Incredible stories of Indian Manufacturing

Innovation at the Core

Rashmi Ranjan Mohapatra - KEMPPI

Innovation takes a central point in all of Kemppi’s products and solutions. Right from ‘Inverter Technology’, to ‘Digital Welding’ to modern day ‘Internet of Welding’, Kemppi has created a benchmark in the world of welding. Talking to Machine Maker, Mr. Rashmi Ranjan Mohapatra, Managing Director, Kemppi India Pvt. Ltd. shares Kemppi’s tryst with innovation as well as his insight into the future of welding industry.

Welding is a constantly evolving area. What are the latest trends that are guiding the welding industry?

Welding ecosystem is primarily driven by the technology. The technology may not be linked to “welding” directly. But it will have an impact on welding. With the advent of new material, new challenges in design, every new opportunity comes with a hoard of the challenge. To translate each opportunity existing in the ecosystem to welding is critical.

In the current context Industry 4.0 is the buzzword. Organizations are getting ready to take the plunge into this. This is another revolution in the manufacturing industry. We are now talking about COBOTs from ROBOTs and sensors/ actuators etc to get in the real-time data and connectivity among machines.

The latest data shows that by the year 2020; 50 billion devices will be connected to the Internet of Things. If the internet is driving the society today – Welding cannot be left far behind.

Today, interestingly 80% of the welding machines is electronics. The size of the Global Welding Equipment market is $9724 million. This shows the enormity of the size and the scale welding equipment can run through.

Innovation is a word that goes best with Kemppi since it introduced many firsts to the world of welding. According to you, what were the breakthrough innovations by Kemppi that changed the concept of welding?

Kemppi, the leading European arc welding technology company in India, redefines what is possible in the connected welding world. With its roots in Finland, this innovator of digital welding continues to grow in India. Innovation has always been at the core of Kemppi’s operations. We like to think that by continuously challenging conventional ways of manufacturing, it is possible to create new, more productive and safer ways to manufacture. Today, welding innovation is enabled by digitalisation. We talk about the Internet of WeldingTM, meaning globally connected manufacturing from the welders on the shop floor to universal multi-site welding management.

‘Smart Manufacturing’ or 'Industry 4.0' is going to be the future of manufacturing industry. How is Kemppi readying itself to cater to this new age manufacturing sector?

The internet changed the way of working by connecting all the PCs of the world – as a matter of fact, Kemppi created the “Internet of Welding.”

The full potential of the Internet of Welding

TM was harnessed when Kemppi launched WeldEye, the universal welding management software in 2016. Recently, there was the rise of the most intelligent industrial welding system, the X8 MIG.Welder, with native connectivity to the Internet, extremely precise and fast control of the arc, digital WPS feature, and an advanced yet practical Control Pad for the remote control of the welding system.

We also have our own component development to ensure our customers get sustainable premium products. The truth is that you cannot expect to have quality welds without quality equipment.

Please throw some light on the R&D initiatives by Kemppi which play a major role in driving innovations in Kemppi.

Research, development and innovation (R&D&I) form the heart of Kemppi. 10% of Kemppi’s annual turnover is allocated to R&D activities, and up to 50% of development resources is dedicated to product testing. All this builds on our understanding of our customers’ needs and challenges as well as our commitment to solve them as intelligently as possible.

Investments in R&D have certainly paid off. Kemppi was the first company in the welding world to introduce the inverter power source already in the 1970s. Since then, inverter technology has established its position as the most common power source technology in the world. The company continued to redefine existing technology solutions and was the first manufacturer in the world to use digital welding technology already in 1993.

What is your outlook for the welding sector in India? What will be the key drivers of growth for your company in the near future?

Manufacturing is estimated to have an enormous impact on the well-being of Indian economy, according to the ‘Make in India’ initiative. Currently contributing 14% of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP), the share of manufacturing is estimated to be up to 20% of the GDP of India in 2020.

Achieving this growth will depend a lot on all links in the manufacturing value chain. That is where digital welding can help by simplifying welding production, traceability and WPS management.

With customers in railway, power, automotive and shipbuilding industries, Kemppi offers complete solutions of welding equipment, software and services for manual, mechanised and automated welding worldwide. In the last few years, welding quality management has been in the spotlight across several industries.

In India, manufacturing companies are searching for more quality systems which are integrated with EN/ASME standards. There will be an enormous need for qualified welders within the coming years. It has been estimated that India needs up to five million new qualified welders by 2020. This is a challenge for the whole manufacturing industry, and Kemppi wants to take a central role in this development.

Kemppi works closely together with national welding institutes, universities, and other professional development organisations. It is a member of a network covering 25 universities and colleges in India targeting to develop modern welding skills. The new skillset combining MIG, MAG, MMA and TIG with new generation technology is critical in ensuring the quality of welding in the midst of new materials and technologies, complex end-products and versatile customer demands.

In 2016, foreign investments in India reached an all-time high, totaling 21.6 billion USD. The growth from the previous year was a staggering 30%. India continues to be an attractive target for global investments. As welding is closely linked to these industries, its outlook for the current year is highly positive. This is a very exciting year for us. Kemppi India is expanding geographically into second tier towns and penetrating to the big cities. At the same time, we are expanding our product portfolio to better meet the versatile needs of the Indian manufacturing industry. We intend to grow our partner network significantly; our aim is to have 100 dealers in the next three years. And Kemppi India’s goal is to become the number one subsidiary in Kemppi. I have strong faith in our operations and expertise, and am confident we will reach our goals.

Rashmi Ranjan Mohapatra is the Managing Director of Kemppi India, with years of experience in multiple fields owing to the different brands like BOC India Ltd, Sabre Safety Ltd, Ador Welding that has worked with. He was also a consultant to the Government of Netherlands-External Affairs Ministry. He is passionate about building organizations which have immensely benefited the growth of Kemppi. Mr. Ranjan believes that by continuously challenging conventional ways of manufacturing, it is possible to create new, more productive and safer ways to manufacture.