adds Venkatesan.
Machining Solutions manufactures the WIDMA brand of special purpose machines (SPM), vertical turning lathes, deep hole drilling machines, tool and cutter grinding machines, fixtures, and tooling solutions for machining requirements, ranging from micro tools to large structural parts for the locomotive and general engineering industries.
This robust portfolio of Hard Metals and WIDMA metal-cutting CNC machines caters to its customers’ needs across industries, from Transportation to Aerospace and Defense, to Earthworks and Energy.
Solving machining challenges
Aerospace and Defense customers today demand advanced tooling solutions that ensure maximum metal removal rates, higher cutting speeds, and maximum flexibility while delivering excellent tool life. Addressing this demand, Kennametal India stands out by providing top-performing aerospace tools tailored for machining CFRP, titanium, aluminum, hard alloys, and other materials. The company works closely with these customers to comprehend and resolve their specific machining challenges.
The HARVI Ultra 8X helical milling cutter is an ideal example of this commitment. HARVI Ultra 8X is designed to provide the highest level of productivity at the lowest possible cost per edge – removing up to 20 cubic inches of titanium per minute with a tool life of one hour or more. The flutes and the coolant nozzles assure maximum chip flow, thus removing a high quantity of material without chips getting jammed. The double-sided inserts facilitate lower cost per edge with the ability to increase speeds and feeds beyond what was previously possible.
“Innovation lies at the core of everything we do,” asserts Venkatesan, adding that it’s what drives the company to create solutions like KenGOLDTM, a next-generation multi-layer CVD coating that sets a new standard in wear resistance and productivity in steel turning.
Also worth mentioning in the field of metalworking tools and wear-resistant solutions is WIDMA’s VT850, Kennamental India’s first standard ‘plug and play’ Vertical Turning Lathe.
WIDMA’s VT850, Kennamental India’s first standard ‘plug and play’ Vertical Turning Lathe is built to machine large components. Its proprietary Conforma Clad™ Wear Resistant Coatings increase productivity by up to five times in the most demanding industrial process.
Ensuring facilities, sustainable initiatives
Kennametal India has a state-of-the-art manufacturing facility in Bengaluru, spread over a campus of 29 acre. “Our manufacturing setup is divided into nine production units that develop products, both for the domestic and international markets. It complies with necessary environmental norms and globally benchmarked Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) standards,” shares Venkatesan.
Revealing further, he says that Kennametal has made a significant investment to modernize its facilities globally, including opening an inserts manufacturing facility last year. “This facility deploys advanced technology and equipment that has enhanced value to our customers through improved quality, product performance, innovation, and delivery,” he adds.
Along with prioritizing modern and cutting-edge facilities, Kennemetal is also deeply committed to sustainability and
has integrated initiatives that align with environmentally conscious practices.
“When it comes to our products, sustainability is integral to our product lifecycle, and one of the areas where we have significantly progressed over the years is recycling. For example, globally in FY23, Kennametal’s end-of-life sintered carbide products and hard scrap carbide, on average, consist of 90 percent tungsten carbide, which is infinitely recyclable,” he informs.
The company’s sustainable practices stem from a robust ESG framework that is integral to every aspect of doing business. Kennametal Inc. released its third ESG Report for fiscal 2023. This report outlines its continued progress throughout the year in advancing its ESG strategies and Kennametal’s commitment to accountability and transparency. Further, Kennametal India Ltd published its first Business Responsibility and Sustainability Reporting (BRSR) as a part of its Annual Report for FY23, highlighting its performance on the parameters that are most critical to its stakeholders.
Kennametal’s Knowledge Center (KKC) in India regularly organizes training sessions for customers covering a plethora of topics related to metalworking, such as the latest manufacturing, tooling developments and strategies; tool selection; machining parameters for different applications, etc.
Supporting skill development
With regard to Kennametal India’s support skill development and training in the metalworking industry, Venkatesan shares that Kennametal’s Knowledge Center (KKC) in India regularly organizes training sessions for customers covering a plethora of topics related to metalworking, such as the latest manufacturing, tooling developments and strategies; tool selection; machining parameters for different applications, etc. “These interactive sessions see a lot of participation from individuals enthusiastic about knowledge sharing and upskilling themselves. These trainings are flexible to ensure a wider reach – conducted both within our campus as well as customer locations,” he adds.
Company’s growth and expansion plans
The Managing Director reveals the company’s revenue in FY23 to be INR 10,771 million. This impressive financial achievement aligns seamlessly with the current economic landscape in India. “It is quite evident today that India is leading the curve among nations as the fastest growing economy with 7.2 percent GDP growth, driven by the Government’s push on infrastructure development, increase in CAPEX, resilience in consumer sentiments and a boost to ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat’ (self-reliant economy) through PLI (Production Linked Incentives) schemes. The current fiscal also reflects a similar growth momentum in all the sectors we operate in,” he remarks.
Kennametal India is poised to benefit from these trends with a focus on its strategic initiatives. The company’s investment in enhancing its manufacturing prowess through modernization will help it ride the wave in a growing market, besides delivering products to Kennametal regions across the globe.
Chief Copy Editor
Magic Wand Media Inc