Inquisitiveness and the zeal to innovate are the reasons behind Su-Kam’s success

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Su-Kam Power Systems Ltd has a presence in 90 countries and has filed for over 100 patents. It manufactures more than 200 products including various solar products, UPS systems, batteries and customised solar solutions.

By Baishakhi Dutta

Su-Kam’s products cater to the needs of a range of segments —residential, commercial and industrial. The company makes home inverters/UPS systems, high capacity inverters, as well as commercial, online and line interactive UPS systems catering to capacities of up to 500KVA. The company also specialises in manufacturing lead acid, tubular, SMF, tall tubular and automotive batteries, battery equalisers and battery management systems. Products in the solar range include solar inverters, off-grid systems, grid-tied inverters, solar charge controllers (PWM and MPPT), power conditioning units, solar lighting systems, etc.


About the company
The company was started in 1989 and initially operated in the cable TV business. In 1998, Su-Kam entered the inverter manufacturing sector, and in 2000, it exited the cable TV business in order to focus on the inverter industry.


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Manufacturing floor at a glance
Su-Kam uses a wide variety of machinery in its manufacturing processes. All the machines are specifically designed in-house at its government certified R&D centre. The testing rigs for the PCB analysis as well as the PLC testing rigs are all made indigenously, by the company’s R&D engineers.
The company has seven state-of-art manufacturing facilities in Baddi (Himachal Pradesh), Katha (Himachal Pradesh) and Gurugram (Haryana). All the manufacturing facilities are certified under OHSAS – 18001 for occupational health and safety. All the plants are equipped with automatic conveyor lines and testing systems for the enhanced reliability of the products.

“Su-Kam aims to change the market, change products, change processes, change the consumer’s expectations and change mindsets at an amazingly rapid pace.”
Kunwer Sachdev, MD and founder, Su-Kam

Machinery used at the facilities
Baddi:

  • Grid casting machine
  • Pressure dye casting
  • Oxide mill
  • Pasting machine
  • Acid filling machine
  • Heat sealing testing machine
  • High ray discharge machine

Gurugram:

  • PLC automatic test machine
  • PLC based PCB testing machine

Products manufactured

  • UPS systems of 100VA-2kVA
  • Commercial UPS systems of 2.5kVA – 5kVA
  • Solar UPS systems of 100VA-100kVA
  • Solar panels
  • Valve regulated lead acid (gel based) batteries
  • Flooded-tubular batteries
  • Charge controllers

Manufacturing capacity

  • 80,000 inverters/month at Baddi (Himachal Pradesh)
  • 60,000 batteries/month at Katha (Himachal Pradesh)
  • 70,000 inverters/month at Gurugram

Best practices in manufacturing

  • IQC: Incoming quality check for all the raw materials used in the manufacturing and assembling processes.
  • PDQA: Pre-dispatch quality check for all the finished goods so that there is not even a miniscule chance for any kind of manufacturing defect.
  • Automatic testing for PCBs done to ensure maximum efficiency. No manual testing is done, in order to ensure uncompromised quality.
Key Facts at a Glance
Year of establishment: 1998
Factory location(s): Baddi (Himachal Pradesh) – Inverter batteries; Gurugram (Haryana) – Inverters; Katha (Himachal Pradesh) – Batteries
Workforce: 1500 (approx.)
Major products: Solar UPS systems (Brainy Eco, Brainy S and Brainy Touch), solar PCUs and home UPS systems
Key market: Other than having a pan-India presence, Su-Kam operates in over 90 countries covering the Middle East, Southeast Asia, Latin America and Africa
Contact details: Corporate office: 54, Sector 37, Near Hero Honda Chowk, Industrial Area Phase-6, Gurugram, Haryana-122001, Ph:1800-102-4423

Logistics
Su-Kam’s rural distribution is managed by the company itself. The company supplies to 600 channel partners almost daily. Su-Kam believes that managing SKUs (stock keeping units) through product segregation has helped it achieve a good name in the market. The stacking rule is followed, which ensures that the finished goods are kept intact.


Patents
The company has developed two patented software solutions: the Powerdoc Monitoring System for the remote monitoring of large capacity products, and Recall Software, which enables the diagnosis of problems without the need to open up the inverter.


Focus on quality
Su-Kam has an inbuilt, robust and strong quality system, which covers all the products at various stages of development and manufacturing. The company has implemented Total Quality Management (TQM) practices involving demanding test protocols at every stage of the manufacturing process, right down to final inspection prior to delivery. Most of Su-Kam’s products have received test certifications from reputed laboratories like ERTL (a Government of India organisation). The company has received SEC certification for its VRLA (SMF) batteries in the following range—12V-7.2AH, 12V-45AH and 12V-165AH.

Certifications achieved
The company has been certified by BIS, BEE, CE, UL and many other reputed labs.

R&D
Su-Kam has invested in a separate R&D unit. Apart from developing and testing new products, this unit has also spearheaded the company’s foray into solar energy. The company’s R&D strength is reinforced with extensive infrastructure that includes state-of-art equipment like power analysers, digital scopes, waveform generators, curve tracers, protocol analysers, spectrum analysers, brake dynamometers, emulators and simulators for DSP and microcontroller applications, and programmable power supplies.


The mantra for success
Company sources claim that Su-Kam’s MD and founder, Kunwer Sachdev’s inquisitiveness and zeal to innovate are the reasons behind its success. When he was running the cable TV business, the inverter in his house used to malfunction frequently. So, when trying to understand the manufacturing defects of the inverter he figured out that the root of the problem was a poor design. With this experience, he pledged to make the inverter industry well organised. His aim was to make high quality affordable inverters for the common man.


Take on Make in India
“Su-Kam’s journey, from being a startup in 1998 to becoming an MNC is an example of Make in India. Su-Kam aims to manufacture, assemble and design all its products in India. In the past 20 odd years, we have never allowed the Chinese to penetrate the Indian inverter market,” says Kunwer Sachdev.


Recognition and awards

  • Award for Export Excellence from EEPC
  • First inverter company to get certified by BIS
  • First inverter company to receive BEE star rating
  • India’s Most Trusted Inverter/Batteries Brand by TRA
  • Amity Corporate Excellence Award 2015
  • Appointed as MNRE Channel Partner for off-grid projects till March 2015
  • EFY Readers’ Choice Top 5 Brands Award 2013-14
  • Africa Leadership Awards 2013
  • Electronics for You Readers’ Choice Awards, 2012-2013
  • SP1A rating by Ministry of New and Renewable Energy, 2013

Take on GST
Company executives believe that the new GST will bring in single point billing. Tax credits which were not given earlier, will be given.

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