What’s Driving The Wire & Cable Industry Forward? - Wire & Cable India
Wire & Cable India
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What’s Driving The Wire & Cable Industry Forward?

Innovation, product development, and quality are keys to long-term success for any company. With the financial year ending on March 31, 2022, Wire & Cable India magazine interacted with a few companies to know about their plans for the next FY.

Polycab: Poised to Leapfrog Ahead with an Accelerated Momentum

Product Launches and Recent Developments

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Mr. Bhushan Sawhney, Executive President and Chief Business Officer (Cables),
Polycab India Ltd.

We are upbeat about the growth potential and in tune with this, we have lined up a series of transformative and disruptive changes. This also includes optimising the existing product portfolio and introducing new product lines. For instance, our green wire offerings have been innovated and designed to be best-in-class with higher conductivity copper and serve as the eco-friendly new-age solution that overcomes existing problems related to the use of hazardous substances in the insulation of electrical wires.

Further to this, we are also developing a cross-linked Halogen Free Flame Retardant (HFFR) 04XZ wire which is completely halogen free and is a perfect product for medical use including in hot places where the operating temperature ceiling of HFFR wires can go up to 90°C.

In addition to this, the huge interest in EV adoption is also opening newer avenues and anticipating the massive infrastructure revamp that will be required to support this mass-scale migration.

Other such innovations include buildings or the real estate sector where the requirement is to have a resilient wire with strength enough to withstand wear& tear over a long-term period.

Recent Expansion and Plans

Our endeavour always remains to be evolving with changing times. And in line with the growing infrastructural needs of the country, we are proactively working towards having a product portfolio around advanced cables in the Extra High Voltage (EHV) range such as the 220 kV extra-high voltage cables.

Polycab has the largest set of Catenary Continuous Vulcanizing lines for the dry curing through E-Beam. This facility has been expanded recently and is equipped to meet the needs of specialized products that are cured by E Beam technology.

Technology and Quality Upgradation

Polycab’s adoption of E Beam curing using its Catenary Continuous Vulcanization (CCV) lines is a major leap on the technological front. Apart from the curing technology, our flagship eco-friendly green wires are designed leveraging state-of-the-art technology. Apart from this, we are also making use of digital technologies such as smart automation.

Way Forward

Polycab has consistently maintained its industry leadership basis continuous innovations and pioneering disruptions. It is through R&D focus that we have been able to introduce newer offerings while retaining high-quality standards with validation towards this being the National Accreditation Board for Testing and Calibration Laboratories (NABL) accreditation for our labs. Our major strength is our production capacity which we have achieved by heavily optimising our processes and machinery. We are committed to empowering our workforce with the best of L&D opportunities which include research and incubation, which has helped us maintain an edge in technology. Another example is our range of newly designed IGNIS series of fire safety products which is one of the major innovations that has been done by Polycab India Ltd. for application in case of fire hazards. Overall, we are poised to leapfrog ahead with an accelerated momentum in the coming days.


KEC International: Looking for Innovation and New Product Development

Product Launches and Recent Developments

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Mr. Manjit Singh, Executive Director –
Cables, KEC International Ltd.

At KEC, we are continuously looking for innovation and new product development to cater to industry needs. Recently, we have received approval from RDSO for the supply of railway signalling power cables after successful type testing at the RDSO lab. We are also working on the development of certain products for application in the Railway sector, in addition to overhead insulated conductors, and speciality cables for the Indian Navy. We are focussing on orders from major state utilities along with fulfilling the consistent demand arising from the railway sector.

Recent Expansion and Plans

Currently, we are in the process of debottlenecking the capacity of our LT plants, exploring the possibility of capacity enhancement in HT/EHV, and starting new telecom product lines required for 5G implementation.

In FY21, we expanded our offerings for railways and commenced manufacturing new products such as signalling cables, contact and catenary conductors, etc. We have also invested in areas such as EHV OEE improvement and flexible manufacturing.

Technology and Quality Upgradation

Technology:

We have recently developed a hybrid cable, which is a composite cable that integrates power cable with optical fibre cable for some of the esteemed private utilities.

Our in-house R&D centres in Vadodara & Mysore factories have been registered & recognised by the Department of Scientific & Industrial Research (DSIR), Ministry of Science & Technology, Government of India. The registration entitles the in-house R&D units to avail customs/excise exemptions on the purchase of equipment, instruments, consumables, etc. to be used for research and development, subject to relevant government policies and certain tax benefits as per government regulations.

