We had the opportunity to meet Ankit and Arpit Sahu who are the Co-Founders of Objectify Technologies Pvt. Ltd which has become one of the forerunners of the Indian AM Industry offering both metal and polymer solutions. There share their views on their aim to help Indian manufacturers in their journey from conventional manufacturing to hybrid manufacturing.
I3DPn: How has the journey been in Additive Manufacturing for Objectify?
Ankit Sahu: The journey of Objectify and Indian additive manufacturing industry is very similar – we both are on a high growth path! There is a considerable amount of awareness regarding the technology in last few years so as we have made been able to position ourself as one of the leading AM solution providers in the country with a large number of customer base from industries such as aerospace, space, automotive, die mould, among others. When we started Objectify in 2013, the Indian 3D printing industry was also on very nascent with limited awareness.
Objectify started off using FDM printers for hobby printing. This was to get into experimentation with 3D printing. Soon we identified the need for quick part production for speeding up NPD and R&D across various industries. We then gradually moved to more robust and production ready technology such as SLS (Selective Laser Sintering) for polymer production and later DMLS (Direct Metal Laser Sintering) for metal. This opened a new window of opportunity to become global Additive Manufacturing players in the market. Now we provide end to end solution for companies for different application in the industry, resulting in being India’s only polymer and metal 3D printing organization.
Arpit Sahu: Our journey so far with Additive Manufacturing has been very exciting. Not only we have made name for ourself in the Indian 3d printing industry but also we are able to educate companies in terms of benefits of the technology and spread awareness regarding the same. Our aim is to help Indian manufacturers in their journey from conventional manufacturing to hybrid manufacturing.
I3DPn: Based on the current ecosystem, how ready is India and Objectify for Production with Additive Manufacturing?
Ankit Sahu: Indian industry has made considerable progress in the last few years in terms of adoption of the AM in their production system. However, there is still a long way to go. We are seeing many large manufacturers are now having dedicated team for AM related activities and the demand for AM services is on a continuous growth path.
Awareness regarding the technology in India is finally getting better with many companies adopting/entering in the domain. It’s no more an unknown technology. Indian manufacturing industry seems to have finally realized the benefit of additive manufacturing and exploring further. However, more education is required in terms of adoption, ROI, etc.
Arpit Sahu: With the current situation and awareness, I would say that production with AM will still take some time. However, I see a good future for hybrid manufacturing.
We are very much equipped to tackle future demand with highly sophisticated infrastructure. We believe investment in technology is an investment in future. Keeping this in mind we have always looked for machines, software and processes that have global appeal. Recently, we purchased the EOS M400-4 which is said to be the fastest metal 3D printer in the world. This serves as an inspiration to many companies who want to venture into Additive Manufacturing as an important part of their R&D and NPD needs.If need be, we will further expand our facility to cope up with the demand.
As the industry grows, production needs also increase. The role of 3D printing fuels the never-ending desire to improve machinery or product. We at Objectify have witnessed this first hand when it came to Indian automotive requirements after the implementation of Bharat Stage 6. This was a landmark policy to reduce pollution and encourage sustainability. The Automotive sector had to pull up its socks for redesigning their current assembly to meet the needs of Bharat Stage 6. Since then we have received a ton of inquiries to assist them in prototyping various automotive components such as cylinder heads, diesel mixing units, pipe inlets, etc. Our past projects have prepared us for these moments and to cater them efficiently and realistically.
I3DPn: What are the challenges and opportunities specific to the market you operate in?
Ankit Sahu: The solution to every challenge is an opportunity. Of course, there are many challenges in the industry but our very agenda at Objectify is to help companies overcome their challenges in terms of adoption and education of AM.
The Indian manufacturing industry is in the process of shift from conventional to modern technologies. India has always been late in adopter of the latest technologies, however, we could see significant progress in the area of technology adoption in the last few years. Indian companies are not only looking for better technologies but also have become very demanding in terms of ROI on any purchase. Additive manufacturing is in a nascent stage in India lacks awareness about the applications and benefits among the manufacturing fraternity, which is one of the reasons the adoption has been slow. Having said that we have seen a huge improvement in approach towards additive manufacturing in the last couple of years. Now there are companies that are aware of the technology and exploring how it could complement their existing manufacturing process.
The main points of conflict for 3D printing are:
- Fewer choices when it comes to materials.
- Finding skilled manpower
- Cost of acquisition of equipment
- Growing demand and interest in 3D printing
- Speed and material related developments
- Safety, security norms and the emergence of EVs in the automotive industry
- The growing aerospace industry in India
- Conformal cooling replacing the conventional cooling methods
Arpit Sahu: Another opportunity we see in the imported 3D printing parts in India. We have seen many global companies who have set up shop here in India are getting their AM requirement done from outside. We want to fill this gap and help them with their AM requirement here in India itself….it will save them time and cost both.
I3DPn: What do foresee is the future of AM at Objectify and in India?
Ankit and Arpit: As said earlier, we are very much confident about the future of AM in India. We see huge demand coming in from small tooling suppliers to large automotive and aerospace OEMs.We want to act as a catalyst in educating the industry, the application and benefits of AM. Meaning, not just in manufacturing but we want to help companies in things like training, design, consulting and lab setup as well. We want to be the end-to-end solution providers in AM space and help the Indian manufacturing industry in their path to becoming ‘ Global Manufacturing Hub’.