Kwal­ity Pho­ton­ics sets up an ul­tra-modern fully au­to­matic LED plant

The Kwal­ity Group is 51 years old. It came into ex­is­tence as Kwal­ity Elec­tri­cals Pvt Ltd, which was es­tab­lished in 1966 to man­u­fac­ture spe­cial lamps for the au­to­mo­bile, rail­way and elec­tron­ics in­dus­tries.

Electronics Bazaar - - Manufacturing Floor - By Baishakhi Dutta

Kwal­ity Pho­ton­ics Pri­vate Lim­ited (KPPL) man­u­fac­tures high, medium and low power light emit­ting diodes (LEDs), SMD LEDs, LED seg­ment dis­plays and opto elec­tronic prod­ucts. The Kwal­ity Group has de­vel­oped and com­mer­cialised sev­eral gen­er­a­tions of LEDs, which in­clude GaP LEDs, brighter dou­ble het­ero-junc­tion AlGaAs LEDs, more ef­fi­cient qua­ter­nary AlInGaP LEDs and, fi­nally, the fa­mous InGaN blue phos­phor coated white LEDs.

Man­u­fac­tur­ing floor at a glance

Thirty years of LED man­u­fac­tur­ing ex­pe­ri­ence has helped Kwal­ity Pho­ton­ics to suc­cess­fully set up a global sup­ply chain that en­sures cost ad­van­tages in procur­ing high qual­ity raw ma­te­ri­als. The com­pany’s raw ma­te­ri­als are sourced from ven­dors in Ja­pan, Tai­wan, China and USA to en­sure qual­ity in­puts. The work­force is mostly from ITIs and is trained on a con­tin­u­ous ba­sis to churn out high qual­ity prod­ucts. The prod­uct spec­i­fi­ca­tions are con­stantly up­graded to keep up with fast evolv­ing de­vel­op­ments at the global level.

Ma­chin­ery used at the fa­cil­ity

Kwal­ity Pho­ton­ics uses a va­ri­ety of ma­chines in the LED man­u­fac­tur­ing process. Key equip­ment used in the unit are:

• Au­to­matic die bon­ders

• Au­to­matic wire bon­ders

• En­cap­su­la­tion dis­pensers

Cur­ing equip­ment Prod­uct testers and au­to­matic bin group­ing ma­chines Au­to­matic reel pack­ing ma­chines

Prod­ucts man­u­fac­tured

Kwal­ity Pho­ton­ics pro­duces a wide range of opto elec­tronic prod­ucts in­clud­ing SMD LEDs, COB (Chip-on­Board) LEDs, LED seg­ment dis­plays, hi­flux LEDs, LED mod­ules, DOB (Driver-on-Board) mod­ules and fil­a­ment lamp retrofits.

LEDchip In­dus, a Kwal­ity Group com­pany set up in 2017, has taken over the ac­tiv­ity of pro­duc­ing and sup­ply­ing SMD LEDs. The pop­u­lar pack­ages are 2835, 3030, 5730 and 3535. The wattages served are 0.2W, 0.5W, 1.0W and 3/5W in ad­di­tion to COB LEDs, and the LEDs come with sin­gle bin uni­for­mity in bright­ness and colour value.

The LED dis­plays man­u­fac­tured at the ISO 9001 com­pli­ant and C-DoT ap­proved plant of KPPL in­clude the fol­low­ing di­verse range: sin­gle digit, dual digit, multi-digit, al­phanu­meric, dot ma­trix, light bars, bar graphs, ar­rays that meet the needs of high­end users for high in­ten­sity GaN (white, blue and green), AIGaAs (ul­tra bright red) and AlInGaP (su­per bright yel­low).

Best prac­tices in man­u­fac­tur­ing

The com­pany strongly be­lieves in fol­low­ing ISO 9001, which is an ex­cel­lent com­pen­dium of best prac­tices, when it comes to man­u­fac­tur­ing. The ISO 9001 stan­dards were formed out of the best man­u­fac­tur­ing prac­tices that evolved at com­pa­nies like Mo­torola, GE, Toyota, etc, and these were later em­bel­lished by the best brains.

