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Aug 25, 2008

Coimbatore Gearing In Sheet Metal Fabrication

The Bird’s Nest Stadium in Beijing, China, is an outstanding example of fabrication technology.Like the Olympic stadium, which was built using the world’s best technology in sheet metal fabrication, the CODISSIA Trade Fair Complex in Coimbatore, a pillar-free structure was also built using the same technology. But the city, which is famous for its world-class foundries and machinery, is yet to mark its presence felt in fabrication technology.

Coimbatore District Small Industries Association (CODISSIA) president K Ilango, told that though the technology is already in vogue in Coimbatore, not many are seriously into it. “Now, with demand for sheet metal increasing, it is time the micro, small and medium (MSME) industries in Coimbatore start manufacturing quality sheet metals,” he said. With the automotive industry expected to grow by 25-30% in the coming year, demand for fabrication technology will only increase. Leading automobile manufacturers in the world are turning to Coimbatore for cost-effective components with high reliability.



The city’s MSMEs are already supplying components to automotive majors like Ford, Hyundai, Mitsubishi, HM and Ashok Leyland. The state is also going to see the entry of many more giants like Nissan, Mercedes, Renault and BMW who will require updated technology in fabrication. The sheet metal components constitute nearly 60- 65% in automotives. Likewise, the requirement for sheet metal is essential in manufacturing powerplant equipment and consumer goods. The city’s potential to produce quality products has led to major industries like Suzlon and L&T start their operations here.



Work on the railway coach factory at Kanjikode in Palakkad is to start soon and it will be a huge business opportunity for the city’s entrepreneurs. Nearly 50% of a railway coach is made of sheet metal and noting the proximity of Coimbatore to Palakkad, the fabrication manufacturers here can be the major suppliers. “If the locals are not trained properly, the business will go to other regions,” said Ilango. The coach factory to be established on 3,000 acres is expected to produce 1,000-1,500 coaches every year and the Palakkad-Pollachi belt is sure to see a splurge in metal sheet fabrication manufacturing.



The BHEL unit in Tiruchy is also a major consumer of sheet metal fabrication. With BHEL looking at doubling its capacity, the requirement of sheet metal is bound to increase. Coimbatore, the second largest industrial city in Tamil Nadu, has more than one lakh industries, of which 100 industries are engaged in sheet metal fabrications for textile machinery, machine tools and for FMCG products for domestic and multinational clients. According to CODISSIA’s former president D Gandhikumar, the demand for sheet metal cannot be calculated but it surely is huge.



To showcase the opportunities in fabrication technology to entrepreneurs in the region and also the latest equipment and machinery, CODISSIA is organising its maiden premier sheet metal fabrication and welding show, Fabtec India 2009 at CODISSIA Trade Fair Complex here from January 21 to 25. “We want to help enterpreneurs in this region. We want to facilitate and equip them to start manufacturing sheet metals,” Gandhikumar said.

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