Maruti Suzuki In­dia (MSI) Ex­ec­u­tive Di­rec­tor Pro­duc­tion, Ra­jiv Gandhi

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With one car rolling out every 12 sec­onds -- over 2,400 ro­bots aid­ing 20,000 work­ers -- Maruti Suzuki In­dia's mega car fac­to­ries at Gu­ru­gram and Mane­sar are em­brac­ing new tech­nolo­gies to keep pace with de­mands of the 21st cen­tury. It is a far cry from nearly 35 years back, when the com­pany first rolled out the now dis­con­tin­ued iconic M800 model with around 900 peo­ple and neg­li­gi­ble au­to­ma­tion at the then Gur­gaon fac­tory. With over 4,000 trucks criss-cross­ing the premises, sup­ply­ing com­po­nents and pick­ing up fully built ve­hi­cles, the two fac­to­ries buzz with ac­tiv­ity for 280 days a year to roll out over 15 lakh units of 16 mod­els with 1,100plus vari­ants. The com­pany has al­ready started look­ing be­yond 2020 when it looks to sell 2 mil­lion units an­nu­ally. In fact it is aim­ing for 3 mil­lion units an­nual sales in the next decade. Ac­cord­ing to Maruti Suzuki In­dia (MSI) Ex­ec­u­tive Di­rec­tor Pro­duc­tion, Ra­jiv Gandhi, the chal­lenge for man­u­fac­tur­ing op­er­a­tions to meet the de­mands of main­tain­ing dom­i­nant mar­ket po­si­tion is enor­mous. Al­most every sec­ond pas­sen­ger ve­hi­cle sold in In­dia is from the sta­ble of MSI. It calls for modern tech­nolo­gies that as­sist op­er­a­tors, im­prove their ef­fi­cien­cies and bring down fa­tigue to keep the fac­to­ries run­ning flaw­lessly. "In or­der to han­dle the com­plex­ity in man­u­fac­tur­ing, we have in­vested in de­ploy­ing new tech­nolo­gies at the shop floor," Gandhi told PTI Eco­nomic Ser­vice. While new­est, lean and ef­fi­cient ro­bots have made a big pres­ence at the fac­to­ries, which wit­ness over 1.25 crore welds a day, the com­pany hasn't done away with simple tech­niques that en­sure smooth pro­duc­tion. "Over 5,100 fool-proof­ing tools have been in­stalled across all shops to en­sure high prod­uct qual­ity. They use simple signs like glow­ing of a bulb to warn the op­er­a­tor if a wrong part is picked for fit­ment," he said. Such prac­tice en­sures that the com­pany has a di­rect pass record of 93 per cent of com­pleted ve­hi­cles. "Sev­eral au­to­mated qual­ity checks of this type en­sure world class qual­ity lev­els," Gandhi said. Skilling of work­ers: With the com­pany sell­ing 16 mod­els with 1,100-plus vari­ants in the mar­ket, it also calls for flex­i­bil­ity at the pro­duc­tion unit to meet var­ied de­mand by train­ing its work­ers. "We are sys­tem­at­i­cally train­ing peo­ple and skilling them for mul­ti­ple op­er­a­tions. This helps faster turn­around in new model launches and in­tro­duc­tion of new tech­nol­ogy in ex­ist­ing mod­els. The en­tire man­u­fac­tur­ing is well or­ches­trated with sup­port from strong IT sys­tem,” Gandhi said. He said MSI has such en­hanced flex­i­bil­ity in its lines that it is able to pro­duce multi-mod­els on a sin­gle line. "Our weld lines can pro­duce two mod­els on one sin­gle line. Our top sell­ing mod­els like Alto, Swift and Dzire can be pro­duced in more than one line," he added. Be­sides, multi-skilling has been one of the key fo­cus ar­eas in the shop floor, wherein, one op­er­a­tor is sup­posed to know the job of one sta­tion be­fore and one sta­tion in ad­vance, Gandhi said. MSI also re­lies on sug­ges­tions of its work­ers to en­hance ef­fi­ciency and im­prove pro­duc­tiv­ity at its fac­to­ries. "With sup­port from em­ploy­ees we were able to achieve record sug­ges­tions of 7,43,147 and cost sav­ings of Rs 203 crore," Gandhi said. Raw ma­te­rial han­dling: An­other aspect of churn­ing out of over 5,000 units daily from the two fa­cil­i­ties is han­dling of the raw ma­te­ri­als that are be­ing brought to the fac­to­ries by around 3,400 trucks on a daily ba­sis. An­other 650 trucks trans­port as­sem­bled ve­hi­cles from the fac­to­ries to around 2,000 deal­er­ships across the coun­try. The amount of steel that MSI uses a year can build 32 Eif­fel Tow­ers every year. Dif­fer­ent com­po­nents, in­clud­ing nuts and bolts, rub­ber parts to tyres come from 444 tier one sup­pli­ers and 2,050 tier II ven­dors. Here also, Gandhi said the com­pany has been re­ly­ing on tech­nol­ogy to im­prove ef­fi­ciency and re­duce time taken for pre­par­ing the raw ma­te­ri­als to be used in pro­duc­tion. For in­stance, MSI re­lies on con­veyor belts that mea­sure up to a to­tal of 10 km to trans­fer var­i­ous parts to dif­fer­ent works sta­tions. The com­pany's first plant at Gu­ru­gram rolls out mod­els such as Alto 800, Wagon R, S-Cross, Vi­tara Brezza, Er­tiga, Ig­nis, Omni, LCV Su­per Carry and Gypsy. At Mane­sar, it pro­duces Ciaz, Dzire, Celerio, Alto K10, Baleno and Swift mod­els. The com­pany's par­ent Suzuki has also come up with a new plant in Gu­jarat. Suzuki sup­plies ve­hi­cles and com­po­nents ex­clu­sively to MSI from the plant.

Maruti Suzuki In­dia (MSI) Ex­ec­u­tive Di­rec­tor Pro­duc­tion, Ra­jiv Gandhi

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