Keeping abreast of the dynamic business environment, Elin Electronics surges ahead

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As a leading EMS provider, Elin Electronics offers a comprehensive range of supply-chain services that simplify the product development process, and provide meaningful time and cost savings to its OEM customers

By Nitasha Chawla

Tuesday, February 12, 2013: Having been a strong presence in the Indian electronics industry for more than four decades, today, Elin Electronics Ltd has emerged as a major end-to-end contract manufacturing company with a turnover of Rs 3.13 billion (2011-2012). Started in 1969 as a family venture by Mangi Lal Sethia, chairman and managing director, and Budh Singh Sethia, director (technical), with the passage of time, the company has successfully handled challenges on various corporate fronts and evolved with appropriate strategies to consistently sustain itself as a profit-making enterprise.

Elin Electronics has a complete in-house facility to take up contract manufacturing for electronic and electromechanical components and sets, with backward integration of dies and mould making, metal pressing, plastic moulding, SMD PCB assembly and complete set assembly.

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Paving its way to growth

Elin Electronics entered the manufacturing business independently in the early 60s. It started off by making band switches for radios under the name ‘Golden Switches’. It also made sockets and leads. It started off big making cassette deck mechanisms under the ‘Golden’ brand since this was the name by which the company was known in the market. Western, Televista and Philips were some of its first major customers.

The company began manufacturing audio cassette tape deck mechanisms in the 70s. These soon became the hallmark of the company and it achieved the leading position in the field.

Recalls BS Sethia, “When we took a decision to develop mechanisms for cassette recorders without having any technical tie-up, the idea was to manufacture all parts indigenously.” In the early 70s, the company started with manufacturing sheet metal components, plastics and rubber moulded parts. It had the complete set-up for sheet metal components but not for plastic and rubber moulded parts. “Yet, I was determined to go ahead and establish the manufacturing set-up for it. It was a challenging time for us since we were very new in the domain of small home appliances and it took a series of rejections before we got the final approval. It was not easy to win a third party’s confidence because there used to be no testing houses back then,” BS Sethia adds.

Between 1969-1972, when Elin was struggling to expand its manufacturing capabilities, Bharat Electronic- tape mechanism and BEL gave the clearance.

Elin’s modern moulding facility equipped with ROBOs
Elin’s modern moulding facility equipped with ROBOs

Prior to that, Elin sustained itself by manufacturing sockets and leads. Most of its revenues went into R&D and manufacturing of sheet metal and other components, and customisation of machines for production of parts. Says B S Sethia, “We had to learn everything from scratch, and we used the skills of our own technical staff to customise machinery for production of parts since we didn’t have enough resources to get them from abroad. Our first major customer was Murphy and then Philips.”

There has been no looking back for Elin ever since. The firm stopped manufacturing cassette mechanisms from 2012 since the product became obsolete, though it had dominated the market for three decades. The company gradually took up manufacturing of electrical motors and parts, automotive components, etc.

Overcoming stumbling blocks
One of the toughest situations Elin faced was labour unrest. “It was a learning experience and I am glad that it has never happened again,” says BS Sethia. 

BS Sethia, director (technical), Elin Electronics
Mangi Lal Sethia, chairman and managing director, Elin Electonics
Mangi Lal Sethia, chairman and managing director, Elin Electonics

In the early 1980s, Elin’s workers went on protest over petty issues, thereby bringing production to a halt. However, the management was clear that they would not give in to their demands and identified an alternate strategy to handle the situation. Informs B S Sethia, “The basic problem was that these workers were working under contractors whom we had hired and they were not happy with them. Unfortunately, we had to bear the brunt of their anger against the contractors. Therefore, we decided to change the hiring strategy and did away with the concept of contractors. The working conditions have become harmonious ever since we changed our strategy.”

Manufacturing prowess
Elin Electronics has state-of-the-art infrastructure to manufacture products like micro motors, tools, sheet metal components, etc. Being one of the largest manufacturers of micro motors in India, Elin is known for its commitment to add value to its products through continuous improvement in the design and manufacture processes. With more than two decades of experience in the domain of small home appliances manufacturing, its products are being used by OEMs that are renowned nationally and internationally.

Elin’s SMT facility for manufacturing LED lighting products
Elin’s SMT facility for manufacturing LED lighting products

Its tool room infrastructure includes three CNC machining centres, three CNC wire cut machines, two CNC electric discharge machines (EDMs), high precision surface grinders and a host of conventional machines. Elin’s tool room has the capacity to deliver more than 200 critical tools in a year. It also has a tie-up with overseas tool makers, which enables it to double its capacity.

Its unit for manufacturing sheet metal components, precision engineering components and deep drawn components, called the press shop, is equipped with all the required production machinery and equipment for quality control. Secondary operations like projections welding, liquid painting and powder coating are also available in-house, all of which adds value to the firm’s supply portfolio. More than 60 stamping machines, ranging from 10 tonnes to 300 tonnes, give the company the flexibility to cater to a vast range of customers with varied requirements. “We specialise in offering customised solutions as per clients’ specifications, and this helps us to add value to our customers’ product portfolio,” says BS Sethia.

