An announcement from Ferromatik Milacron India Pvt. Ltd. today caught my eye: the company handed over the 10,001st injection molding machine made at its factory in India, to one of that country's more prominent plastics processors, the Cello Group.
Milacron, of course, is probably better known to most of our audience as the biggest maker of plastics machinery in the United States.
But it's also generally recognized as having the largest market share in India's injection machine market, and it says its factory in Ahmedabad, India, makes more molding machines than any other Milacron factory globally.
That's measured by the number of machines sold, of course, not value of the sales, since the India machines are cheaper.
But it illustrates how important India is to Milacron. The Cincinnati, Ohio-based company was late coming to China and has a smaller operation there.
But it's hoping to make up for that in India, where its executives see long-term potential, now starting to blossom.
India has become a key part of Milacron's manufacturing footprint in emerging markets, with the factory doing a solid export business to Africa too.
In this story, from the PlastIndia show earlier this year, Milacron executives talked about how their injection machine design centers worldwide — in the U.S., Germany and India — were managed by an India-based executive.
“A number of analysts predict that by 2020 India will be 2nd to only China in the global polymer processing market,” said Milacron CEO Tom Goeke, in a statement announcing the delivery to Cello.
Mumbai-based Cello Group, as well, illustrates changes in Indian manufacturing.
I sat down with Cello Group Managing Director Pankod Rathod in February. Cello is one of the country's largest plastics processors, with a joint venture partnership with global giant Bic in the writing instrument business.
Rathod talked about the importance of innovation, rather than pursue a low-cost strategy, and he predicted that Indian government tax reforms like a national goods and service tax will cut down on the number of smaller, “unorganized” companies that sometimes ignore rules.
That will help India's industry scale up, he said, which is one of its weaknesses globally. The country's manufacturing environment is changing fast, he said.
At the Sept. 2 ceremony in Ahmedabad, Cello Chairman Ghisulal Rathod said Milacron has supplied more than 200 molding machines to Cello factories in India and Africa.
India's economy has a lot of challenges, as this story from the Financial Times notes, but at least in Ahmedabad, for one day, it was a time to note some of the Indian industry's accomplishments.