Casting largely based on heat treatment methodologies generate huge energy waste and metallurgical waste; consequently falls into red category. Thanks to the latest clean, lean and green technologies, forging which is less heat dependent but more pressure oriented is now slowly converting to the orange category and possibly will make to green in the near future. The red, orange and green categories are handled the State Pollution Boards. While Bengal has put forging and foundry under ‘special’ red category (casting, forging with coal fired boilers), Kerala, Andhra Pradesh have categorised it under orange belt.
Bharat Forge, a US$ 2.5 billion conglomerate is one of the largest forging companies with its clean and green initiatives. The energy waste has been taken care of through the wide production of green energy at the campus. Preventing pollution, optimizing recycling and reducing wastes, discharges and emissions generated by processes, conservation of natural resources by using them in a responsible and efficient manner across all operations, encouraging tree plantation and promoting green belts and lush green surroundings at its manufacturing locations are some of the major initiatives taken by the company. From red to orange and now green, the company has taken giant leaps with its conscious responsibility towards creating, maintaining and ensuring a safe and clean environment. This can also be understood with the fact that in its 87 acres campus at Pune, the floura and fauna of greenery is breathtaking with 4364 trees and 5200 shrubs. In a message, Chairman BN Kalyani states, “In today’s increasingly competitive world, a central mantra for sustained profitability is to be lean in all aspects of manufacturing. That involves being lean in the use of capital per unit of output; being lean in raw material and finished goods inventories; being lean in production cycles and being lean in executing solutions. The company has been able to reduce inventory by more than 15 days over a period of time. I want it to reduce further.”
Cleaning & Maintenance
In a forging company, Iron oxides, graphites and dust too are generated in large quantities posing a big challenge to the company. Mukund Mavlankar, Director Technical – Bharat Forge-Pune, says: “At Bharat Forge, we have automated the road cleaning operations with road sweepers. Shop floors and other places are yet to get automated. We produce iron oxide (FeO, Fe2O3…) on a large scale – about one ton every day posing a big challenge for us. We might be able to automate shop floors by next year. In surface-pit cleaning, with the implementation of the required size of slurry pumps, we have made it semi-automatic. We are separating scales and graphite by high speed centrifuge. Cleaning of machinaries is outsourced to Forbes Facility.”
PreciForge and Gears Pvt Ltd, a ISO/TS 16949:2009 certified company spends `5-8 lakhs on cleaning and maintenance which includes the labour charges and materials. M Madali, Maintenance Manager, says: “We are facing problems in regards to machines’ geometry, their parameters which pose great difficulty while cleaning. This has been discussed with some external agencies. ‘How to settle the cleaning without compromising on work efficiency’ has been a challenge. Many of the machines have been laid down because of improper cleaning and machines. We have bought latest compressors – K200 and 250AK from Kaesar, a German company, for the proper air filtration to obtain the required indoor air quality standard.”
Foundry is considered dirty owing to the prevailing practices in India unlike abroad. It is because the approach to cleaning is largely manual. We have installed the latest technologies in many foundries. Given to the recent rise in sensitivity & sincerity towards cleaning, the market is likely to boom.
– Viraj Naidu, MD – Disa India
“In the case of fine dust, the need for check ups is much higher if the filter is not suitable for dust collection. The fine powder of graphite remains all over the walls. The company has bought shot blasting machines from Disa India. This helps concentrate all the dust. Presently, we do attribute about 1% of the total cost on cleaning and maintenance and we are keen to deploy more and more ride-on machines, use automatic cleaning technology and have skilled men to reduce dependency on manpower,” adds Mavalankar.
With having more than 100 years of experience in forging and foundry equipment manufacturing, Disa India has deployed Garant technology which is much more efficient in terms of power & proper waste disposal. Talking about the maintenance at the plant, Thippeswamy S. Maintenance, EHS & Administration, Disa India-Hoskote Plant, explains: “We have been outsourcing cleaning and maintenance for quite some time now. We have given the contract to Forbes International. When supervised thoroughly, we do find the need for better cleaning standards. One has to carry all the equipment, tools from one place to another and this takes a lot of time, efficiency and manpower.”