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PREMIER LTD

Pioneering innovative excellence For over sixty years, Premier Ltd has been a pioneer of innovation in precision machine tool manufacturing. Located in Chinchwad, Pune, the company’s production facility focusses on its three core business segments – machine tools, heavy engineering and automotive. With about 0.5-1 per cent of its sales being invested towards Research and Development (R&D) in the machine tool division, the company has churned out several industry-pertinent processes in India. Nishant Kashyap

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remier Ltd has been in the machine tool business for over six decades, offering comprehensive range of products to the automobile, public sectors and to almost all kinds of engineering sectors in India & across the globe. Known for its expertise and innovation, today the company receives enormous acceptance & appreciation for the quality and performance of its products across domestic & international markets. It possesses ISO 9000 certification since December 2003.

A fruitful journey Established in 1944, Premier Ltd (formerly know as the Premier Automobiles Ltd) raked in a companywide turnover of ` 172 crore in 2010. The estimated turnover for March 31, 2011, is around ` 250 crore. The projected turnover for 2012 is close to ` 500 crore. The company is on a steady growth track, garnering reputation in the engineering and automotive segments. Under its engineering segment, Premier has two functions – machine tools and heavy engineering March 2011 - MODERN MACHINE TOOLS

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Facility Visit – while the automotive segment comprises manufacturing of Light Utility Vehicles (LUV) and Sports Utility Vehicles (SUV). The stateof-the-art plant in Chinchwad is equipped with modern technology and skilled manpower. Spread over 27 acre, this plant serves as the centralised research, development and manufacturing facility for its various segments. The company’s machine tool division comprises a wide range of sophisticated CNC machine tools that include CNC gear cutting machines, machining centres, CNC vertical turning & turn mill centres and custombuilt special-purpose machines. D D Mulherkar, Vice President – Machine Tool Division, Premier Ltd, says, “This division of Premier, earlier known as Cooper Engineering, began its journey at Satara Road by manufacturing simple products like shaping and slotting machines. In 1961, we commenced operations at our Chinchwad plant, and with our expertise in machine tool manufacturing, we ventured into high-technology areas. We had two choices at that time: one to collaborate with foreign companies; the other to develop our own high-end products through R&D. We chose a combination of both, and between 1961 & 1970, we developed several new products through collaborations and on our

We will be investing more in R&D, in increasing capacity and launching new machines every year. Also, we are in talks with several global players for joint manufacturing.

D D Mulherkar, Vice President – Machine Tool Division

own. In 1987, we became a part of the Premier Group.” The company believes in providing total solutions to achieve productivity and accuracy desired by the customer and customising its products to meet their various needs. The company has sophisticated technology centres at Chinchwad, Gurgaon & Bengaluru, and design centres at Pune & Bengaluru.

Design & technology centres Premier’s core strengths lie in its design and development capability, with a strong focus on innovation. The company’s design centre boasts of one of the most advanced R&D facilities in India. Premier’s highly sophisticated machines and experienced staff aid the company’s effort to improve productivity and efficiency. In keeping with the surging demand of the market, the company has intensified its R&D activities. “In Pune, we carry out a few developmental activities, along with improvising and customising our existing products, while major design developement takes place in Bengaluru. We have a

talented team that deals with machine tool design,” elaborates Mulherkar. These centres also function as technology centres (Pune, Bengaluru and Gurgaon), and are mainly utilised for showcasing new products and demonstrating machining operations. Training is provided to customers as well as the staff in these technology centres. Says Mulherkar, “At times, the customer wants to see the operation of a machine before purchasing it, so we carry out demonstrations of the component machining as required by customers. Also, we utilise these technology centres for sales and service activities.”

