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Feb 4, 2010

Coimbatore identified for lean manufacturing programme

Coimbatore is among the 60 clusters identified for the National Programme on Lean Manufacturing for micro, small and medium-scale units.Secretary General of the Federation of Indian Micro and Small and Medium Enterprises (FISME) Anil Bhardwaj told here on Wednesday that the Union Government launched the National Programme in 2009 and issued detailed guidelines about a couple of months ago.

The FISME, which was a member in the steering committee for the programme, in association with the Southern India Engineering Manufacturers’ Association (SIEMA) had recommended that Coimbatore should be among the first 100 clusters for the programme and Coimbatore was among the 60 approved.

Of the approved projects, six were under different stages of implementation.The scheme was designed for mini clusters of 10 to 12 units each.The units should form a special purpose vehicle and identify a consultant to implement the lean manufacturing programme in the cluster for a year.The National Productivity Council was the nodal agency for disbursement of funds to the clusters.

Each cluster would get Rs.10 lakh to Rs. 24 lakh for a year as subsidy and 20 per cent of the project cost would be borne by the units.Mr. Bhardwaj said lean manufacturing was a continuous programme that was accepted globally to reduce cost and improve quality.It was adopted by automobile component manufacturing units and was yet to be implemented widely in industries manufacturing capital goods, engineering products and machinery.

On the need for such practices, he said the Indian micro, small and medium enterprises (MSME) were exposed to phenomenal competition because of trade agreements the country had and lowering of import duties on a number of products.“We have to be cost-wise competitive and improve quality to take advantage of opportunities in the Indian market,” he said.

Jayakumar Ramdass, president of the SIEMA, said it organised a meeting on Wednesday for its members on the scheme to create awareness on lean manufacturing and about the opportunities available under the programme for the MSMEs here.The association proposed a special purpose vehicle to implement lean manufacturing programme for a group of units here.

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