Text: T Murrali

                It is said that the machine tool industry is the first to get affected in a slowdown or recession and the last to recover. This is because of its capital intensiveness. However, the impending IMTEX 2015 and the concurrent show Tooltech 2015 defy the belief. Despite the auto industry, which contributes to over 60% of the machine tool industry’s customer base, being still in the grips of a slowdown, the event has gained momentum significantly. While considering the response to these events, one can come to a conclusion that the slowdown has already faded away.

Organised by IMTMA (The Indian Machine Tool Manufacturers’ Association), IMTEX 2015, the 17th Indian Metal-cutting Machine Tool Exhibition with international participation will be held between 22 and 28 January 2015. The events will be housed at IMTMA’s state-of-the-art facility, Bangalore International Exhibition Centre (BIEC). The venue spreads across five large halls in about 34 acres of land. Located in the heart of the industrial corridor of Bangalore, BIEC offers services and amenities at par with international standards.

IMG_1554-copyBy far the largest exhibition of metal-cutting machine tools and manufacturing solutions in South and South-East Asia, it will showcase the exhaustive range of innovations and technological refinements in the complete product segment of metal-cutting machine tools.

IMG_1643-copyConcurrent with the event IMTMA is also organising Tooltech 2015—the exhibition of cutting tools, tooling systems, machine tool accessories, metrology and CAD/CAM at the same venue. Tooltech 2015 will feature the newest trends in cutting tools and tooling systems from across the globe.

Both the events are expected to attract visitors from a wide spectrum of manufacturing and ancillary industries starting with key decision and policy makers as well as industry captains who are keen to source the latest technologies and manufacturing solutions for their production lines. It has come to symbolise a one-stop forum where customers can experience ‘live’ display of the products enabling them in the decision-making process to enhance their manufacturing capabilities.

Tooltech will highlight recent innovations in technology, design and product development with the aim to bring cost competitiveness in all metal working operations. Alongside, it will unveil yet again the explicit range of cutting tools from the stable of the world’s leading brands. Also, there will be an interactive ‘International Seminar on Machine Technology’ related to the field of metal cutting focusing on expertise, innovations, technology and trends.

IMTEX and Tooltech happen every year, but every alternate year the focus is different. In 2012 and 2014 the events focused on ‘Forming,’ and in 2013 it was ‘Metal Cutting,’ which will be replicated in the 2015 edition. In India auto components account for about 60% of manufacturing. So, automatically, machine tools will also have a ratio very close to this, though individual companies may vary.

L Krishnan

L Krishnan

Speaking to Auto Components India, the President of IMTMA and the Managing Director of TaeguTec India, L Krishnan said, “We had a fairly good demand for participating in this exhibition, the mood is positive and if we had another 100% more space we would have been able to sell it. We are probably at the beginning of a medium to long-term bull curve where we are going to see positive activities. The good news is that both from the capital equipment side as well as the consumables side, we are seeing an upswing in terms of order flow and sales of devices from the month of March–April.”

Elaborating the reasons, he said though heavy commercial vehicles took a very big hit a couple of years ago, 2-wheelers continue to grow with a fairly large base. The components industry is consolidating and exports are also growing. However, the sentiment for Capex was low for about 12 months and people did not have the appetite for it because there was so much uncertainty towards which direction the country was heading in terms of policy and various other governmental initiatives. It is evident that the clouds have cleared up; there is positivity in the minds of people in terms of the future.

“From the machine tool industry point of view I can say that very, very large size Capex projects have still not taken off. We believe it would take another 6 months or 1 year for it to really gain momentum. The good news is that small ticket investments (people wanting to update their capacities, add line balancing, add a new component to their existing line, develop new lines for exports), have been going on for the last 2 years. Last 7–8 months we are seeing that with investments to an extent of about Rs 50 to 60 lakh, people today are not hesitating to take a decision. If you look at Indian machine tool manufacturers, our ticket size is within that. We are not in the very large size machine tools so currently if you see the mood of Indian tool manufacturers and cutting tool industry, we have come back more-or-less to our old levels; we are not gasping for breath anymore. We have appetite; we are seriously looking at capacities and what we should do for the next 5 years, so we are under a reasonably good positive mood,” states Krishnan.

