Rainer Kehder, Sales Head – Asia Pacific, Tornos SA

… India is a huge country with a lot of demand for machine tools and production machinery.  With the growing economy and increase in manufacturing in the country there are good business opportunities in India,” says Rainer Kehder, Sales Head – Asia Pacific, Tornos SA, as he shares his insights with Nishant Kashyap. Excerpts…

Please tell us about Tornos…
We are majorly into turning applications and cover the range from diameter 0.4 up to 32 mm. Tornos is mainly involved in high precision machining activities and has top solutions for mainly the automotive industry. Automotive is the major segment for us, followed by medical, watchmaking, general engineering, hydraulics & pneumatics and aerospace.

What are the latest technologies that are integrated into your machines?
On one side we have our single spindle range which is assembled in China and Taiwan. Those machines are very high in technology and also cost-effective, for the Chinese and Indian market. On the other side, we have our 3 new multi-spindle machines (made in Switzerland) which are mainly used for high volume businesses from dia 4-32mm. If you have a part that is needed to be produced in high volumes like in millions, we have the right machine solutions.

The industry is talking about Industrie4.0 solutions. What are the technologies from Tornos that are in-line with this trend?
We also offer industrie4.0 solutions, it is called TISIS. It is an app that can be downloaded using Google Play or the App store. With this tool, one can monitor the machine, its functions and get the appropriate machining data right on the telephone. This helps us in predictive and preventive maintenance thus giving better productivity.  It can basically monitor the health of the machine so that customers can monitor the service operation.

What is the end benefit? How can a customer encash this technology?
Basically, a customer can avoid any kind of breakdown, which results in a saving. With this feature, customers can have proper services on time and get the best out of it. We can predict when the machine is going to get down so that we can provide the service on time and avoid any kind of breakdown. This way the damage would be much smaller. So you can keep the cost low, save time and enhance efficiency and productivity.  This is very similar to the telematics system in the car.

So are these new technologies going to increase the cost of the machine?
Yes, there will be a little addition to the cost of software but compared to the costs of the machine it is going to be very low. Also, it will save them a lot of costs in terms of services and machine breakdown which is eventually a great return on investment.

You are responsible for the Asian business operation; can you please highlight some business trends that you have come across?
Yes, I look after business in Asian countries like India, Japan, Thailand, and Australia apart from the rest of the South Eastern Countries.  I must say every country is different but the manufacturing industry in the Asian countries is growing rapidly. Apart from the developed markets like Japan and South Korea, we see a huge demand from India and Thailand. Vietnam and Indonesia are also some good markets for us, still small in high precision machine numbers but increasing fast.

What are your views about the Indian market?
India is a huge country with a lot of demand for machine tools and production machinery.  With the growing economy and increase in manufacturing in the country there are good business opportunities in India. Also, we have a very good workforce in India, good in service and application engineering. I am very optimistic about the Indian market.  I have seen China growing since the last two decades and I can predict that India will grow even faster in the coming years.

Challenges faced in India…
All opportunities have challenges. India also has its own set of challenges. Lack of awareness, shyness about new investment, also it is a large country and that makes it difficult for the companies to cover the entire nation. But we are very confident about the Indian market and will continue to invest in the country.

What are your future plans for the Indian market?
We are already in India with our sales & service operation, mainly in and around the big cities. India is not new for us; we have been doing business in India for a long time and are growing rapidly.  We are very much optimistic about India and will continue to invest in the country.