ANDRITZ Group focuses on providing superior service to its large local customer base. It applies highest standards throughout its operations, planning, engineering, manufacturing, subcontracting, assembly, shipping, site erection and start-up support. This ensures that the customer receive products that are of the highest quality, received on time, and are delivered at the cost agreed upon. As a part of their strategy they manufacture the key proprietary components for their equipment in-house to ensure that the most stringent quality requirements are met. Many other components are subcontracted within their network of certified facilities in China, supporting and developing local businesses and therefore the economy as a whole. In a conversation with Mr. PCS Raghavan, Director Operations & Marketing, Andritz Technologies team Paper Mart asked him about Andritz’s focus on the Indian market and how Andritz is up to support the same.
Paper Mart: Indian paper industry has its own set of challenges and opportunities ahead. What are your views on the Indian paper industry and what role as a leading technology provider you intend to play for the industry?
PCS Raghavan: Yes. Indian paper industry is facing the effect of a temporary financial slow down, just like any other industry in India. This is caused by financial troubles elsewhere in the globe. This is a temporary phase, and we should be able to get over it soon. The paper industry is also facing challenges from competition from paper mills abroad in terms of cost and technology and is thrown open with up-gradation and scaling up chances. This is the same reason for opportunity for Andritz. This up-gradation and scaling up cannot be done with a lesser technology. Latest technology is needed to have a good result, and this is precisely an opportunity for Andritz. We would like to be part of this ongoing process of higher scale of paper mills in India.
PM: Andritz is known to have technologically excellent offerings worldwide, so how do you plan on updating services and support to meet future requirements of the Indian paper industry?
PCS: As I said earlier, Indian paper industry is at a stage where the scale from earlier 100 or 150 TPD mills are changing and new investments planned are in the range of 300 to 400 TPD and even some are contemplating 500 TPD. We interact and offer services to paper mills, on what needs to be done, based on the developments happening worldwide, and suggest similar solutions to Indian paper industry. By bringing the latest of technology to Indian paper industry, we would make it more competitive in terms of energy efficiency, performance etc. In fact Andritz is a world leader in chemical pulping technology with world renowned environmental excellence. Leading and successful paper mills in India have looked towards Andritz, whenever they had to invest on chemical pulping projects.
PM: Is Andritz ready to customize the technology according to the Indian conditions. Kindly throw some light on this?
PCS: In India, any of the equipment manufacturers do not have a strong R&D base or means of technology upgrade. This is where Andritz can come in and help the paper mills to get latest technology to India.
Now-a-days, Indian paper mills are looking up and planning scaling up. Mills are planning capacities of a single street of 300 or even 500 TPD. No Indian equipment manufacturers have experience in this kind of capacities. At such higher scales, just sizing to higher capacity doesn’t help. There cannot be any linear behavior in scaling up. Only company who has a manufacturing experience of such capacities knows how to do it.
From the paper mill investor’s angle he has put in greater money at stake in this endeavor of higher capacity so he cannot afford to risk his money invested. Indian paper mills have a different choice of raw material furnish. With the vast experience of operating all over the globe and handling different kinds of furnishes, Andritz brings this vast experience to Indian customers and provide state-of-the-art solutions.
Another matter is, Andritz put up a manufacturing set up at China a few years ago and this was with a view to supply to customers the same Andritz standards but at lower prices, affordable. This is a strategy also aimed at Indian paper mills.
PM: A look into the future, how do you expect the Andritz market to develop and highlight main areas of focus?
PCS: Now that new investments are no longer looking at smaller mill capacities, they look forward to experienced suppliers and technologically advanced suppliers for a sure success. This is where paper mills look towards Andritz, which is known as a technologically advanced company. Andritz spends a substantial sum every year towards R&D initiatives, aimed at changing the efficiency and effective working of the products offered.
As such, Andritz has one of the best technology and success for de-inking process. Success stories of Andritz DIP performance are aplenty. And also, Andritz is the only company in the world to offer drum pulper for OCC pulping. This is possible, because Andritz is the pioneer in drum pulping technology. The fact that the highest capacity single street of OCC line in the world is by Andritz is also a standing proof of capability.
PM: What approach “Andritz” keep in mind for raising the overall production efficiency while keeping maintenance costs to a minimum?
PCS: The answer lies in the R&D efforts. By regular and continuous studies for improvements, Andritz thrives to keep improving the energy efficiency, output qualities etc. With this basic approach, lots of trials and studies are conducted. Andritz offers solutions which help the customers with efficiency of operation. It is well known and acknowledged that Andritz pulpers, screens, refiners, agitators, pumps etc are all effective in delivering good performance and also very much energy efficient at the same time. That is to say, perennially, the customers will be benefited by lower operating costs. The designs as a result of regular R&D are such that, the replacement cost of wear and tear parts are kept to a minimum. Because of this, it is invariably, once a customer, always an Andritz customer.