PAPER DESK
Interviews

WIKA Instruments India Pvt. Ltd : specialist in Pressure, Temperature, Level, Flow, & Force for critical industrial applications

An exclusive interview from Mr. Gaurav Bawa, Senior Vice President, WIKA India.

Paper Desk : Could you let us know the history of WIKA Group?

Gaurav Bawa : WIKA India (WIKA Instruments India Pvt. Ltd) is a wholly-owned subsidiary of WIKA Global (WIKA Alexander Wiegand SE & Co. KG, Germany), and is a specialist in Pressure, Temperature, Level, Flow, & Force for critical industrial applications. WIKA Global has been in measurement technology for more than 75 years and in India, WIKA is present for the last 25 yrs. WIKA Instruments India has established and operates a quality and environment management system according to the requirements of international standards (ISO 9001, ISO 14001).

WIKA was established in India in 1997 and since then WIKA has expanded its services, and manufacturing facilities after acquiring other companies like Switzer Instruments and Micro Precision. With a strong focus on localization and a vision to transform India into a hub of manufacturing for exports, WIKA has invested for a long term in India.

PD : What are your company’s mission & vision for your company?

GB : WIKA’s vision is to contribute to our customers’ success by providing superior instrumentation solutions. Our values revolve around parameters like trustworthy, competent, harmonious, loyal, adaptive, and collaborative organization.

  • Our Mission encompasses the following deliverables:
  • Deliver integrated & sustainable services and products based on excellent Quality, Safety, Health & Environment Principles
  • Ensure sustainable growth through a smart investment portfolio leading to environment-friendly growth
  • Provide collaborative services beyond stakeholder’s expectations
  • Establish footprints worldwide through innovative and advanced technology

In terms of company’s culture and values, WIKA believes in enabling safe, efficient, and sustainable processes. We strongly believe in values that include customer orientation, empowerment, willingness to change, treating each other equally, standing for diversity, teamwork, and trusting each other.

PD : What are all the products manufactured by WIKA for the paper mill customers?

GB : Every process industry—be it Paper mill, Oil & Gas, Chemical, Food & Pharmacy, HVAC or Petro Chemical will need test and measurement instrumentation. WIKA products are applicable to every demand in the T&M category. We provide target process solutions if requested.

The paper industry needs all the solutions like pressure monitoring instruments for the final paper-making step. Flow measurement of steam, cleaning water, and catalyst needs appropriate measurement techniques. Temperature measurement and control for paper making step is very important—and digital precision makes a big difference to the final product.

Resistant thermometers, Thermocouples temperature sensors, temperature signal converters, wireless measurement hubs, various industrial flow meters and analysers, digital temperature controller are examples of just a few instrumentations that are used in the paper industry.

PD : What is WIKA’s Hybrid Signal Converter and can it be used for remote applications?

GB : WIKA has a hybrid signal converter for a magnetic-inductive flow meter which is versatile in application. The model FLC-608 hybrid signal converter is available in many versions and can also be used in remote applications that do not have access to the power supply network along with usage in water and wastewater, the chemical industry, pulp and paper industry.

It offers unified data security through integrated EEPROM memory (“electrically erasable programmable read-only memory”). Up to 200,000 data sets can be saved. With the supplied software, the model FLC-608 can communicate via IrCOM or Modbus RS-485 interface with a PC, laptop, or mobile device to program the signal converter and to manage and download measured values. A multi-level password system guarantees data access for authorized users only.

PD : Do you manufacture thermocouples which has sensors for more than 1000’C and is it explosion protected?

GB : Yes, we do—it is ATEX-certified and explosion protected. Temperature sensors with thermocouples are suitable for the measurement of high temperatures of up to +1,700 °C (3,092 °F). Thermocouples consist of two different metals that are bound together to form the ‘thermocouple’.

The connection point (hot junction) represents the actual measuring location of the temperature probe, the wire ends are designated as the cold junction. When there is a temperature change at the measuring location, due to the different electron densities of the metals and the temperature difference, a voltage is generated between the hot and cold junctions.

PD : Any Wedge flow meter is designed by you to run with very high Reynolds numbers?

GB : We do have Wedge flow meter for slurries and highly viscous media that can read from 300 to millions. Due to its design, the wedge flow meter is suitable for nearly all types of flow, especially for highly viscous, dirty, abrasive, slurry or muddy media, and also for flow with a very low Reynolds number of 300 up to very high Reynolds numbers of several million.

The wedge flow meter is suited for bi-directional measurement. The welded construction and wide range of materials ensure a reliable measurement, even under extreme pressure and temperature conditions or with aggressive media.

PD : How Diaphragm seals and wetted parts can be made of identical or different materials?

GB : Diaphragm Seals are specially designed for the pulp and paper industry. It is used for the protection of pressure-measuring instruments in applications with difficult media. In diaphragm seal systems, the diaphragm seal affects the separation of the instrument and the medium.

