From its first product, an operator cabin developed for L&T-Poclain excavator in 1976, Harsha Engineering has come a long way manufacturing a wide range of products for earthmoving, mining, food processing, and other OE manufacturing companies based in India. Presently led by the secondary generation entrepreneur, Bharath S Anantha Managing Director, the company today has a world-class manufacturing set up to deliver the right process and good quality products to its customers. Anantha shares his views with EQUIPMENT INDIA. Excerpts from the interview.
How would you describe the core competence of your company?
Our core competence lies with our technical expertise that we gained in this industry over the past three decades. We work closely with our customers. We share this technical expertise for mutual benefit. We share our 'learning curve' so that our customers can benefit from a reliable process, shorter lead time and affordable costs. We mostly work hands on with most of our customers and adapt our processes to meet their requirements.
Brief us on your manufacturing infrastructure.
Our manufacturing facility at Electronics City, Bengaluru is spread over an area of 1.35 acre, with shop floor area measuring 25,000 sq ft. We have a flexible shop floor layout. We have all the machines and necessary infrastructure required to undertake light, medium and heavy fabrication jobs. We also have in-house machining operation and paint shop facility.
We are working on a 'factory-within-a-factory' concept, wherein products flow from one zone to another with value addition at every zone. This would help us to have better control over our quality and cycle times.
We have a world-class manufacturing environment to deliver the right process and good quality products to our customers. We have received more than 700 Kaizens till date from our associates, which has helped us to continuously improve our processes. We have an efficient system to monitor the Kaizens and conduct monthly 5S audits to achieve continuous improvement in our activity every other day. We are ISO 9001:2008 and ISO14001:2004 certified.
What are the quality standards you adhere to?
We have embraced lean principles by total employee involvement activities. As mentioned earlier, '5S' is one of the major tools in our 'house of excellence' initiatives. It is also of great importance when it comes to improving our quality, cost, delivery (QCD) metrics. We have found that 'quality' remains a standard, if we don't involve the people in the Gemba (work place in Japanese).
So, we extensively train our associates to understand the quality check (QC) process and QC tools. We have evolved our own framework for following quality. We work within this framework to achieve customer satisfaction. We are continuously improving and evolving our quality system.
During the last financial year, what was the total growth of the company?
Our company's growth during the last financial year was almost flat. We witnessed a marginal growth of five per cent over the previous year. This was due to the fact that mining and infrastructure segments, which form the major focus sectors of our customers, failed to grow.
With the formation of a new government, we are looking forward with renewed interest for favourable growth in the next few quarters. At the moment, we would be happy if we are able to achieve a growth of 10-15 per cent in this financial year.
Which was the first product from Harsha Engineering?
Our first product was an operator cabin developed for L&T-Poclain excavator. L&T started its Bengaluru operations in 1975 and manufactured excavators in collaboration with Poclain. We began by manufacturing the operator cabins for those machines. Subsequently, we started to make cowl assembly, radiator guards, etc.
From 1982, we started supplying to BEML. We continue to supply them various products till date. We are also one of the first companies to develop and manufacture concrete filled counter weights for excavators to customers like L&T and BEML.
Describe the range of products offered by Harsha Engineering?
We manufacture counter weights, fuel tanks, hydraulic tanks, excavator mid frames, LH and RH decks, buckets, operator cabins, and sheet metal kits, which include floor frames, battery box, tool box, under chassis parts, covers for excavators, machined chassis and sub-frames for SPMs and heavy structural fabrication items.
Do you cater to the OEM segment only?
Yes, we are presently catering to OEMs only. We are looking forward to serve and find opportunities in the aftermarket segments as well.
What about catering to the exports markets?
We do not directly cater to export markets. We are in discussion with potential customers and hope that enquiries will materialise into export orders.
Some sections of the equipment industry performed well (agri machinery for example). Is this the sign of a change sweeping through the equipment market?
Yes, we have found that some sections of the equipment industry related to agriculture have performed well. It is too early to construe this as a sweeping change, as agriculture these days are dependent upon quantum of rainfall received for a particular year. The prediction of rainfall even with the most sophisticated systems is a complex theory by itself. However, food production is directly linked to this. The need to achieve and improve productivity of every stage in the agricultural process has created a dynamic challenge to everybody involved in it. But to bring in new equipment and processes, the people involved in it must also embrace change. The shift towards farm mechanisation is happening everyday due to shortage of labour and productivity. At various stages of the activity, the equipment industry is trying to get in new products to improve productivity for the farmer. This creates a lot of opportunities for component suppliers like us. We are always looking to add value and find new products to add to our portfolio.
Are you planning to introduce any new products?
Yes, we have worked diligently to innovate a new product during the last one year. The product was developed indigenously. We will let you know once we are ready to make the announcement.
We are working on a 'factory-within-a-factory' concept.
We have an efficient system to monitor the Kaizens and conduct monthly 5S audits to achieve continuous improvement in our activity. -