ISO 9000 ad­dresses all the busi­ness pro­cesses, right from the sup­ply chain and pro­duc­tion, to qual­ity, stor­age and cus­tomer ac­qui­si­tion/

re­ten­tion. The ISO 9001-2015 ver­sion fur­ther guides the com­pany to aim for lead­er­ship, and also iden­tify and mit­i­gate the risks of busi­ness. K. Vi­jay Ku­mar Gupta, CEO rec­om­mends that ev­ery CEO ought to give ISO 9001 a fresh look at the ear­li­est, and treat it as an ‘ex­pert man­age­ment sys­tem ad­viser’.

Lo­gis­tics

Air couri­ers are the back­bone of the lo­gis­tics sys­tem at Kwal­ity Pho­ton­ics. The com­pany’s LEDs are of high value and low weight,

and for goods to reach within 15 hours, cus­tomers are pre­pared to pay 1 per cent added cost. The im­ports of Kwal­ity Pho­ton­ics and LEDchip In­dus hap­pen mostly by air cargo, and reach ware­houses within 24 hours of land­ing in the coun­try.

Fo­cus on qual­ity

The op­ti­cal pa­ram­e­ters are tested right after the gold wires are bonded and dur­ing the en­cap­su­la­tion and dis­pens­ing process to en­sure that all LEDs are pro­duced to the nar­row­est

band of val­ues. Fi­nally, ev­ery sin­gle SMD LED pro­duced is sub­jected to the mea­sure­ment of bright­ness flux lu­mens, for­ward volt­age Vf, full spec­tral analysis like colour-co­or­di­nates (x,y), and colour-cor­re­lated tem­per­a­ture (CCT). It is then au­to­mat­i­cally grouped into fur­ther nar­row val­ues and packed in reels with clear la­bels, so that cus­tomers can choose and use the same LEDs of iden­ti­cal colour and lu­mens in the same lot of fix­tures.

Cer­ti­fi­ca­tions re­ceived

IS0 9000 since the past 18 years C-DOT and CACT (Com­po­nent Ap­proval Cen­tre for Telecom­mu­ni­ca­tions) since the 1990s LM80 IESNA/En­er­gyS­tar Com­pli­ance for 2835 LEDs and 3030 LEDs of 0.2W, 0.5W and 1.0W, where LEDs are tested for nine months non-stop at tem­per­a­tures of 55ºC, 85ºC and 105ºC si­mul­ta­ne­ously. The light degra­da­tion after 6000 hours is Some of the awards that Kwal­ity Pho­ton­ics has earned are listed below: • Na­tional Award - Best Cor­po­rate Per­for­mance in Elec­tronic Com­po­nents, 2016, IETE.

Win­ner, Top LED Brand Award (among LED firms) based on votes from EFY read­ers

Ranked the ‘SSI-En­tre­pre­neur of the Year - 1994’, by the Hyderabad Man­age­ment As­so­ci­a­tion

Con­ferred the ‘Best New Prod­ucts of AP – 1995’ award by FAPCCI Ranked the ‘Best En­tre­pre­neur of AP State – 1999’ by the AP In­dus­tries Depart­ment

Ranked the ‘Best En­tre­pre­neur of Ranga Reddy Dist. – 1999’ by the AP In­dus­tries Depart­ment

Mem­ber, En­ergy Con­ser­va­tion Mis­sion, In­sti­tu­tion of En­gi­neers, Hyderabad

just 0.8 per cent (55ºC) to 1.4 per cent (105ºC). Tested at Bay Area Com­pli­ance Labs, the LEDs pro­duced at LEDchip In­dus have also cleared the LM80 com­pli­ance tests in April 2017.

