We spoke to Adarsh Jaiswal, Secretary, Howrah Foundry Development Cluster, about the various hurdles in foundry and the cluster segments of West Bengal; and how technology can tackle their challenges and bring in profits to the business.
The foundry and casting sector of West Bengal has been facing immense competition from its cohorts in the past few decades. “Finding right customers for marketing and group marketing for an industry are some of the biggest hurdles in the concerned industry. Apart from this, there are huge financial and IT obstacles in the industry, especially finding trustworthy business partners and building a reputation,” said Adarsh Jaiswal, Secretary, Howrah Foundry Development Cluster.
Another big challenge facing entrepreneurs today is new technology that could make their business or strategy obsolete. “With the rapid pace of innovation, it’s important to identify trends that will affect your business and stay ahead of the curve. Shifting a business model or updating technology requires excellent management and an agile team and this is massively lacking in the small scale industry,” added Jaiswal.
Facing stiff competition from China, various organizations have demanded massive support in the form of cheap and continuous power supply and various other subsidies and incentives from the Indian government. It is very difficult to compete with China as their government is supporting their foundry industry in a big way. They are providing cheap electricity and various subsidies to encourage this industry. Besides, the Chinese government is also providing a ready market to ensure that there is no loss to their traders.
IT Usages and Obstacles in acquiring them
Apart from general uses of IT as in every business, specialized uses in Foundry are as follows:
• Smart Foundry ‘The Industry 4.0 Foundry’ is the buzzword now in foundry, computer-aided logistics system, clocked line production and SAP-integrated business processes.
• 3D Printing also known as additive manufacturing refers to processes used to synthesize a three-dimensional object in which successive layers of material are formed under computer control to create an object. Objects can be of almost any shape or geometry and are produced from digital model data 3D model or another electronic data source such as an Additive Manufacturing File (AMF) file.
“We make use of software to achieve consistency of grades of grey iron in cupola furnace and to enter data vis-a-vis green sand parameters which allows the foundry to bring about process consistency which leads to better surface finish and relevant castings defects being analyzed. Our long term road map will include Casting Simulation and Internet Marketing,” concluded Jaiswal.