Blue Star Engineering & Electronics Ltd. offers advanced technology products as well as turnkey engineering solutions that cater to several industries in the country. A wholly-owned subsidiary of Blue Star Ltd., it is the exclusive system integrator in India for many globally renowned manufacturers of hi-tech professional electronic equipment and services, as well as industrial products and systems. It provides customized Weld/ Seamless pipe inspection systems using both Conventional and Phased Array Ultrasonic technologies. In a conversation with Tube & Pipe India, Mr. Biju Varghese, Deputy General Manager (Sales), Blue Star EE Ltd. shares interesting insights about the company’s technology.
Tube & Pipe India: Could you please give us a brief outline of the business journey of your company along with crucial milestones?
Biju Varghese: Blue Star Engineering and Electronic Ltd. is a wholly owned subsidiary of Blue Star Ltd., which is a 79-year-old company. In India, we have been providing Non-Destructive Testing (NDT) on pipes for the last 20 years. We are one of the leading system manufacturers for ultrasonic pipe testing for ERW pipes, LSAW pipes, HSAW, plate inspection, and radiographic inspection systems, which are very critical requirements for APIgrade pipes.
TPI: Can you cast some light on the infrastructure and technology installed at your facility?
BV: Blue Star is a renowned company. We have an Industrial Automation department, under which we have our NDT department. We have offices across the country and we have sales and service team in all the major cities of India. We have our own application lab and customer experience center in Mumbai. We have 40 team members; most of them have good experience of around 15-20 years.
We have technology partners from companies such as Olympus from Canada and Yxlon from Germany among others. We undertake automation related tasks in India and provide cost-effective value-added solutions to our customers. We have our own design team for the application development. This is how we are trying to build up our strong presence. We want to evaluate it and make it the best in the world in terms of quality and performance.
“We undertake automation-related tasks in India and we have our own design team for application development.”
TPI: Tell us about your product portfolio.
BV: Any pipe mill that is API approved needs welding to be inspected through an ultrasonic system as per API standards. Only then, they can guarantee that it won’t crack when you transport petroleum products at very high pressure. We have an Ultrasonic weld inspection for ERW/LSAW/HSAW and for Seamless pipes. We also have automated radiographic (X-ray) systems for LSAW & HSAW weld pipes.
There are some standards where you have to check for Hydrogen-Induced Cracking (HIC) and we have an immersion UT system for HIC inspection.
“We deliver Customer right Solutions”
TPI: Can you share some light on the market footprint and clientele of your company?
BV: In India, we are well known for more than 20 years and have around 60 to 70 percent market share in API approved pipe mills. All the leading pipe industries like Jindal SAW, Welspun, Ratnamani, Man Industries, MSL and Surya are using our machines. Other than pipes, we also have a very strong presence in Automated Ultrasonic testing systems for alloy steel bars. We have supplied Phased Array UT Bar Inspection systems to JSW, Mukand, Kalyani, Sunflag and others. We currently have around 21 such systems in India and constitute 95% market share.
Our system is installed in Dubai – the Middle East hub and we have also supplied to Canada and the USA. Now, we are trying to penetrate in other parts of the world, especially Southeast Asia.
TPI: Share your outlook on the tube & pipe industry. How do you see the market evolving in the future?
BV: The market is very good. India has embarked on a massive expansion of City Gas Distribution (CGD) to develop large-scale nation-wide infrastructure for making Piped Natural Gas (PNG) available to domestic, commercial, industrial consumers, and CNG vehicle owners.India’s natural gas demand is set to grow at a CAGR of 8% and the Indian government is trying to increase access to gas to about 70% of the population by 2025. So there is a huge demand for laying new pipeline network across the country. Existing pipe mills are increasing their manufacturing capacity and many new companies are now going for API approvals. Hence, we see quite a good potential in this segment.