“IMPLEMENTING ROBUST & LEAN PROCESSES TO ENHANCE COMPONENT MANUFACTURING” P RAMADAS, MANAGING DIRECTOR, ACE MANUFACTURING SYSTEMS,

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 P Ramadas, Managing Director, Ace Manufacturing Systems

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“IMPLEMENTING ROBUST & LEAN PROCESSES TO ENHANCE COMPONENT MANUFACTURING” P RAMADAS, MANAGING DIRECTOR, ACE MANUFACTURING SYSTEMS,

Bengaluru: Ace Manufacturing Systems Ltd., is one of the largest CNC machine tool builders in India today and opens its new Building at Peenya in Bengaluru today.

The company has expertise in manufacturing of CNC vertical machining centers, CNC horizontal machining centers and in providing manufacturing solutions centered around these products. The company was started in the year 1994 and has been able to install over 8000 machines locally and globally in total ever since.
AMS is one of the largest machine tool manufacturers in the country, manufacturing complete range of machining centers, providing turnkey and automation solutions for over 2 decades. The company was started by Mr. P Ramadas along with the promoters of Ace designers ltd. Mr. Ashok V Sathe, Mr. Srinivas G Shirgurkar and Mr. Benedict Machado in Feb 1994. Driven by rich engineering experience of these technocrats, AMS has grown continuously to be what it is today. The customer centric approach has made AMS popular among corporate as well as small and medium scale enterprises.

“Implementing robust & lean processes to enhance component manufacturing” P Ramadas, Managing Director, Ace Manufacturing Systems, in this interview with H.L.Chandra Shekhar- THE BANGALORE TIMES and L.J.Ravi- NATIONAL NEWS ANALYSIS discuss that aerospace, manufacturing for IT (mobile phones & other electronics), defence projects and energy sectors will be the future of the Indian manufacturing industry, while analysing the current demand scenario management.

| Interview What is your success mantra behind designing new machines and building an organisation culture that instils a sense of ownership in the employees? We provide products and solutions with minimum cost of ownership. With continuous evolution and R&D efforts, we are narrowing down the gap between Indian machine tools and imported ones significantly. Contributing to the growth of Indian economy by substituting imports is also a factor behind new product development. Caring for employees’ personality & professional development and growth is the overall reason for employees’ involvement as the part of the organisation. Our motto, “In Pursuit of Excellence” is being inculcated in the employees to become excellent professionals.

What is your focus on operational excellence models towards achieving long term goals in your organisation? We are currently working on implementing robust and lean processes to enhance the component manufacturing and machine assembly capabilities. Strong emphasis is given towards process centric approach with automated processes and leveraging of advanced information technology. Design standardisation, minimisation of number of parts, effective planning systems, reducing lead time of manufactured items, vendor development programs, improvement of process efficiency of component manufacturing and assembly are some of the key initiatives being undertaken. Importance is also given to employee engagement initiatives such as 5S, Kaizens and small group activities. Management_P Ramdas Ace Manufac.indd 26 3/13/2015 6:42:20 PM 2 7 | management EM | Mar 2015 set-up, promising almost double the productivity. Additional features like auto unloading, single machine loaders, and fully automation cell with unmanned operations are some solutions being offered. With increasing response during IMTEX 2015 and optimistic budget,

how are you viewing the current demand trend for the machine tools? IMTEX 2015 was a grand success for AMS. As compared to 2014, demand for machine tools is undergoing a swift change. Budget also seems very manufacturing-friendly; the effect of which will be seen on the machine tool demand in the near future. We believe the next few years are going to be very bullish in terms of capital investments. There is an increase in production demand; the requirement to deliver more in a minimal lead time is trending. Quality and productivity demands are leading to evolution of technology.

What are the latest growth strategies adopted synergising with the changing demand trends in the manufacturing industry? We are currently focusing on catering to the diversified customer base in new emerging market sectors. Enhancing existing products, development of new products and their promotions across all markets is being undertaken. We are gearing up for huge surge in demand by increasing its production capacity and also enhancing reliability of the products. We are also participating in over 10 international exhibitions overseas annually which has shown promising results in the recent years.