The pressure is transmitted to the measuring instrument via the system fill fluid which is inside the diaphragm seal system. For the implementation of demanding customer applications, there are a wide variety of designs, materials, and system fill fluids available. The model 990.23 diaphragm seal has been developed for use in pulp manufacture or waste-paper processing applications.

PD : Could you explain us about your manufacturing plants?

GB : WIKA India manufacturing plants are present in four states—Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Uttar Pradesh, and Haryana. WIKA started its journey in India way back in 1997 with the establishment of WIKA Instrument, India in Pune. It had its first calibration facility in 1999. In 2002, it expanded its facilities in Pune and added new factory buildings. The Pune facilities were further strengthened with a new factory for level, calibration, and SF6 gas. The inauguration of the new factory at Ghaziabad happened in 2021. Meanwhile, WIKA acquired two other companies in 2014 Micro Precision located at Faridabad, and Switzer Instruments India Pvt. Ltd., with brand ‘Switzer” and “Indfos” each having their manufacturing locations in Chennai and Ghaziabad respectively.

In Pune, Pressure gauges, temperature gauges, diaphragm seals, level gauges, equipment for SF6 gas handling units are manufactured. We have recently added a production facility for force measurement/load cells. Our second plant was established in Chennai. In Chennai, we make the pressure switches and temperature switches for process industries like railway plants, steel plants, power plants and others. Then coming to the Ghaziabad plant, here we make switches which cater to HVAC and railway segment. Our Faridabad plants manufacture Instrumentation Valves & Manifolds, Flow elements for DP-based measurements. This plant also supplies export products supporting global key accounts.

PD : Being in the industry as a leading group for more than 75 years, how is it possible?

GB : Quality in product and in Service’ are the two most important and age-old pillars on which WIKA rests its market leadership. The test and measurement market are precision oriented, with no scope for mistakes. Our products bring in the global quality fitted for Indian usage and market. WIKA’s superior instrumentation offerings bring down the shut down time for the end users, thus, saving money and time in the process. We go by the saying “Cut down your shut down” with WIKA products. A big differentiator to our products is the WIKA Global brand, which helps end users to export products with relative ease. Moreover, our strong distribution network ensures availability of WIKA products in all major industrial towns. With WIKA servicing available at doorstep through mobile calibration vans, it is a very important value addition to the customers.

PD : What are all your company’s comprehensive technological competences?

GB : WIKA has comprehensive process and product offerings in all measurement technologies. It recently showcased its advanced technology designed to meet global sustainability challenges that include the Fire Sprinkler Flow Detector (FSFD) flow switch engineered with an adjustable time delay mechanism to avoid false alarms during water surges, and tamper-proof covers to prevent unauthorized access to the switch point setting. The product has IP 56/NEMA 4 ingress protection that enables the instrument to be used indoors and outdoors with two sets of micro switches that activate the control panel and local audible.

WIKA offers 360-degree WEgrid Solutions encompassing digitalization, EC Certification, Rental Service, a Worldwide Services network with system calibration, repair services, consulting services, spare part services, and laboratory facilities to analyze SF6 and alternative gases.

PD : How important is the QC lab for the manufacturers of a precise product like yours and how it is perceived at your units?

GB : WIKA takes full responsibility of servicing the products for the customers. Calibration of the products for efficient performance, long life, and predictive maintenance is a must.

We calibrate the measuring instruments in the NABL accredited calibration laboratories that are owned by us at our plants, or directly on-site at the customer’s location. To further boost the calibration, WIKA India has recently launched the Mobile Calibration Van, bringing service to the customer’s doorstep. The scope of the doorstep service includes pressure, temperature and electrical parameters through one master switch. This helps cut down the time lost in transportation of the product to the labs from the installed site.

In our endeavour to give the best to the customers, we came up with the concept of mobile calibration vans—to take servicing to their doorstep, instead of them shipping the machine to us, which used to be the general practice. These vans are equipped with master switch that helps in calibration services without any displacement or damage to the equipment.

With the doorstep delivery of services through Mobile Calibration Van, customer can now book their appointments through various channel like toll free number, email IDs & Mobile App from the comfort of their office and home. These mobile laboratories can travel to facilities to calibrate equipment that need to be available continuously (24/7), thus optimizing costs and shipping time. At the end of the calibration, a report is provided that shows a measurement error. It measures the value before and after calibration which helps the clients to determine the functionality of the device. Calibration is a pre-condition for the right measurement and we at WIKA give it a priority not only for business but also for the environment.

PD : Could you explain us about your environment management policies?

GB : WIKA applies sustainability principles including an integrated management system and sustainability impact management covering environmental, social, governance (ESG) and economic aspects. This is one of WIKA’s strategies to realize sustainability for future generations.

