Centre of the action
Opened in March 2015, Seco’s new Virtual and Practical Centre in Chennai, India, has already provided assistance to a large number of customers seeking help with technical and business challenges.
When a customer in India had a question about the precision of Seco’s drills, Seco’s new Virtual and Practical Centre in Chennai India was able to help.
Centre Engineer Prakash Srinivasan says engine component manufacturer Gnutti Precision was interested in whether drills mounted using Seco’s shrinkfit system were more prone to run-out than those mounted using a competitor’s chuck system.
Eager to demonstrate the superior reliability of the Seco product, the centre conducted a trial for Gnutti with clear results. “We invested in a shrink fit holder and held a demonstration in the centre,” Srinivasan says. “This proved there was no run-out. The customer was so convinced that they are now on the verge of purchasing their own shrinkfit machine from Seco.”
The Chennai facility is one of a large number of technical centres provided by Seco around the world. Located in the United Kingdom, Sweden, Germany, Hungary, Poland, the United States, China, the Czech Republic and the Netherlands, the centres aim to not only showcase Seco’s tools but also to educate manufacturers about new techniques and technologies. They provide a venue where Seco can work together with customers to arrive at novel and innovative tooling solutions that improve the productivity of the customers’ business.
The Indian facility is the newest technical centre and was opened in March 2015. Situated on a 560-square-metre site in downtown Chennai, it is capable of providing outstanding on-site training for up to 40 participants and also of broadcasting demonstrations to large audiences across India and the wider Asia Pacific region.
The centre is equipped with state-of-the-art equipment, including machine tools, CAD/CAM, tool measuring and setting equipment, as well as a full range of Seco’s latest high-performance cutting tools. Visitors to the centre can receive training through e-learning modules combined with hands-on trainings. The centre also hosts the South India sales office with a staff of nine and can produce customer specific component run-offs and host new product launches. It is available for booking to all of Seco Tools industry partners, customers and distributors.
Srinivasan says Seco saw Chennai as a prime location for a new technical centre as the city is an industrial hub serving the thriving Indian automotive and ancillary sector, as well as the growing power generation sector. Visitors have so far come from across India, with the main customer segments being automotive, power generation, aerospace, and general engineering.
“Customers have welcomed the opening of the centre and appreciate the training and training facilities it offers”, says Srinivasan. “We have offered them demos on the on 3-Axis DMG-Mori machine, the shrinkfit machine, presetter and the latest tooling.”
One of the centre’s key focus areas is the Seco Technical Education Programme (STEP). The programme aims to fill the “technology gap” experienced by businesses when they fall behind the leading edge of technical advances. Keeping up to date allows businesses to improve productivity, reduce waste and reduce machining time.
The Virtual and Practical Centre shares its premises with Seco Tools’ regional sales office, meaning that it is well placed as a venue for project discussions and for demonstrating the latest technical solutions for businesses.
By Daniel Dasey Photos by Atul Loke
Regardless of where in the world they are based, staff at Seco’s Technical Centres like nothing more than successfully solving customer problems.
When Seco opened its US technical centre in Troy, Michigan in 2008, one of its primary goals was to help customers solve technical problems and become more efficient and profitable.
Seven years on, the centre has a long track record of doing just that.
Don Graham, Manager, Education and Technical Services at the centre, is able to provide a long list of happy customers from industries ranging from aerospace to automotive. “One customer had to thread 70 Rc iron parts and was told that you couldn’t do that with PcBN (polycrystalline cubic boron nitride),” Graham says of a particular stand-out success. “We were able to help them produce a wide variety of thread forms using PcBN and solid carbide thread mills. It meant millions of dollars in sales for them.”
Graham says the customer-centric approach of the centre is simple. “We want to be easy to do business with,” he says. “We want to partner with our customers. We want to help those customers remain viable in the global marketplace. In most instances we feel we can be of greatest benefit by helping them get their part cost down and productivity up.”
Seco operates Technical Centres in countries including the UK, China, Hungary, the Benelux countries, France, Germany, Poland, Sweden, and all take a similar approach.
Emilio Scandroglio, Technical Director, at Seco’s Technical Centre in Guanzate, Italy, says day-to-day activities are all about educating and assisting customers.
“We organise demos with all the typical applications and exercises with chip forming diagrams in order to show the cutting geometries behaviour in relation to the cutting parameters,” he says. “During other general visits, we organise factory production tours and practical demos on our available machining centre.”
In Poland, Seco’s Marcin Hoszwa says the local technical centre is appreciated by customers. “Our main customers are from the aviation industry, and we help them to select the most efficient tools and machining conditions for different materials like super alloys, titanium or composites,” he says. “We organise STEP trainings for all customers, distributors and students to promote knowledge about using modern tools and machining methods, strategies.”