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Italian firm Sideridraulic to collaborate further with Indian metal companies

Italian firm Sideridraulic to collaborate further with Indian metal companies

India Blooms News Service | @indiablooms | 27 Oct 2018, 04:58 pm

Kolkata/Mumbai, Oct 27 (IBNS): With competition hotting up in the Indian steel and aluminium sectors, private companies stand to gain from business associations with Italian engineering major Sideridraulic Spa, which entered the Indian market by opening a branch in Mumbai, the company said recently.

Following the entry of ArcelorMittal in the steel industry through their recent acquisition of Essar Steel and the sharp rise in aluminium scrap imports in the first half of the current fiscal, private sector steel and aluminium companies are now under pressure to cut costs, according to reports.

Hydraulic and lubrication plants and water treatment plants are key components of any integrated steel or aluminium manufacturing facility. Sideridraulic specializes in this area.

Talking about the company’s stake in the hydraulic business, CEO Mario Bodini said, “It still makes up about 30 per cent of our turnover. We’re working with plant designers, and hydraulics have a major effect on the performance of equipment in every rolling mill, extrusion press, or continuous casting facility, so there is still a substantial market for us. In addition, in these types of plants there is also a need for lubrication, so there are other systems for providing and maintaining lubrication.”

“Our decision to launch a Sideridraulic branch in Mumbai in 2014 has helped us to find truly excellent, reliable local suppliers, over the last four years. This has helped us to reduce our costs on imported components to no more than 10 per cent of our total costs. Today we can offer Indian companies technological excellence at an accessible price,” Bodini said in a statement.

“Our international experience, established over the last 40 years, means that we can offer something that is attractive for the Indian market. Our technical solutions are regarded as among the best since our clients have always given us a T1 ranking when it comes to our technologies. However, earlier when we sent in a bid with European prices we found that we weren’t always competitive in the Indian market. That is when we decided to Indianise,” Bodini said.
With Mittal entering the fray, both Tata Steel and JSW, the two major private sector steel makers in India, will be forced to increase efficiency and control costs, analysts said according to a recent news report.

Moreover, Mittal is coming in not only with Essar’s ready capacity but also at a time when India’s steel consumption is taking off.

India currently has per-capita steel consumption of only 70 kg a year, less than half the average of other developing nations. The World Steel Association expects Indian steel demand to climb 5.5 per cent in 2018 and 6 per cent in 2019, making the country the fastest-growing market among the world’s top 10 steel consuming countries.

The story is similar in the case of aluminium.

In the next five years, consumption in India will double to 7.2 million tonnes from 3.6 million tonnes now, Tapan Kumar Chand, CMD, National Aluminium Company (NALCO) said while addressing the National Aluminium Network Meet 2018, held in New Delhi on October 12, 2018. Thus, massive opportunities exist for expansion of both steel and aluminium capacity in India.

Companies such as Sideridraulic, which produce and erect critical components for both sectors, can play a big role in this scenario by helping steel and aluminium companies keep costs down while benefitting from high quality technology solutions, according to industry reports.

“This year we launched an exchange platform, ‘Metal-Hub’, in which Sideridraulic is also involved, to enhance the technical, technological, engineering, and other collaborations between the industrial metal networks. We have noted that there is a directive to advance R&D for water-saving solutions in India and that there is a great deal of interest in ZLD (Zero Liquid Discharge) systems,” said Francesca Bruni of the Milan-based ArtValley.

ArtValley who have been at the forefront of organizing trade and business investment efforts and exercises from Europe and particularly from Italy in India and now specifically with eastern India. They were the organizers who brought in many participants from Europe, Middle East in the BGBS held earlier this year.The areas that have seen some forward movements are in leather, metals and technical training.

Bodini explained that water is purified for a number of purposes. “Our operations are in the metalworking arena. The first thing we have to do is bring water from an available source and render it functional for industrial use. As for the purification it depends on the type of water source you have to start with: seawater, river water, well water or lagoons. We bring water from any source.”

Asked if his company can achieve the same with water of the Ganges (Ganga), he said, “Yes, we could, but it’s mostly tanneries in that area, not steel mills. So, we take the water that’s available and treat it to make industrial water.”

Replying to a query on what unites the company’s hydraulics branch and the water purification branch, Bodini said, “Let’s say that from a technical perspective they have little in common, but from a business perspective the fact that we’ve built a relationship of trust with our clients means that we have name recognition in the industry and that they’re willing to entrust us with complex projects of both types. We were fortunate in that we were able to use our client base in the hydraulics sector as a springboard for the Water Division. For example, if we were asked to make a bid for the hydraulics in a plant for a steel mill builder, we might ask for the project manager’s name and then go directly to that person to offer the services of our Water Division.”

Bodini also highlighted on training, especially knowledge transfer in relation to plants established in places like India. He said, “Just this year we’ve hired four new operators and five new technicians (including engineers). Often we’ll call in our recently retired personnel to do the training so that current workers don’t lose time in training and the new workers can benefit from the extensive experience of these ex-employees. We are also connected with technical institutes and universities in Brescia and Milano. In Brescia, the job-market is highly competitive and many companies want to snap-up the top talent. For our Water Division, we have offices in Milan and hire personnel from that area.”

“In all of our contracts, the ‘commissioning phase’ includes client training when the plant is brought on line, said Bodini. “So, as our technicians are commissioning the plant they’re working side-by-side with the client’s personnel so that they’re trained ‘on site’. This is in addition to a classroom phase where the theoretical information is offered but the majority of training is done hands-on, which makes more sense in terms of the type of knowledge-transfer that’s necessary.” 

Italian firm Sideridraulic to collaborate further with Indian metal companies

India Blooms News Service
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