Tata Ryerson opens processing centres
A growing need from vehicle manufacturers for steel supplies and good product quality is resulting in a demand for steel processing centres. Recognising the opportunity, Tata Ryerson, the joint venture between Tata Steel and Ryerson Inc of the USA, has set up two new steel processing centres, one in Tada in Andhra Pradesh and the other in Pantnagar .
On February 9, Tata Ryerson Ltd (TRyL) inaugurated the new unit at Tada. The centre, set up with an investment of Rs 50 crore, provides a wide range of services including oxy fuel, plasma and laser cutting, shearing, press bending and welding of plates for ordinary carbon steel and alloy steel to a very high strength and high hardness steel. Inaugurating the centre, Frank Munoz, chairman, TRyL, said: “The service centre is a part of our continuous effort to work closely with customers and provide more value to them. The company is adequately equipped to offer a comprehensive range of services for plates to any customer in the ECE segment”.
In his introductory speech, Debabrata Samaddar, chief (marketing and business development) said, “This is the first of its kind plate processing and fabrication centre in the country and we are proud to dedicate this facility in South India, where we have major customers”. Sandipan Chakravortty, TRyL managing director, said: “Located near major OEMs like Caterpillar at Thiruvallur near Chennai, Komatsu in Chennai, Volvo, L&T Komatsu near Bangalore, and Telcon in Dharwad, TRyL’s service centre for plate processing and fabrication is a strategic fit for equipment manufacturers who can now look for service on a Just-in-Time basis. Caterpillar India, a leader in the ECE segment, has not only agreed to source 30 percent of its existing requirement from TRyL, but requested it to meet the demand for its operations in the entire South East Asia and Australia”.
Abraham G Stephanos, chief operating officer, Tata Ryerson, said: “This is the phase one of our facility. In the first phase, we will be employing about 150 people. There would be around 40 officers and the rest recruited locally. More than 60 percent of our employees are from the local area. We are also scouting for talent from local educational institutions like ITI. Furthermore, we provide in-house training. At a future date, some select people would get trained at our plants in the US, Mexico and China. We have a lot of plans for the future. Phase II and III will see plant expansion and eventually, this facility will triple its capacity.”
According to Venu G Garimidi, purchasing manager, Caterpillar, “This is a major milestone as far as Tata Ryerson is concerned. We have a solid partnership with the company during the downturn as well as the upturn. I am sure the market will improve within few quarters.”
Ravi Shankar, senior official of Telcon India, also looked forward to have a long and fruitful business association. Speaking about the new facility and its size, GSN Murthy, chief of operations of the Tata Ryerson Tada plant, said: “The total land area is 10 acres, of which 40 percent is the built-up area and the rest as a land bank. We have employed around 150 people. While some machinery is from India, some are imported from China and Japan. In the second phase of expansion we would go in for fabrication and welding. When the work of all the three phases is complete, we would have invested around Rs 200 crore. Other than Caterpillar, which is our main client, we cater to a host of customers including Bharat Earth Movers, Komatsu, L&T, Telecon, Ashok Leyland, and L&T-Komatsu, among others. Initially, we will be manufacturing only steel plate cutting and components for earthmoving equipment manufacturers. In the second phase, we will produce cabins and fabrication works. This is our first such facility in the South.” Automotive focus
The company is also targeting the automobile industry, given that most of the world’s auto majors are already in India, drawn by the large market, low labour rate and the country still being a sound economy in the face of a global downturn. TRyL aims to cater to their various needs ranging from good quality raw material, quantity and Just In Time practices. Its Steel Service Centre helps sources the steel from the steel mills, stocks them in state-of-the-art inventory houses, processes them with world class machinery and finally packs and dispatches them. This entire process adds considerable value in the automotive value chain.
Set up in 1997, the joint venture’s aim was to bring world class steel service centre solutions to industrial customers in India. Top-notch processing facilities and comprehensive quality assurance systems have combined to make Tata Ryerson a benchmark in the service centre industry. The company’s plants have received ISO9001, 9002-1994 and QS9000 and TS16949 quality system certification and recognised as Tata Steel's best distributor for the year 2008. TRyL has also bagged the Rajiv Gandhi National Quality Award for its large scale service centres in 2007. The company's operations are integrated using the SAP R/3 platform which provides real time data for customers.
Gunning for quality
Team Tata Ryerson, with a 1,660-strong committed workforce is guided by the company’s ethical business practice and values such as credibility, customer focus, continuous improvement, agility and teamwork. TRyL’s latest entry into value added Stage II and III service centres will add to its existing stable of sophisticated processing facilities (hot rolled, cold rolled – both coated and uncoated, SS and rebar) in Jamshedpur, Pune and Faridabad. The company has also pioneered processing of auto grade steel for car skin panels, SS and construction grade rebar in the country.
Today, the steel processed and distributed by the company are used by most of the leading OEMs in the automotive, appliance, panel segments like Maruti Suzuki, Honda, Tata Motors, Ford, Whirlpool, LG, Samsung and Ericsson. The company’s decision to raise the standards of service in steel plates for the earthmoving and construction equipment sector is clearly in line with the emerging opportunities. Global mining and exploration giants are expected to invest $ 22.4 billion into India’s mining industry over the next few years. The market for mining and mineral-processing equipment in India is estimated at $5 billion for the next five years. Investment in infrastructure is estimated to reach $125 billion by 2012. Furthermore, the 11th Plan of the Union Government has proposed investments of Rs 20,27,169 crore over the next five years.
Having begun operations in 1997 with a service centre in Jamshedpur, the company has now spread across the country with seven service centres and 16 distribution locations. With a combined processing and distribution volume of over 1.3 million metric tonnes, the company is poised to reach a turnover of Rs 1,500 crore in 2008-09. Chakravortty is optimistic that despite the economic downturn, Tata Ryerson will notch up the numbers. “The joint venture aims to achieve a turnover of Rs 1,500 crore in the current fiscal as against Rs 1,300 crore recorded last year.”
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