Product range Premier has a series of CNC gear cutting machines, machining centres, CNC vertical turning & turn mill centres and custom-built specialpurpose machines. The PHA, PHB and PHC series of gear hobbing machines are developed for auto component manufacturers and the engineering industry. The PTA, PTB and PTC series of vertical turning lathes are mainly designed to cater to the machining of components such as valves, pumps and wind mill/power generation components, defence and railway components. The company’s vertical and horizontal machining centres are cost-effective, suitable for tool rooms, automobile component manufacturers and the engineering industry.

Foreign collaborations

The plant is equipped with modern technology and skilled manpower

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Premier has been in collaboration with global leaders since 1941 for technical proficiency, which has helped the company become the pioneer in introducing many machines in India. In the past it has technical collaborations with


Facility Visit Premier’s overseas tie-ups to promote their products in India Associate

Country

Range of product

MORARA

Italy

Heavy duty cylindrical grinding machine

IMT

Italy

Surface grinding, internal grinding, vertical grinding

Colgar

Italy

Horizontal boring and milling machines, gantry type planomillers and shearing presses

MCM

Italy

CNC heavy-duty horizontal lathe

FACFASPAR

Italy

Coil processing equipment

Rafamet

Poland

Surface wheel lathes, under floor wheel lathes

global leaders such as Hermann Pfauter Gmbh, Schiess, Hitachi Seiki Co Ltd, etc. Recently, a few other overseas companies such as MORRARA, Colgar, IMT, Rafamet have also entered into tie ups with the company to promote their products in India. “Such steps help stay abreast with technology and the global market. We are associated with MORARA from Italy, with whom we will be collaborating for a manufacturing activity in India,” says Mulherkar. “We have also entered into an agreement with Poland-based Rafamet for making certain railway-related machinery. During IMTEX 2011, we entered into a formal agreement with an Italian company, Colgar for horizontal boring machines. The initial agreement is to sell its products in India with a long-term objective of

manufacturing these as well,” avers Mulherkar. The company has recently opened an ‘International Machine Division’, which is focussed on selling foreign products in India.

Pioneer in machine tool business Owing to its expertise and foreign collaborations, Premier has constantly updated its technology. The company has to its credit the launch of several new technologies in India such as CNC gear hobbing, gear shaping, gear shaving, CNC vertical lathes, machines, machining centres, etc. At IMTEX 2011, its gear shaping machine, featuring helical path generation without helical guide, bagged the FIE Foundation Award for innovative technology.

The company’s core strengths lie in its design and development capability

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States Mulherkar, “We are pioneers in several areas of manufacturing. We spearheaded CNC machine building in India. The gear shaving machine, which we displayed at IMTEX 2011, is manufactured only by us in India.” Premier attracts the best engineering talent and conducts training programmes for ITI and diploma students. It recently donated ` 2 crore to the College of Engineering, Pune, from where the company inducts promising students into its workforce. The company has also offered CNC machines to the production engineering laboratory of this college, so that students can avail practical knowledge and be ‘floor ready’ from day one after joining the company.

Expansion plans With a vision to provide the best technology solutions and to grab opportunities in India & abroad, Premier Ltd is in an expansion mode. Looking at the growth potential in the Indian market, the company is planning to continuously invest in R&D to reduce costs and improve productivity. Sharing his future outlook for the company, Mulherkar avers, “Machine tool is a sector that comprises a lot of design activities. We will be investing more in R&D, in increasing capacity and launching new machines every year. Also, we are in talks with several global players for joint manufacturing.” For 2011-12, the company’s capex in machine tools is planned at approximately ` 25 crore; and company-wide, it will be approximately ` 50-70 crore. Premier Ltd is one of the few companies that focusses on investing in technology. Most of the technology being developed is on par with international standards, which reflects in its determined commitment towards excellence in manufacturing. With the support of a modern manufacturing facility, the company is now leveraging its capability to tap emerging markets in the country and planning global expansion.

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PREMIER LTD For over sixty years, Premier Ltd has been a pioneer of innovation in precision machine tool manufacturing. Located in Chinchwad...

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