Bonfiglioli Transmissions has recently expanded its manufacturing facility in Chennai to double the production in India. Kennady V Kaippally, Country Manager, Bonfiglioli India, shares more...
Key focus areas: We have three business units. The industrial segment serves process industries and mobility; the wind business focuses on off-highway equipment and wind turbines; while mechatronics focuses on electronics integrated products. In the off-highway sector, we are a major player in each of its various segments. Most of the road construction equipment run on our drives now, and we want to continue this success. We are the market leaders in the concrete equipment segment with significant presence in batching plants, concrete mixers, transit mixers and self-loading mixers. The biggest segment by far continues to be the hydraulic excavators. Naturally, this is one application segment that is close to our heart and which is our strength as well. This will be a key focus area for us as we are expanding our penetration in this market.
Technologies for productivity: We have the smart product range that we started a few years ago with integrating sensors, used for collecting data and delivering services to our customers. Some of these products like the swing drive are equipped with sensor units that deliver data, which is collated to provide assistance in predictive maintenance or monitoring applications. Similarly, we have solutions to monitor lubrication conditions and provide scheduled interval for maintenance, specifically in harsh environments. These technologies become more valuable when we serve the market like large mining excavators, where downtime is critical, and so, there is a greater need for predictability. We are now doing projects for material handling and warehousing equipment, using similar concepts in electric drives for monitoring these applications.
Expansion plans: We have expanded our production facility in Chennai, enabling us to double the capacity to meet the growing market demand. We think the current economic slowdown is temporary in nature and the inherent demand for infrastructure remains high in India. This inherent demand has to translate in higher equipment sales and our expansion plans will help us to cater to this expanding demand. We are also focusing on the export market. Last year, our exports were around 20 per cent and this year it has gone up to 35 per cent. Next year, we expect our export to be 40 per cent of our business. So, we continue to leverage competitive manufacturing footprint to gain market share as well.
Excon as a platform: Excon is becoming an important event as the construction equipment market has grown significantly in the recent past. We started our business in India of producing drives for the industrial segment, and after that, grew strongly in the wind business. In the past few years, we have been moving more into the mobile equipment where we are global leaders in several applications. So, Excon becomes an important platform for us to showcase our product offerings. This year, the expo has been far better than expected. We thought that the sentiments and the reactions will be muted, owing to the slowing of demand, but it is heartening to see that people are optimistic.