We have also tied up with reputed compound manufacturers for developing advanced compounds being used in speciality cables.

Quality:

In line with our continued focus on quality, we have completely digitised our end-to-end quality processes through iQuality App. Our major focus is on customer feedback, resolving issues proactively and promptly, and obtaining necessary certifications, e.g. IMS, NABL, CE marking, etc., to serve customers across the globe. We ensure complete transparency through online inspections and documentation. We have successfully served customers during the pandemic without any disruption through our quick-change management and adopting virtual inspections and documentation with effective communication. 


LAPP India: Identifying Challenges and Meeting Customer Requirements

Product Launches and Recent Developments

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

LAPP’s focus is centred around innovation, and we are constantly working towards identifying evolving industry challenges and meeting customer requirements. Keeping this in mind, we have recently expanded our product portfolio by launching ETHERLINE® GUARD, ÖLFLEX® CONTROL 277N, and ÖLFLEX® CONTROL 277N CY.

• As part of the portfolio expansion of industrial communication products, we have introduced ETHERLINE® GUARD, a stationary and compact device from LAPP that monitors the performance of highly loaded ethernet cables at risk of failure and displays its current status which ensures seamless network connectivity.

• ÖLFLEX® CONTROL 277N and ÖLFLEX® CONTROL 277N CY are screened PVC power control cables rated 0.6/1 kV for tray exposed runs and wind turbine applications. Their application range includes industrial machinery and plant engineering. These newly launched products are cost-saving, allow for fast installation omitting protection systems and provide electromagnetic field screening along with 75 °C WET Rating + Sunlight Resistant Rating for outdoor use.

Our innovations and developments are not just limited to our products. Recently, we have moved into our new corporate office at IBC Knowledge Park, Bannerghatta Road, Bengaluru. This newly designed modern workspace incorporates the hybrid model of working, which we believe is the future of work. The office space is designed to fuel creativity and foster communication between departments. We believe that this new space truly embraces the LAPP values and vision we have for the brand, supporting us in our journey to becoming an employer of choice.

Recent Expansion and Plans

Expansion always has and will remain one of our key priorities as we continuously strive to be present closer to our customers. As a result of the recent partnership with CAHORS (a French multi-national company specialised in energy distribution), LAPP’s product portfolio has expanded to offer a comprehensive range of photovoltaic solutions in India, allowing us to tap into a new segment of customers. We also recently inaugurated our third and biggest service point in Pune and are looking to open the next one at Vadodara, Gujarat in the next three months.

Furthermore, we are in the progress of launching LAPP Shoppe where customers can walk in and experience the eight brands of LAPP products and solutions for themselves, all under one roof. This one-of-a-kind retail shop is expected to go live by June. We are striving towards an aggressive brand presence in the retail market, the focus of which is currently centred in south and west India. Additionally, we are also targeting the expansion of our channel partner tie-ups across India.

Technology and Quality Upgradation

As part of the initiatives to incorporate cutting-edge technologies into our various processes and functions, we have recently installed and commissioned a state-of-the-art tandem extruder with customised screw and barrel configurations to extrude compounds for speciality cable applications. Another addition to our facilities is a state-of-the-art compounding plant with speciality extruders for manufacturing PVC and other proprietary compound formulations. We have also been investing in the latest technology related to the development and testing of such proprietary compounds. Additionally, we are installing a 3 MeV electron beam accelerator to manufacture cables for renewable energy, building & infrastructure businesses.

We have recently obtained IS 17048 certification for our HFFR single-core and multi-core cables. We have also obtained UL 66 for safety fixture wire, UL 83 for thermoplastic-insulated wire and cables, UL 1277 and UL 2277 certification for tray cables, and ISO/IEC 17025 accreditation for our laboratory in LAPP’s manufacturing facility situated in Jigani, Bengaluru. The ISO/IEC 17025 certification provides the assurance that the laboratory is delivering good services and consistent data.

Way Forward

India is currently LAPP’s second-largest market, performing with double-digit growth and strengthening across various industries and applications. We are focusing on expanding our reach through various touchpoints across India. While we already have a strong presence in textiles, machine tools, automotive, railway, infrastructure, and mining sectors, we are looking at adding more segments to our portfolio such as EVs and pharmaceuticals. ÖLFLEX® CONNECT and industrial communication will continue to remain major business priorities in LAPP’s journey as a one-stop solutions provider for all cable systems requirements. We are heavily investing in R&D for our Indian customers, and we will focus our efforts on manufacturing products locally to continue providing products of global quality standards. In our endeavour to be closer to our customers, we will be tripling the number of LAPP’s service points in India in the next few years as well as be available online 24×7 for our customers. 


