Ludhiana-based GNA Udyog Ltd, part of the GNA Group, is investing Rs 50 crore this year to expand capacity. Currently the company has an installed capacity to make 30,000 drivelines a month and plans to treble this volume in two years.
Revealing the gameplan, CEO Maninder Singh Seehra says as part of the programme the company is setting up a forging plant, which will initially enhance the capacity to 75,000 units per month. “The target is to make 100,000 drivelines a month within two years. This is primarily due to the demand from our customers, with some trebling their requirements,” he says. Besides, the company has also received lots of RFQs including Daimler from Germany (for the E-Class and vans), Caterpillar and JCB.
Since most of the orders have to be executed in about two years, the capacity has to expand to 100,000 units a month.
Towards this, the company has recently procured lands adjacent to its existing facility in Bundala, 20km from Jalandhar. It has also taken up a project to recondition the existing machines, retrofit with new implements and partially automate certain manufacturing lines to optimise space and enhance productivity, eventually increasing capacity. GNA Udyog will progressively invest Rs 20 crore in its operations during 2011-12.
Meanwhile, as part of its environment-friendly initiatives, the company has recently begun recirculating oil and water. It is replacing oil-fired furnaces with induction furnaces to optimise efficiency and also to have better control over quality. “The critical improvement will be on process optimisation. Implementation of these processes will commence within six months and gradually go full steam by April next year. Currently the internal PPM is at 200; with these initiatives, it will fall to 50 PPM and also reduce workers’ stress levels,” he said.
Since power availability is an issue, the company is setting up a 66 KVA sub-station and also working on obtaining power from private developers. “We are taking initiatives to reduce carbon emission, by practicing lean manufacturing techniques and utilising energy efficient equipment. And we are in consultation with some foreign companies to improve workplace safety,” he said.
Next year’s expansion programme will improve the company’s forging capabilities. Currently about 30 percent of its product portfolio is designed and validated in-house; this is planned to grow to 70 percent over the next five years. The accent is going to be on new product development, which will account for 30 percent of overall sales.
Till now, GNA Udyog has been manufacturing propeller shafts based on OEM designs. Now it plans to set up its R&D facility to design and develop new products. It plans to increase its 500-strong workforce, which include 150 engineers, with another 50 engineers to support new research activities. “If companies do not have their own technology, they may not be self-sustaining in the future. We are preparing our company to manage the challenges of the future and therefore we are gearing up our R&D,” he said.
As part of this initiative, GNA Udyog plans to enhance its knowledge capital by harnessing the inherent potential of its people. Elaborating the strategy, Seehra says line managers or supervisors will graduate to a level so that they become the competent authority in a particular operation. In partnership with REC Jallandhar, it has developed programmes on process and product know-how. About 20 staffers, from the shopfloor and newly recruited graduate engineers, will take up the six-month programme, enabling them to widen their knowledge base and to think of other aspects other than only production.