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Leaders Speak: Rick, Chairman, Yeong Chin Machinery Industries Co. Ltd.(YCM)

September 26, 2019

Q:Your opinion on the Indian die mould industry

In today’s global economic situation, there are 3 major impacts that may reshape the Indian die mould industry. The first impact is the instability of globalisation that was initiated as result of the US-China trade war and Brexit. Nationalism has overtaken globalisation and has left multinational corporation squandering for new manufacturing base. India, Southeast Asia and South America becomes an obvious choice for relocation of manufacturing base in the automotive, electronics and durable goods. Thus, the demand for die mould will drastically increase in the next 5 years in these growing areas. Due to the impact of US-China Trade war, Chinese die mould maker will look at these markets for future growth and compete with local die mould makers. This will force the local die mould makers to upgrade competitiveness in die mould from equipment and process technology as well as management.
The 2nd impact is the uncertainty of automotive development. As India evolves into world’s economic power, automotive industry is one of the driving forces for India’s growth. But the uncertainty of the future development of automotive technology leaves tool makers uncertain of their strategy for growth. There is a growing dispute whether EV (Electrical Vehicle) is the future, pending on advancement on battery technology. There is also increased development of hydrogen fuel cells. In any case, the future development in automotive will certainly reshape the automotive industry into a more consumeroriented market strategy that focuses on customisation to various consumer segments. This translates to higher demand for mould with shorter life cycle. The challenge will be to provide moulds and dies at shorter lead time with lower cost.
The 3rd impact will be digitisation. There is a driving force towards digitisation from IoT, Big Data and CPS. Currently, Indian die moulds are still mostly produced through traditional processes. Europe, US, Japan and China are rapidly digitising their factory and optimising their process to produce die moulds at faster rate and lower cost. For India to compete, there must be a jump from traditional ways directly into digitisation and rely on data analysis for process improvements.

Tell us about your solutions and how it helps end-users in enhancing productivity and efficiency?

YCM recognises the need for tooling suppliers to improve competitiveness through process improvements and technology. Thus, YCM focuses developments in three key areas. First of all, Smart machines will be the first step to directly enhance productivity and efficiency. Through YCM’s domain knowledge in die mould machining, smart functions are embedded in the software for YCM machines to allow machines to rough machine faster while providing improved profile accuracy during finishing process. YCM also provides value-added nalysis of machining process to optimise the machining parameters to achieve faster machining with better surface finish and tool life.

Secondly, smart factory management will be necessary to monitor all the machines utilisation and performance. YCM has introduced the i-Direct Smart Manufacturing System to allow factory managers to achieve visibility and transparency of the factory. i-Direct offers real time status
of the shop floor and providing day to day reporting that allows factory managers to recognise the bottlenecks of their manufacturing process. This allows factory managers to continuously improve and optimise their shop floor to eliminate the seven common wastes that occur in factories.

After optimising the shop floor, the third development focus is smart automation. Today, all factories face the challenge of finding insufficient skilled labour. Thus, more and more shop owners are investing in automation to replace the labors. The challenge in automation is the initial large investment necessary that does not necessarily guarantee reduction in cost and labour. YCM offers smart automation solution for die mould makers that includes 5-axis solution with NFX-400A that includes 6 auto palletised system that is ideal for high mix and low volume production. YCM’s smart automation solutions allows easy setup and lights out machining over the weekend that can be remotely monitored from your phone, notebook or pad from anywhere with internet connection.

Q:YCM recently won an award. Tell us about these solutions and how can it help the mould makers achieve higher productivity?

YCM’s NFX800B-MPS is recognised by winning the grand award from Taiwan Machine Tools in the category of Intelligent Machine Tools. The all-new NFX800B-MPS, is a multi-axis flexible manufacturing system, with a number of patents and advanced technologies. It is particularly suited to efficiently manufacture geometrically complex and highaccuracy parts in aerospace industry. To achieve highest productivity and efficiency, it features 5-axis machining in one clamping in a smaller footprint. Also, it provides an ultimate solution against thermal issue to maintain high
stability during long-time machining.