Another important background for positive feel is the growth of the global automotive industry—China is one which still continues to grow, Japan is down, US has some positive growth, Europe is down; looking at the next 10-year period there are not many highly populated economies which have an appetite for growth. So, with the small structural changes Government of India is attempting, global players see India as a big opportunity for the next 10 years.

When Krishnan gave this positive message about five months ago, people were asking if he was giving it ahead of time. He substantiated his views by stating that his company TaeguTec, which is in the cutting tool business, supplies these major consumables for the manufacturing industry; so he actually could sense what is happening on the shop floor.

IMTEX-2015-Brochure-72015 Edition

When asked to compare the current event with the earlier edition, he said comparison is not a very fair thing to do because of space limitations. “As a country we have still not recognised the importance of industrial infrastructure, like exhibition space etc. If we have to grow into a manufacturing economy BIEC will have to double its floor capacity,” he said.

Despite IMTMA fully utilising its own space at BIEC, and also arranging temporary sheds the organisers have to cut the ration of supply. Therefore, it will have 900 odd exhibitors this time from 25 countries with 9 country pavilions. “We could have probably made the number to 1,000 with more machines displayed but there are internal constraints,” he said.

Is it possible to address this issue? Krishnan says this is a country problem. The exhibition space and construction is extremely capital intensive. For instance, creating 40,000 sqmt of exhibition infrastructure requires Rs 350 crore to Rs 400 crore and it can grow four-fold if the venue is in places like Mumbai. And there is no assistance from the government for creating these kinds of infrastructure. Since IMTMA’s vision is to promote the industry, it created its own exhibition centre, which has become inadequate now.

IMG_1560-copyRather than denying space for the exhibitors due to space constraints the organisers are making an equitable distribution to cover all. The vision of the event is to bring state-of-the-art current manufacturing technologies, equipment, measuring devices, tooling and accessories to the country and showcase it to the larger users. Compared to the previous edition held 2 years ago, the current exhibition will have display of faster machines, better software options, and more automation. The audience can witness Indian machines with a much higher maturity level than in the previous show. “Every passing exhibition we see a significant jump in terms of technology and this time also visitors will not be disappointed—they will have nice takeaways in terms of connect with the manufacturers and connect with new technologies. I believe 2015 is very critical because the growth movement is just about to take-off. Manufacturing in the country is just priming now; probably in 6 months to 1 year it should take off. It’s the right time for people to look at state-of-the-art technologies and plan for the future,” noted Krishnan.

Make in India

First of all, at the central government level, there is a genuine and continuous pressure to work on the theme of ‘Make in India.’ Based on his interactions with the Government he observes that there are many small but significant structural changes being attempted to ease doing business.

Enticing Entrepreneurs

From an entrepreneur’s view, you look for ideas, you look for outlets. When you walk through an exhibition of this size you look not only at technology, but also business opportunity. The machine tool industry is highly entrepreneur-driven while machine tool accessories are entrepreneur involved. Every time people come to exhibitions like IMTEX, a few entrepreneurs go back and start making something for the industry. It will also help existing entrepreneurs to scale up and motivate new entrants to experiment with new ideas. Also, the event will give several options to make products at competitive cost—for example, grinding substituted with hard part turning. Besides, local events help them get everything they need from international exhibitions, in their own language. This is the reason why a majority of the people visiting these exhibitions are entrepreneurs, and from small and medium enterprises.

