India: Company Profile Innovating for Tomorrow
Based in Pune, Accurate Gauging & Instruments(AG&I) has pioneered the manufacture of quality measuring instruments in India. Here’s an overview of the company’s journey so far.
AG&I was established in 1987 to focus on the digital age of metrology products. Since its inception, the company has focused on the indigenous development of 3D co-ordinate measuring machine (CMM) for realizing the futuristic need of the industry.
The company offers a comprehensive range of 3D co-ordinate measuring machines (CMM), auto gauging stations, air gauges, standard room products, measuring machines, calibration masters and tool pre-setters and its services include third party inspection and NABL accredited calibration services to cater to the needs of industry.
The organization presented its first CMM at the IMTEX in 1991, which was later delivered to the Central Railway Parel workshop. Following this milestone, the company gained other contract and also won several awards. Managing Director, Accurate Gauging & Instruments Pvt Ltd, Vikram Salunkhe asserts, “Thanks to the confidence shown by Shri H K Firodiya, our company supplied one of its first five machines to ZF Steering Gear in Pune and to Mico (now Bosch) in Nasik. For this development, the in-house R&D center at Accurate Engineering received its first National R&D award in 1994 at the hands of the President of India.”
During the following years there has been significant investments in building the various calibration tools and masters like ball plate, long length slip gauges etc., during the last year AG&I acquired a 6 m long calibration standard, the largest one available in the country .
In its early years, the company developed an air bearing technology and designed the structure based on its earlier experience in the field of air gauging and fixtures. However, it was still dependant on its suppliers for key granite components.
Sometime in year 2002, the company acquired facilities of a well-known Italian company, Poli, and relocated its plant to Saswad near Pune. This acquisition helped AG&I develop high-precision ground and hand lapped granite guides for the next generation CMMs. Today, AG&I can hand finish granite parts for geometric accuracies of less than 1 micron/meter.
The company has one of the best vertically integrated manufacturing facilities in India. Salunkhe advises, “From pre machining of granite parts to finish lapping, micro machining of air bearings, paint shop to final calibration everything is housed under one roof at our facility in Saswad that is spread over five acres of land. We have an advanced climate controlled facility with a built-up area of approximately 50,000 sq feet. This facility also houses the mineral casting facility for casting machine tool beds set up with Swiss know how.”
With its in-house manufacturing capability the company took up greater challenges every year and received orders from prestigious customers like Bosch, TATA, Bramhos aerospace and ISRO for the bridge type measuring machines. The feather in the cap was when AG&I successfully executed the order for the Horizontal arm measuring machine to Camau and later to Volkswagen facility in Pune. Another feather in the cap was to supply a high accuracy bridge CMM to the latest and most advanced facility of GE in India.
The company exports to over 32 countries and hence its facility has to develop products of international quality as well as those that standout from the rest. Reminiscing on how challenges helped the company establish its mark in the globe, Salunke asserts, “We received a challenge from our Swiss customer to build the first ever Gantry CMM. It was a difficult task but we managed to successfully accomplish it, and this helped us build a trusting customer base in western markets.” The challenge turned out to be a blessing in disguise for AG&I and a chance for them to showcase their capabilities.
The company recently delivered a Gantry CMM to a supplier of structural parts to Russian aircraft company Sukhoi. Salunke informs that the entire experience of dealing with a veteran customer in the field of metrology was very challenging. “We are all very excited that we met this challenge with flying colors! We hope to bring these products to Indian companies like HAL, BHEL and Indian railways to meet their advanced needs on the measurements in near future,” he adds.
The one thing that can be said for sure for AG&I is its need to continuously evolve so that its customer too can evolve and bring about innovation.