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Ashok Kumar Gupta, Chairman, Crane-Bel International

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Interview
In the machine tools industry, just one company in India has received a National Award and the company is Crane-Bel International. Recently, it was honoured with yet another award for developing a unique oil filtration system, which conserves oil and improves machine efficiency. The man behind such technologies, Ashok Kumar Gupta, Chairman, Crane-Bel International, spoke to Vijay Soni about the changing trends in the industry.

Crane-Bel has been in the limelight for winning several national awards. Can you name them and the reason it was conferred?
One of the most prestigious awards that we received was the National Award - 2006 in Machine Tools segment. We are the only company in this segment to have received this award so far. Our products went through rigorous quality check and we received 100% customer satisfaction feedback. It was a moment of pride for us. We have also been conferred the National Award - 2007 for our efforts in the field of Automation and Industrial Hydraulic Equipments. We bagged yet another award - Entrepreneurs Award for outstanding achievements in 2008.

You received National Award for Systemguard - an oil filtration system. What are its distinct features?
Our Portable Oil Filtration and Purification system removes ferro-magnetic and water contamination from hydraulic and lubrication oils. It offers triple filtration for pro-active maintenance by systematic contamination control. Its unique feature includes conservation of oil and is an indispensable tool for increasing efficiency and performance life of plant and machinery.

What are the products and services that you provide to your customers?
We are a full line supplier of almost everything in Machine Tools and Fluid Power Technology/Hydraulic products. We are associated with almost all the industrial sectors, from components, spares & accessories to complete tooled up automatic machines and turnkey projects.

Quality is an integral part of machine tool segment. How to you adhere to international standards while manufacturing your products?
Our quality management system is based on internationally accepted ISO 9000 standards. The company's ISO 9001:2000 certification is for design, manufacture & marketing of Broaching Machines, Hydraulic Presses, Special Purpose Machines, Test Rigs, Hydraulic Machines, Automation Systems, Hydraulic Cylinders, Accumulators, Oil Filtration Systems, Power-Packs and Parts & Accessories like Pumps, Valves, components etc.

How do you ensure customers' satisfaction?
We work with customers in resolving their problems and make their plant, machinery and system more reliable, more productive with least maintenance cost. We lay more emphasis on the customers' requirement and our engineers and technicians offer their undivided attention to resolve their problems and deliver the best suited solution.

Your Broaching Machines are quite popular. What is its strength?
We offer user-friendly, simple and highly productive Broaching machines requiring minimum maintenance. The range include Vertical pull type, Multi-station, Low height, Table-up, Surface Broaching, Push down/C-Frame type, Horizontal and Pot Broaching Machines. These machines are available in a wide range of capacities ranging from 3 tonnes to 75 tonnes and strokes ranging from 600 mm to 2500 mm.

Do you have any expansion plan in the near future?
We have a plan to double our turnover during the next three years by adding new features in our products, improving the quality and productivity of our Machine Tools, increasing production in the existing factory and appointing marketing agent all over the country.

Are you planning to supplement your export product line?
We have exported our Broaching Machines to Thailand and Indonesia. We do not emphasis much on export and instead work towards developing import substitutes. We developed Hydraulic Equipments, Systems and Test Rigs for HALs, Space Centers and Ordnance Factories which helped them save a lot of foreign exchange.

Where do we stand vis-à-vis developed countries in Machine Tool technology?
We are at par with the West in technology but in automation, we are a step ahead of them. For us, the key to success lies in adopting latest technology. Technology doesn't mean just new knowledge and research, it also means new products blended well with innovative ideas to meet the growing demand of modern industries. Our new generation of Broaching Machine has the latest technology for low heights and moving table designs.

What's your reaction to the Budget - Is it friendly to industries?
Overall, the budget was good. From an industrialist's point of view, increasing excise duty from 8% to 10% was unexpected. Many industries are still in the process of recovery and it would pinch them definitely. In my opinion, Govt. should emphasis more on increasing productivity by sorting out basic production related problems like infrastructure, power and easy and affordable availability of finance to the industry. Steps should also be taken to increase agriculture production to help ease the demand besides controlling the commodity prices.


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