Wire & Cable India
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LAPP India: Focussing on Digitalisation and Automation of Processes to Provide Better and Faster Service

“Wire harnessing in India will get more structured in the years to come, allowing manufacturers to create a differentiation in terms of their technical and design expertise led by the timely manufacturing of the solutions.”

Mr. Gary Bateman, Managing Director, LAPP India Pvt. Ltd.

With 30 years of combined experience, LAPP cable harness system is globally known to provide customer assistance in the design and cost-effective assembly of servo and motor drive cables, wire harnesses, junction and control panels, control panel remote access ports, populated cable track assemblies, switch and emergency stop boxes, and non-standard industrial connector and harness products for special applications. LAPP India, a 100 percent subsidiary of LAPP Germany, has three state-of-the-art cable harnessing facilities in India at Bengaluru, Pune and Dharuhera to cater to its customers. In a conversation with Wire & Cable India magazine, Mr. Gary Bateman, Managing Director, LAPP India Pvt. Ltd. talks about the company, its product portfolio and goals for this segment.

Wire & Cable India: Could you present a brief overview and significant milestones of your company?

Gary Bateman: LAPP India, a 100 percent subsidiary of LAPP, is a leader in cable and connection technology with more than 60 years of industrial manufacturing expertise and a product portfolio of over 40,000 products. Having started its operations in India in 1996, LAPP provides cables, connectors, cable glands, conduits, cable markers, custom cable assembly solutions (ÖLFLEX® CONNECT) and industrial communication solutions.

The launch of ÖLFLEX CONNECT brand in 2008 was a key milestone for LAPP. This milestone marked our journey from a component supplier to a plug-and-play solution provider for customised solutions. ÖLFLEX CONNECT is our cable assembly solution, ranging from specialised harness and customised servo assemblies to complex high-speed drag chain systems. With the help of this solution, our clients need not invest in their own assembly systems, can reduce storage and operating costs as well as save valuable time that would have otherwise been wasted in coordinating with multiple suppliers. We currently have three service points across India and have plans to triple these numbers in the next four to five years.

WCI: Tell us about the infrastructure, product portfolio, manufacturing capabilities, and types of machinery installed at your facility.

GB: ÖLFLEX CONNECT ensures that our customers can reduce capital and operating expenditure by leveraging our world-class design capabilities, technical expertise, state-of-the-art equipment/tools and cable connectivity components, all from a single source. Our customers can enjoy reduced inventory by avoiding component scrap or waste from cutting cable or stocking multiple components. With our solutions, businesses can enjoy maximum scalability and respond immediately to increases in demand. All our products are of high quality, maximum reliability and safety. The ÖLFLEX CONNECT portfolio includes:

  • ÖLFLEX CONNECT CABLES- A cable assembly product range that stretches from single-core and multicore cables to EMC-shielded cables, all of which can be fitted with a wide selection of crimp contacts, connectors and housings. We also offer highly flexible and durable spiral cables in premium quality, as well as glass fibre assemblies, which can be produced, tested and delivered in both standards and custom lengths.
  • ÖLFLEX CONNECT SERVO- On-target servo-application solutions: Servo cables in three performance classes, connectors with standard inter-locking screws or rapid interlocking system and over moulded assemblies.
  • ÖLFLEX CONNECT CHAIN- Drag chains – from plastic to metal – populated with cables, hoses or tubes, attached to connectors and secured with strain relief.

Presently, we have three state-of-the-art cable harnessing facilities in India at Bengaluru, Pune and Dharuhera to cater to our customers. These facilities are ISO 9001:2015, ISO 14001:2015 and UL certified. Our facilities are staffed by highly qualified and trained employees who are skilled to manufacture harnessing solutions. The equipment is of the best quality, to do the various operations involved in cable assembly and testing such as cable cutting, stripping, crimping, marking, crimp force monitor, push-pull testing and continuity testing.

