Mr. I.N. Bhattacharya,
General Manager-Marketing & Sales,
Lakshmi Machine Works Ltd, Coimbatore
Lakshmi Machine Works Ltd, head-quartered in Arasur, Coimbatore, is the world’s third largest manufacturer of textile machinery. The company which celebrated its Golden Jubilee in 2012, is also a name to reckon with in machine tools, offering over 50 models of CNC lathes, machining centers, multi-tasking and turnmill centers all put together. The company is headed by Mr. Sanjay Jayavarthanavelu, CMD. LMW has made meaningful investments in course of 25 years in machine tools business towards proven design , building state of art manufacturing facilities, equipment and trained manpower to usher in a high level of technological prowess that can address the global market. Mr. P.K. Balasubramanian speaks to Mr. I.N. Bhattacharya, General Manager(Marketing and Sales) to get a ringside view of the company’s technological leadership, engineering prowess, manufacturing excellence and deliverables to meet the changing needs of a dynamic market. Excerpts:
Q. LMW is a name to reckon with in machine tools, besides of course textile machinery. What’s your range today?
We make CNC lathes, Machining centers i.e. vertical and horizontal machining centers as well as multi-tasking and turn mill centers. Today we offer some 50 models of machines in various configurations.
10 axes Multitasking machine
Q. What’s special about your lathes?
Well, we have been making CNC lathes for over 25 years now. These machines, primarily are import substitutes, have evolved themselves over a period of time. The way we build our machines is what makes a difference. The ownership cost of our machine is very low. The requirement of spares is bare minimum. There is hardly any maintenance cost. The accuracies achievable are the same even after many years.
The quality and reliability of these machines should be attributed to the use of high grade castings, high quality LM guides, ball screws, electricals, safety controls and other inputs adding value. Our products are known for yielding consistent accuracy, high quality and productivity. Even with passage of time, the variation levels are low and wear out of parts are negligible, while the outputs remain the same. All this happens because of our high standards of production.
Horizontal machining center
Q. What about your machining centers? How are they unique?
We build our machines with best- in -class quality parts machined within close tolerance . Our machining centers are heavy duty machines with high accuracy which improves overall manufacturing efficiency. We offer host of accessories with our machining centers. We also provide Tooled-up solutions for all types of critical components.
Q. What have you to say about your manufacturing excellence?
All our systems are ERP integrated. we have been following lean manufacturing practices, optimizing the use of materials and also saving time. On an average, 800 parts goes into each machine. Be it making of parts or assembly of machines, the cycle time is very important. Each process & sub-process are meticulously monitored and recorded. The result is that we are able to chisel out machines which are world-class with high level of efficiency and productivity.
Q. How do you infuse quality and reliability in your products?
At LMW, quality is the first priority. We want our machines to give trouble-free performance. We are known for high up times in our machines. State-of-art facilities to make most of the sub assemblies within the company, this includes having one of the finest foundry, sheet metal, paint shop, machine shop and spindle manufacturing facilities.
Vertical machining center
Q. Could you say something about your manufacturing facilities?
We have a modern manufacturing plant equipped with the best of mother machines, grinding, finishing and testing machines-all at par with renowned international machine tool manufacturers. We have an excellent team of design engineers which makes use of the best of software and systems. Our application engineering, have vast experience of handling variety of components, helps in fine tuning our equipment and offer tooled up solutions to our customers.
Q. Do you have any benchmark for quality?
As you know, all prominent international players are present here. We compete with the international brands -like DMG, Mazak, Makino and Mori Seiki. In fact, our own stringent quality standards are at par with the standards of such reputed names. We have a system of conducting pre-order trials which includes checking for conformity to all quality parameters, tests at the lower end and ensuring the lowest cycle time. Only after we are satisfied with the self-imposed trials do we accept the order from the customer.
Q. What’s your delivery for custom-built machines?
For tooled up and customised machines, our delivery is 16-18 weeks, whereas for our standard machines it is six weeks.
Q. Who are your major customers?
A. We have customers from various industry segments like automobiles, auto components, pumps and valves, general engineering, tool and die, Power generation, oil and gas , Defence, educational institutions and so on. Among them, automobiles and auto components contribute 70% of our business.
Q. Why do customers come to you again and again?
A. We work towards customer delight . Our customers are happy dealing with us. It is basically because of their comfort level they come back to us. They know they can trust us since we have been around for over five decades. We are transparent and our policies are unambiguous.
They know they can bank on a company like LMW for quality products and good service at all times. We have customers who are with us for 15-20 years now. The operators working on our machines are quite happy. Operators know they can give better outputs working on our machines and can get higher incentives. We practice highly ethical corporate policies.
Q. What are your major milestone?
In ‘88 our new state-of-art plant for manufacturing CNC lathes and machining centres in collaboration with Mori Seiki became operational; In ‘93 we added a foundry so that we could manufacture high quality castings in-house; In ‘95 we joined hands with Mikron, Switzerland for manufacture of CNC tool rooms machines.
Subsequently we came out with a number of futuristic products like horizontal machining centres and multi-tasking machines which are not only user-friendly but also robust, high precision and reliable for machining out high quality parts.
Q. What are your future thrusts?
We shall be coming out with more new products for existing and newer segments of the industry. Today 70% of the country’s requirement of machine tools are still imported. Our endeavour will be to come out with high end machines to substitute imports and continue our growth story and become a global player.