Friday, March 2, 2012

Industrial Trip - February 2012

          Our Journey started with full enthusiasm as we left for SIDCUL, U.S Nagar on a cold winter morning of 9th February. We reached Bajaj Auto plant at 4PM where we were warmly welcomed. The campus was beautiful and we instantly got over the tiredness of the eight hour long journey. Bajaj Auto Ltd, at SIDCUL was started in the year 2007, now manufactures two motorcycles (Platina and Discover) which mostly cater to demands of the domestic market. They have 17 vendors and all of them are located nearby. They have four assembly lines which operate in two shifts, manufacturing 4000 vehicles per day & targeting 1 Lakh vehicles per month. Bajaj is the top exporter of bike in India, exporting to more than 40 countries around the world. Two mentors were allotted to us. They shared the practices of “Kaizen”, “Jishu Hozen” and how they are implemented at Bajaj Auto Ltd. The mission of the company is “Zero Defect, Zero Accident & Zero Breakdown”. The Bajaj plant at SIDCUL believes in Energy conservation & Green technology. The plant boosts of Zero discharge, Rain water harvesting & SHE Management system. Guided by the mentors, we left for the assembly line where Platina was being assembled. We all were awestruck by the mere sight of the vastness of the line and the complexities of the operations. The mentors were very cooperative and explained various aspects of the operations: the setting of daily targets, the quality checks at various stages, the procurement process from the ancillaries, use of automation etc. Most of the vendors of Bajaj are nearby and Bajaj Auto operates cohesively with them in every aspect. They shared with us issues, they face, related to human resource and ways they are tackled by Employee engagement, job rotation etc. Various sport events are organized to keep the moral of the employees high. Reward and recognition are given to the employees who demonstrate high quality at work. Safety of employees is given a high priority and many processes are in place which make sure the safety requirements are met as workers erforms their jobs. Towards the end, we had a healthy discussion with the Senior Manager, Mr. Ashutosh Sharma. He enlightened us about the business strategy of the company in the past and in the coming future and patiently answered the queries we had from the management point of view. As we bid adieu to Bajaj, he expressed his will to strengthen the relationship with DoMS, IIT Roorkee in the times to come.

          After the visit to Bajaj, it was time to take rest & prepare for the next day schedule. We were fortunate to have lodging at International Guest House of G.B. Pant Nagar University. Our stay at Pant Nagar University was short but worth remembering. After having breakfast & checking out from G.B. Pant Nagar University’s Guest House on the morning of 10th February, we headed to Tata Motors, Pantnagar plant. The Tata Motors, Pantnagar plant is a green field project with the investment of 1000 crores & was planned to manufacture small commercial & passenger vehicles. It is spread over 953 acres of land where its vendors occupy 337 acres of land. The best thing about the plant was that this plant was made operational in record time of 11 months. We were received by Mr. Brijlal Ahuja (HR personnel), who first took us to beautiful garden in the plant which is a part of the 117 acres of greenery inside the plant. We got to know various HR policies & functions followed in Tata Motors from him like

• Employee Relation
• Engagement Cell
• Industrial Relation
• Time Office Management
• Learning & Development

          We also got to know about the fast track appraisal system (FTSS) of Tata Motors, where in anyone from Tata Motors, who has an experience of 2 yrs can sit for FTSS exam; those who clear this exam are straight away promoted to Division Manager Position. Plant designed capacity is 5 Lakhs vehicles per year. It has a single largest paint shop with 58 JPH capacities, weld shop with robots, machine shop with flexible machining centers & CNC machines, assembly lines with super market & just in time material feeding system with inter shop conveyors. This has eliminated the use of vehicles for material transportation within the plant. Hence a great reduction in the operation cost for the company.