The infrastructure capabilities available at these facilities include tensile tester, electrical crimping machine, pneumatic crimping fix, pneumatic stripper, inkjet printer, HST cutting machine, battery operated crimping machine, cable cutting machine, cutting and winding machine, pneumatic cutting fix and lead-free soldering machines.

WCI: What is the market footprint of your company? Do you have any plans to expand your reach?

GB: We have already established our footprint in textiles, machine tools, elevators, railway, mining and medical sectors. We are looking to add more segments to our customer base shortly. ÖLFLEX CONNECT will remain a major business priority as LAPP moves ahead as a one-stop solutions provider for all cable systems requirements. While we have a strong market footprint across the globe, we have planned a multi-fold strategy to increase our reach in different geographical areas. We are working towards a wider segment presence and developing our state-of-the-art manufacturing capabilities with the newest cutting-edge technologies. In the next 5 years, LAPP India will triple the service points to ensure we are where our customers are. The focus is to be closer to our customers to understand their requirements and to ensure quick turnaround of solutions to support their business. In the next 5 years, the custom cable assembly solutions business is expected to contribute 10 percent of the overall turnover of LAPP India.

WCI: Please elaborate on your R&D efforts for such products. Also, name some of the renowned clients you serve with your product range.

GB: We are currently the leading player in the textile, machine tools and material handling equipment industries. Our centre in Singapore supports the countries in the APAC region and is staffed with technical experts that specially cater to customer needs related to complex drag chain systems. We are closely working with our engineering team to develop local products for customers across India. We heavily invest in R&D efforts that help us create an impact across new customer segments and applications.

WCI: What are the key trends in wire harnessing, and how do you envisage the segment in the coming years?

GB: The wire harnessing sector is not a structured sector in India. Presently, there are several small players in this space, and none of them provides end-to-end solutions to customers. One major trend that can be expected from these players is to evolve along with the customer needs and offer end-to-end solutions- an approach that begins with understanding the application, recommending the design solution right up till the execution of these solutions. This trend is inevitable as customers are increasingly looking for one-stop solutions to address their requirements. This segment will get more structured in the years to come, allowing manufacturers to create a differentiation in terms of their technical and design expertise led by the timely manufacturing of the solutions.

“In the next five years, we aim to be an INR 1,500 crore company. This will mark a big shift for LAPP India from being a medium-sized company to a large company.”

WCI: What are the company’s key long-term and short-term goals for this segment?

GB: Today, LAPP is a leading player in cable and connection technology. We are a one-stop solution provider for all connectivity requirements. Globally and in India, LAPP stands for reliability, durability and quality. The short-term goal is to stay focused on double-digit growth year on year and develop newer segments. In the next five years, we aim to be an INR 1,500 crore company. This will mark a big shift for LAPP India from being a medium-sized company to a large company. In the coming years, there is a greater focus to deliver value to our customers by providing them with end-to-end connectivity solutions. We want to continue being a leader in the control cable market and increase our share in this market through driving innovation and a customer-first approach.

Currently, our focus areas include vendor development and providing quality products to our customers globally. We also have plans to enhance our manufacturing facilities and automation of processes to provide better and faster services.

In the long term, we are looking to increase our presence across India through our sales team and focus on localisation of our varied product range. We are also targeting to add at least 7 service points to the existing 3 in the coming year.

Also Read: LAPP India: Tapping New Opportunities.

As we embark on this journey of transition from a component supplier to a solution provider, we want to focus on digitalisation to create delightful purchase experiences for our customers at every stage. Digitalisation would help enhance our manufacturing facilities and automation of processes to provide better and faster services. It would also bring us closer to our customers by ensuring we are available 24 x 7 through our online portal and integrating customers and our order process at the back end. As part of digitalisation, machines can take over routine jobs while humans can continue being creative and focus on the special challenges of each individual customer. The process of digitalisation is now on the fast track because of the pandemic which is making the adoption of technology inevitable.