MIDHANI may set up second plant to meet booming demand

MIDHANI (MISHRA DHATU NIGAM LIMITED) has embarked on an ambitious expansion plan funded by the MOD as well as with support from Customers, says its Chairman and Managing Director M Narayana Rao in an exclusive interview to Managing Editor of Aeromag Asia, Sunny Jerome. The new facilities will enhance MIDHANI’s capabilities to meet the stringent quality requirements and pressing demands of customers in terms of quantities.

Could you share the operational highlights of Midhani in 2010-11 and what is the growth you are tracking in the current fiscal?

MIDHANI has recorded a sales turnover of Rs 417 Crores during the financial year 2010-11 and a net profit of Rs 50.4 Crores. The total tonnage produced is 3014 MT.  This amounts to a growth of 12 % over the previous year. Growth envisaged in current year is about 13%. MIDHANI is aiming for a sales turnover of about Rs 471 Crores during the year 2011-12.

What are the initiatives lined up in the near future?

MIDHANI has an ambitious R&D program for developing new alloys for semi-cryogenic engine, special low alloy steels for armament and naval applications, titanium and special steels for missile program and special steels and superalloy for Ultra Super-Critical power plants. MIDHANI is also planning to contribute to the ambitious nuclear power program in a big way. In addition to alloy development, MIDHANI has also embarked on indigenization and modification of equipment which has resulted in fabrication of cutting machines, sophisticated melting furnaces etc. MIDHANI is also actively collaborating with research labs in developing new materials / processes.

Could you talk about the about fastener plant that is coming up?

Fasteners play a major role in machine building and the fasteners used in aerospace and other strategic sectors differ considerably from those used for general engineering purpose. The market potential for these fasteners is very high and many of our customers from the strategic sector have been sending us enquiries for various types of fasteners of different alloys. Presently, bulk of the requirements is being imported.  

The manufacture of these fasteners requires very stringent Quality control practices to be followed right from raw material stage to the finished component. MIDHANI has a quality system in place which adequately takes care of this requirement. In addition, MIDHANI has established manufacturing and processing routes for special steels, super alloys and titanium alloys required for manufacture of these fasteners. So it was natural for MIDHANI to get into this line of products.

The fastener plant will be completely managed by women employees only. The growing demand for fasteners presents a novel opportunity where women’s skills and strengths can be captured in manufacturing these value added products.

What do you propose to do as far as your MOU with SAIL is concerned?

MIdhani is a high technology plant with know-how for many critical and strategic materials while SAIL is a giant in terms of capacities and capabilities. An MOU between two such companies can be beneficial in terms of production of critical alloys on a large scale, scaling down of processes during developmental stage and many more benefits, including availability of products at competitive costs, to both. A task force comprising members from both the stakeholders is already making an in depth study of the areas where profitable and meaningful contributions can be made. The MOU will go a long way in making available many strategic alloys for critical applications for the Indian industry indigenously. 
 
Could you briefly talk about the technological capability, facilities and products of MIDHANI?

MIDHANI is an ISO 9001 company with modern metallurgical facilities and high degree of technical competence for manufacturing a wide range of super alloys, titanium, special purpose steels and other special metals and alloys meeting stringent quality requirements for application in Aerospace, defense, Atomic energy, Power generation, chemical and other high tech industries.  MIDHANI is unique in the sense that it is one of very few industries in the world to have multitude of equipment housed under one roof and this facilitates the production of hundreds of different alloys in different forms. Equipment apart, MIDHANI has a highly qualified and skilled workforce which is well versed in the manufacturing process. Apart from the regular bars, flats, sheets / strips, wires, MIDHANI has also been supplying near net shape components to various customers.

What about the client base?

Space, Defense, Atomic energy, General engineering and power sectors form the broad client base of MIDHANI. Our main  Customers are ISRO, BARC, DRDO, NPCIL, Ordnance Factories, Gun carriage factory, Navy , BHEL, L&T, WIL, Areva, to name a few.

Any new investment, expansion plans going forward?

MIDHANI has embarked on an ambitious expansion plan funded by the MOD as well as with support from Customers.  Primary melting furnace -20T, Electron beam melting furnaces, 6000T forge press, Ring rolling mill, Wide plate mill and numerous state-of-the-art equipment, are under procurement. These new facilities will enhance MIDHANI’s capabilities to meet the stringent Quality requirements and pressing demands of Customers in terms of quantities. In the recent past, MIDHANI has already commissioned two re-melting furnaces of enhanced capacity.

What are the company’s medium and long term goals?

With the growing demand of the strategic sector, MIDHANI is already in the process of expanding capacity for increase of production. But with the space limitation of the present plant, it may become imperative to set up a second unit to meet the ever increasing demands of the space, power and defense sectors. Plans are afoot to formulate a long term strategy to achieve this goal.

What is the hiring strategy of MIDHANI ?

MIDHANI has been recruiting 20-25 Management trainees directly from the premier institutions of the country every year for the past five years, by way of campus selections, in order to replenish the declining strength of officers due to superannuation. As and when required, personnel are being recruited in middle and senior management levels.