Juki India Pvt. Ltd. is known for its high-quality SMT machines. The company has 12 offices in major cities across India, and offers post and pre-sales services with its own set of trained engineers. It also supplies spare parts making sure that the machines’ downtime is minimum for its customers. Juki’s placement solution encompasses a large portfolio of surface mounting machines intended for small, mid-sized and large companies who are looking for flexible, reliable and long-term solutions.
Juki machines perform high-quality work whilst ensuring precisely accurate placement of components on printed circuit boards, consequently allowing a reliable long-term planning to its valuable customers. In order to know more on the state of Indian LED lights manufacturing and the future prospects for Juki, we at LED World met Praveen Madaan, Country Head – SMT division. Here are the excerpts to follow:
How do you see the current state of LED lighting?
The technology is getting upgraded at a comparatively faster pace these days, whereas price of LED lighting is going down with each passing day. For this reason, the industry is under a lot of pressure to bring down the overall cost. At the same time, we see a lot of sub-standard machines coming in. It may be for the low cost applications or to cap the rising costing of the final products. The demand, however, is on the surge, following which the capacity is bound to grow. Our direct customers are LED lights manufacturers, who are looking for far more economically viable solutions.
Under these circumstances, how do you appraise the market for your SMT machines?
The existing LED lights manufacturers are in the process of augmenting their production capacity, besides expanding arena by adding more areas of SMT operations. They all need SMT machines that too at a lower price to maintain their pre-calculated ROI. This has forced us to cut short our margins to remain at the forefront of our competitors and make the machines available at an affordable rate. Some of our customers are fast in taking decisions, while some take six months to a year when it comes to deciding upon the final purchase of SMT machines. Overall, we see a very good market coming for our quality machines.
How are you coping up with the price cut scenario?
At a point, when the depreciation in Rupee is happening on a daily basis, for us, it has become difficult to maintain the offer price to remain in the competition. It is a compulsion to keep the cost to an affordable limit so as to continue catering to the market. Though we have improved our pricing a little bit, but we still have some fixed and overhead costs to meet. At the same time, all these costs are on constant surge over the past few years – be it the cost of operations, travelling, transportation, logistics, etc.
Amidst all this, how do you assess the Indian LED lighting industry?
India is on the verge of becoming a mature market owing to the huge domestic demand. Some of the LED lights manufacturers in India have set up state-of-the-art facilities with dedicated design and IT departments. Those with this kind of expertise and infrastructure are also exporting. More importantly, Indian manufacturers are now almost at par with the Chinese manufacturers when it comes to pricing. This is because of the economies of scale that have been added on the back of rapidly escalating demand, following the incessantly expanding customer base. This is a very good sign as far as Indian lighting industry is concerned.
The only thing that we still need to see is the surge in the local manufacturing of components, which we are bound to source from overseas markets, especially from China. Even the PCB supply is at a nascent stage here. It is high time now for all the local PCB suppliers/manufacturers to come forward with enhanced capacity to support the growing demand of Indian LED lighting industry.
What is your plan to further proliferate in this fiercely competitive market?
We are planning to have our own demo-cum-training centre in Bengaluru, wherein we would not only be demonstrating our machines, but also be offering training to our valued customers. We do have plans to bring some used machines for refurbishing purposes in India. This will also do some advantage to our customers who have belief in Juki machines which have an average life of 20 years. Our target audience would remain the same i.e. all those who are in to the assembling of LED lights or any kind of electronic products which require PCBs.
What are the driving factors for Juki?
The factors contributing to this state of affairs are many. The most important one is growing domestic demand for LED lighting, which in turn is pushing the manufacturing instead of relying mostly on imported stuff. Among the many takers of the machines are quite a few mature customers who understand the technology and choose to go with the Japanese machines. They want to opt for machines with long term reliability. Towards this, I can say that the ‘Make in India’ drive has brought in tremendous impact. We can see a lot of new customers making the most of this opportunity.
What initial investment is required to set up an SMT unit?
It only requires Rs. 30 lakh to Rs. 2 crore as a start-up depending upon the kind of volumes, products and customers they want to cater to. For each level, the investment required is different.
How important is the awareness on the part of suppliers?