In achieving the sustainability performance target, WIKA also pays attention to the impact of the Company’s business activities on stakeholders and the environment, as well as the stakeholders’ concerns. Recently WIKA brand led the transformation to ‘Smart in Sensing’ after nearly 20 years of business where WIKA Group established itself as ‘Part of your Business’ reflecting reliable partnership that creates trust through anticipation and solving customers’ problems.

WIKA’s ‘Smart in Sensing’ tag comes in with its experience of instrumentation and its core responsibility towards developing a carbon-free industry. It leads CSR projects and activities in the fields of Education, Health, Environment Sustainability, and Conservation of Natural Resources in keeping with their commitment to strategies in Sustainability efforts and Social Impact, commemorating their 75th anniversary.

While education has been one of the important CSR interventions of WIKA, the company also went onto use the funds for the installation of Solar Energy and investing in renewables. While Solar panels have been installed in the school, all the four factories of WIKA in India are fitted with Solar panels making them a positive supplier to the electricity board. Adhering to the strategy of Environmental protection and energy policy, WIKA used solar rooftop solutions to make themselves energy positive.

PD : Heard that you have about more than 40 subsidiaries around the world and how do they operate & support your customers?

GB : The subsidiaries of WIKA cooperate with each other in technology training, sustainable methods, and training of workers. They learn from each other about the next level of demand for test and measurement instrumentation.

WIKA proclaims that product development and manufacturing high-tech production facilities in countries like Germany, Australia, Brazil, China, India, Italy, Canada, Poland, Switzerland, South Africa, and USA, are the best warranty for our flexibility. We are capable of delivering more than 50 million quality products to over 100 countries every year. Worldwide, approximately 600 million WIKA measuring instruments are in use.

WIKA is represented around the world by many subsidiary offices, as well as by agencies, who can attend to our customers individually on-site and who know best the particular country-specific requirements, standards, and applications. The global presence of WIKA support customers worldwide— when they are exporting and need WIKA parts or service support, they can simply dial in WIKA in that country to get the best of the services immediately.

PD : Industry barriers and competitions –How do you address the challenge?

GB : According to research by Frost & Sullivan, the Indian market for general-purpose electronic T&M instruments alone will touch US$ 300 million by 2022. WIKA, along with all competitors will have sufficient space to grow and expand. We already have a strong presence in India and intend to focus on strengthening our market share in the segments where we are present while managing our service line and creating differentiation through customized smart solutions and quality after-sales service.

PD : Your goal in the Industry?

GB : The company is targeting doubling its turnover by 2025 by taking advantage of affordable labour in India to build-up a cost-effective production process that is aided by a good supply chain and distribution channel. WIKA also plans to position India as the export hub for surrounding geographies and is working towards localisation of products in the spirit of “Make in India, Made for the World”.

PD : How do you see the growth of Indian paper industry in future?

GB : According to Research and Markets, India’s paper market is expected to grow at more than 8% CAGR starting from 2022-23 to 2027-28. The total paper market is a combination of paperboard & industrial packaging paper, paper stationery, newspaper print, and specialty paper. The paper stationery market and the specialty paper market will show an upward trend in annual growth of the market in volume terms, whereas in value terms, the growth of paper stationery shows a downward trend. Currently, increasing demand for eco-friendly drives and sustainable manufacturing is driving the market.

PD : What is your suggestion on the sustainability of paper and how should it be approached by paper manufacturers?

GB : In the paper industry, the aim is to ensure that the production of paper conserves valuable resources and doesn’t place unnecessary burdens on the environment by impacting air quality, affecting water resources, or generating waste. The pursuit of producing paper sustainably isn’t only driven by eco-consciousness, it’s also business common sense. Waste and inefficiency are major causes of costs that need to be cut down through sustainable process.

PD : How does your company contribute to the society?

GB : We have decided to participate in the CSR Projects/activities related to education, health, environment sustainability & conservation of natural resources as well as contributing to the specific fund set up by the Central Government.

WIKA has launched #AccessToDigitalWorld initiative that enabled students from economically disadvantaged families to enter and better navigate the world of digital learning and tuition to successfully participate in classes, during the difficult times of the Covid-19 pandemic. To facilitate online learning, specially adapted tablets were given to more than 300 students under the corporate social responsibility (#CSR) program.

PD : Special achievements and awards?

GB : Micro Precision Products, a division of the WIKA Group in India, has received an award for innovative and versatile application of energy saving and energy efficiency methods. The award was presented by the German Machinery and Plant Manufacturers Association (VDMA), which has a representative office in India. WIKA sees this as a confirmation of the company’s sense of responsibility, pioneering spirit and processes. We are convinced that the future of business is a race for limited resources, and energy efficiency can win this race. In the past year, WIKA India was awarded the “Best HR Practices 2019” prize by DCCIA (Deccan Chamber of Commerce Industries and Agriculture) in Pune.

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