          After learning HR policies adopted in Tata Motors, we went to the Welding shop. In this shop, chassis of the body is welded with the various parts like the underbody and struts and suspension etc. Various parts are welded using Spot welding technique. Ace zip and Magic Iris are handled and same assembly line is used for both. They follow ABC analysis method for maintaining the suitable inventory level with lead time of 4 hours. In this department, they follow a balanced score card for employees, where every detail about an employee’s performance is monitored. The vehicle from the Welding shop is sent to the paint shop where it is painted and then it is send to assembly shop where the entire vehicle is assembled on the assembly line. Then we moved to assembly shop. Here they follow the principle of TPM (Total Productive Maintenance) and SDT (Self Directed Teams); their focus is on Quality and Team Work.

           In this department the focus is on lean manufacturing and sole complete proprietorship whereby Tata Motors gets its competitive advantage. This department follows Just In Time inventory model with a variable lead time of 2 hours for the parts from vendor park to 1 month for parts which come from outside. Once the vehicle is ready it is send for testing on a dynamometer. Two main issues faced by Assembly line were Line Balancing & Managing people. At the last leg of Tata Motor visit, we were taken to the Learning & development Department. There we met Senior Manager, Employee Engagement of Tata Motor, Mr. Vineet Singh. He showed a small video on Tata Motors & then gave a presentation on Tata Motors. The overall hospitality on the part of Tata motors was excellent. After having lunch, we bid adieu to Tata Motors, Pantnagar plant.

Sikands Limited, Pantnagar

After experiencing the assembly line units in Bajaj Auto and Tata Motors it was time to go a step back in the supply chain and visit the Vendor’s side to understand :-

• How actually the manufacturing of the components takes place on the shop floor?

• Why do companies like Bajaj and Tata outsource their components to these vendors? 

• What advantages do they gain over producing the same at their own floor?

          We visited Sikands Ltd. after visiting Tata Motors plant. Sikands Limited is located in Integrated Industrial Estate (IIE) Pantnagar Rudrapur. This Pantnagar Manufacturing Unit deals in high tensile fasteners. Sikands Ltd. was established in 1964 & its corporate office is in Faridabad, Haryana. It manufactures and exports cold forged components, fasteners, bolts, screws, studs for 2- 3 wheelers auto components. We were greeted by the plant head, Mr. A.K. Singh, and his staff members on arriving at the plant. We were then taken to the shop floor where manufacturing of Bolts was taking place. We saw various machines like Lathes, Heat treatment setup comprising of heat treatment pit and conveyer belt based heating furnace. As a vendor, Sikands ltd. has to ensure that the product that they manufacture has to follow the standards that meet that of the companies that they are supplying to; for that they follow rigorous quality checks and ensures that the product manufactured adhere to the quality norms or else it would be rejected by the receiver. Quality checks are done by skilled labor force; they are also responsible for setting up of the machinery for production process. Their target is to produce the required quantity by their customers maintaining the quality of the product.

          The planning for production mainly depends upon the quantity asked by the customer and the maximum possible production limit for the plant. Only manual workforce was employed and no automation was visible on the shop floor. We saw the workers on the machine were semi-skilled and the quality of working standards and pay-structure followed by them didn’t match that of companies like Bajaj and Tata Motors. The main reason behind this approach is to produce the quality component at minimum cost possible. Employment issues faced by the vendors are completely of a different nature than in these companies and attrition rate is quite high so most of the times vendors take working force on contract basis. Hence, in this way, the companies outsource and can get the required quality of product with low cost with maintaining the high standards at their shop floor. The staff members were very cooperative and very patiently explained us the manufacturing processes and answered to our queries. We expressed our regards to the Plant head and the staff members and they showed a lot of interest in having a visit to the department if we had any further queries.

At last, after spending our two days at Bajaj Auto, G.B. Pantnagar University, Tata Motors & Sikands Ltd, & learning a lot of things there, we finally headed to DoMS.

DoMS Rocks !!!

Prepared By :-
Atul Sharma,

Ankit Kumar Agarwal,
Manav Kaushik,
Jamal Ahmed

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