Interview : Vineet Seth, Managing Director – South Asia& Middle East, Delcam Ltd., UK cum ASEAN Business Development Director, Delcam Professional Services Ltd., UK
Delcam is a top CAD/CAM solution provider in the global automotive industry. The company has a wide customer base in the Indian automotive industry covering vehicle and auto component manufacturers. Delcam sees huge potential for its products in the Indian automotive industry, which is moving fast towards automation with the support of various software solutions. In an e-mail interaction, Vineet Seth, Managing Director – South Asia& Middle East, Delcam Ltd., UK cum ASEAN Business Development Director, Delcam Professional Services Ltd., UK shares his view point with Anitha of Automotive India News about usage of the company’s products and its prospectus in the Indian market.
How do you see the usage of software tools, primarily CAD/CAM solutions growing up in global machine tool industry catering to automotive sector?
CAD/CAM/CAI/CAE software are now indispensable tools for most organisations. This is especially true for a domain as competitive and cost conscious as the Automotive sector. With the ever growing need to produce complex components in a very short period of time, while ensuring that the quality parameters are always met – it is imperative that a reliable and robust CAD/CAM system be employed by organisations to meet the time-to-market requirements. In my opinion, the usage of these software tools, including that of Process management will see a big growth in the near future.
How effectively CAD/CAM solutions are being used in auto industrial sector in India as compared to developed markets like Europe and North America?
I believe that the degree to which CAD/CAM solutions are being used in India, in the auto industrial sector are on par with global standards. In fact many OEM’s have part of their design and development teams sitting in India and collaborating with their colleagues the world over – purely through collaboration and PLM systems.On the manufacturing side, it is only due to the knowledge pool and their ability to use advanced CAD/CAM system that we have seen (and will continue to see) a large growth in the recent years in OEMs setting up plants in India, for localisation.
Your major business in India comes from the automotive sector. Out of your total business in India, how much comes from the auto sector. Can you please quantify it in percentage terms with related reasons?
Typically, about 60% of our business comes from the Automotive sector.Requirement of advanced CAD/CAM software is high when there are complex components requiring complex operations. This is largely true for automotive components such as engine parts, headlamps, bumpers amongst others as well as the numerous tools and dies used to make sheet metal and plastic parts that go into the automobile. A typical mould or tool for example, needs to be programmed individually, machined with dedicated strategies and then inspected in comparison with the original CAD model. All of this requires specific knowledge related to the respective domain and the use of advanced CAD/CAM tools in order to be efficient.
What kind of outlook you have for the Indian auto sector and your auto industry related business for the next five years?
The Indian auto sector showed some excellent signs of growth a couple of years back. However, largely due to increasing fuel prices, excise duty on SUVs, as well the falling Rupee have pushed back purchases in recent times. It is not unusual today to hear about re-stated production figures and plant shutdowns due to this corrected production number.
However, the silver lining is that a large part of the working population is expected to have disposable income and this will potentially fuel new purchases.
On the commercial vehicle side of things, growth in infrastructure projects in the next 5 -10 years will mean increased volumes for commercial vehicle manufacturers. Many automotive OEs are starting innovation projects and this is likely to positively impact our business. OE’s investing in R&D and expanding/diversifying capacity will help us further increase our reach in the domain.
Which of your software tools are primarily used in the vehicle and auto component manufacturing sector?
PowerSHAPEour Tribrid Modelling & Tool design software is used by companies making complex aesthetic and ergonomic shapes.PowerMILL, our flagship product – is the most widely used CAM software in the industry for 2, 3 and 5 axis machining. Whether it is complex part machining or High Speed Machining, the industry employs PowerMILL to ensure that safe and reliable programs are run on their CNC machines – while ensuring a fast programming & execution time on the machine. PowerINSPECT the world’s leading hardware-independent inspection system is used by many Quality departments in the automotive domain as well as their suppliers to validate components that are manufactured by them. Providing a common reporting platform, it helps streamline reports from different inspection hardware and reduce confusions resulting from user interpretation, otherwise. FeatureCAMa highly-automated, feature-based machining software is used for production purposes, whether it is Turning, Turn-milling or Tombstone machining requirements.
