We want to leverage the attractive supply chain ecosystem in India
Published on : Tuesday 08-11-2022
Uwe Weiss, Chief Executive Officer, Weiss GmbH.
What are the products WEISS offers in India? Do these include all the five groups?
WEISS India offers the full global portfolio to its Indian customers. In addition, with the localisation of Rotary Indexer TC Series in our Lead Factory in Pune, we are able to customise to customer and application specific requirements with shorter delivery lead time. We also offer our customers customised accessories, e.g., dial plates, base frames.
The LS Hybrid Transfer System has been in the market for 2 years now. How has the market received this?
The LS Hybrid is a unique conveyor system because, as the name suggests, it combines three types of drives. The LS Hybrid modular system allows the customer to freely configure the system and choose the drive systems: eCAM cam drive modules, LMS linear motor drive modules and belt drive modules. With this hybrid approach, customers can tailor such a conveyor system exactly to the requirements of the assembly applications.
WEISS developed the LS Hybrid to build powerful automated assembly systems. For complex assembly systems, conveyor systems form an integral, i.e., essential part of the overall system. End customers from the automotive and supplier industries, electronics, metal, building accessories, plastics and consumer goods use such assembly systems in their global production operations.
The first systems have been successfully sold to customers in Europe and the USA, often a combination of heavy-duty guiding with the configurability of the drive technology. The fact that the WEISS LS hybrid systems directly arrive at the customer's site ready for operation is a key attraction for successful sales.
What has been the response to the WEISS Campus at Pune with its Engineering Knowledge Centre by the user industries in India?
There has been a very positive response and high interest to the Engineering Knowledge Centre, especially during the post pandemic period where we are able to receive customers for on-site training, engineering consultation, application engineering expertise as well as demonstration of WEISS portfolios and solutions. Our EKC regularly brings in our global Industry & Application experts from Germany and the CoEs to do both – on-site customer technical days, and virtual training and webinars for customers and business partners, which we started during the pandemic period. Besides striving to be the preferred Knowledge Engineering Partner in Automation technology and solutions, the EKC is helping us to capture the right customer value in local and regional markets.
What about the Solution Factory and Global Sourcing Centre? What are the activities?
The WEISS Solution Factory is in line with “One WEISS” – Globally Connected and Locally Present – concept of WEISS Worldwide. It houses under one roof trained and competent Application Engineering, Product Line specialists, Design & System Engineering resources linked and working with our Global Product Lines, Subject Matter Experts and Industry CoEs. With this we are able to offer locally adopted solutions – Design in Value and Customisation opportunity to Indian and APAC customers by leveraging more than 50 years of WEISS Worldwide Global Markets, Industry and Application Knowledge, Experience and customer references. Within the Solution Factory our local experts trained extensively at our HQ in Germany will create customised added value components, Modules (CTO – Configure to Order), Sub-systems – Application specific solutions (ETO – Engineer to Order) that meet the local customer requirements with “WEISS Quality Assured” at competitive cost and delivery lead time. Within the Solution Factory our local experts will create components and solutions that meet the local markets expectations.
As for the Global Sourcing Centre, for WEISS it became crucial to have a broader base of suppliers for our purchased parts as the past two years have proved that supply chains are crucial. We plan to analyse which parts are better purchased from which country – centralised or decentralised. All these activities focus on supplying our customers better, faster and remaining a reliable partner for them. With an ever growing qualified and competitive supplier base in India; especially in the SME sector; with positive government policies like Make in India; ‘Self-Reliant India’ with sectoral Production Linked Incentive (PLI) schemes, we want to leverage these attractive supply chain ecosystem in India.
WEISS products are built for digitalisation. How does the WEISS Application Software suite further this? Are users in India adopting it – especially features like condition monitoring and anomaly detection?
Digitisation is way more than only using WEISS controls or application software. Of course our software paves the way for condition monitoring. It is possible, although not yet in series, to control motor current via our controls and therefore monitor the status of our component. But even without using a WEISS control or application software, digital services can be used – let’s think about WEISS offering 3D and 4D models of components. Our digital services will develop further as digitisation within our industry scales up. To us it is important that our mechatronic products offer a reliable base for further digitisation as it can only offer additional value once the base is reliable and extraordinary performant.
