We have clear roadmap to make the products and solutions IIoT enabled
Published on : Friday 07-10-2022
Gaurav Bawa, Managing Director and Senior Vice President, WIKA India.
WIKA came to India in 1997. How exciting has been this journey of a quarter century and the achievements?
WIKA’s journey in India is an experience of learning, expansion and establishing Brand WIKA that provides Quality Service while bringing in global technology and engineering to the country. In the process, WIKA India has not only been able to achieve localisation but also establish India as one of the hubs for export.
WIKA India aims to double its turnover by 2025. We plan to utilise the advantage of affordable labour in India and thus build-up a cost-effective production process. Aided by a good supply chain and distribution channel, WIKA today has a firm foothold in India and looks to maximise the market share in the segments where we are present.
The test and measurement market related to temperature, pressure and level, etc., is highly competitive. What is the WIKA USP?
The global Test and Measurement Equipment market was valued at USD 10810 million in 2020 and it is expected to reach USD 16400 million by the end of 2027, growing at a CAGR of 6.8% during 2021-2027, according to a study done by Absolute Reports. Following the trend, the Test and Measurement market in India is also expected to be driven by 4G manifestation and blended with 5G processes. This essentially means that measurement machine tools will become Smart.
Even if the market is competitive, it will always look for value for money. WIKA India’s USP matches the expectation of the customers – not only do we have an array of smart products that are IIoT enabled, we also offer the expertise and wisdom gathered by working with so many different players over years. We have a clear roadmap to make the products and solutions IIoT enabled to fit the current demand of ‘smart’ electronics.
WIKA not only boasts of the global pedagogy but also of the trained manpower that services the customers so efficiently.
What are the main user industries – how is the business divided between process industries and discrete manufacturing?
WIKA aims to be a part of the smart machine tool market while furthering the cooperation that we already have with established machine-building companies across a wide range of industrial sectors. We have a dedicated product range for various sectors, like Oil & Gas, Petrochemical, Filling and Packaging Machinery, Paper machinery, Power Generation, Power Transmission & Distribution, Calibration benches. Across these industries, WIKA offers many innovative products, supplying to more than 6000 customers.
WIKA India has four verticals of businesses – Projects or expansion business, Maintenance business, Distribution business and OEMs. Expansion, in terms of manufacturing capacity, has already happened for the next five years. We will expand and plan market interventions with further technology adaptations to Indian demands and global changes.
From supplying products to offering total solutions, how has the business model changed?
The future of test and measurement market growth will be catering to a connected world with safe equipment while leveraging advancements of the technologies like Internet of Things (IoT), machine-to-machine (M2M) interaction, 5G and millimetre. These trends will predict the future growth of the T & M industry globally and worldwide.
Primarily, there will be a need for embedded/portable T&M solutions, IoT test solutions with remote troubleshooting capabilities and solutions that can support the latest interfaces and protocols.
In addition, the demand for multi-functional and multi domain testing will be on rise as the engineers will be looking for one stop shop with future precision engineering to avoid mistakes.
Further, smart testing facilities within limited time will be the demand of the day. Predictive maintenance to avoid downtime will also be important for process driven industries.
Given the trend discussed, it is not a business model change that we are seeing, but rather a demand for more customised plans specific to each industry that we are facing. Our operating model continues to focus on Quality product and trained manpower that can interpret the demand of the customer and advise the best solution.
With digitalisation the T&M field too has become integrated with overall operations, embracing concepts like condition monitoring and predictive maintenance. What are the challenges here?
WIKA is future ready with smart instrumentation. Challenges of a ‘Smart’ industry is that the demand for solutions becomes unique to each establishment. WIKA India today has enough capacity and wisdom to deal with exclusive demands.
The research and development of WIKA can be categorised into two parts, given the industry trends:
a. Customisation: As awareness about sustainable product manufacturing increases, the manufacturing paradigm of producing homogenous products at highest qualities and lowest costs, has transformed into demand for production of individualised goods. This manufacturing paradigm, called mass customisation, leads to research on reconfigurable machine tools (RMT) within reconfigurable manufacturing systems (RMS).
b. Manufacturing Smart tools: WIKA is a specialist in manufacturing measurement equipment in Pressure, Temperature, Level, Flow & Force for critical industrial applications. As the Measurement Market becomes more mature led by the 5G revolution and EV market, especially with technology interventions through smart tools, WIKA has also embraced automation and AI to transform from a conventional machine tool manufacturer to a smart machine tool manufacturer.
Calibration is an important part of T&M solutions – how does the company manage this – also how has the mobile van service been received by the market?
WIKA takes full responsibility of servicing the products for the customers. Calibration of the products for efficient performance, long life and predictive maintenance is a must.
We calibrate the measuring instruments in the NABL accredited calibration laboratories that are owned by us at our plant, or directly on-site at the customer's location. To further boost the calibration, WIKA India has recently launched the Mobile Calibration Van, bringing service to customer door step. The scope of the doorstep service includes pressure, temperature and electrical parameters through one master switch. This helps cut down the time lost in transportation of the product to the labs from the installed site.
In our endeavour to give the best to the customers, we came up with the concept of mobile calibration vans – to take servicing to their doorstep, instead of them shipping the machine to us, which used to be the general practice. These vans are equipped with a master switch that helps in calibration services without any displacement or damage to the equipment.
With the doorstep delivery of services through Mobile Calibration Van, customer can now book their appointments through various channels like toll free number, email IDs and Mobile App from the comfort of their office and home. These mobile laboratories can travel to facilities to calibrate equipment that needs to be available continuously (24/7), thus optimising costs and shipping time. At the end of the calibration, a report is provided which shows a measurement error. It measures the value before and after calibration which helps the clients to determine the functionality of the device.
The services of mobile calibration van have been launched in the Southern Region first in the states of Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Telangana and Andhra Pradesh, and will soon be launched in other parts of India as well. The mobile vans will be located in strategic points to cover Northern and Western regions of India thus ensuring that they cover every important location.
How important is India in the WIKA global operations? What are the manufacturing and R&D capabilities?
As deliberated, WIKA India is being developed as an export hub that will service the immediate neighbouring countries. Today WIKA India not only has global commitments but also has to meet the demand of ever-expanding technology led measurement market. We have expanded our India presence keeping in mind the focus of doubling our turnover in the next three years.
WIKA India manufacturing plants are present in four states – Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Uttar Pradesh and Haryana. WIKA started its journey in India way back in 1997 with establishment of WIKA Instrument, India in Pune. It had its first calibration facility in 1999. In 2002, it expanded its facilities in Pune and added new factory buildings. The Pune facilities were further strengthened with a new factory for level, calibration and SF6 gas. Inauguration of a new factory at Ghaziabad happened in 2021.
Meanwhile, WIKA acquired two companies in 2014 – Micro Precision located at Faridabad and Switzer Instruments India Pvt Ltd, with brand ‘Switzer” and “Indfos” with manufacturing locations in Chennai and Ghaziabad respectively. Micro Precision now has a new plant with huge augmentation in manufacturing capacity for Flow elements and Valves & Manifold, catering not only to the domestic market, but also to exports. Pressure switches from Chennai and Ghaziabad plants have been suitably engineered and are now available as brand “WIKA”.
The Indian operations are supported by the WIKA Research & Development Centre at Klingenberg, Germany – a state-of-the-art concept representing the values of WIKA, where the façade reflects the company’s dynamism and potential for innovation, glass and aluminium stand for precision, longevity, and transparency. R&D is a continuous process and WIKA focuses on market requirements and evolve according to demand.