IMG_1715-copyIMTMA is confident that both IMTEX 2015 and Tooltech 2015 will facilitate business-to-business cooperation between manufacturers and users from backgrounds connected to metal-cutting manufacturing technologies. The exhibits hold promise and significance for all levels of manufacturing organisations—be it CEOs and entrepreneurs, middle-level management, senior executives, corporate planners and strategists, R&D specialists, shop floor engineers, supervisors and technicians, agents and dealers—spanning across industries including aerospace, automotive, railways, earthmoving equipment, among others. However, there is no buyer-seller meet as such. There will be a large chunk of people coming in for group participation; this year the event will have 9 group participations. Currently, at the association level, IMTMA is inviting delegations from different segments and countries. These include SIATI in Bangalore, ACMA, Ordnance factories and vehicle manufacturers. The organisers will support these delegations by helping connect with business partners.


A day before inauguration of the exhibition, IMTMA will be organising an interactive ‘International Seminar on Machine Technology’ related to the field of metal cutting focusing on expertise, innovations, technology and trends. The seminar will be broadly divided into concurrent sessions on various subjects pertaining to the metal cutting machine tool industry. Experts in the field from India and across the globe will share their knowledge at the seminar. This is just to propagate the technology—the technological leap and the directional change that
is happening.

Academia Pavilion & Job Fair

An initiative of IMTMA to connect institutions with industry, the academia pavilion will have participation from leading engineering and technical institutions presenting their R&D capabilities. The event will also enable the machine tool industry to source skilled manpower.

Highlights of 2013 Edition

Highlights of 2013 Edition


Broadly, the events will present the emerging trends in the metal cutting industry. For instance, the current trend is to attain higher accuracy levels, which is driven by end-customers. End-customers, in the automotive industry, are going towards developing engines that can comply with the next higher level of emission norms. In the case of aerospace industry, it is moving from aluminium to titanium to composites; hence, the machine tools required to machine them would also need to have the capability, eventually making the entire ecosystem undergo a change. In terms of technology, there will be faster spindles, faster movement of machines, machines that are capable of dry machining and more matching with interactive software.



During the past decade the machine tool industry has been moving towards TPM-friendly machines. There was a trend in some applications to go for MQL (minimum quantity lubricant) machines that require only vapourised droplets of coolant to be sprayed, instead of litres of coolant. Many of these trends have a niche application and MQL finds a larger space.

2013 Edition - Visitor Analysis

2013 Edition – Visitor Analysis

The impending event will have more number of people displaying machines and accessories for aerospace parts, particularly data dimensioning, composites, tools and machines that have the capability to machine titanium, composites etc. The current capacities will be exhausted in a jiffy if the Defence Ministry takes some big-ticket decisions that would open the flood gate for over Rs 40,000 crore of buy-back commitments in the form of sourcing from India, concludes Krishnan. ACI

We had a fairly good demand for participation in this exhibition. The mood is positive and if we had another 100% more space we would have sold it.

2015 is very critical because the growth movement is just about to take-off. Manufacturing in the country is just priming now; it should take-off in probably 6 months to 1 year. It’s the right time for people to look at state-of-the-art technologies and plan for the future.


Profile of exhibits at IMTEX 2015

l CNC lathes

l Lathes

l Drilling machines

l Boring machines

l Milling machines

l Gear cutting and finishing machines

l Screwing and threading machines

l Planning, shaping, slotting and broaching machines

l Sawing and cutting-off machines

l Grinding machines

l Special-purpose grinding machines

l Tool grinding machines

l Honing, lapping, polishing and deburring machines

l Special production machines and unit heads

l Electro erosion machines

l Machines for unconventional and other operations

l Machining centres

l Hardening and heating machines

l Assembling systems and industrial robots

Profile of exhibits at Tooltech 2015

l Finishing and cutting tools

l Abrasive tools and products

l Work and tool holders

l Measuring and testing systems

l Testing machines

l Production control and networks

l Manufacturing of parts and tools, assembly

l Computer application and Software

l Quality control

l Accessories

l Electrical & electronic equipment for machine tools

l Raw materials (for eligible products)


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