Issue #3/2019O. KOCHETKOV “StankoMashStroy”: FROM PHASE-OUT OF IMPORT TO EXPORT PROMOTION
Development of the national cooperation in the machine-tool industry creates favourable conditions for establishing a separate cluster. In Penza region “StankoMashStroy” managed to unite behind and involve more than ten industrial enterprises of the region in manufacturing of the metal-working equipment. The created machine-tool cluster will enable to increase the production volume, localize the turning equipment share and facilitate growth in exports abroad. Mr. Oleg Kochetkov, Director General of “StankoMashStroy”, told us about the machine-tool industry development, achievements of the enterprise and future expectations.
– “StankoMashStroy” company presents itself as a modern high-tech enterprise. How can you assess the engineering level of the company products as compared with the main competitors, including foreign companies? – Our company is quite young in the machine-tool industry. Our competence and volume of the issued products just gain momentum. Nowadays we produce a diverse range of equipment - from multipurpose machine-tools that are, probably, the most popular on the market, to high-performance lathe-machining centres. Our equipment is exported to EU countries, the main buyers being German companies. Our machine-tools present a number of advantages such as high performance and short payback period.
This year we proceeded to mass production of series CT25 turning centres. According to their technology level they compete with the leading world manufacturers as they can work metal at high performance modes while ensuring processing accuracy to the 7th grade of surface finish. It is achieved due to design features of the machine-tool. – What novelties has the company presented at “Metalloobrabotka-2019” Exhibition? – Machine-tool building is referred to the industries where novelties appear by far not every year. It is true not for the Russian manufacturers only. Take, for instance, large foreign companies – they have, usually, one or two developments in a year, and that entails improvements of the equipment only. We continuously work to improve quality of our machine-tools, refine their specifications and increase their localization share. At “Metalloobrabotka-2019” our company presented the entire product line of the in-house equipment. Besides, it is for the first time that we show our guests and forum participants a full cycle of the purchased part production for our lathe machine-tools. We involve in our production other industrial enterprises and develop the national cooperation which allows of enhancing the localization share and makes us import-independent. As of today the localization of the multipurpose lathe machine-tools exceeds 75%. As regards CNC production centres, we are nearing 70% share. The lathe machining centres have reached 64.3% localization. Just before the exhibition our Russian partners delivered to us a turning spindle unit for the CT25 series turning centres. In July this year it will be installed on the lathe and we will proceed to testing it at our enterprise. A decision as to future use of this unit in mass of production will be taken by the test results. – What are the main principal points of the development strategy of the company, including quality aspects, production volume and penetration into new markets? – Expansion of sales and geography of our supplies and penetration into new markets are our priorities. Higher sales will also entail the increase of the production volume. We are planning to set up new machine tool models and present them on foreign markets. We pay great attention to quality of the issued equipment because we understand that otherwise it is impossible to attain competitiveness. – What is your vision of the sales activity of the company considering that the phase-out of import policy gives place to the policy of extension of export deliveries of the Russian products? – From the very beginning of the work of our enterprise we have set the task to be engaged not only in phasing-out import but in exportability. The Russian machine-tool market is rather limited. For the fourth year on the indicators do not change and the production volumes remain the same. Every year the Russian market consumes 10 000 machine-tools This figure is very substantial. In Russian about 3 000 machine-tools are produced only; in 2018 our company issued 252 units. Fifteen per cent of our total volume was exported. Today our equipment is exported to Germany, Baltic States, Ireland, Mongolia, Italy, Hungary, Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan. Currently negotiations are ongoing with the Italian industrialists. We managed to reach such results also due to our participation in large specialized exhibitions and fairs both in Russia and abroad. With our equipment we travelled, practically, the whole world. Last year we became the only Russian manufacturer which presented its machine-tools at one the largest exhibitions of production technologies in Chicago. We are a regular exhibitor at the all-world EMO exhibition in Hanover. However, extension of our export does not mean that we are paying less attention to Russian consumers. On the contrary, our clients none but win because in the developed countries they have higher requirements as to the equipment quality, as a result our domestic buyers get the same high-quality products as are in demand abroad. – To what extent the company products meet the Russian and world standards of quality? Our equipment is completely on a par with all quality standards of the Russian Federation, both regulatory and legal, and all European standards. We have received the EU certificate for the entire range of our equipment which enables us to export our machine-tools in the EU countries. We try to serve interests of our customers. – How much is the company’s share in the Russian market and do you plan its increase? If so, then what steps the company plans to take so as to achieve this result? – According to the data supplied by Association “Stankoinstrument”, last year “StankoMashStroy” produced 252 machine-tools, which makes 8% of the all metal-working equipment produced in Russia. Certainly, it is a very important indicator but we are not going to stop at this figure. Our market share can be augmented due to new models and more aggressive marketing policy. We are planning to establish contacts with major industrial companies. This is a difficult task but we are working at that. Moreover, our goal is to make not a single delivery but try to conclude long-term contracts not just for the delivery but also for subsequent maintenance of our products. This is very important and pressing now. – How does your company, in the whole and by individual segments, assess the prospects of the Russian tool-making industry? What market segments are most promising in general and for the company in particular? – Our company secured a foothold on the lathe equipment market. Still, it does not mean that we are not considering other kinds of machine-tools for our production. Since 2020 we are planning to penetrate a new segment of the metal-working equipment market. – What novelties could be expected by consumers in the short and long-term perspective? – In terms of short-term plans, this year we intend to extend our model range of CNC lathes series CT16A25. Our range will be replenished with a machine-tool capable of accommodating workpieces up to 1,500 mm long. Besides, we are going to launch a pilot production of the combined control machine-tool capable of being operated in the manual and automatic modes. There are plans to produce vertical processing centres. Currently we are preparing for pre-production of the machine-tools in a new shop. The construction at the new site is coming to an end. We look for the purchased part suppliers and the partners for production and sales. – Is the company planning to participate in EMO exhibition and what are you going to exhibit? – You are right. Once again our company will participate in this large international forum. This year we are going to exhibit two machine-tools – a multipurpose screw-cutting lathe series CT17K20 and our novelty – CT16A25M combined control system machine-tool. Our partners repeatedly asked us to develop such model. We have met their expectations, developed such machine-tool, introduced some changes and hope now that this machine-tool will be helpful for modern metal working industry. – And the last question: can we consider machine-tool building in Russia to be one of the promising and successful businesses? What country-level problems should be solved so that Russian companies can enhance their efficiency? – Neither machine-tool building company may exist and develop healthy without a support at the national level. Everybody understands that machine-tool industry is of strategic importance for the development of the industry as a whole. We do have such support. It manifests either in tax cuts or in outright subsidies and grants. Still, we remain, until now, import-dependent. We have to buy some purchased parts abroad because nobody in the country can produce them. The Russian market is very small. We cannot compete with foreign batch production plants and it is hardly possible that we can reach those volumes that the domestic markets of the EU, Japan, China Taiwan and other countries consume. That is why a costly production of purchased parts in Russia hits where it hurts and impairs our ability to be internationally viable abroad. However, our task is to produce everything in our country and be competitive. This is a complicated task but we should aim for it.