L-R: Vipin Sondhi, Chairman, Confederation of Indian Industry, National Forum for Industry-Academia Partnership, Chairman National Board for Quality Promotion, Member, Board of Directors / Trustees, Former, MD & CEO Ashok Leyland & JCB India Ltd. India; Ravi Raghavan, Managing Director, Bharat Fritz Werner Ltd. (BFW); Akihiro Teramachi, Representative Director, Chairman and CEO, THK Co., Ltd; Geetanjali Kirloskar, Chairperson and MD, Kirloskar Systems Pvt Ltd & Chairperson, Toyota Tsusho Insurance Broker India Pvt Ltd; Dr Yoshiharu Inaba, Chairman, FANUC Corporation; Arun Kumar Kothari, Chairman & Promoter, Bharat Fritz Werner Ltd (BFW) and Praful Shende, President-Strategy, Bharat Fritz Werner Ltd (BFW).

The inauguration and open house ceremony of Bharat Fritz Werner Ltd’s new digitally connected manufacturing facility was held on April 20, 2024, at Devaganapalli near Hosur, Tamil Nadu. The world-class facility symbolizes innovation, efficiency, and a commitment to excellence in the machine tool industry.

Leading Indian advanced manufacturing company, Bharat Fritz Werner Ltd (BFW) has set up a state-of-the-art facility with an investment of INR 200 crore. The company has achieved a remarkable growth rate of 20 percent, positioning it as an industry leader in the growing Machine Tool industry. According to Arun Kumar Kothari, Chairman, BFW, the company aims to establish a facility of global standards to increase efficiency and productivity.

A strategic leap forward

During the inauguration, Ravi Raghavan, Managing Director, BFW, highlighted the global collaboration that made the project successful. He expressed gratitude to international experts and Government support for their invaluable contributions. 

He outlined the company’s journey, highlighting the challenges and innovations over 63 years. He also took the opportunity to introduce the company’s initiative, ‘LEAP - Leadership through Ethical practices, Agile processes, and Partnerships.’ This initiative aims to increase capacity, adopt best automotive industry practices, and embrace technology for a digitally connected ecosystem.

With two manufacturing plants in operation and exceptional engineering capabilities, the company meets the performance, reliability, and productivity requirements across industries like Aerospace, Automotive, Defence, Die & Mold, Forging, Valves, and Railways. Its extensive experience is evident with over 65,000 installations across 15 countries.

Makings of a world-class facility

The new facility has two assembly halls covering 20,000 sq mt each, showcasing a 3X expansion in capacity to produce over 10,000 CNC machines annually. Beyond this, the company has plans to dedicate the total land area spanning 54 acre to building a Vendor Ecosystem.

The new BFW state-of-the-art facility equipped with latest automation technologies.

A notable feature is its completely digitalized manufacturing processes, including a conveyorized assembly of machines for streamlined efficiency. The facility also features a fully integrated Spindle Technology Center that entails engineering, manufacturing, assembly, servicing high-quality machine tool spindles, and integral motor technology.

The new digitally connected manufacturing facility is an eco-friendly infrastructure that boasts two assembly halls, each 20,000 sq mt, with a combined capacity to produce over 10,000 CNC machines annually. It is also a fully digitalized facility with an interconnected manufacturing process and a fully integrated Spindle Technology Center.

Long-standing partnerships

Over the many years in the industry, the company has established strategic partnerships that have progressed. Dr Yoshiharu Inaba, Chairman & CEO, Fanuc Ltd, and Chairman, Japan Machine Tool Builders’ Association, commended BFW’s legacy and the company’s significant role in the Machine Tool industry. He reminisced about the long-standing partnership of over three decades, highlighting their shared commitment to innovation and reliability. 

He noted FANUC’s support to the company since 1993 by providing BFW with its first CNC system, which still runs to this day. He emphasized that this collaboration not only bolstered ties between the two companies but also fostered cooperation within the Machine Tool industries of India and Japan.

In sync, Akihiro Teramachi, Representative Director, Chairman, and CEO, THK Co., Ltd, spoke about the partnership between THK and BFW, lasting about four decades. Beyond business, the bond is rooted in trust, camaraderie, and shared values, evolving from suppliers to trusted allies.

Looking ahead, Teramachi expressed confidence in the continued success, driven by collaboration, integrity, and customer focus. He emphasized that the new facility signifies a new era of possibilities and opportunities for all involved, promising exceptional products and services that will enhance businesses and livelihoods.

Inclusivity: The new norm

The new facility was also lauded for its initiative to conform with the Government of India’s efforts to boost skill development and encourage ‘Nari Shakti’, meaning women empowerment.

Geetanjali Kirloskar, Chairperson & Managing Director, Kirloskar Systems Pvt Ltd, and Chairperson, Toyota Tsusho Insurance Broker India Pvt Ltd, emphasized the significance of women in STEM fields and ‘Atma Nirbhar’ Bharat, a self-reliant India. She further discussed the rising importance of induction and retraining programs aimed at empowering women in the Manufacturing sector.

Additionally, the new facility has set a personal goal of achieving a 30 percent gender diversity target, focusing on promoting local talent which is a significant step forward in the global Machine Tool industry. In light of this, she commended the company’s inclusive strategies, expressing confidence in its progressive approach. 

Achieving global recognition

The vision for the new facility is to redefine the Machine Tool industry’s standards. On that note, Vipin Sondhi, Chairman, Confederation of Indian Industry, National Forum for Industry-Academia Partnership; Chairman, National Board for Quality Promotion (NBQP); Member, Board of Directors/Trustees, and Former MD & CEO, Ashok Leyland and JCB India Ltd, appreciated the facility’s eco-friendly infrastructure, an initiative to reduce its carbon footprint and align with global sustainability goals. 

Highlighting India’s ambitious manufacturing goals, Sondhi stressed the critical role of the Machine Tool industry in achieving these targets and outlined five key areas to create a successful Manufacturing sector. This includes adapting to disruptive technologies, embracing global standards, reducing reliance on imports, focusing on innovation, and integrating Industry 4.0 practices.

Furthermore, he urged machine tool builders to prioritize long-term thinking, quality management, sustainability, research & development, Industry 4.0 adoption, and diversity. To this end, Sondhi commended BFW’s commitment to these principles and expressed confidence in the industry’s potential for global recognition.

Nityasree Kumaraswamy

Staff writer

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