The mantras of suc­cess

Ac­cord­ing to Gupta, the com­pany was the first to start LED man­u­fac­tur­ing in In­dia. He says, “Thirty years ago, LEDs were not so im­por­tant but we were man­u­fac­tur­ing them.” He adds that

Kwal­ity Pho­ton­ics has put In­dia on the global LED map by set­ting up an ul­tra-modern fully-au­to­matic LED plant with a ca­pac­ity of a bil­lion LEDs per year. The com­pany has high brand equity in the do­mes­tic mar­ket, one rea­son be­ing that it is led by noted sci­en­tists, en­gi­neers and ex­perts in the LED do­main.

The new com­pany set up this year—LEDchip In­dus Pvt Ltd—is a DIPP recog­nised startup en­ter­prise and is fi­nanced by SIDBI at Hyderabad. The com­pany has planned for an in­vest­ment out­lay of `2 bil­lion and signed an MOU with the Te­lan­gana state govern­ment for this pur­pose. It plans to con­tin­u­ously add more ca­pac­ity in the next two quar­ters to reach a ca­pac­ity of 30 bil­lion within two years of op­er­a­tions.

the com­pany’s solid un­der­stand­ing of ma­te­rial sciences has been the key to its suc­cess, and that Kwal­ity Pho­ton­ics has been suc­cess­ful in con­tin­u­ously adopt­ing new tech­no­log­i­cal im­prove­ments, from time to time.

Gupta says, “We be­came fa­mous for of­fer­ing high-end LED prod­ucts. So when the Chi­nese were sell­ing red LEDs, we were into ul­tra-bright red LEDs.” He adds that Kwal­ity Pho­ton­ics’ LEDs were pre­ferred for LED dis­play walls be­cause the com­pany was able to en­sure that it pro­vided the req­ui­site uni­for­mity in bright­ness, even when 200,000 LEDs were used for a dis­play.

An­other key rea­son be­hind the firm’s suc­cess, ac­cord­ing to Gupta, is that it has al­ways used the most pre-tested and pre-sorted chips for man­u­fac­tur­ing its LEDs. “I’m blessed with mo­ti­vated work­ers. The re­sult­ing pro­duc­tive work cul­ture has helped im­mensely in main­tain­ing blem­ish­free qual­ity over 30 years,” he says.

Take on ‘Make in In­dia’

The LED in­dus­try has been the growth en­gine for the elec­tron­ics in­dus­try glob­ally since the 2008 down­turn – right up till now. Ac­cord­ing to com­pany sources, the In­dian pol­icy mak­ers have not recog­nised the value of the rapid de­vel­op­ments hap­pen­ing in the LED sec­tor. MeitY, DIPP (Depart­ment of In­dus­trial Pol­icy and Pro­mo­tion) and MoP (Min­istry of Power) should quickly act to make the LED sec­tor a growth en­gine in the ESDM sec­tor and set up Make-in-In­dia mis­sions. In the last one year, the busi­ness op­por­tu­ni­ties for LED com­po­nents, like LED pack­ages, crossed a value of ` 1 tril­lion (60 mil­lion LED bulbs), which was suf­fi­cient to feed five to 10 LED plants. The de­mand next year could be 10 times this vol­ume, sources at KPPL opine.

Take on GST

The KPPL man­age­ment feels that LED com­po­nents can be clas­si­fied in the 5 per cent tax cat­e­gory for elec­tron­ics, with re­gard to GST. The tax rev­enue buoy­ancy is as­sured, with the pre­dicted CAGR for LEDs be­ing 100 per cent. The LED in­dus­try has to be iden­ti­fied as one of the pri­or­ity sec­tors in In­dia. The high­est level of in­cen­tives should be given to LED wafer and chip man­u­fac­tur­ers. Gupta sug­gests that ex­ist­ing play­ers in Tai­wan (Epis­tar, Ge­n­e­sis, Epileds and Nex­tar, which are fac­ing the heat from China’s low cost pro­duc­ers) and China (Sanan, ETi, etc) should be in­vited to set up LED wafer man­u­fac­tur­ing units in In­dia.

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