Established in 1979, today ElectroMech is India's largest EOT cranes manufacturer by value and volume. ElectroMech offers precise solutions for wide-ranging applications in manufacturing plants and infrastructure projects through a complete range of Hoists and Cranes. Tushar Mehendale, Managing Director, ElectroMech, in an email interview with Automotive Products Finder, talks about the company and its many activities. Excerpts...
Tell us more about your company?
ElectroMech manufactures a diverse range of cranes and hoists for a variety of applications across numerous industry verticals. These include single girder and double girder cranes, EOT cranes, gantry and semi-gantry cranes, jib cranes, wall-travelling cranes, lightweight cranes, goliath cranes, explosion-protected cranes, tower cranes and underslung cranes. The company also manufactures special purpose cranes such as stacker cranes and tunnel mucking Systems that are used for specialized applications in various sectors and industries.
ElectroMech is the exclusive India partner for Germany-based ABUS Crane Systems for their entire range of standardized hoists and cranes. The company also has a tie-up with Stahl CraneSystems GmbH, Germany, which is the world leader in Explosion-Protection Technology for providing explosion-protected cranes and hoists in India for the Oil & Gas segment. ElectroMech has recently entered into a joint venture with China-based Zoomlion, the world leader in tower cranes, to sell and service their range of tower cranes in India.
ElectroMech's plant in Pune is the largest EOT crane manufacturing facility in India practicing international standards of engineering and quality assurance.
ElectroMech is known for ensuring service excellence through a widespread network of sales offices across India. The company has a significant presence both in India and overseas.
Key areas where ElectroMech enjoys distinction in the Indian crane industry are:
What different industry segments do you cater to?
ElectroMech offers precise solutions for wide-ranging applications in manufacturing plants and infrastructure projects. Our cranes and hoists are supplied to automobile, construction, general engineering, heavy engineering, oil & gas, power, railways, shipbuilding and steel industries.
What are the special needs of an automobile shop floor for material handling?
Do you have any such requests? Any case study to share?
The automobile industry in India has witnessed a lot of action over the past decade. Almost every major international brand of repute assembles or manufacturers its vehicles in India. Several have also made India an export hub. Along with the large automotive names, an umpteen number of suppliers to these brands have also set up shop in India.
ElectroMech has a significant presence in this market through crane solutions provided to a number of companies in the automotive segment. Auto industries have to follow a specific standard and process during manufacturing. Hence, the cranes need to be very precisely designed and tailor-made to cater to the individual requirements. Most automobile manufacturers follow a Just-In-Time philosophy for raw material to help manage inventory. In such a scenario, a production stoppage at a tier 3 supplier of a part such as a stamping for an alternator could mean that an assembly line that churns out completed vehicles has to stop because a critical component is not available. Apart from the criticality of the crane in keeping the production process running without hiccup, the cranes are also required to handle delicate loads such as engine components and glass parts.
The main application areas of EOT cranes in the automobile industry are:
Press components typically require double girder cranes ranging from 35MT-50MT for their handling. Precise positioning and smooth movement are required for this application, which are ensured by equipping these cranes with micro-speed facility in all motions.
For die handling, an additional auxiliary mechanism needs to be installed on the cranes. This is especially for the die tilting process for maintenance or changing of dies. Also, for die inter-bay transfers, we recommend die transfer trolleys - the safest way to handle dies for linear movements.
The 'cabin drop' requirement and chassis handling are a few other special applications. These are lighter applications (2MT capacity), but require tandem motions/synchronous motions of the hoists. Lifting of chassis is achieved with 2 hooks with adjustable hooking positions. The ABUS HB system is an ideal system when it comes to lifting lighter components on an assembly line. These are tailor-made systems to suit the assembly line layout.
Considering the various options of crane systems in different load capacities available with ElectroMech, a number of leading automobile manufacturers and Tier 1 & Tier 2 suppliers trust us for their handling requirements.
The automobile industry has witnessed a slowdown in the past two years, how has this affected you?
The automotive industry certainly did witness a slowdown over the past few years in the domestic market as the overall economy slowed down. However, several manufacturers have been focusing on making India their export hubs, both for completed vehicles as well as components. As a result, we have actually seen an upturn in the demand for cranes from the automotive sector in the last financial year. Expansions and new plants being set up to gear up for exports as well to cater to the expected increase in demand domestically as the economy is expected to turn around have contributed to this.
What are the challenges faced by you in this industry?
The cranes industry in India faces lot of challenges and hurdles in today's scenario. Since crane manufacturing requires a huge amount of investment, it results into a higher product cost, which turns out to be the biggest drawback in the price-sensitive Indian market. Skilled manpower is another challenge faced by a lot of Indian Material Handling Equipment manufacturers. It is a critical issue, but if addressed wisely though proper skill development, it will help companies in optimum utilisation of any equipment.
Since a large proportion of the Indian lifting equipment sector is somewhat conservative in terms of adopting newer technologies, the Indian market still lacks presence of the world-class companies. Recently, a number of international companies have started importing their technologically-advanced products in India through their Indian partners/distributors.
Apart from these, the biggest challenge faced by the crane manufacturing industry stems from the buyers' mindset. Most of the PSU tenders and several consultants are not at par with the developments in the global crane industry. Low-priced tenders are preferred even if the manufacturer is providing the bare minimum in terms of technical specifications as per the requirements of the tender. A price premium is difficult to demand even if the bidder proposes any extra features, which might be beneficial. The reason for this lies with the fact that the bidders are evaluated at the same level as per the specifications of the tender. To be precise, the latest technology available in the market might not be apt for the inflexible (and often obsolete) tender specifications. This in turn results in technical disqualification of the bidder and thus disadvantageous to both PSUs as well as consultants.
What is the strategy for the next five years?
After taking a heavy beating, the Indian economy looks to be on the path to recovery. The industry is witnessing an early signs of a turn-around in the economy and we are bullish about this stream of recovery to turn into a torrent of growth. There is an increase in the levels of enquiries from different industry sectors. This will become more pronounced in the next 6 months and we are eagerly looking forward to it. As a group ElectroMech is well placed to handle a diverse range of requirements from a diverse set of clients spread across different industries and geographies. Hence be it automotive or metals, construction or power, heavy engineering or general engineering, we have products to cater to all their requirements.
At ElectroMech, we are poised to handle the growing requirements as we have a world class facility that has an annual manufacturing capacity of more than 1500 cranes. We have also implemented lean manufacturing systems within our process flow, which enables us to reduce the turnaround time for order execution drastically, thus further increasing our capacity within the same facility.
Which auto companies do you count among your clients?
ElectroMech is proud to be associated with several automotive companies, both OEMs as well as component manufacturers (see box). Some of the other clients are: AMW Motors, Apex Auto, Automobile Corporation of Goa (ACGL), Bajaj Auto, FCC Rico, Force Motors, Hero Motorcorp, Honda Motorcycles & Scooters, ManForce Trucks, Maruti Suzuki, Renault Nissan, and the Minda Group.Ã¢â‚¬â€¹