Despite an economic slowdown in economy, the Rajkot based machine tools industry is witnessing a steady growth in recent times. Thanks to increased automation in the engineering sector and good growth in manufacturing field, demand for machine tools, especially the ones with computer numeric controls (CNC).
"We were wary about our growth amidst the current economic slow down. But domestic demand for machine tools have been on a constant rise, not only in Rajkot but also across India. In fact, demand for CNC machine tools itself have increased by 30-40 per cent while that of conventional ones grew by 10-15 per cent as compared to last year," said Jay Mavani, joint secretary, Machine Tools Manufacturer’s Association of Rajkot (MTMA).
Mavani attributed the reason for growth in demand to increased automation in related industries.
"As most of the companies in Rajkot as well as in other parts of the country are moving towards automation, demand of automatic and semi automatic machines has increased during past one year and will continue this year too," he added.
At 450 units, the Rajkot machine tools industry stands at number position in the country as a cluster.
During financial year 2011-12, it pegged a turnover of Rs 1,000 crore, while this year the industry is expecting over 20-25 per cent growth, thereby tapping more than Rs 1,200 crore of turnover.
"Auto components and engineering sector is doing very well and automation progress is going on various sectors. Further, we have lots of orders yet to be completed and more are on their way in the coming days," Parakramsinh Jadeja, managing director of Jyoti CNC said.
One of the largest CNC machine manufacturing company, Jyoti CNC Automation Private Limited invested about Rs 250 crore last year on capacity expansion. The company also pegged a turnover of around Rs 400 crore.
As a cluster, Rajkot alone consumes about 600-650 high value fully automatic CNC machine every year and according to industry sources, it is expected to cross over 750 this year. "It is hard to convert conventional machine tools to CNC as it requires huge amount of investment but capable players are now manufacturing both simultaneously," Mavani added.