Q. Can you briefly introduce ROSS Controls and its global presence?
ROSS Controls, with its headquarters in the United states, is a global manufacturer of Pneumatic and Hydraulic Safety valves & System solutions having its manufacturing facilities & sales offices in US, Germany, Japan, United Kingdom, France, China, Brazil and India. ROSS commenced its operations in India during Y2001 at Chennai with its field sales team spread around all the regions in the country.
Q. How ROSS is differentiated in Fluid Power segment as compared to your competition?
While we do have the back-pocket products to earn the position of “first look” for all fluid power components in targeted markets, we follow the focused differentiation strategy to emerge as the preferred and / or single source provider of unique system solutions through our front-pocket products for machinery and industrial safety which ultimately help the customers to increase the plant productivity.
Q. Why Industrial Safety is not accorded a priority in India?
Safety is a term related with culture – be it personal, social or industrial. It is a watchword and way of life in most parts of the world except Asian and African countries. People in the western world are so concerned about their personal safety that, it’s quite easy for them to incorporate safety measures into their work places. However, majority of the communities and the population in the rest of the world including India are ready to risk their lives and often not bothered about their personal safety. Perhaps the basic limiting factor may be the cost associated with it and they don’t find a value for it while that’s not the reality! How can you expect adoption of safety measures into the industries in such a scenario from these people who run the businesses?
Q. What is your assessment on the adoption and implementation of safety measures in industries across India?
Perception about safety with most of the industrialists in India is that it’s an unnecessary wastage of money, time and efforts. A limited industrial community restricts safety incorporation in their plants by employing only personal protective equipment (PPE) and some even goes to the extent of displaying certain safety slogans as envisaged in relevant plant safety standards like OSHAS. They appear to be enthusiastic to declare in various platforms that their plants are safety certified and safety is their top-notch priority. While their efforts are highly appreciated since it’s half way done, they should also realize that they need to adopt further few steps to justify their efforts in transforming their plants and machines to achieve the desired safety level.
Q. Are there any industries/organizations in India who have implemented safety at optimum level?
Of course; but mostly by certain American, European and Japanese MNCs. A limited population of other MNCs and Indian companies have also gone far ahead but limited to the extent of implementing electrical safety mostly due to their misperception that safety ends with wire! As long as your machines runs only on electrical input and does not use any other form of energy, it’s okay and acceptable. But what about the equipment or machines which use either pneumatic or hydraulic energy to derive the power? Unless you incorporate pneumatic or hydraulic safety devices, your equipment / machine as a system cannot be considered as safe and the partial efforts put in do not help in serving the purpose!
Q. What is the methodology organizations need to follow to determine the desired or optimum level of safety for their machines/equipment?
The basic methodology is to perform the assessment of the risks of your equipment /system through competent people as per relevant International & National standards by which you will be able to identify the hazards. This will help you to design the appropriate safety measures (using validated components and principles) either to reduce or eliminate the associated risks. It is utmost essential to conduct the test and analysis of the performance of the new safety system both before and after the implementation.
Q. Do you think that such initiatives will happen from the industrial community in India?
It needs deliberate efforts to cultivate the culture of safety in human minds. There are two ways through which you can make significant turnaround. First one is creating awareness on safety with all stake holders with which actions would still be voluntary but the second one viz., legislation to be enacted by Government of India in near future will make it mandatory to drive the process.
Q. Do you think that creating awareness on safety is a challenging task?
It’s our endeavor to educate customers and users not only on achieving the desired safety level for their machines and employees based on risk assessment but also on the cost savings due to uptime (avoiding downtime) when they incorporate safety into the system. We can easily remove their false perception on initial or capital cost if we get an opportunity to convince them on the life cycle cost and the cost savings due to the productivity improvement. Unfortunately, some customers are still showing reluctance even to discuss on this topic which is the major challenge we are confronted with at this point of time.
Q. Whether Government of India is planning enforcement of machinery safety through any legislation?
As long as psychological barriers prevail as explained earlier, the only option to ensure work place or machinery safety is through a law or an act. US, European Union and Brazil have already implemented safety legislation and relevant directives way back and they follow either International or National standards like ISO, IEC, ANSI, CEN etc. Of late, Bureau of Indian Standards(BIS) realized the necessity of releasing relevant standards and formed the Manufacturing Machinery and their Safety Sectional Committee-MED 40 during Y2017. Ross India was nominated as the only vendor representative in this committee based on our expertise in the pneumatic safety area. We are hopeful of getting these standards released by early next year.
However, release of standards by BIS alone does not guarantee its implementation unless supported by a legislation. Since the laws prevailing in India are not that much effective, Government of India is coming up with a legislation amendment where in adoption of relevant BIS standards is expected to be referenced.
Q. How innovative is ROSS in product offering to cop up with market trends and technological advancements?
ROSS mostly manufactures technology driven products and many of them are patented. We lead the fluid power safety segment on a global basis and have been consistently upgrading our products over the past few years for value creation. All of us are now in the era of Industry 4.0, Smart manufacturing and IoT – the technologies that are going to drive and revolutionize the Industrial segment. ROSS will be launching more compatible products in immediate future leveraging the expertise spread across our Global Engineering Centers located in India, Germany and USA managed by Mr. Jay Dalal, Sr. VP (Engg & Product Management) based out of our US Head Quarters.
Q. How do you see the business potential and growth of ROSS Controls in India?
Ross India is well poised to double its sales by end of Y2019 owing to the strategic change brought in by the new, young and dynamic CEO of Ross Controls – Mr. Jeffery J Hand during Y2015-2016.Strategic direction set by him after taking over as the CEO continues to produce excellent results not only in India but also across all other ROSS business units globally.
ROSS India has successfully completed its strategic market positioning with its technical sales team who are Certified Machinery Safety Experts -CMSE® (TÜV Nord). While market dynamics historically played an important role in our growth, we are now effectively making use of our core competencies to maintain a sustainable growth. While we are focused with our conventional business model in Steel, Aluminum, Glass Container and Metal forming industrial segments, we have been exploring the slowly growing but highly promising fluid power (Pneumatic & Hydraulic) safety segment which is detrimental for us in achieving our targeted growth goals in India.