Gallium Group provides turnkey solutions for tube and pipe manufacturers. Its product portfolio includes steel plants, projects & ERW steel tube mills, tube finishing equipment, precision cold saw cut off machines, rolls, tooling & coil processing equipment. The company has plans to come up with a new factory and innovative technologies. In an interview with Tube & Pipe India, Mr. Eduardo Santos Garin, Managing Director-Gallium Europe SRL, Gallium Group Company, talks in detail about the business and technology roadmap.
Tube & Pipe India: Could you please give us a brief outline of your company?
Eduardo Santos Garin: Gallium Group is one of the few manufacturers and suppliers to have a complete range of equipment. Our Group specializes in delivering turnkey solutions for steel plants, projects & ERW steel tube mills, tube finishing equipment, precision cold saw cut off machines, rolls, tooling & coil processing equipment. We make mills that can produce carbon steel tubes as well as stainless steel tubes. The mills made by us can be used to produce pipes for various industries such as petroleum, boiler, automotive, bicycle and furniture.
We have three factories in Faridabad, out of which two factories are operative. The third factory is under construction and expected to be ready by next year. The upcoming factory would be the largest spread across 6,500 square meters.
TPI: Throw some light on the infrastructure and manufacturing capabilities of your facility.
ESG: All the companies that are into machine building have a strong engineering setup. Even taking orders involves a lot of pre-engineering. We have a full setup for machine designing, and project management, and a very strong engineering team that deals with the vendors. Our in-house capacity to make the components is around 50%. We assemble the components in our factory and perform various functions such as mounting, wiring, piping, full load testing (if required), equipment testing, panel building and software development. The machines are then shipped to our customer, following which, a team of installation and commissioning visits the site.
TPI: Has there been any recent development in terms of product development, or technological innovations?
ESG: Innovations are required in every sector. Our business is such that we are always encouraged by our customers to come up with something new. This gives us an impetus to apply our minds and develop new machines. When we started, we acquired technologies from top companies in the world and were able to do a lot of innovation on them. We got a hydro testing machine with a maximum test pressure of 3000 PSI from the collaborators but we were able to develop it up to 10,000 PSI.
Talking about the pipe drawing machine, we had the technology for drawing pipes of a maximum of 4 inches and now we have developed it up to 8 inches. We had mills which produced pipes of standard thicknesses, i.e., on 100 mm OD, one could weld pipes with thicknesses between 2 mm and 10 mm. Soon, we were able to develop mills that could make the pipe with a thickness of a minimum of 0.8 mm and a maximum of 18 mm. These two are the new innovations that we are offering to people.
TPI: What are your future plans?
ESG: In the future, we want to develop Direct Forming Technology (DFT) mill. Currently, China seems to be an important producer and provider of such mills. In the conventional mill, we weld a round pipe and then convert it into a square or rectangular pipe. However, Direct Forming Technology allows us to directly weld square/rectangular pipes. This technology has great potential for the domestic as well as international market.
We also plan to get into the flat products segment, i.e. narrow 600 mm wide hot strip mills to produce hot rolled coils and cold rolling facility of the same size. We want to get into a unique technology of producing very thin walled hot rolled material. This will give our current customers an opportunity for backward integration. Currently, we have an annual turnover of around INR 100 crore but we plan to make it INR 500 crore in the next five years.
TPI: Please share some light on the clientele of your company.
ESG: Gallium Group has been in the industry for around 30 years. Our clientele is among the top manufacturers of India such as Tata Steel, Jindal, Ratnamani, Tube Products of India, Goodluck India. We are the licensees of top equipment manufacturing companies from Japan, the UK and the USA. In 1985, we had tube mills for Atlas cycles and A1 cycles which were running at a hundred meters per minute.
TPI: Share your outlook on the tube & pipe industry.
ESG: In any developed country, be it Japan or the USA, at least 11 to 12% of the total steel produced is converted into tubes and pipes. However, in India, it is just 3.5 to 3.75%. Hence, there is a huge potential for the tube & pipe industry in India which is still untapped. As tubes and pipes are hollow and light, it is now replacing other forms such as beams, channels, and angles. With the availability of high-tensile materials, tubular structures have become common in architecture. You can easily find them in high-rise buildings, shopping malls and stadiums. In the future, it is going to have a huge demand in India.