Elin is also one of the leading manufacturers, exporters and suppliers of an extensive range of automotive components that are widely used in the automobile industry. Its product range is highly durable, dimensionally accurate and flexible, and can also be customised as per the requirements of the client. Leveraging its infrastructure, which consists of more than 100 moulding machines equipped with the latest accessories, Elin has been able to offer components that conform to various international standards.

As BS Sethia puts it, “We are supported by a dedicated team whose relentless efforts help us in offering quality products within stipulated time frames.”

Elin’s assembly line at Ghaziabad
Elin’s assembly line at Ghaziabad

The company has a plant in Ghaziabad, Uttar Pradesh for lighting fixtures, motors for mixer grinders and ACs. Another plant in Baddi, Himachal Pradesh manufactures electrical appliances and LED torches, and a factory in Goa manufactures radios. It has recently begun manufacturing both CFL and LED lighting fixtures.

Some achievements
The company has received ISO 9001, 14001 and TS 16949 certifications for its excellence in quality and environmental practices. It has also been felicitated with many awards by the government as well as various electronics associations. Some of these include the ‘Excellence in Electronics’ award from the Government of India in 1994, the ELCINA award for ‘Excellence in Quality’ in 1997 and in 2001, the ‘Best Delivery Performance’ award from Denso, etc. The company is proud of its capability to develop its own technical know-how which has been exported as well as sold to a local company in Mysore, Karnataka.

Strategies adopted for growth
Elin’s key strategy has been to inculcate an innovative customer-focused culture within the company. Therefore, it offers a comprehensive range of supply-chain services that simplify the product development process and provide meaningful time and cost savings to its OEM customers. Its vertically-integrated services provide customers with a total design, manufacturing and logistics solution that moves a product from its initial design through volume production, testing and distribution. These integrated services allow the company to design, build and ship a complete packaged product to its customers. Shares B S Sethia, “We are committed to serve our customers and maintain market leadership through continual improvement. Elin provides more value and innovation to customers by leveraging its global economies of scale in manufacturing, logistics, procurement, design, engineering and ODM services across a wide range of products and customer segments.”

Elin has been achieving its goal of complete customer satisfaction by introducing new products, upgrading its quality levels and training human resources from time to time.

Keeping itself abreast with the market’s demands, Elin has changed its business strategy last year. From developing a product based on orders, the company now undertakes the design and development of products on its own, for the OEMs. Explains BS Sethia, “Earlier, OEMs used to approach us with a concept for a product, and we would get the designing done and the prototype made as per the given specifications. Now, we have a team that thinks up concepts for products based on the market scenario, and then designs and makes a prototype on its own to sell it to the OEMs. We are doing this mainly with mixer grinders and induction cookers, and this strategy has worked well for us.”

Key facts at a glance  
Year of establishment 1969
Turnover (2011-2012) Rs 4.47 billion
Workforce Around 2500
Manufacturing units Three units in Ghaziabad (UP), Baddi (HP) and Goa
Major resources Land: 48000 sq m Machines: Precision tool room with CAD and machining centre, press shop equipped with CNC press breaks, transfer presses, high speed presses; 100 plastic injection moulding machines; one Panasonic SMT assembly line along with auto insertion and wave soldering machines; conveyorised semi-auto assembly lines for micro and mini AC & DC motors; conveyorised painting lines, assembly lines for LED products and components, etc
Production capacity (approx per month) Press shop: Processing of 600-1000 tonnes of material depending on size of the part. Injection moulding: Plasticising of 300-700 tonnes. Motors: 4,00,000; Electronic ballasts: 600,000; Electric lighting fixtures: 6,00,000; Modular electric switches: 5,00,000; Electric irons: 2,00,000; Toasters: 50,000; Mixers/Grinders: 1,00,000; Induction cookers: 50,000; LED flash lights: 2 million; Radios: 1,00,000
Products manufactured Dies, moulds, miniature submersible pump, steam iron, mixer/grinder, hand blender, toaster, sheet metal parts, lighting fixtures, electronic ballasts, radio, SMD & other PCBs, LED torches, micro motors, universal motors, LED luminaries, emergency lights, modular switches, etc.
Major customers Philips, Preethi, Denso, Eveready, Panasonic, Minda, Indo Asian, Carrier, Magent Marelli, Musahi, Blue Star, LG, Havells, Lumax, Hitachi, Grunner, etc
Exports to Germany and Japan
Sectors being catered Industrial, consumer electronics and automotive electronics
Services offered End-to-end electrical/electronics manufacturing services for small domestic appliances and lighting fixtures (designing, tooling, components production and assembly)
Contact details B S Sethia, director (technical), Elin House, 4771/23, Bharat Ram Road, Daryaganj, New Delhi 110002; Ph: +91-11-43000402; Mob: 9810128785; [email protected]; www.elinindia.com

Electronics Bazaar, South Asia’s No.1 Electronics B2B magazine

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