A Talk with Machinery Solution Providers Mr. Hitesh Ruparel, MD, H R Industries

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HR Industries is well-known ‘Impregnation Line’ producer in India, having more than 50 % market share due to their innovation, good quality and better service to the industry. With expanding industry manufacturing in HPL, LPL and Plywood, they have maintained the same pace of innovation to offer high quality machines that improves the products quality, reduce energy consumption and wastage. In this issue of ‘Machinery Talk’, The Ply Reporter interviewed Mr. Hitesh Ruparel, the man behind the success of HR Industries, about the latest innovation in Impregnation Lines and precautions to improve the life of machines.

Q. How can one identify a good quality of Impregnation line?

A. An Impregnation line which carries a Brand, and the Brand speaks of Quality! While few Impregnation Lines in India are made to acceptable standards, their general and specific qualities can vary widely. Poor-quality Impregnation Lines are often put on the market due to ignorance or greed. Unfortunately, for the uninformed HPL owner, a high-quality Impregnation Lines and one of poor quality will look and feel the same.

Always try to get the best machine that one’s budget can afford.

Best machine does not signify the one with more superfluous components but one made with quality parts. One that isn’t going to break in a matter of months and not be worth repairing. Consider this an investment, which will reward you over the years!

While budgeting for a good quality Impregnation line, it is better to keep in mind the products that one wishes to produce over the years, the product specialists those who are going to work on the machine and the regular workers and Maintenance team. Squeezing on any front leads to a break-down situation down the years.

Q. What are the recent innovations by HR industries for HPL, LPL and Plywood sector.

A. Mostly we have directed our innovations this year towards achieving “process innovations” through our machines. We have our “Energy Efficient dryers”, a significant improvement over our previous dryers, which have significantly improved on the “input cost of energy” on our machines.

“Accuracy” of our Rotary cutters which have resultedin “zero wastages” in certain process stages and automation of some processes reducing human folly and wastages. “Coaters” for HPL and LPL Industry at each price & product point.

Q. How these innovations helping to improve the quality of finished products?

A. For sustainable Competitiveness innovation and quality are inter dependent. The recent technologically innovative process that we have included in our Machines, are results of long years of process observations and need of the Impregnation Industry.

In a Consumer centric market these innovations help in improving quality of finished products in various ways.

The “accuracy” factor focuses on standardization and optimization while our “EE Dryers” leads the way in Energy optimization and drying effectiveness. This results in better quality of impregnated papers rather than over or under dried Impregnated papers.

Q. How these innovations are required for saving input cost of material?

A. Not all innovations are intended for input cost savings though in India, generally all innovations are directed in this regard. There is product innovation and there is process innovation involved.

Mostly we have directed our innovations this year towards achieving “process innovations” through our machine as we have said before.

We have significantly improved on the “input cost of energy” on our machines, zero wastages in certain process stages that earlier used to result in losses and automation of some processes reducing human folly and wastages. We have reduced the cost of impregnation through addition of rotary trimmers.

These innovations have resulted in a new or we can say a significantly improved production and delivery method, resulting in input cost savings.

Q. How do you see the future expansion in HPL, LPL and Plywood production capacity?

A. We generally look into the industry through our sales per year. Our sales have been increasing year on year and there is no dearth from any of the sectors, be it Plywood, HPL or Pre-Lam industry. We attribute this continuous increase in the present scenario to a shift more towards the organized sector and customer’s preference for good quality and branded products. We predict that more and more players or rather say new entrants will enter in this sector. The market for Plywood, Pre-lam and HPL is directly linked with the real estate sector and the existing housing market. People’s disposable income and a shift towards luxury living is driving these markets to great heights. If the industry consolidates, then how do you see the

Q. If the industry consolidates, then how do you see the growth of machinery manufacturers?

A. If we speak of Plywood, HPL and Pre-Lam industry in general then Industry consolidation will be the amalgamation of smaller operators in the unorganized sector into larger companies, resulting in fewer but more powerful industry participants.

This will happen and as it has happened in every other industry and country! But the consolidation will also need to be managed in a more mature way rather than running a big Corporation in numbers!

Consolidation activity usually signifies an industry in the mature phase of its life cycle, as established operators acquire competitors in an effort to strengthen their market position.

