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A recent investment in new equipment, and an ongoing investment in employee training, helps this molder and moldmaker from India compete globally on quality.China, the world’s manufacturer, and India, its back office? Don’t tell that to officials at G-Plast Pvt. Ltd. (Coimbatore, India), a molder and moldmaker that has invested heavily, recently, in leading edge new equipment, and invests steadily in its employees’ training.

Matt Defosse

February 2, 2009

3 Min Read
Indian moldmaker, molder takes page out of German book

A recent investment in new equipment, and an ongoing investment in employee training, helps this molder and moldmaker from India compete globally on quality.

China, the world’s manufacturer, and India, its back office? Don’t tell that to officials at G-Plast Pvt. Ltd. (Coimbatore, India), a molder and moldmaker that has invested heavily, recently, in leading edge new equipment, and invests steadily in its employees’ training. 

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G-Plast invests considerable time and expense in ensuring its moldmakers can compete against the world’s best.



The triennial Plastindia trade show to be held early this month will provide news of the country’s processing community’s advances for our coming issues. But we didn’t have to wait to hear from a high-end processor there, as officials at G-Plast were willing to share the steps their firm is taking to remain a tough competitor on the global playing field. The company realizes about one-third of its revenues from exports of molds and molded systems, with the remainder realized domestically, often from foreign-owned OEMs’ subsidiaries. The healthcare unit of GE is a key customer as are Schneider Electric, Nokia, and others. The company, founded as a tool and die manufacturer, added injection molding in 1984, and last year was awarded OHSAS 18001 and ISO 14001 recognition.

Investment in forward-looking technology plays a central part in the firm’s strategy. Rajesh Prabhu, Sr. marketing executive at G-Plast, says that, starting this month, the company will have installed its new $600,000 LaserCusing center, which comes not long after the firm acquired a new Selective Laser Sintering (SLS) machine from EOS (Krailling, Germany). This latter enables G-Plast to provide its customers or potential ones with prototypes, rapidly, and even for the rapid manufacturing of some mold components or other parts. 

LaserCusing, as the name suggests, uses a laser to sinter metal powder in complicated shapes, so that moldmakers using it can build a lattice-like network of cooling channels across a tool’s entire surface, connected to large water inlet and outlet holes connected in parallel. The design of the cooling channels enables processors to control the temperature in individual areas of the mold, which can help with the elimination of temperature-induced shrinkage and also with the avoidance of orientation-induced shrinkage such as that seen with partially crystallized thermoplastic. Having the network of cooling channels across a mold’s face helps drive down cycle times.  

G-Plast officials learned of LaserCusing, developed by Concept Laser GmbH (Lichtenfels, Germany), while at the Fakuma tradeshow in Germany in 2006, and eventually ran a test with a mold containing inserts made using the technology. “We saw that we could reduce cycle time on a lost core part by 34%,” says N. Natrayan, the company’s Sr. manager for marketing, “so we decided to buy one.” The company also attended the Fakuma trade show last October, he adds, but that time as an exhibitor, and he says its presence there brought it both solid contacts and at least one new project.

Teach the team

Natrayan says the company is able to compete on price, with its molds typically running about 20% less than those made in Europe or North America, but that this is not its sole competitive advantage. “From India, we deliver European quality,” he claims. “Our strength is in our tool/die-making department,” he continues, adding, “We’re copying Germany’s apprenticeship program, with the difference that our guys still are willing to get their hands dirty.” The moldmaking apprenticeship program established by the company runs three years, with training conducted at the Gedee Technical Training Institute (GTTI) in Coimbatore, which was founded by G. D. Naidu, an Indian inventor who also founded UMS Group, to which G-Plast belongs. Natrayan says the best apprentices learn German in the last year of their program so that they can communicate in that language, as well as English, with customers. [email protected]

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