The Indian forging industry has emerged as a major contributor to the manufacturing sector of the Indian Economy. It is a key element in the growth of the Indian automobile industry as well as other industries such as general engineering, construction equipment, oil, gas and power. The Indian forging industry is well recognised globally for its technical capabilities.
With an installed capacity of around 37.7 lakh MT, Indian forging industry has a capability to forge variety of raw materials like carbon steel, alloy steel, stainless steel, super alloy, titanium, aluminium, etc.
Based on their installed capacity, the forging units may be classified as very large (capacity above 75,000 MT), large (capacity above 30,000 to 75,000 MT), medium (capacity above 12,500 to 30,000 MT), small (capacity above 5,000 to 12,500 MT) and very small (capacity up to 5,000 MT). Based on this classification it is seen that about 87% of the total number of units are small and very small, while only about 5% can be classified as very large and large units; the balance of about 8% constitute the medium sized units.
The Indian forging industry is concentrated around its end user customer locations. Therefore, the major forging clusters are found to be in the states of Maharashtra, Punjab, Gujarat, Tamil Nadu, Haryana, Delhi, Karnataka, Jharkhand, West Bengal and Andhra Pradesh. States such as Maharashtra, Punjab, Tamil Nadu, Haryana, Jharkhand and Delhi. (Refer map below.)
The forging industry of India provides direct employment to about 95,000 people. The small and very small units are mainly dependant on manual labour, however medium and large units are more mechanized. Quality standards in the industry have improved significantly and the sector is now well known globally for its high quality.
Current share of auto sector is about 61% of total forging production while the rest is with the non-auto sector. Changes in Indian automobile industry directly impact Indian forging industry, because the forging components form the backbone of the Indian automobile industry. Since the automobile industry is the main customer for forgings the industry’s continuous efforts in upgrading technologies and diversifying product range has enabled it to expand its base of customers to foreign markets.
The Indian forgings industry has made rapid strides and currently, not only meets almost all the domestic demand, but has also emerged as a large exporter of forgings. The industry is increasingly addressing opportunities arising out of the growing trend among global automotive OEM’s (Original Equipment Manufacturers) to outsource components from manufacturers in low-cost countries. As a result, the industry has been making significant contributions to country’s growing exports.
In order to reduce the impact of cyclicality and dependence on auto sector, the industry plans to diversify into non-automotive sectors.