Thermax Limited, founded by Rohinton D. Aga about 50 years back and headquartered at Pune, has given a leg-up to its absorption cooling business by setting up a state-of-the-art manufacturing facility at Sri City. Thermax has a global footprint with its presence in 86 countries through 28 subsidiaries. Its businesses include power, heating, absorption cooling, process cooling, water and waste solutions, air pollution control, EPC, solar technology, and chemicals. Absorption cooling is its flagship business.
The new facility will manufacture a wide range of vapour absorption machines comprising chillers, heat pumps and heaters in its first phase.
Sri City is an emerging world class integrated smart city in Andhra Pradesh, located 75 km from Chennai, with five ports within a 100 km radius. Chennai and Tirupati airports are within 75 km of Sri City. It has been awarded a Gold rating by Indian Green Building Council (IGBC).
The new Thermax plant has applied for a Gold rating, and is planning to go in for Platinum soon. The inauguration ceremony was held in the morning of January 31. Anu Aga – former Chairperson, cut the ribbon to inaugurate the plant. The ceremonial lamp was lit by Anu Aga, Meher Pudumjee – Chairperson, M. S. Unnikrishnan – CEO & MD, Ravindra Sannareddy – Founder MD of Sri City, Padmashree C. N. Raghavendran – Architect, B. Venkatesh – Global Head, Absorption Cooling Business, and other dignitaries. V. Suresh, IGBC Chairman, was present on the occasion.
Addressing the audience, Meher Pudumjee said, “While this new plant will help us serve our existing and potential customers in the southern region better, it will also be an important manufacturing hub for Thermax’s global operations that will augment our export capabilities. With the increasing demand for green and energy efficient solutions globally, we see our vapour absorption products manufactured in this plant as an ideal fit towards sustainability”, M. S. Unnikrishnan mentioned that some of the finest
absorption chiller installations in the world have been carried out by Thermax. “We have invested in digitisation and automation to facilitate zerodefect processes that will ensure superior quality products to our customers”, he said. Anu Aga also spoke on the occasion and congratulated the Thermax team for building a world class facility.
Ravindra Sannareddy addressed the gathering, and mentioned that Thermax is the first major Indian company to set up shop in Sri City – which has attracted a large number of multinationals to build their manufacturing facilities. He invited Thermax to set up an R&D centre, for which he offered to allot space. He also offered space for a suppliers’ park.
C. N. Raghavendran, in his address, said that Thermax manufactures Green products and there is really no need for it to go for Green certification. The vote of thanks was proposed by Plant Head Shrikant Wale. He mentioned that 295 workmen spent about 17 lakh man-hours to build the plant, without a single accident involving an injury.
Constructed on a 40-acre plot in the Domestic Tariff Zone at Sri City with an investment of Rs. 166 crore in Phase I, the unit has a capacity to produce 400 machines per year. Plasma cutting facility for plates up to 50 mm and oxy-acetylene cutting facility for plates over 50 mm are available. The equipment includes roll forming machines, and a CNC machine for twin drilling. There are four bays, including a testing bay. The plant makes extensive use of daylighting. Robotised welding is a highlight of the plant. There are fixtures for all assemblies and sub-assemblies. The entire plant is digitised. Women workers bring in gender diversity – they are employed even for strenuous processes like welding. The roof of the parking area has solar PV panels. The plant is Industry 4.0-ready. Manufacturing processes are designed to create a safe and healthy working environment, and comply with stringent Green building norms. This is the ninth manufacturing plant of Thermax in India, out of the fifteen hubs spread across India, China, Germany, Denmark, Indonesia and Poland.
There was a dinner gathering in the evening. Dance numbers were interspersed with addresses by Meher Pudumjee and M. S. Unnikrishnan, who spoke about building a ‘community of chillers through Internet-of-Things’. He announced that Thermax is entering the arena of air cooled condensers and dry coolers to help the efforts to save water. The major customers and vendors of the company were felicitated. V. Suresh and K. S. Venkatagiri – Executive Director, IGBC – felicitated Anu Aga and Meher Pudumjee, and presented them a copy of IGBC’s coffee table book, encouraging them to apply for Platinum certification.
B. Venkatesh proposed the vote of thanks.
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