Science fiction factory automation has become a reality nowadays. Not so long ago, we found it difficult to conceive an idea of industrial robotic workforce! In 2020, the revolution is unstoppable. Industrial automation is becoming a norm in various industries because it provides higher reliability and productivity. A large piece of this cake is Computerised Numerical Control (CNC) machines. CNC Machines are automated machines which are replacing conventional machine tools as they provide precision and accuracies as per the pre-defined machining program even thru’ the un-skilled man-power. For obvious reasons, it ensures better quality in final products, eliminates extra labour costs, and boosts the production process. India’s premiere CNC machine tools manufacturer, Lokesh Machines Limited’s MD, M. Lokeswara Rao says, “CNC Machine manufacturing industry in India is a very mature industry. Technologically, all of us are on par with any leading Global player particularly in the Medium Technology machines. Most of the players are also well versed with high volume production and are fully geared to cater to the entire country’s requirements. In a nut shell, we are fully equipped for the Government of India’s clarion call of ‘Aatmanirbhar Bharat’”.
With a legacy that dates back to over three decades, Lokesh Machines is a major machine manufacturer that evolved from building SPMs to CNC General Purpose Machines. Lokesh Machines is a ISO 9001:2008 & IATF 16949:2009 certified company that currently exports CNC machines to Japan, Germany, Netherlands, Italy, Turkey, and Middle East countries. The company is a leader in Cam & Crank borers, Fine borers & Finish Milling machines. Lokesh Machines is proud that the First Lathe and the first VMC built by the company are still in operation. Extremely customer focused, this manufacturer offers customized solutions.
Lokesh Machines has a wide range of machines in its portfolio of CNC Turning Centers, Vertical Machining Centers, High Speed Drill Tap Centers, Vertical Turning Lathes and Horizontal Machining Centers. Lokesh also offers niche products to cater to non-automotive sectors like the Agriculture and Farm Sector, Gas Turbine and Aerospace Sector, Defence sector and Railways. Recently, Lokesh Machines has been fairly successful in the Infrastructure and Irrigation markets as well.
Lokesh Machines placed its first step in the market with special purpose machines like SPMs for Metal Cutting. Though mostly catering to the automotive and particularly Powertrain components, the company has catered to a handful of Non- Automotive industries in areas of Power Sector, Hydraulics and other allied sectors. Finish Cam & Crank Line Boring, Finish Barrel Boring, Finish Joint Faces Milling SPM are some of Lokesh Machines Limited’s most sought after machines by leading OEMs. The firm’s SPM division is known for its Precision machines that are reliable and deliver consistent results for decades. In fact, major OEMs still have machines operating for the past 25 years, delivering the same accuracies and productivity.
Few Of The Many Successful Builds
Lokesh Machines is popular among its reputed clients for the precision manufacturing that it delivers. A Turbine Blade manufacturer was looking forward for a lower cost solution as opposed to his 5-Axis machines. Lokesh Machines’ design team conceived and delivered a Multi axis solution on a regular VMC. This naturally resulted in a multi machine order due to the huge savings in cost as well as improvement in productivity. In a similar significant client venture, wherein a major OEM placed a turnkey order for SPM lines, Lokesh Machines team developed a unique pick and place arrangement which not just picks the component from the conveyor, but also goes and changes the component on the machine like a pallet changer. This fulfilled another requirement of the client for automating the loading of machines. This arrangement is industry’s first in a SPM. This naturally meant a series of machines could be operated by a single operator.
Winning Trusts With Record Breaking Accomplishments
The Founder, M Lokeswara Rao has covered miles in his entrepreneurial journey and cherishes every milestone that enabled him have a vision. HMT Hyderabad was his first stint as an engineering entrepreneur trainee. This was the first turning point in his career. Mr. Lokeswara recollects that a
chance encounter with a patriotic public sector banker had nurtured his entrepreneurial bug when he started out being a job worker. However, the zeal to venture into an OEM manufacturer of machines was supported by many automobile OEMs. He gives credit to each one of them who trusted Lokesh Machines’ ability more than our people itself and always helped the Lokesh Machines’ team in its technical endeavours and challenges.
The initial breakthroughs came from M/s Mahindra & Mahindra and M/s Bajaj Auto. Following these, M/s Ashok Leyland gave Lokesh Machines the opportunity to be a complete Machine Manufacturer by trusting the firm with critical Cam & Crank Borers, which were until then mostly imported. Lokesh Machines’ later successes include a Turnkey line from M/s John Deere for manufacturing Cylinder Blocks during their India entry. The recent feather in the cap was again a Turnkey Line from M/s Volvo Eicher for their Euro 6 Engine in 2017. They were not just ahead of their time, but executing the order against stiff international competition also made Lokesh Machines the first Indian or even Asian manufacturer to build complete machines for a Euro 6 Cylinder Block and Head.
