Indian AM market estimated at Rs.6k crore

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Q. Additive Manufacturing is bringing constructive disruption in the Indian industry. What are your views on the scope and prospects for AM in India?

We very much agree with the statement “Additive Manufacturing is bringing constructive disruption in the Indian industry”. While Additive Manufacturing is an umbrella term, which includes many other processes such as casting, sintering, cladding, plating, powder coating, painting, shell building, welding etc. 3-D printing is a type of additive manufacturing.
The relatively new process, it is synonymously called as additive manufacturing. 3-D Printing form of additive manufacturing has few advantages over the earlier processes. They are ability to be shaped in complexities never possible before! They can help to combine many parts into few parts and sometimes to just one! They can also help build as an assembly and save on separate assembly process. The most importantly, they are highly customisable and offer extreme production agility. Indian industries should explore AM to create value. That needs a new way of thinking: departing from age old DfMA. Some call it as Design for AM or DfAM. Scope for AM in Indian market is huge, estimated at 6000 Cr. But adoption is the key to reap its benefits.

Q. What’s the revolution AM is bringing in the manufacturing sector?

AM revolution is its capability to customize anything and for least production quantity, One number! Be it in Plastic or metal or some special material. AM also can handle any complexity with no extra cost. For a long time and in future too Manufacturing revolution was all about economy of scale. However, AM is not promising in that sense. They are better in few specific areas that add value. So, AM acts in a complimentary role than a disruptive option.

Q. What’s your niche in AM and your achievements so far?

Apart from a state of the art facility and skill, Imaginarium’s niche has been its capability to listen, learn and deliver whatever our customers wanted. We are into enterprise 3-D printing with a large customer pool. Customers wanted one prototype, we offered, they wanted small batch production we did and now we also deliver them build production through tooling. Customer care, Quality and Quick service have been our main achievements.

Q. Which are the industries going to be benefited from your pioneering efforts and innovations?

First to get benefit was the Jewellery Industry. Largely due to our efforts, 3-D printing has made deep in-roads into jewellery industry today. It has become a default process to make jewellery. They lookup to us for technology, software and service. Custom Dental stents, crowns, braces and allied needs are the second area that got enabled due to our work. With our larger build size printers we have been aiding many automotive companies to test their creations quickly and has contributed to cut the time to market. We were the first was introduced a 3-d printer that can make end user parts. Yes, HP’s Multi Jet Fusion can make end user parts out of nylon material. Recently our Rapid Online Cloud factory platform innovation was honoured with IMTEX Award instituted by the FIE Foundation.

Q. What’s your vision and road map for the coming years?

While we work on cutting edge technologies, we are excited about the future technologies that may arrive to offer better value. We see India as a great market and we would get best technologies to serve it. We see metal AM is becoming popular and will become a regular process in 5 Years. We are also looking at Bio-fabrication and can help save many precious lives. We wish to make AM popular in every sector. We will co-create design for AM to deliver value with / for every customer. With streamlined operations, we plan to scale up. At a broader sense, we wish to empower every individual, organisations and companies with our agile manufacturing to bring their ideas to life.

[As told to P.K. Balasubbramaniian]