SKB brings in world-class ma­chine tools to In­dia

Auto components India - - CONTENTS - Story by: Anusha B

SKB Ma­chine Tools, a lead­ing ma­chine tool agency, rep­re­sents com­pa­nies like Nis­sei (Ja­pan), IMM Maschinebau (Ger­many) and Kataoka (Ja­pan) for sales and ser­vice of ma­chine tools in the In­dian mar­ket. The range of machines in­cludes dou­ble disc grind­ing machines, cen­tre-less grinders, pro­file grind­ing machines, gear hob­bers, gear grinders, cam grind­ing and milling machines and en­tire line of pis­ton rings. They are high pre­ci­sion machines and are used for highly spe­cialised op­er­a­tions. “SKB has a client-cen­tric ap­proach and that makes it unique. The com­pany is the pre­ferred sup­plier to many OEMs and tier com­pa­nies across In­dia. With the new rules and reg­u­la­tions for the au­to­mo­tive in­dus­try there is big scope in the In­dian mar­ket for highly ad­vanced high-pre­ci­sion machines,” Ra­jesh Ra­maswamy, Di­rec­tor, SKB Ma­chine Tools, told Auto Com­po­nents In­dia.

From Nis­sei, the com­pany sup­plies CBN grind­ing wheel tech­nol­ogy for dou­ble disc grinders which finds its ap­pli­ca­tion in the disc brake of two-wheel­ers. With ABS in place disc brake takes the front seat and this tech­nol­ogy (dou­ble disc grinder) from Ja­pan be­comes very rel­e­vant. From Kataoka, the com­pany sup­plies cam­less turn­ing machines, con­sid­ered as the game changer for the pis­ton ring in­dus­try due to the elim­i­na­tion of cum­ber­some cams and cam pro­files. All are gen­er­ated by soft­ware.

From IMM Maschinebau, the com­pany sup­plies en­gine blade pol­ish­ing machines, which re­de­fines blade man­u­fac­tur­ing due to its unique tech­nol­ogy of 6-axis with end­less abra­sive belts. “Huge tech­no­log­i­cal

changes are hap­pen­ing in the In­dian auto mar­ket with the reg­u­la­tions on ABS and airbags, in­tro­duc­tion of CVT cars and auto gears. They have opened new av­enues for us as th­ese highly com­pli­cated parts have to be ma­chined with the help of high pre­ci­sion machines. In­dian mar­ket is still driven with con­ven­tional 3-axis, 4-axis and 5-axis machines. But the tech­nol­ogy will help the OEMs to go for a pre­ci­sion ma­chine. As a part­ner, we have a client-cen­tric ap­proach and we are able to serve the cus­tomers very well,” he said.

Ra­maswamy said the machines that SKB sup­plies abide by the process ca­pa­bil­ity. Con­sis­tency and re­peata­bil­ity are the vi­tal pa­ram­e­ters to achieve the de­sired process ca­pa­bil­ity. The com­pany has achieved a score greater than 1.67 in process ca­pa­bil­ity which is a pos­i­tive sign for a seam­less busi­ness flow. Th­ese high pre­ci­sion machines are au­to­mated. Some of the non-crit­i­cal op­er­a­tions can be made semi-au­to­matic to al­low hu­man in­ter­ven­tion and gen­er­ate more em­ploy­ment.

“For many com­pa­nies vol­umes are not large enough to jus­tify the in­vest­ment on a high pre­ci­sion ma­chine. We are not able to ad­vise the man­u­fac­tur­ers to go for ded­i­cated machines as they have to be tweaked of­ten to make a dif­fer­ent part. This will lead to pro­duc­tiv­ity loss and poor time man­age­ment. Hence the cus­tomers are hes­i­tant to buy high pre­ci­sion machines and this poses a ma­jor chal­lenge to us,” he said.

The com­pany has min­i­mum com­pe­ti­tion to the machines it sup­plies, although there are a lot of chan­nel part­ners in the In­dian mar­ket who do sales and ser­vice for im­ported machines. The dou­ble disc grinders are patented for var­i­ous fea­tures and this acts as a unique sell­ing point. IMM machines are not made any­where. This is again is a fil­lip to the com­pany. All the machines have cus­tomers across the globe. The machines have gone a seachange from me­chan­i­cal to au­to­matic which is CNC-driven. Com­puter pro­gram­ming and soft­ware train­ing be­come nec­es­sary. “Trial runs are shown by us soon af­ter in­stalling the machines. We will be able to han­dle nor­mal hic­cups. Ma­jor is­sues, if any, will be han­dled by the client-side en­gi­neers,” Ra­maswamy said.

In In­dia the pace of do­ing busi­ness is not any­where close to Ja­pan or the western world due to fac­tors like lack of trust be­tween the sup­pli­ers and cus­tomers, re­luc­tance to em­brace new tech­nolo­gies, au­to­ma­tion cost and re­sis­tance from work­ers, and vague safety and en­vi­ron­men­tal reg­u­la­tions.

SKB sup­plies also spare parts for old Ger­man and Ja­panese machines. “We are also open to new part­ners in dif­fer­ent lines,” Ra­maswamy said.

Ra­jesh Ra­maswamy, Di­rec­tor, SKB Ma­chine Tools

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