Suppliers of these machines must be well-informed about any new technology, improved quality and of course, the price. This makes it compulsory to have some standard set in practice else with such a small investment anyone can enter the industry, setting up their unit in just about 2000 sq. ft. These start ups can not only ruin the markets but also brands.
Why should a supplier remain updated?
See, if the manufacturers want to do a trial & testing of any new LED technology, they would need our machines. This is because not every SMT machine is capable of delivering the jobs that new LED technology requires. Since we work in association with LED lights manufacturers, we remain updated by doing trial & testing. For us, it also becomes a proof that this machine can handle the new technology. For instance, the COB or the round-shaped LED, not every machine is capable of producing that.
What does the new technology stand for?
New LED technology means CoB in round shape, not the regular ones that come in rectangular flat surface which are comparatively easy to mount. If it is in dome shape, it becomes critical to mount. So, slowly they understand the process and then they go to the next level i.e. automation, as when there is increase in volume it won’t be easy to supply the needed quantity. For a start-up, anyone can move in as not much of knowledge or infrastructure is required for mounting.
Why should one opt for Juki? What is the contribution from LED segment in the company’s revenue?
Our brand name is already established which in turn is bringing us considerable amount of sales through references. We offer service and spare parts support to our valuable customers. For this, we are investing on our engineers who can give good training to our customers and can respond quickly with viable solution in time of need. Meantime, we are trying to make sure that the spare parts are available locally so that machine downtime is the least, which is also important for our customers. As far as revenue contribution is concerned, overall 50% to 60% of our machines are going into LED lighting industry.
What is the role of bigger brands in Juki’s growth trajectory?
For bigger and established players, they already have their strong brand names. They don’t want to invest in assets as long as they are able to maintain good quality through their respective vendors. The issue comes once they start facing quality concerns from their vendors, which forces them to go for their own manufacturing unit instead of relying on vendors. Or at that point in time, these branded players recommend Juki machines to their vendors.
What’s new in the Juki’s bouquet?
We have future ready machines with us and can fulfill the demand if so arises. We have recently introduced RS1 pick-n-place machine. This multi-purpose machine is not only for LED lighting, but also for other electronic assemblies. The machine uses electric feeder with high precision, and is scalable. Its new head design automatically adjusts the height according to the height of components to be placed next. This technology reduces the Z travel distance to the required minimum, allowing an increase of throughput to a maximum regardless of the product. What’s more! Camera option is also there making it more versatile to be used in other operations. It’s a modular machine and can be configured according to the operational need like for LEDs or any other electronic assemblies.
How do you see the future of Juki in India?
Overall, India Inc. is growing – be it lighting, electronics or cell phone manufacturing. Neighbouring countries are also growing but not at the same pace. While China is still the biggest market for Juki, we will keep leading in India also. Juki is the first choice and the most preferred machine for the LED lights manufacturers. They want standard setup, which they can’t get anywhere else but at Juki. We still see lot of growth in near future.
SMT Pick & Place Machine from Juki speeds up the process, enhances flexibility and facilitates high quality production of any PCB
Juki’s new high-speed SMT pick and place machine RS1 comes equipped with a newly developed parallel 8 nozzle head, that makes it capable of mounting a wide variety of parts and improving the mounting speed by up to 70. In addition to increasing the number of components mounted per cycle from six to eight, this robotic assembly machine for mounting electronic components on a PCB also includes a new mechanism to improve the mounting speed by automatically changing the recognition sensor height.
The Machine is capable of automatically adjusting the component recognition sensor of the mounter head from 1 to 25 mm in 5 stages according to the PCB requirements. High productivity is achieved without replacing the placement head, even for parts with different heights, from very small parts to large parts. With high placement capacity of 40,000 CPH, the distance between the pickup and placement positions is shortened by adopting the new SMT Pick and Place Machine RF series electric feeder.
With extensive component compatibility, components from 0.2 mm × 0.1 mm to 74 mm square, 50 mm × 150 mm, and the height of parts up to 25 mm can be mounted. Component range and placement speed have been improved by changing the image recognition to four-part simultaneous recognition and using high-speed motors on theta axis of the nozzle.