In India, the un-organized sector has been running with age-old process technology and machines. Investing in new technology will be a priority activity for the new consolidated companies and there-in we see the future for machine manufacturers!

Machine manufacturers will reap enormous dividends in the coming years if they succeed in supplying quality machines and new age technology machines.

Q. How do you estimate the scenario of HPL sector after two years and how?

A. Indian HPL sector will be in a progressive state in the next 2 years!We predict that there will be growing popularity for better and environmentally friendly products in the coming years! This trend will be driven both by the Architects and consumers. Big and consolidated companied will tend to reduce carbon footprints and reduce emissions of all sorts! This
will put pressure on their profit numbers in the initial phases but will give rich dividends in the follow-up years!

The faster the companies adapt to new environmentally friendly process it will be easier for them to tap into Government incentives, which usually run through the initial years! We envisage that there will be trend for Big Companies to be multi-product companies.Multi-product with multicapacity (Consolidate Companies) will rule the roost! There will be better designed manufacturing facilities making clean products and healthy products.

Q. What is your suggestion to industry in present scenario?

A. Entrepreneurs should try to get machines that they can grow into. By this we mean that get a machine that has relevance to the consumer demands, the market requirements.
Machine that does not bog you down with un-necessary features, features which does not have relevance in the Indian context and something which allows quality production without compromises. The aim should be to acquire something which can accommodate present requirements more than future dreams! What should serve the present and immediate market
requirements should serve well for the Company’s growth.

Q. It is said that HR takes approximately 50 % share in impregnation lines installed in India. Why so?

A. In almost 4 decades of our existence, we have supplied variety of machines to our innumerable customers. Our customers now assume that quality is a given. This is the brand image of our company, H R Industries. In this present information age, customers are more aware of competitive suppliers, as well as suppliers with poor performance. Performance speaks volumes for the brand and this is what has been the mainstay for the company. Our competitive advantages are based on features and capability rather than quality alone, we deliver a solution with virtually perfect quality. Delivering a solution that is unique to each customer is unique to H R Industries and we believe that this accounts for a large part to our market success and market share!

For a smooth running of a machine, it should have systematic down-time for preventive maintenance and repair. Most of the Indian Companies have multiple operators running each Impregnation line in different shifts. In this scenario it is a must that there should be an inspector who checks on the operator and oversee into the correctness of the operation procedures.

Q. Share your experience about growth of HPL industries in India during last 8 years?

A. If we look back into the last 8 years of the HPL Industry, there has been a tremendous change. The Industry used to be the Industry and the consumers used to be the consumers. There never was any synergy between what the consumers’ focus was and what should be the Company’s focus. The Industry and consumer through these years had a symbiotic change. The awareness among the consumers of product variants, the awareness among the companies to create a brand and teach the consumer, all these have brought in a right attitude of involvement and acceptance. Primarily the Industry has changed from being just a Laminate producer of different colour/texture and price to a specific Engineered product manufacturer. Indian HPL’s are exported world- wide and commands respect in quality and price. To foster these changes and create a respectable market, the Industry Titans have put in their best efforts over many years. Product variations, specific application products and luxury products all are manufactured in India. Consumer awareness and choice remains the main driving force now.

Q. Please suggest 5 tips to increase the life or smooth functioning of an impregnation line.

A. H R Industries manufactures different types of Impregnation lines suitable from every price and product point of view. We have been ardent follower of the adage that “buy what you need”. In this case focus should also be given to the smooth running of the machine over the years.

Indian manufacturers still lag behind their global peers in maintenance planning—areas that contribute to their lower productivity and bottlenecks.

For a smooth running of a machine, it should have systematic down-time for preventive maintenance and repair.

Most of the Indian Companies have multiple operators running each Impregnation line in different shifts. In this scenario it is a must that there should be an inspector who checks on the operator and oversee into the correctness of the operation procedures. Standardizing maintenance jobs and empowering its operations to maintenance employees to identify potential problems of key machines that had previously been prone to creating production bottlenecks is one of the most important points in the smooth functioning of an Impregnation line.

Correct procedure leads to less breakdowns, less repair work and life cycle expectations for reliability.

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