The Triple M – Experience exchange sounds very interesting. What were the learnings? Would there be a similar meet in India?
It is interesting to see that most of the companies in reality are facing similar problems with digitisation. Very often the question just is: How to get started? Which tools do really add value to the company and the customer? How to train my employees on this?
Triple M shows that in digitisation it is crucial to work together not only within one company but to partner with other companies, maybe even from other industry branches.
As already announced, in India we are actively exploring to set-up the WEISS Academy and WEISS Innovation and Digitalisation Engineering Network (WEIDEN) and knowledge exchange platforms similar to the German Triple M. A first step in this direction is our recent acquisition of Pune-based Indian IT company – Ecotech IT Solutions.
How has the direct presence since 2019 helped WEISS grow in India, especially now with policy initiatives like the PLI Scheme?
In India we started with focusing on WEISS Group's long tradition of ‘Customer Centricity’ as well as 360° Customer and Value chain Engagement philosophy. In order to be accessible and close to customers, we deployed technically qualified, very experienced and trained field sales resources in regions – South at Bangalore and Chennai, and North at Delhi-NCR, besides Pune in the West for sales support and technical consultations.
In addition, from the beginning we put in place resources for product management, application engineering and service functions in matrix structure linked to global functions.
The focus on unique customer experience, engaging the full value chain OEM – System Integrators, together with superior technical consultation linked to WEISS Worldwide support both at pre-sales and post sales service has helped us to be recognised as a reliable automation partner.
It has also differentiated WEISS from a pure high quality & reliable automation component supplier to be a component plus added value customised solution provider. We are gearing up to be recognized as ‘One Stop Solution and Future Ready’ preferred automation technology partner for our customers.
Our sales growth of over 50% year-on-year since setting of the WEISS Campus in early 2020 is the best testimonial of our customers trust on WEISS brand and positioning in the Indian market. Post pandemic, with Indian industry’s greater realisation and acceptance of automation in manufacturing, the automation industry is looking as double digit growth fuelled by Government policy push, e.g., PLI schemes for Automobile, Auto components, Electronics, Telecom, IT hardware, Medical and Healthcare sector, to name a few. These sectors will look not only for higher ‘Productivity’ of their new capex investment, but will strive for ‘Quality’ – defect free output in manufacturing process; especially to increase their exports prospect that will get further boost with the trending China Plus global supply chain strategy.
Recently WEISS has acquired Ecotech IT Solutions in India – how does it fit into the WEISS global operations?
It is not our aim to fully integrate Ecotech to WEISS. In contrast to that, it is important for me that Ecotech acts independently on the market and is still able to supply its customers and find new customers on its own. In the future as WEISS moves forward in digitisation together with its partners and customers, there will be more and more interfaces. Step by step we plan to introduce Ecotech to the automation and robotics industry. By doing so we would like to increase their understanding of the needs that our automation customers have. On the other hand, WEISS will learn from Ecotech. In this way, in the long run we can offer better, integrated solutions to our customers.
Going forward, any plans for manufacturing in India or more value addition?
Designating Pune as one of the Lead Factories in WEISS Worldwide, and establishing the Solution Factory is a step in that direction, and in line with our globally strategy to be close and long-term commitment to the markets we serve.
This too is in line with WEISS commitment to sustainability and carbon footprint reduction effort. We want to not only provide improved delivery and cost efficiency, but also be part of the regional industry supply chain, engaging with local suppliers and partners.
Uwe Weiss has been the CEO of Weiss GmbH since 1999. He is also the Chairman of the Weiss Technology Foundation Board.
Mr Weiss has studied mechanical engineering at the University of Applied Sciences in Karlsruhe and graduated with a degree in engineering.
The family-owned company with headquarters in the city of Buchen in Germany’s Rhine-Neckar metropolitan area, operates on a global scale. Founded in 1967, WEISS now has a staff of around 700 employees and is represented with its sales, service, and manufacturing locations in 49 countries.