As part of its global strategy of being near to its customers, Himile Molds India Pvt Ltd, part of major tyre mould maker Himile China, opened its first modern manufacturing plant in India.
Spreading over six acres, the Himile Molds India’s new plant is located at Salvi GIDC, Gujarat, manufacturing hub of many international conglomerates.
The opening ceremony of the plant was attended by the senior Himile management, leading tyre companies in India and other industrial professionals.
In his keynote address, Wei Zhang, Sr Vice President, Himile Group, said, “As an important automobile market in the world, India has many excellent tyre companies. I am honored to take this opportunity to set foot on this vibrant land again and communicate with everyone.”
Himile Molds India private limited is a subsidiary company of Himile Mechanical Science and Technology China.
As part of Himile’s vision of focusing on customer’s requirements, the company established Himile India in January 2016 to supply quality products and a wide range of services for its customers in India.
In the same year, Himile Molds India started trial production in a leased plant. The leased plant obtained an ISO 9001 - 2015 certification from TUV SUD and the company’s production capabilities were audited and approved by all major tyre companies in India. By the end of 2016, Himile had exported the first consignment from the Indian plant. Within two years, by April 2018, Himile India clocked eight times growth in its year on yearbusiness. The rapid growth led Himile to purchase a new plant in 2018 in Vadodara. In 2019 the company shifted its production to the new plant and started segmented mould (PCR and TBR) facility as well to meet the growing demand of the Indian market.
“We started with simple mould repair business, and today we are equipped to manufacture segmented mould processing. All these developments cannot be achieved without our Customers support and the efforts of Himile staff,” added Wei Zhang.
He also added that the excellent development of Himile India gives the parent company confidence to make a difference in India. “Himile is keen to work together with you (tyre companies) to jointly create a better launching pad for bigger growth,” said Wei Zhang.
The Himile Indian entity focus on customers requirements and satisfaction and to achieve this, the company put persistent efforts to improve technology and employeesKnowledge.
Junlei Wang, Managing Director, Himile India said, “The opening of our first manufacturing plant in India in the vibrant industrial state of Gujarat is a giant leap for Himile’s growth to serve the Indian tyre industry in a better manner.”
Before finalizing Vadodara to set up the manufacturing plant, Himile Group conducted a thorough study in several industrial cities in the country before zeroing-in on Vadodarafor its first plant.
“Vadodara has everything that we were looking for, including supportive government agencies, right kind of on-ground facilities, skilled workers and an overall business-friendly environment,” said Junlei Wang.
Over the years, the company has added leading tyre companies such as ATG, Apollo Tyres, BKT, Bridgestone, Ceat, CAMSO, Continental, Goodyear India, JK Tyre , Maxxis, MRF, TVS Tyres, and others on its client portfolio.
The new plant of India is equipped with the latest technologies and machinery. The Vadodara plant has installed Vertical Turning Machine, Double column Milling Machine, Coordinate Measuring Machine, 4-Axis Engraving Machine, Pre- Load Testing Machine., EDM machine. For segment moulds, it has 5-Axis machining center, Turning & Milling machine,5-Axis Drilling machine, Sipe Cutting machine, Sipe punching machine, Tread pattern milling machine and Annealing/heat treatment furnace to maintain the desired quality of the material.
As of now, The Himile plant has an annual capacity of making 420SETS - Two Wheeler Molds with Bead rings, 600 SETS – PCR/TBR Segmented molds and 850 SETS - Sidewall Plates for PCR/TBR as per present machine capacity.
Sharpening workforce Skills
Apart from having world-class production capabilities, the company also understands the value of their workforce. The company continually engages its employees to improve their skill level. Every year, Himile India offer opportunities to its selected workforce to get trained in Himile China and get hands on experience on new technologies and innovations. As a part of the strategy to infuse its global standards and skills, Himile India deploys skilled and experienced manpower from China to train our local workforce on Himile’s principle, values, technical & manufacturing aspects.
During the panel discussion, Kartik Mahesh Shah, Chief Manager of Product development and Head Product Development of Commercial product at JK Tyre, and Jacob George, Vice President, R&D at CEAT raised an expectation of timely delivery and service from tyre mould makers. The Panelists also said that a manufacturing plant by a global tyre mould maker will help tyre companies in India to have better communication and understanding of tyre moulds.