Through Test Of Times
Lokesh Machines has witnessed a conservative yet concrete growth. From a small-scale job working company to a major machines manufacturing enterprise, the company relishes being a Rs. 175 Crore company. “Though our revenues have been posting modest growths, we have nevertheless built up an impressive asset base for the company in terms of Land Holdings, Buildings and Machinery”, adds Mr. Lokeswara Rao.
We are fully equipped for the government of India’s clarion call of ‘Aatmanirbhar Bharat'
Lokesh Machines reflects the endurance of its people. The company has weathered more than 3 major recessions and while Lokesh Machines was going through the latest one in 2019-2020, the Corona virus turned to be (in the words of Mr. Lokeswara Rao) ‘a double whammy of sorts’. Capital goods industry is the first one to get hit during any recession and also the last to recover. Nevertheless, every time the market turned sour for Lokesh Machines, the company held its ground and marched, not backward, but forward. As Mr. Lokeswara puts it, “We have been bruised and hurt all these times, but with sheer determination and the blessings of our customers, dealers, shareholders, bankers and all other well-wishers, we have always bounced back”. Rightly so, over the years, Lokesh Machines has earned the trust of most of the leading Automotive OEMs, Tier I & Tier II companies as well as a host of non-automotive companies. Both in automotive and non-automotive sectors, this precision manufacturer has individual client companies owning more than 200 machines at their single or multiple locations. This is clearly the clientele’s faith in Lokesh Machines and its products.
The workforce or the team running the engine for Lokesh Machines are the real winners. Kishore Babu (SPM Operations Division), Krishnaswamy (Technical Director), T. W. Bhutia (Marketing Head for SPMs) are the pillars of the organization. Kishore Babu handles the operations and also one of the chief architects of our SPM division. He supports the Manufacturing activities of the other divisions as well. Krishnaswamy is a leading light for SPM designs. His imprint was present on all the major machines supplied by M/s HMT in its heydays. He has been with Lokesh since inception and has been the design force behind all of Lokesh Machines’ products. He has been an able mentor for all his successors at Lokesh and continues to actively take part in the firm’s technological initiatives.
T. W. Bhutia is undoubtedly one amongst the best technical brains and has contributed much beyond marketing. He has been a constant as the chief trouble shooter during technical logjams. He has also been there since inception and continues to guide all the team members to this date.
Though the trio have been like a pillar to the organization, there many more who have significantly contributed to Lokesh Machines’ success since inception. “While it started with me as a One-Man Army, with the above Three coming on board, the company had achieved a lot in terms of a Brand and Technology. Later, with the 2nd Generation i.e. M. Srinivas & M. Srikrishna coming in, the company made further inroads in diversification, Technical Collaborations etc. and with the next generations gearing to enter, the continuity will be ensured”, expresses Mr. Lokeswara Rao.
Multidimensional Growth In The Near Future
Lokesh Machines stands at the cusps of the 5th Industrial Revolution and is prepared to take the leap. On the technical front, while the firm is developing next generation engineers to continue the legacy of innovation and reliability under the pivotal leadership of their respective team leaders, Lokesh is also entering into strategic partnerships with overseas companies to maintain the technological edge of our products. “The future is also about sustainability and we are on the task of ensuring our Machines are Energy efficient and we are also ensuring sustainability in our manufacturing operations”, adds Rao. That said, Lokesh is further extending it product portfolio. On the product front, with proper associations in place, the Lokesh team has a whole portfolio of High-Tech machines being rolled gradually. Evidently, Lokesh is gearing up to cater to the new age requirements of emerging sectors such as Aerospace & Defence as well as Medical Devices etc.
On the Manufacturing front, significant investments are being made to modernise and expand the capacities. A new 100,000 sq ft. facility with state-of-the-art Machines is being put together, expected to be up and running by the year end. As the company prepares for a new era of industrial equipment, it also makes sure the minds at work are given the liberty to expand and explore. Mr. Lokeswara Rao is a true entrepreneur who demonstrates the concept of growth through succession. Empowerment & Freedom at Work has been a core value for Lokesh Machines, and it intends to keep it warm for the years to come.
M Lokeswara Rao, MD
With more than 46 years of vast experience in the machine tool industry, M Lokeswara Rao has started his career with KCP Limited in 1965 and after a brief stint joined Hindustan Machine Tools Limited (HMT) in 1966. While working at HMT for almost a decade, Mr. Rao has obtained a methodical understanding and insight of the manufacturing industry. The manufacturing insights supplemented with the entrepreneurial abilities prompted Mr. Rao to start Lokesh Machines Limited. Mr. Rao with his sheer hard work coupled with managerial abilities built up a strong team and established world-class facilities. He was also the past president of Indian Machine Tools Manufacturers Association (IMTMA).