L&T’s High-tech Manufacturing Hub in Coimbatore Gets Into Gear
Larsen & Toubro Limited (L&T) the USD 4 billion engineering, technology and Construction Company crossed yet another milestone in its growth with the back to back inauguration of the first two facilities at its 300 acre campus in Coimbatore. The facilities for the manufacture of high end industrial valves and switchboards, will cater to domestic and international markets, and position India as a global player in the high end manufacturing space.
The switchboards facility of L&T’s Electrical & Electronics Division, was inaugurated by Mr. R. N. Mukhija, President – Operations, and Member of the Board of L&T.
The valve facility of L&T’s associate company, Audco India Limited (AIL) was jointly inaugurated by Mr. K.V Rangaswami, President – Operations and Member of the Board, L&T, and Mr. Lewis M. Kling, President and Chief Executive Officer of Flowserve Corporation, USA. AIL is a joint venture of L&T and Flowserve.
Commenting on the landmark event, Mr. A. M. Naik, Chairman & Managing Director, L&T, stated: “The new facilities signal L&T’s commitment to strengthening high end manufacturing capability within the country. They are building blocks in our larger strategic goal of enhancing capacities to meet global demand for high precision manufacturing. This is in addition to L&T’s well established world class capabilities in execution of large projects and heavy engineering. The facilities will help L&T consolidate its leadership position in the high technology manufacturing space.”
Emphasising the export opportunity, Mr. Mukhija, said, “The switchboards facility is poised to become the country’s single largest unit of its kind. Over 40 per cent of the production will cater to international markets.”
Inaugurating the facility for valves, Mr. K.V. Rangaswamy, said “The fact that the facilities have been set up within 11 months of laying the foundation stone reflects L&T’s accelerated pace of operations and the importance that the Company attaches to its expansion plans at Coimbatore.”
All the facilities in the 300 acre Coimbatore Campus will incorporate cutting edge technology and ‘best of breed’ practices. The campus will progressively see the establishment of manufacturing facilities and technology centres for various strategic business units, an advanced tooling centre, and facilities for high precision components for sectors like aerospace, nuclear, automotive and hydraulics.
The strategic choice of Coimbatore was based on the competitive advantages that the industrial city offers in terms of a strong supporting technical infrastructure with over 30,000 small and medium enterprises, high caliber of skilled talent and an enabling industrial environment. The city also enjoys proximity to the major ports of Cochin and Tuticorin.
The campus would also generate extensive direct and indirect employment. As with all of L&T manufacturing facilities, the Coimbatore Campus will meet critical environmental standards. Afforestation programmes envisage the planting of over 60,000 trees in the campus.
Information about Facilities
The valves facility is the fourth manufacturing unit of Audco India Limited (AIL), a joint venture company incorporated in 1961, now has equal equity participation of Larsen & Toubro Limited, India and Flowserve Corporation, USA. The company has established itself as a global leader for manufacture and supply of valves and customized flow control products for major refineries, petrochemical plants, LNG & GTL projects, etc. AIL exports almost 60% of its production, and supplies are made to various projects/plants in USA, Europe, Middle East, Africa and Asia-Pacific. With the growing demand for Oil & Gas, and the large investments planned especially in the Middle East, AIL is poised for accelerated growth in the coming years.
The additional capacities being created at Coimbatore will help AIL to meet the higher demands for Gate, Globe, Check and Ball valves including larger sizes up to 60”.
The facility will have CNC machines for precision and critical operations, automatic welding machines for plasma, sub-arc and MIG processes. The Coimbatore facility is equipped with a pressurized system for dust-free manufacturing. AIL plans to operate the plant with the latest manufacturing systems backed by highly qualified, skilled manpower. All four factories of AIL are integrated by an SAP-ERP system for seamless operations. The Coimbatore facility will achieve high productivity and low costs of production - key success factors for global competitiveness.
The switchboards manufacturing facility at Coimbatore will augment the capability of L&T - India’s largest manufacturer of low tension switchgear. The facility will soon become the largest single unit for manufacture of switchboards in the country. Manufacturing capability of 7000 panels per year will be increased to 13,000 panels by 2009 and to 17,000 panels by 2010. The Coimbatore facility is L&T’s fourth switchgear manufacturing centre – in addition to Powai (Mumbai), Faridabad (near Delhi) and Ahmednagar (Maharashtra).
The integration of modern technology into the manufacturing process has helped L&T achieve global standards in every parameter - quality, speed, safety, efficiency, etc. This has also given L&T’s facilities the flexibility for timely response to changing market requirements. The new manufacturing facility will have high-end automatic CNC turret punch presses, press brakes, roll forming and state-of-the-art powder coating plant. In addition, there will be a well equipped testing facility.