Case Study

EDM plays key role in Indian manufacturer's tool production

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Intricate components require finely machined electrodes

“Given the complexity of the electrodes and the accuracy we need to achieve, we originally thought we would have to buy high-end, expensive European or Japanese machines, until we discovered Haas," Nayak explained. "We couldn’t believe how capable they are; we have no problems regularly achieving tolerances of 10 microns.”

Several of the company’s other Haas machines are employed in its lock-making division, where they operate 24 hours a day in a production configuration for a line of products that Godrej has been making in one form or another for all of its 114 years. The division uses four Haas VF-2s, two VF-2SS Super Speeds, and two SL-10 lathes. Between them, they make pin cylinder locks in brass and stainless steel. Tolerances are typically 20 to 50 microns and batches are 200 to 1000 units per shift, depending on the component being machined. The VF-2 machines are fitted with two rotary tables on each table, with different types of fixtures to accommodate the wide variety of part shapes and sizes.

In the company’s Precision Engineering Systems (PES) division, Haas VF-3 machining centres make critical components, such as the stator ring, hub, carrier arm, and disc rotor for wind turbines, one of Godrej’s latest and fastest-growing manufacturing activities.

“Haas machines are reliable, user-friendly, and flexible,” Nayak said. “We’re already achieving 65 to 70% cutting time, and we are always looking for ways to make our operations more efficient. We will order two more Haas VF-8 machines for our tooling division, and one for the MHE division.”

Giving back to the community to pave a path to the future

The founding family and the senior managers at Godrej say they know the company’s future depends on helping India’s disadvantaged. The challenge is to do the right over the expedient, but without sacrificing opportunity. Being privately owned means Godrej can make its own judgement call.

“Our company provides its employees and their families with extensive social support,” Sharma said. “On our Mumbai campus there is a purpose-built school, and a memorial hospital with 110 beds and a fully equipped intensive care unit. There’s also housing and accommodation for all levels up to senior management, and even a hill-top country club. “The future of our country depends on the intellectual capacity and the learning capability of the young India, Sharma noted. “Twenty-five percent of our company’s shares are owned by the Pirojsha Godrej Foundation Trust, which provides communities around the country with schooling, medical treatment, education, and disaster relief.”

Godrej’s investment, relentless innovation and wide-reaching philanthropy mean that it could play a very important role in the socio-economic and industrial development of India for at least another 100 years.