YUDO – The Partner in Transformational Technology For the Plastics Industry
Mr. Ginu Joseph, Editor in Chief, Modern Plastics India interviews the wizard who transformed the Hot runner and Automation industry in India- Mr. Vishal Agarwal.
Where and how did you start Yudo in India (or Yudo India)?
YUDO was started in April, 2000. Our initial office was located in Ahmadabad. Later on we moved to Bombay from where we continue to operate till date.
How did you enter into the hot runner industry?
During my days at CIPET, I accidently bumped into a project related to Hot Runners. After the successful implementation of the project, I developed a deep passion and interest for hot runners which continue till this day.
Give us a brief history of YUDO (Korea) and its operations?
Yudo was started by our Chairman Mr. Francis Yu in 1980 in Korea with a very small humble beginning. But, with his passion and dedication for Product innovation and customer centric approach Yudo started growing very rapidly not just in Korea but also in the overseas market. In 1992, Yudo started a new division for making Robots, Automation and Auxiliary equipments. Today, Yudo is present in more than 40 countries with more than 3,500 people working with it and holding 356 patents in its name. Also, Yudo is the world’s leader in Hot Runners and Automation.
Which are the segments within plastics industry that you cater to in India?
Our products have a wide range of applications. Our widest range of hot runners which cater to various segments include Automotive, Medical, Packaging, Electrical and PVC. Other than that, we have another product segment which are Auxiliary equipment’s, Robots, industrial Automation and turnkey projects as well. Hence, we can see that our products are applied in a much diversified manner across various industrial applications, that too with the highest level of efficiency.
How does the World’s leading manufacturer of Hot runner systems maintain its position in such a competitive scenario?
Well, I would say, that, we give highest priority to customer satisfaction. And by customer satisfaction, i mean, a reaction based on customer needs and not just our priorities. A customer faces many issues like pricing, technical support and other such issues where they sometimes face troubles. We, as a company, lay highest emphasis on solving the needs of our customers. Other than that, we have a global team for our R&D, an area where we heavily invest. It is really difficult for a company to grow, unless they heavily invest in R&D. Added to that, we always tend to explore new areas. For example, there is not a single Hot Runner company which supplies CPVC Hot runners till date. So there are a variety of factors, which includes Customer satisfaction, R& D and exploring new areas. A mixture of all these, definitely helps our company maintain its dominant position.
How were you able to become one of India’s top hot runner suppliers in such a short time?
Right from the beginning, we have always kept our approach straight forward and customer centric. As an individual and as a company, we have always believed on building trust and relationship with customers. We never really bothered about volumes. When we started taking care of customer requirements, volumes grew automatically. We never take any agreement from our customers or sign a volume agreement for discounts. That is the same reason why customers appreciate us a lot.
What are the attributes that made you a popular name in the automotive and packaging industry?
We have the following attributes that we associate ourselves with. Also, these attributes are claims which our satisfied customers have mentioned over the years after years of hard work, sincerity and determination from our end. The main attributes are definitely business ethics, creation of trust and avoiding giving excuses and we support our customers with their issues which are not related to our products and also we spend a lot of time for pre engineering which removes any possibility of issues on late part, we share our years of experience woriing on thousands of parts in these segments which not only helps them to cut down on initial start time but also helps them to execute the project successfully.
What is the current status of automation in the Automotive industry?
Automation for Auto Component Industry in plastics is largely bifurcated into two wheelers and four wheelers. Let me simplify it a bit more,
Two wheelers: Already a lot of automation is adopted. We are getting very good results and this segment is growing rapidly towards automation.
Four wheelers: There are two kinds under four wheelers:
- a) Simple pick and place
- b) Complete Automation before and after molding- This area is yet to gain
pace in the Indian market. Major reasons being :
1) Hesitation in adopting new technology mainly because of
uncertainties involved in part volumes &
2) Lack of awareness for technology in component assemblies and parts
technology in four wheelers where automation can be adopted.