Panasonic Life Solutions India: Exploring Ideas to Improve Quality & Productivity of Machines

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Mr. Hemant Gadhave, Vice President, Business Unit Head- Wires and Cable Business, Panasonic Life Solutions India Pvt. Ltd.

Product Launches and Recent Developments

Panasonic Life Solutions India is a leading player in electrical construction material (ECM). Our aim is to provide products that prioritise safety and quality. This year as well, our aim is to provide superior quality products and services despite the difficult situation that our markets have gone through. We are constantly innovating products in the building wires and cables space for both residential and commercial buildings. Our range of wires and cables includes the advanced flame retardant, extra-flexible flame retardant, FireGuard FRLSH, and two core unsheathed cables. On the industrial front, the multi-core series of cables include both flat and round variants. For communication cables, we offer telephone and switchboard cable, UTP 4Pair CAT 6 LAN cable, co-axial cable, and CCTV cable. Our latest launch in this category is the higher size in building wire and three core flat submersible cable.

Recent Expansion and Plans 

The pandemic has affected supply as well as demand. Despite all odds in this situation, we have added a new high-speed extrusion line and high-speed coiling machines to our facility. Further, the volatility in the price of raw materials has also affected demand. We are exploring the opportunity to produce new products for the domestic and export market. For this, we are planning to add new machinery and testing setup at our end for this year.

Technology and Quality Upgradation

The technical team at Panasonic Life Solutions has put in continuous efforts to explore innovative ideas by which we could modify imported machines and improve the quality as well as productivity. We always explore opportunities to adopt new technology not only in manufacturing but also in support functions so that we can reduce human fatigue in the routine work of material handling.

As far as quality upgradation is concerned, we always focus on customer satisfaction through quality products and our services. At Panasonic Life Solutions, we consider manpower supremely important. Apart from regular workforce training, we also conduct quality circles on the different processes to make the process better in terms of output, quality, and cost. Recently, our test lab has also received NABL accreditation for testing as per IS 694 and IS 17048. NABL accreditation will also enhance customer confidence in the quality of the product being supplied to them.

Way Forward

The building wire segment is crowded with many players from the unorganised sector. Manufacturers from the unorganised sector use inferior material with less purity and less conductivity of copper as conductor and re-processed PVC as insulation. These inferior materials pose a hazard to human lives in case of an accidental fire. Studies have shown casualties during a short-circuit-induced fire are not because of the fire but due to the toxic fumes emanated during the burning of the insulation material.

The Indian consumer does not have enough knowledge and technical awareness, especially for products such as wires. We at PLSIND, design all our products with the top priority of user safety and quality. Our wires also have the product safety “S-Mark” certification from Standardization Testing and Quality Certification (STQC) Directorate, an attached office of the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology, Government of India. We are the only manufacturer with a safety mark for wires in India. Our products conform to the specified requirements of appropriate safety standards published by the International Electro-technical Commission (IEC). The presence of the SAFETY Mark also indicates that internal safeguards have been incorporated to protect against fire and electrical hazards.


Orient Cables India: Developing New Products for Applications in Telecom and Datacom

Product Launches and Recent Developments 

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Mr. Pramod Srivastava, CEO, Orient Cables India Pvt. Ltd.

We, at Orient Cables, have been driving new product development for various applications in Telecom and Datacom space. Most of these developments are focussed to address some specific pain points of our valued customers for specific applications. 

Recent Expansion and Plans  

We have seen a continued increase in demand from our existing customers for Datacom cable. We have built a new factory and added capacity for Datacom cable production. We are further expanding our capacity in all our products in the coming quarters. We thank our valued customers for their continued trust in our product quality and services and looking forward to a long-term association on a win-win basis. We have also increased our focus on catering to overseas markets and added several new customers in various geography.

Technology and Quality Upgradation

Our new factory for Datacom cable is a state-of-the-art facility with the latest equipment and lean operation. We also upgraded our earlier facility with respect to layout, material flow, machine capability, etc. to cater to the evolving need for high-end products from our customers.

Way Forward

We have built a strong ecosystem to fuel our growth much faster than the market and are quite hopeful to become a very significant player in the space we operate. We have strengthened our organisation by adding talent to various key leadership positions to bring significant values to all stakeholders.