How do you rank yourself as CAD/CAM solution provider in the Indian automotive sector? Please talk about your market share in the Indian auto industry?
The Indian CAD/CAM market is highly segmented. Having said that, and going by number of customers added every year and the number of CAM licenses sold, we are the most preferred system of independent choice for the manufacturing community in the country.
With several foreign vehicle manufacturers setting up manufacturing plants in India and exporting cars to global markets, the auto R&D activities in the country has been gaining momentum that inturn is expected to open new business opportunities for CAD/CAM solution providers like Delcam. How do you see this trend?
This is very true – as I have mentioned earlier in the interview, growth in R&D investments mean growth in our business opportunities. We have been riding this wave in the past and we continue to do so. One of the important parts of this R&D is that a lot of companies not just need a box software, but they also required allied services and customisation at times. As a large company, we are not only geared for this, but at times are a step ahead on the innovation curve, with technology that could change the future. Our Adaptive Machining, High value manufacturing (Reclaim, FoFdation projects) are examples of how we are leading the change. With change in technology trends and the most talked about IoT, Indsutry 4.0 – Delcam and Autodesk are working towards the Future of Making Things to provide our customers with a seamless experience across the Product & Process lifecycle.
Can you name out a few of your customers in the vehicle and auto component manufacturing industry in India? And which of you software tool has been widely used in the Indian auto industry?
Almost all major OEMs are our customers. Tata Motors, Hyundai, TKM, Maruti, Bajaj Auto, Mahindra & Mahindra, FIAT, Volkswagen, JCB, John Deere are a few names that come to the fore now. In addition to the OEMs, most Tier 1 & 2 suppliers are also our customers.
PowerMILL for complex 3 & 5 axis machining, PowerINSPECT for Inspection and PowerSHAPE for Toolmaking are some of our widely used software in the Indian auto industry. Little known, but extremely important – our data translation software Delcam Exchange is also installed across 60% of our customer base in the industry.
How your business in India has been growing (CAGR) in the past five years and what are the growth drivers?
Our business has grown typically at a CAGR of 25% over the past five years. Primary growth driver is our diverse product portfolio which helps us grow consistently over economic or industry specific turbulences. Our growth primarily comes from growth in purchases in the automotive industry, following this we also have significant business in the Aerospace and Energy industry. Woodworking is another area where our growth comes from – due to the increased use of our ArtCAM software for artistic carvings using CNC routers.
On the industry front, however, CNC machines are the primary growth drivers for our business. Larger the sales of CNC machines, larger the opportunity for businesses like ours.
How important is Indian market for your business and why?
For long, India is seen as a more stabler partner in the east and eventually, we will see increased manufacturing throughput from the region. Whether it is automotive, aerospace, consumer goods or mobile phones, India is being seen as a world partner for manufacturing in the coming decades. This will present us with an opportunity of a lifetime to grow our businesses significantly.
Can you please brief about your company’s set up in India, detailing about offices, R&D activities and workforce etc?
We setup direct operations in India in the year 2000 and since then added more than 3500 customers all over India. We have our headquarters in Pune in a building that we own where we house various departments that support our local customers. In addition to this, we also have the International Support Desk, International Post Processor Desk and the Footwear & Additive Manufacturing Development teams based in the Pune office. We also have support offices across 15 major industrial cities in the country and have a total of 125 staff across these locations. We are perhaps the only CAD/CAM Company to have a sales to technical personnel ratio greater than 1:5. Having a large support team and network helps us be more attentive towards customer pain areas in manufacturing and thereby assisting them inaddressing these.
We also have a professional services team that assists Medium and Large organisations with bespoke projects in manufacturing automation.