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Construction : Special Feature | November 2015 | Source : Equipment India

We follow Komatsu global engineering standards across all our facilities

Kiyoshi Mizuhara, Managing Director, Komatsu India.

We differentiate with others by Komatsu Way (K-Way) in developing vendors skills, training customer on safety operation, continuous improvement concept on productivity and operating cost, promoting brand value by brand management activity to work and fulfill customers vision and mission, says Kiyoshi Mizuhara, Managing Director, Komatsu India.

From a business perspective, where does India stand in relation to Komatsu´s global business?
India is one of the most focused countries for Komatsu and the first overseas office has been set up in India in 1958. Current demand growth in India is positive compared to the previous year. Globally, recent market demand for mining and construction equipment has shrunk and still it is in uncertain phase.

How do you visualise India market for construction and mining equipment? How does it compare with the global trends?
We have always seen a deficit in supply of coal, even though India is a mineral rich country. The new initiative of the government in coal, specifically to expand the production to one billion tonne by 2020 is a motivating factor for all OEMs including Komatsu. We predict similar positive trends in other minerals also. The global mineral scenario is just opposite to the current Indian scenario, where the demand and price are shrinking.

The new Indian Government focused to de-bottleneck the existing big infra projects, which are behind schedule now. Also the new expansion in infrastructure development, roads and river linking, etc bring in positive hope.

What are the strategic advantages to Komatsu by setting up an impressive equipment manufacturing facility in India?
Komatsu´s focus in India is to cater to the continuous home grown demand as well as to look at exports to the neighbouring countries. It has strategically placed its facilities to utilise the available skilled manpower, suitable logistics and eventually to give a competitive product to improve business effectiveness in the domestic market. It also contributes to Make In India initiative.

Out of the entire Komatsu range of construction and mining equipment, which products will sell the most in the next five years?
In India, we have five different types of excavators and two types of dump trucks. Considering the construction and mining segments, more than 50 per cent demand will be for dump trucks. That is why we manufacture these machines in India. The bigger machines like shovels and dozers are imported from Japan. In the next five years, we expect Coal India to substantially increase production. We also expect some private players to support Coal India and generate demand for our products. As such in mining, we have a bright future.

In the construction equipment sector, the new Indian government has set up a lot of new infrastructure projects, also some canal and irrigation projects have been announced. Our excavators will be able to contribute in this development.

Do you plan to manufacture Dozers in India?
No. It is because globally dozer has very limited demand. As such Komatsu is focused to produce dozers only in Japan and we source from there.

Do you plan to also export Komatsu products from India?
Since 2009, we export our dump trucks to South Africa, West Africa and Indonesia. Now we are not exporting to Indonesia because of mining market slump.

What will be Komatsu´s focused efforts and growth strategies for the next five years in India
Our company is always focused in continuous improvement of the quality of our products and services. As part of this activity, we have concrete plans for product upgradations and expansions of our service networks for better servicing to the customers.

We are also planning to introduce new product ranges and various special attachments to suit the market requirement and to establish ICT facilities such as Komtrax and Komtrax Plus on our equipment for better returns on investment for our customers.

Are you establishing Komtrax in India?
Yes. Our PC210 has Komtrax. More than 2,500 machines have been delivered with Komtrax and we are continuously monitoring the same.

What is the future of Smart Construction in India? What will be Komatsu´s efforts to new value to Indian customers and domain for products and services?
We have a vision to introduce Smart Construction for India, since there are various projects expected to be launched in the coming years by the government such as Digital India, 100 Smart Cities and other such initiatives. Smart Construction will be more useful and accurate forecasting for the construction of refurbishing of certain old townships and planning on difficult terrains.

The present constraint is about the usage of ICT equipment in India, since the requirement of high quality fuel for such Tier IV regulation engines for which government has certain plans in future.

We are monitoring on each and every step on such proceedings and will pursue the same in suitable time.

Many construction equipment suppliers have a differential price policy, for their equipment, considering the lower paying capacity of Indian buyers. What is your take on the same?
We always deliver the latest technology and high quality equipment. We have developed premium machine sectors in Indian market jointly with the effort of Larsen & Toubro for which we are the market leaders. To support such premium machine sectors, we always focus to deliver a Total Solution by promoting Life Cycle Cost (LCC) concept.

We understand that the entire sales and after market support responsibilities are with L&T Construction Equipment. How would you describe this relationship from Komatsu standpoint?
We always support the end customer through a local distributor due to the necessity of strong local leadership and market coverage. In India, L&T is responsible for sales and after market service for mining and construction equipment product range of Komatsu.

We have restructured our business since 2013 by specialising Komatsu as a manufacturer and L&T as a sales and service provider in India.

Apparently, the mining activities are poised for exponential growth in the near future. What preparations are being made at Komatsu to successfully capitalise sales?
We have a strong flexibility in increasing the production capacity to meet the market demand at any point by reducing our lead-time based on the numbers and support customer by quick delivery. Other than 60 and 100 tonne dump trucks, we continue to import mining equipment to cater the mining demand in India. Also we are concentrating to give total solution by offering full maintenance contract, contract for machine availability, guaranteed cost cap for repair and maintenance, and various specialised trainings programmes to improve the efficiency of the operation.

Do you predict extensive application of large loading tools and haulage equipment in the mining sector? If yes, to what extent and when?
Our major demand is from coal sector, where the Indian Government has planned to double the production within the next five years. We are already seeing that many customers are enquiring for one size higher than the current operating fleet to meet the production increase and supply demand gap for the coming years.

By looking at the present status, we are also of the opinion that larger class of equipment will be able to meet the target production with the limitation of available skilled manpower and reduces the congestion in the mine sites with better safety and lower production cost.

Will you supply equipment complying with BS V or VI emission norms as standard? What will be impact on fuel economy of the equipment?
Yes. We have a technology to fulfill and meet BS IV norms. At present, Indian Government is in the process of creating a road map for supply of low sulphur fuel to meet this BS IV norms. We are monitoring the required quality of fuel availability and the regulation by Indian Government to introduce our BS IV technology equipment. Komatsu always being an innovative company, continuously engaged in developing new technology on the equipment which will eventually improve the production and fuel consumption.

As compared to your global presence, what are the quality assurance practices implemented in India?
We are the global manufacturing and quality oriented company and we follow Komatsu global engineering standards across all our manufacturing facilities. In addition to delivering a quality product, we differentiate with others by Komatsu Way (K-Way) in developing vendors skills, training customer on safety operation, continuous improvement concept on productivity and operating cost, promoting brand value by brand management activity to work and fulfill customers vision and mission.

How do you intend to meet the delivery schedule for each type of product to meet the market demands, from the India facility?
In India, we have a strong application team who study and recommend suitable product range for suitable applications. We also have a flexible production line and strong team for supply chain management activity to fulfill the market demand on time.

Are there any new manufacturing techniques, technologies and systems implemented in India?
We have introduced manufacturing facilities and technology on par with other global manufacturing plants such as global robotic welding system, dry machining, automatic shot blasting, variable speed conveyorised assembly line, contamination controlled and programmable controlled lubrication filling station. This ensures quality and better aesthetics of our products.

What are challenges for manufacturing and business in India?
We feel, market demand fluctuation, exchange rate fluctuation, complex tax structures are the key challenges for any manufacturer to do business in India.

We plan to introduce new product ranges, and various special attachments to suit the market requirement.

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