Founded in 1986, Craftsman Automation Limited is one of India’s leading engineering firms possessing diverse and deep knowledge in product design and development. Based in Coimbatore, the Company’s pan- India manufacturing units housing worldclass infrastructure that uses cutting-edge technology to manufacture products and provide solutions that finds acceptance with global OEMs operating in India.
While the Company has primarily focused on designing and developing components for the automotive sector; its cyclicality impeded Craftsman’s growth mandating the widening of its sectoral exposure. In keeping with this reality, the Company, in 2012, ventured into the warehousing solution space, a niche, highgrowth space.
This strategic diversification resulted in the incorporation of Craftsman Storage Systems, a division of Craftsman Automation, which is an integrated manufacturer of racking, shelving, automated storage, and retrieval systems such as Vertical Lift Modules, storage retrieval machines (Stacker crane), shuttles, conveyors, Rail Guided Vehicles for pallets and bins handling. Every device and machine is enabled with industry 4.0 and controlled with warehouse management software which seamlessly interfaces with order planning and delivery software.
Additionally, Craftsman Automation entered into a joint venture with Carl Stahl International GmbH, Germany (formally known as CarlStahl GmbH investment firm) – (earlier) the JV was CarlStahl Craftsman. This enterprise commenced business operations in July 2008. They offer the highest quality of lifting equipment like Electric Chain Hoist, Wire Rope Hoist, Light Crane Systems, Crane kits and many more. Craftsman operates exclusively in the B2B segment. Its unwavering focus and disciplined efforts to create value for its stakeholders have enabled it to emerge as one of the fastest growing players in its business space. Post its IPO in March 2021, the Company’s equity was listed on the BSE & NSE and currently features among India’s Top 500 Listed corporates.
An Overview Of Automated Storage And Retrieval Market
The Automated Storage and Retrieval System (ASRS) globally was valued at $7,351 million in 2019 and is expected to reach $12,928 million by 2027 – at a 7.2 percent CAGR between 2020 and 2027.The Indian market is expected to outperform the global market – it is currently moving northward at a 12 percent CAGR.
The unavailability of adequate manpower and its fast-rising costs are driving the growth of automated storage and retrieval systems across the world. Because ASRS including VLM offers critical advantages; Occupies smaller floor space optimizing capital commitment, Reduces manpower requirement thereby reducing operating costs,and Automation results in faster and more accurate storage and retrieval.
Craftsman Automation Limited
From a humble beginning as a job contractor of precision machine parts, the Company has evolved into one of India's leading manufacturers of precision engine parts and transmission parts for medium/heavy commercial vehicles, two-wheelers, and passenger vehicles. What differentiates Craftsman from others in its business space is its ability to develop any kind of tooling, special purpose machinery, and conveyors (required for automotive manufacturing lines) leveraging in-house knowledge and expertise.
This unique capability provides it the flexibility to develop and manufacture any component with speed and high accuracy and promises high equipment uptime. We are leveraging similar capabilities for our automated storage and retrieval solutions as well. We have invested in a state-of-the-art facility in our Pune factory with a roll forming capacity of more than 100 tones per day states Gautham Ram Ravi, Whole Time Director of Craftsman Automation.
Craftsman Storage Systems
Craftsman Storage Systems is a one-stop solution in for all your storage needs. The Company edge’s out competition on two key parameters; in-house manufacturing makes the product economical and allows for customization and a strong and wellspread service team ensures that the Company does not rely on third parties to resolve issues - the in-house team provides mechanical, electrical, or software support to its customers 24x7, resulting in a very low MTTR (Mean Time to Repair). Gautham adds that other factors that set Craftsman apart are our short order to a delivery lead time of 6 weeks and our Europe based competitors take about 3 to 4 months to deliver the solution. Additionally, local manufacturing is a considerabl advantage. Our shipping time for equipment and spares is considerably low when catering to the large and fast-growing domestic market. An added advantage is we have standardized many components and have flexible manufacturing systems.
