Satish Sadasivan, Managing Director, Schunk Intec India Pvt Ltd spoke to DMI at ENGIMACH 2019 about Schunk’s main offerings and his experience of the show
Tell us about your offerings at the show.
As a superior clamping technology and gripping systems company, Schunk’s journey is about moving higher up the supply and process value chain. We not only look at the supplying of products, we also look at ensuring process security and quality. Speaking of our offerings at the show, our showcasing comprises Autonomous Machining solutions.
iTendo, the first intelligent toolholder on the market, is an autonomous process optimization solution in the form of a toolholder, as it offers real-time data communication and process control capabilities.
On the gripping technology front, we have Schunk Co-act [Collaborative Actuator] gripping system for collaborative operations, which interacts intelligently with humans. [Schunk received the Hermes award, the world’s most coveted technology award, at the Hannover Messe 2017, for the SCHUNK Co-act JL1 Gripper. – Editor]
When you speak about Schunk’s journey, is it from a global or an Indian perspective?
Schunk is a German organization and a family-owned business. The organization is very particular that all its launches have to be introduced uniformly across the globe. iTendo is being similarly deployed all across the world. As you know, German organizations are known for their unwavering commitment to technology. We do face a tremendous price pressure in the Indian market, but our solution is to compete on technology rather than on price. In other words, our customers know that with Schunk, they are a getting a solution which is of the same price but is superior [to the competition] in terms of technology and utility.
Customers from the SME segment, which comprises a large part of the Indian manufacturing industry, are highly price conscious. How do you help them see the value that you offer?
In our experience, about 70 percent of our business in India comes from SMEs and the rest comes from large companies. The primary reason for the SME customers’ focus on price is that people who have the responsibility of making a buying decision, like, say, the purchase manager of an organization, is keener on reducing the purchase cost than on knowing more about any particular technology. At the same time, when you actually speak to a decision maker [at the helm] of an SME, his or her goal for his company is to grow and become bigger and better. Hence they invest the time needed to understand a new technology, and see how it can make their operations more efficient and successful. So when we talk to an SME, we take them through the benefits that they are going to get at the end of the manufacturing cycle. Therefore the purchasing deliberations are more extensive with SME customers compared to the larger customers.
Could you give the reasons for your participation in the show, and your expectations from a trade show such as this one, particularly at a time when the industrial growth is a bit subdued in general?
The last ENGIMACH we participated in was 10 years ago. Much has happened in Gujarat since then. As you know, the city of Sanand in Gujarat is a major automobile hub. This year [in 2019] the automotive sector globally and in India has been seeing a period of slow growth. We see this as the right time for our transformative solutions to reach the manufacturers [based at Sanand and other nearby industrial hubs]. It will give manufacturers the opportunity of redesigning their existing capital investment in a way that it performs better at a lower cost –and we are the champions of such a solution. The other key related reason is that Gujarat is a vibrant and a very important manufacturing destination, which is going to become an even more significant global industrial hub in the future.
How has been your experience of the show?
Day one was a slightly lean day, something that we expected, but day two has been very good, very positive. The best thing is that the visitors are very well informed. They ask all the relevant questions; they are people from all the core industries located in the state. We are very happy with the visitor quality — both quantitatively and qualitatively the visitor walk-ins have been highly satisfactory.