I recently visited the Southern Maharashtra Towns of Sangli and Kolhapur on a Business Visit .
Most of the visit was focused on Foundries and their problem with oil contamination.
However what i found more interesting was the customer’s persistent problems with hydraulic spares mainly.
Hydraulic Cylinders (Taiyo,Nambu,Kato,Yuken)
Hydraulic Pumps (Nachi)
Hydraulic Valves (Nachi , CKD , SMC and others )
Sangli and Kolhapur have been mainly identified as melting towns of Maharashtra . The availability of skilled manpower for the foundry jobs and the will of the Entrepreneurs has got these towns some special credit. They actually know how this business is run and how to get the desired products from such a tedious process . The problem was seen in this region but is the same all over the industry .
Historically all the foundries were conventional with a lot of labour involved in the making , but with rapid growth in technology the industry modernised and a lot of machinery came into being . So from just hardworking people they developed the technical brilliance mindset and achieved a lot in terms of sophistication and machinery maintenance .
However the main problem that most of these industries face is procuring spares from international brands . From getting smaller spares such as Pressure Gauge or a Temperature sensor to getting Hydraulic Pumps and Cylinders . Unlike older machinery and mindset where the aggregates to the machinery used to keep working for a lifetime with no correlation to the number of cycles it has worked the modern day machinery require
1) Periodical Maintenance
2) Replacements of Parts or the whole assembly after a specific number of cycles/strokes.
Periodic maintenance is never a problem as it is the part and parcel of the maintenance teams however the problem arises during the procurement of spares such as seal kits and other small items or during the process of replacement of the original part .
The only way to get spares is through the Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) or try to search them locally or on the internet . The actual problem starts now . Let us be clear on 1 thing INTERNATIONAL BRANDS ARE COSTLY .(Why these spares become costly?? Who are the suppliers who can supply them?? What is the supply chain system in these spare?? I will write a seprate post on these aspects the motto of this post is a bit different .)
What i actually saw and was surprising was the maintenance people trying to change the brand of the spares and introduce new brands in the machinery . Let us agree that there is never a problem in changing brands till such time that you are using a reputed and more important PROVEN brand for the particular application . And the problem starts here .
I actually saw people trying to fit a square peg in a round hole . To save on the cost part there were numerous experiments being carried on to get the desired results. Though each experiment was falling flat and failing still educated, experienced people were not letting it go and trying different things. The only reason was to save on the high cost imported spares and aggregates . One of the main thing they were trying to replace were the original cylinders manufactured by Taiyo Japan with local home grown brands . Some were trying to replace the packing kits (Seal kits ) with local supplies available .
Yes it is definitely possible to get cylinders manufactured on customize basis but then we have to be 100% sure that the manufacturer has the know how and expertise in the application he is dealing as well . It is not only important to just get some one manufacture a cylinder according to the dimensions available in the manual . But the pressure with standing capacity , the wear and tear in the environment it works the Material of composition is also equally important . And these factory are the main reason why branded spares are costly as the company is continuously investing in R&D to get the best possible product .Given below are some of the images of cylinder failures .
There are numerous problem which happen due to cheap replacements of hydraulic aggregates and a lot of Valuable time and energy is spent on trying alternative spares. However according to us any enterprise should focus on its core strength and here it should be manufacturing and completing the available targets of production. The job of the maintenance team is to see that the machinery is 100% available for production to the production team and regular maintenance is done on time . Also let us not discount that Companies all over the world spent a humongous amounts on development of new alloys and materials to be suitable for specific applications. Also the OEM who design a specific machinery have taken a lot of pains on selection of the aggregates and designing their circuits based on the same. One of the most important draw back seen while changing of brands in increased cycle time and slow response which again leads to catastrophic losses on the long run where you focus on saving peanuts and loose Pounds .
Yes it is obviously important to reduce your costs of replacement and spare procurement. But instead of doing such experiments there are ways to buy the same branded spares at a lesser price . We will dedicate a post to these methods in the coming few days.
For now we would like to inform the reader that it is 100% more reliable and cheap to buy the original spares if you consider the manpower and time spent on doing various cost reducing exercise .
We at Aquila Sales and Services are fully capable to fulfilling the needs of our customers for all their imported spares from Japan in a very cost effective way.
Note :- The post is the sole inteclectual property of Aquila Sales And Services headed by Mr.Ajit Naik and should not be reproduced or copied without the consent of the author .