These differentiators have positioned the Company as one of the fastest-growing enterprises in the storage solution business space. He also mentions that today’s clients need a quick orders to hand over cycle –within a matter of weeks. They expect shorter lead times from the concept stage to go live. Because time loss is opportunity loss. Also, considering the recent increase in commodity prices, especially steel has increased the cost of storage systems. Hence, customers are looking for efficiency in design and manufacturing, with no compromise in long-term reliability
Further, ERP integration done by Craftsman Storage for larger enterprises reduces the need for manual inventory entry, resulting in accurate real-time stock status and access to all data at the touch of a button. We served various sectors including FMCG, E-commerce Healthcare, Warehousing, Electronics, Automotive, Retail, Food, Textile, Pharma and many more.
Currently, Craftsman Storage Systems is one of India’s leading Manufacturers for Vertical Lift Modules (VLM).VLM with a small footprint and high density maximizes the use of floor and vertical space while providing cost-effective, efficient, quick, and ergonomic solutions to fulfill all storage and retrieval needs. VStore is an ASRS Vertical Lift Module that was developed in-house and manufactured in Coimbatore. VStore has emerged as an ideal solution for cost-effective and efficient inventory management. The VStore’s value-proposition is reflected in a heartening statistic - with more than 300+machines installed across the Indian landmass, the VStore is emerging as a strong business and profitability driver.
In A Nutshell
Our Key Differentiators:
• Inhouse Manufacturer with a strong R&D team
• Quick Order to Delivery
• In-house service team
• 3000+ Workforce
• System to track inventory accurately
With No compromise in longterm Reliability and quality, Craftsman served various Sectors including FMCG, E-commerce, Healthcare, Warehousing, Electronics, Automotive, Retais, Food, Textile, Pharma and many Others. Additionally, ERP Integration done for larger Enterprises reduces the need For manual inventory entry, Resulting in accurate real-time Stock status and acess to all Data with just the touch of a Button
Journey With IFFCO
Gautham Ram Ravi shares with us about the firm’s journey with the Indian Farmers Fertiliser Cooperative (IFFCO). IFFCO one of India's biggest cooperative societies and is a leader in manufacturing fertilizers, shortlisted Craftsman, from among a host of other aspirants, for the ASRS project to be installed at its Kalol plant which produces Liquid NANO Fertilisers on large scale. The objective was to introduce state-of-the-art technology for its inventory management at its unit to streamline its supply chain and optimize inventory management costs.
He further says, IFFCO opted the ASRS solution owing to its dense storage system which utilizes the maximum cubic space available. Its ERP integration allows for accurate inventory management, control, and updates in real-time. It is safe and helps to reduce operating costs. Craftsman was awarded the turnkey project for designing, manufacturing, and installing the solution. The highly sophisticated and complex system comprised, multi-deep Pallet Shuttle ASRS with multi-level buffer storage. It included a Robotic palletizer and de-palletizer, empty pallet stacker and de-stacker, telescopic belt conveyors, chain conveyors, roller conveyors, belt conveyors, short-stroke lifts, racking, shuttle carrier and shuttles, pallet elevator, etc., all controlled with a warehouse control and management software (WMS) which interfaces with the Customer ERP – SAP (for realtime inventory status and just-in-time planning and highly accurate forecasting).
The contract also included providing a fire sprinkler system layout and coordinating with the lighting vendor for the lighting layout. To add to the challenge, the system would be used to store multiple products that can accommodate their diverse storage requirements including FG Cartons, Packing material, Empty Pallet Stacks. We completed the project in 5 months, despite significant headwinds in the form of the more lethal second wave of the Pandemic, and a cyclonic storm.
Future And Beyond
“Our strength lies in our strong engineering team and with vast knowledge in manufacturing as well as proactive customer engagement’. We have established 12 facilities across India. We are aiming to triple our Storage System’s turnover in the next two years.To achieve this goal, we will focus on team building and expanding our manufacturing facilities in the shortest time possible. Over the medium term, we aim to position Craftsman as the preferred storage solution provider,” concludes Mr. Gautham Ram Ravi.