R. STAHL infuses the ‘Make in India’ initiative with German expertise


R. STAHL (P) Ltd is a 100 per cent subsidiary of R. STAHL AG, Germany. It began operations in India in 1988 and is a leading manufacturer and supplier of explosion-proof equipment. The company manufactures and sells quality products, which incorporate the ever-evolving German technology, not only to its Indian clientele but also to global customers. In a conversation with Electronics Bazaar, Joerg Fitzek, MD, R. STAHL discusses the company’s journey over almost three decades

R. STAHL’s product portfolio ranges from explosion-proof lighting and switchgear products to automation and signalling devices. The company has ventured into LED lighting
for hazardous areas, and now has a substantial range of products in its explosion-proof LED lighting portfolio.

Joerg Fitzek, managing director, R. STAHL (P) Ltd

The company manufactures explosion-protected lighting, switchgear and panels, HMI automation products, remote I/O, fieldbus, isolators, barriers, CCTV camera systems, as well as audio/visual and combination signalling equipment.

Manufacturing at a glance
“In India, we manufacture many of the products in our portfolio, though not all. In our LED lighting portfolio, R. STAHL India manufactures floodlights, pendant lights, linear luminaires, and for clean room application, the recess-mounted sheet metal luminaires,” Fitzek says.
Besides these, the company also manufactures junction and terminal boxes, control stations and panels in different materials like stainless steel, powder coated CRCA, GRP and a cast aluminium alloy. Its signalling products, sold under the brand Clifford and Snell, include audio/video and combination units for industrial application in hazardous areas (with intrinsically safe methods of protection).

“With respect to the automation we provide operating and monitoring solutions (HMI) for hazardous areas programmable by all third party control devices. A full-fledged service center operates from our Indian facility, providing services both on and off site in India. We currently work in two shifts, six days a week, and have a spare capacity of one shift per day. On a need basis, we utilise the spare capacity when the manufacturing load peaks,” Fitzek adds.
“Several manufacturing lines have been installed in the Indian facility after we shifted to the present location. We were successful because we bagged a large order for LED light fittings from a leading refinery in India, which was followed by a repeat order, two years later,” says Fitzek.

The company undertakes lighting calculations, complete system solutions, and training on IECEx and ATEX certification requirements for end users and manufacturers of hazardous area products. All this is in addition to being a supplier of the products listed earlier, which adhere to international certification criteria.

Major products: Explosion-proof lighting (LED and conventional linear lights, floodlights, hand lamps, pendant lights, tubular lights, recessed lights, etc)

Explosion-proof switchgear (junction and terminal boxes, plugs and sockets, cable glands, plugs, accessories, switches, control and distribution equipment—control components and stations, panels, power distribution panels, etc)

Factory location: Plot No. 5, Malrosapuram Main Road, Sengundram Industrial Area, Singaperumal Koil, Kancheepuram District, Tamil Nadu 603204, India
Head count: Approximately 350 employees in the Indian operations
Annual turnover in 2015: Rs 1.17 billion
Key market segments: Pharmaceuticals, chemicals, fertilizer, petrochemicals and refineries; food and beverages; healthcare and life sciences; maritime, defence and aerospace
Contact details: [email protected], [email protected], www.rstahl.net

Quality management and certifications

The company has all the mandatory Indian and international certifications and approvals, which underline its competence and qualify its products and systems for installation worldwide.

  • It received the ISO 9001 certification way back in 1993, and ensures quality management of the product development process, right from engaging the right supplier and inspection of incoming products, to final inspection of the finished goods
  • The company has also received the production quality assurance certificate(EC/9/94 ATEX) by DEKRA/EXAM, based on IEC EN 80079-34

The reasons why the parent company decided to invest in India
There are a number of reasons why the German parent company decided to set up a manufacturing facility in the state of Tamil Nadu in India.

  • India is convenient as a manufacturing hub for the Asia-Pacific region due to its geographical proximity and almost-matching time zone, when compared to the West
  • The city of Chennai provides a good infrastructure for exports, enabling speedy deliveries of ordered material of international quality, and at reasonable costs as compared to other countries
  • R. STAHL’s well-established engineering, R&D and manufacturing set-up in India gives customers the advantage of shorter lead times and good service
  • Most importantly, the state-of-art manufacturing facility with the latest sophisticated CNC machines, silicone foaming machine and complete sheet metal fabrication set-up is supported by skilled and trained personnel.

Take on ‘Make in India’
According to Fitzek, “We really have not delved deep into the ‘Make in India’ campaign, and continue to operate in our facility with the same intensity and spirit that we had earlier.”
He adds, “Since we are not directly linked to this `Make in India’ campaign, little can be said from our company’s side. But we feel that it is an encouraging initiative taken up by the Indian government, especially for organisations, conglomerates and companies from overseas who want to manufacture in India. The other advantage we foresee, if all goes well, is that India as a country will soon become a preferred destination in the world for foreign direct investment, irrespective of the type of industry.
However, before this really materialises, the Indian government must eliminate the barriers that foreign companies face with respect to the regulations, and ensure ease in doing business in India. Infrastructure (and the quality of air and living) needs utmost attention. Companies like ours, which manufacture world-class products complying with the latest IEC standards, must be given due opportunities to supply to all the public sector companies, so that there will be a real-time domestic market also for the products manufactured.”
We make floodlights, linear luminaires, emergency lights, portable lights, pendant lights, tubular lights, sheet metal recess mounted lights and hand lamps, all with LEDs as the light source.