How do you think an aspiring entrepreneur in India can benefit from the present manufacturing scenario? What would be your advice to them? As per the international forecast, manufacturing is expected to grow from the present 16% to 25% of GDP in the next 10 years in India. Until recently, Indian manufacturing industry has been largely dependent on the automotive sector and its supporting industries. However, the future is going to be for non-auto sectors such as aerospace industry, manufacturing for IT (mobile phones & other electronics), defence projects and energy sectors, which will contribute significantly to the manufacturing growth. The 11 mega projects proposed by the Hon’ble Prime Minister is going to add emphasis to manufacturing. Some advices for budding entrepreneurs include, looking out for sustainable opportunities in manufacturing that are likely to grow in the near future and being innovative in approach.

What are the recent developments in multi-tasking and multiple operation machines? Technologies such as turn mill centres and mill turn centres are gaining popularity as parts requiring variety of operations can be machined in minimum number of set-ups. There is large requirement for machines with pre & post processes that are combined to minimise set-up times. Inspection and gauging as a part of components machining in a single cell to reduce lead time of manufacturing is being sought after. Automated work offsets, tool offsets, tool ware measure, etc, are some features offered with the machines. We have also developed 5-axis machining centres for demanding applications such as aerospace and energy sectors. With the background of rise in global competitiveness trends to develop machines with single set-up machining and minimum amount of handling; what are the latest approaches adopted by your company on the technology front? We are offering 1- and 2-axis rotary table machining centres to minimise set-up times and enhance productivity. Our innovation of twin spindle machining centres with & without rotary pallet changers have been very well accepted by the industry for high volume production in and out of India. Two identical components can be machined at a time in single.

Mr. P Ramadas quotes these words
• If not in this industry, where would you be?

I cannot imagine life outside what I’m currently engaged in!
• What is your favourite pastime?

Watching historical and mythological Indian epics and participating in personal and social responsible activities
• What are you currently reading?

The Secret by Rhonda Byrne and Romancing the Balance Sheet by Anil Lamba
• Which is your dream car?

It is a luxury car yet to come in the market, which is most fuel efficient
• Your dream holiday destination?

Switzerland

• One thing that people don’t know about you?
People know that I am a tough man, but very few people know that I have a kind heart.

The existing plant of AMS including the corporate office and the factory is spread over 10 acres of land in Peenya. The Phase 1 of the plant has 200,000 square feet of built up area with the capability to manufacture 1500 machines in a year. All the manufactured components necessary for production are machined on high precision mother machines either at AMS’s subsidiary companies or at one of the many dedicated vendors of AMS. The inspection of the incoming parts and assembly process is carried out within the premises of AMS. A machine shop dedicated for the finishing of critical components, exists within the premises up area with the capability to manufacture 1200 machines in a year. There is a semi-automated painting line where the components are moved into the paint-booth on a conveyor. The finished components come out of a baking oven ready to be taken for assembly.

Currently, construction of phase 2 plant is under execution, enabling us to make 3000 machines a year in total. The company intends to build infrastructure to cater to existing and future market demands both locally and globally.

AMS values the depleting natural resources and has endeavored conserving them for the future generations. With over 10000 fruits & flowers bearing plants and trees, AMS provides a healthy and stress free environment. The state of the art buildings are designed in an open architecture with large windows providing abundant natural light and air. This natural air circulation keeps the temperature lower than the outside using minimum artificial ventilation. The shop floor has turbo ventilators which suck the hot air out naturally allowing fresh air to flow-in through the garden outside. The company does rain water harvesting and reuses them for various purposes.

The company promotes extracurricular activities such as cricket matches, skits, music, and dance and provides various platforms to bring out the talents of its employees and their children. There is a large yoga room to relax the mind in the midst of stressful work. The employees are encouraged to spend time at the garden in their free-time. Employees are also given an opportunity to plant saplings with their name around it. They have witnessed the growth of the plants along with their growth.

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