Example: Front End Carrier in many countries, we do it with complete
automation since there are more than 40 Nut Bolts , and then there are
Lower and Side Membranes which are attached to it and then we also
have automation in it for Weighing, quality inspection, testing at various
positions, etc which we all see currently done manually here.
The same goes for Grab Handel of BMW which is again done on a complete automatic assembly line rather than manually as seen in the Industry by us.
Why is it important for auto component manufacturers to adopt automation?
Indian Automotive Industry has now already started paying attention on their supply chain even till the level of Tier 2 & Tier 3 part suppliers as although we don’t have Car recall norms in India but even a small part fault can become the reason for Cars recall and you know it that this exercise is very very expensive and in the past Globally many companies have been vanished only because of car recalls, hence its very important to make things right in the fastest possible time at the first stage itself with all Inspection provision where in Automation is the only answer which not only ensures 100% quality consistency every time but also produce the parts in fastest possible time, which also helps the Molders to reduce their per part cost.
10) What makes you and your company different than others?
The two main reasons for making us different are:
1) We are the only company capable of providing entire turnkey solutions for
Injection Moulding Industry, wherein the customers don’t have to go to ten
different vendors for one setup and then find external agencies for
integration of all that equipment’s. We do the entire integration together
for the benefit of the customer and thereby add to his advantage.
2) As far as Hot Runners is concerned, we pay a lot of attention to pre
engineering for parts even before we start the designing of HR which
removes almost 90% of possibilities of having any kind of issue in the later
part of the mold. Added to that, we have the largest range of Hot
Runners in the industry not only suitable for different segments but
also for different sizes, weight and material.
What are the challenges you faced in the Indian market?
The initial 4-5 years were very difficult as the market size was very small and were dominated by 2-3 brands. But with time, we relentlessly worked on our technological strength and product range. However, even now a lot of new low cost brands from certain parts of the world do come and create an unrealistic price war.
How is the demand for hot runner system and other auxiliary equipment in the Indian plastic industry?
Demand for Hot Runners has steadily increased to almost 20-25 % every year, especially in automotive sector & we see the same trend to continue for many years to come as conversion from steel to plastics is high, which will in turn help us to increase our volumes. Added to that, increased number of tool rooms in India is also a good sign.
As far auxiliaries are concerned they are a very big volume based segment. What we cater to is a very specific part of it wherein the customer requires high end equipments and the good news is that even this segment is increasing rapidly now.
What are the benefits offered by Yudo’s hot runner system and auxiliary equipment to plastics processors?
We do support our customers to a great extent for selection of Hot Runners. Then, depending on the application and situation, we do flow analysis for them. Apart from that, we go ahead and help them completely till the successful trials of the mold.
For auxiliary equipments , we pay alot of attention for reduction in cycle time, reduction in power saving and improving the part quality with our equipments to the customer for which we have a global R& D team which supports our customers in getting maximum benefits out of our equipments
What is driving the demand for your products in India?
The two main attributes are ‘Product quality’ & ‘Customer Satisfaction’. We go out of our boundaries to take care of the pain areas of the customers and to serve them better which the customers never experience with other brands. And that is why the customers who have brought products from us, buy it again because of the quality and customer centric services provided by YUDO.
What are the future plans (Vision)?
We are very bullish for Indian Market. We see it as a driving seat for global scenario after China with the increasing demands for molds and automation in India. Along with all the big Global toolmakers and T-1’s coming to India, we see tremendous growth ahead and keeping in mind such a situation, this year itself we are moving into a bigger space to increase our capacities and work more harder in the same direction.
What message do you want to give to the Indian plastics industry?
It is one of the best times for the Indian Plastics Industry. I hope that everyone pays more attention to improve part quality and reduce the tooling time which will enable us to work on volumes which we only see right now with other overseas tool rooms situated out of India.