To bring more competitive advantages along the entire value chain, there are 3 elements of smart factory applied in NFX800B-MPS. First of all, the most vexing problems will be solved with its smart automation and its 5-axis rotary table equipped with accurate jaw system. It allows multiple
pallets change that enhances the flexibility in automated module applications. Secondly, it is identified as a smart machine as the vital sensors are strategically placed throughout the machine. After the big data analytics and cloud based real-time monitoring, the intelligent software from iPros MX and advanced hardware will work in unison.
Furthermore, the plants manager and owners can smartly manage the shop by applying YCM’s latest IoT solution i-Direct. This system will connect all your equipment and provide real-time analysis of live data from the production environment. And you can easily track production status, manage factory utilisation and monitor your Overall Equipment Effectiveness (OEE).NFX800B-MPS, with the sophisticated structure design and smart manufacturing solutions, achieves the ultimate machining accuracy, performance and operating convenience. This is undoubtedly the best value-added product for customers.

Q:The Indian die mould industry is growing rapidly. But do you think it will have positive impact on CNC machine suppliers as well?

There will definitely be a positive impact on CNC machine supplier as Indian die mould market grows rapidly. More and more Indian tool makers are upgrading their CNC equipment to meet higher expectation from their customers. YCM offers large variety of machining solutions for die mould industry. YCM has been providing die mould CNC machines for Asian market for the past 40 years and is one of the leader in providing die mould solutions. Therefore, YCM has recently joined up with S&T in India to set up a factory to produce high quality CNC machines for India’s die mould industry.

Q:How has the recent Indian automotive industry slowdown impacted you and die mould industry in general?

The recent slowdown in Indian automotive industry definitely has an impact, but we believe the slowdown is only temporary and short term. During the slowdown, it is the ideal time for toolmakers to analyse and improve their competitiveness through process improvements. This will lead to improved productivity and profit margin with shorter lead times when the Indian automotive industry improves.

Q:What kinds of opportunities you see in Indian die mould industry?

In today’s manufacturing world, there is an obviousshift from globalisation to localisation. Advanced anddeveloped countries are looking for new technology and solutions to improve their competitiveness to bring back manufacturing from developing countries. Customers are looking for ways to make things faster and better with lower cost.India is a market with very high potential and huge internal demand. Looking at the growth in Indian manufacturing industry, we are very much confident about the Indian machine tool market. Together with S&T Engineers, we can become a major player in India with our excellent technology backed by S&T’s strong sales & application support.

Q:As a supplier to tool and die makers, what are your suggestions to them in regards to the adoption of the technologies?

My suggestion would be not to focus on buying equipment based on your current process. The focus should be on buying machining solutions to help improve your competitiveness through improved productivity and increased utilisation of your equipment. Both will translate into better profit margin and improved quality and lead time.

Q:While working with mould makers from around the world, what are the fundamental differences you witnessed while dealing with Indian mould makers in comparison with foreign tool makers?

There are very little fundamental differences between Indian mould makers and foreign tool makers. Indian mould market is still very young and all the mould makers around the world went through the same growing pains as the Indian mould makers are facing today. India has great potential to develop into the top die mould manufacturer in the world because of the large internal demand for die mould. It will be up to tool makers in India to quickly close the gap with others around the world.

Q:Your future plan for the Indian market?

YCM’s future plan for Indian market is to quickly set up an assembly plant in India for high quality CNC machining centers. On August 22nd 2019 we signed a Joint Venture with S&T Engineers Pvt Ltd to jointly produce few models of Vertical Machining Centers in the first phase. Furthermore, YCM will be focused on setting up technology centers in India to provide the latest die mould solutions to Indian tools makers. We had just recently completed successful mould making solution seminar in Mumbai in cooperation with S&T Group and Excetek wire EDM and we look forward to providing more solution based technical seminars to other markets in India.

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