NEW DELHI (March 8, 1:45 p.m. ET) — Indian machinery maker Sai Machine Tools Pvt. Ltd. is investing 35 million rupees ($700,000) in a dedicated facility to make drip irrigation tube extrusion machinery.
The company sees demand growing for technologies to help conserve the country's limited water resources.
The company has also signed a technology agreement with San Diego, Calif.-based manufacturer Drip Irrigation Systems Ltd.
The new facility, in Indore, in the central Indian state of Madhya Pradesh, started operating in early March, and will boost the company's capacity from six machines a month to about 15 machines, said Director Ajay Jaiswal.
Some of the biggest markets will be in Madhya Pradesh, along with the Indian states of Rajasthan, Gujarat, Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu.
“There is a big scarcity of water in these states and therefore, we are planning to focus on these markets,” Jaiswal said at the Plastindia show, held Feb. 1-6 in New Delhi. “The Indian government is also promoting drip irrigation to conserve the scarce water resources” and enhance agricultural yields at less cost, he said.
The agreement with Drip Irrigation Systems covers equipment to make precise round dripper insertion and perforation units.
“We have signed a technical know-how agreement with Drip Irrigation Systems to import machinery initially, followed by manufacturing of in-line drip irrigation tube extrusion lines with round drippers at our new plant in Indore,” Jaiswal said.
The machinery is expected to arrive by the first week of March, with Sai Machines planning to begin manufacturing based on the DIS technology by April 2013, he said.
In addition to drip irrigation equipment, Sai has another plant in Indore that manufactures extruders for a variety of industrial and household markets, including PVC pipes and profiles, pipes and film from polyethylene and other materials, telephone, computer and other types of cables, mono-filament and polypropylene and PE tape.
The company said it has supplied around 1,200 extrusion lines worldwide since 1988, with about 30 percent of its production exported, mainly to Africa, the Middle East and Latin America.
In the future, the company plans to focus on European and Far East markets, Jaiswal added. Sai Machine Tools said it is the largest manufacturer of plastic processing machinery in central India.