Wishing the Himile India on its new plant, Vijayy Sehgal, Group Manager, Global Supply Chain, Apollo Tyres said, “We welcome Himile in India. India is a potential market. We hope after having them in India, tyre companies like Apollo Tyres will get benefitted.”
Chen, Chun-hao, Manager, Purchasing & Materials, Maxxis Rubber India said, “We believe our cooperation with Himile India will continue and expect we will get support better than our expectations in future.
The plant will enable us to tap fast-growing demand in India: Junlei Wang, Managing Director, Himile India
What are the factors that have led Himile to set up the plant in India?
For Himile, India has always been an important market. Currently, it is the most potential market for our tyre mould business. To have faster deliveries and better products and service, we have set up this state-of-art plant. The plant will also enable us to tap fast-growing demand in India.
What are the production capabilities of the plant?
Being a global tyre mould maker, we believe in having our own solutions to build our business. Around 60% of equipment installed in our Indian plant had been manufactured by our parent company in China, and the rest have been procured from renowned suppliers from Germany, Taiwan and Japan. For the Indian plant, we have adopted our global manufacturing standards from inception. Consistency is instrumental in our business. From the first mould to last mould, we can assure the same consistency and quality, keeping required dimensions. Now with the current production capabilities, we can manufacture Segmented molds (PCR, TBR, MCR),Two-wheeler and Bias moulds.
Will you also cater to other markets from the Himile India plant?
We have witnessed a phenomenal growth in the Indian market in the past with the support of leading tyre maker in the country. We have already started to supply our products to Sri Lanka and now we are planning to cater the African market from India.
Could you throw some light on Himile as a solution provider?
The Company believes in being a solution provider rather than just a product supplier. We can help our customers to developdrawings of different sizes from their master drawingwith same pattern. With our global service system, we can provide services to customers round the clock, not only for our products but also for the products manufactured by others.
What is the Himile global service system?
In our business, service has become very crucial and understanding this, we have set up our service system in Americas (Himile Americas), Thailand (Himile Thailand) , Europe (Himile Europe), Indonesia (Himile Indonesia), Brazil (Himile Brazil ) and India (Himile India). Our global service system delivers timely service to our customers across the globe.
Could you highlight the core manufacturing technologies of Himile group?
We are equipped with technologies like - Direct machining, EDM, LPD casting and 3D printing.
We are swift in response and quick in actions: Amit Joshi, CEO, Himile India
Now that the company started its plant, what are the immediate challenges you see?
We have been in India for around three years with our own production activities. Now we are having this modern production facility with the latest technologies and machineries. The immediate challenge for us is to enhance the skill set of our local workforce to meet the growing production of our quality products. To tackle this, weare emphasizing on training and skill development programmes. Almost 20% of our local employees have been trained in our parent company to get more experience in new technologies and machineries. We are having skilled Senior Engineers and Technologists from China working with us. Their expertise and skills help the local workforce in a more significant way.
What is the impact of the current slowdown in the auto market, which eventually is impacting tyre companies as well?
Actually, the current slowdown in the Indian auto market has no major impact on our mould business. Instead, from 2018, we have registered double growth in revenue and production capacity. Though the OEM segment has been going through a severe slowdown, replacement market had given some relief. The faith of Tyre companies in our products and new development for their upcoming requirements had helped us to grow in such crucial situation. For next year also we are targeting two-fold growth in our turnover.
Could you tell me about the investment and workforce number?
So far, we have invested approximately Rs100 crore for the plant & machineries. Currently, we have around 250 workforces including experts from China. The kind of growth we are seeing in our business in India, I am sure we will have to increase our workforce soon.
What is the target for the near term?
Himile India plans to continue the growth that we have been witnessing in our business. Not only on the commercial side, but we also intend to be the preferred partner in our business segment. As a solution provider we are also planning to develop different Tooling and Fixtures apart from molds to cater our customers need.
What are the service capabilities?
Himile India is number one in the tyre mould service business in the country. Around 20% of the total revenues is generated from Service which is a considerable chunk. As service business is critical, we are catering the urgent needs of the customer by providing them with best solutions and on time delivery. We provide modifications for segmented moulds, two-wheeler moulds, containers and other products related to moulds. Our service workforce is equipped to provide services not only our products but also for our peers’ products. We are swift in actions and quick in response.
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