International Tooling Summit held recently in Mumbai, discussed the eminent role of tooling in the ambitious ‘Make in India’ initiative. The event was organised by The Economic Times in association with Tool & Gauge Manufacturers Association (TAGMA) India witnessed eminent speakers across the sector. India, today stands amongst the 20 largest producers of cutting tools in the world. The tooling industry as per the industry survey is estimated to be Rs 15,100 crore for 2014-15 out of which close to Rs 8,000 crore is met indigenously.

The Indian tooling industry is expected to grow further with government initiatives. Major OEMs in India are working on a plan for indigenisation of components getting into their main assemblies as per government guidelines. This includes the auto and electronic sectors. Policy reforms by government to make the procurement of tooling from indigenous sources will ensure growth in domestic production. Dies, moulds and press tools manufacturing industry has substantial multiplier effect on the domestic economy, therefore it must be nurtured to become self-reliant. The growing optimism in the auto sector that India may become the primary base for manufacturing and sourcing auto components is directly related to the development of the tooling industry in India.

Understanding the importance of the sector in the infrastructure of the economy, Sunita Quadros, Business Head, TCL said, “The strength of tooling industry is directly associated to the growth of auto and electronics business. We, at Economic Times are glad that we could provide a platform which triggers discussions, provides insights and facilitates change and growth of the sector.”

Sharing his views Kamal Bali, Managing Director, Volvo said, “I believe that the “Make in India” program strikes at the root of the critical shortcomings in manufacturing, namely the need for higher value-capture in India. The tooling industry is rightfully positioned to fulfill this shortcoming by facilitating higher value addition, thereby creating greater economic activity. Competitiveness of the Indian manufacturing sector, more jobs, inclusive and sustainable growth will pave way for higher exports from India.”

The event saw several thought provoking panel discussions, as a part of which Anoop Chaturvedi, Vice President, Production Engineering, Maruti Suzuki said, the Indian automobile or manufacturing Industry is rapidly evolving as a key global player. This rapid growth coupled with globalisation has led developments in technology and regulations. This offers growth opportunities to tooling industry, which is known for low cost manufacturing but need to build world class capabilities in design and innovation, robust processes, and reduce product development time while keeping focus on quality.”

As a part of the panel ‘Making India the manufacturing hub of the world’ Dr Wilfried G Aulbur, Managing Partner India, Chairman Middle-East & Africa, Head Automotive Asia, Roland Berger Strategy Consultants said, “National manufacturing industries depend on high-performing tool manufacturers to bring products to market. Meeting quality, performance, aesthetics and cost targets is impossible without reliable partners on the machine tool side. India’s machine tool manufacturers have moved up the value chain as the increasing success in import substitution demonstrates. However, to be true partners in making “Make in India” happen, further improvements across number of process parameters are necessary.”

Despite various challenges, the tooling industry has managed to surge ahead in the last 10 years with diversification into several emerging areas. It has given a new lease of life to the sector with an expectancy of 15-20% year-on-year growth. ACI

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