In today’s interconnected global landscape, collaboration has emerged as a vital ingredient for achieving success and driving innovation across industries. Ipsen India exemplifies the power of collaboration in Ipsen’s journey towards growth and excellence.
The history of Ipsen India began in 1982 when a licensing agreement was formed between Ipsen International in Germany and a Kolkata based industrial company. At the time, the features that Ipsen incorporated into their furnaces were ground breaking and unprecedented in the Indian market.
Not long after forming the agreement, Ipsen’s first in-out batch-type atmosphere furnace was built in India for the country’s largest scooter manufacturer. After one successful project, orders came pouring in from other two-wheeler makers and component suppliers. Many of these manufacturers remain Ipsen customers today.
Ipsen India built their first vacuum furnace in 1988 (pictured right). During the 1990s, there was a surge in the Indian market’s demand for vacuum furnaces, resulting in 26 more orders. In 1992, the licensing agreement became a new joint venture company.
During this decade, the company also expanded their customer base into commercial vehicles, who were attracted by Ipsen’s patented Nitemper process.
|Developed in the 1970s, the Nitemper process is a case hardening technique, invented as an environmentally friendly alternative to salt bath nitriding. The Nitemper process is performed at a low temperature in a controlled atmosphere to apply a tough case to steel parts which enhances wear resistance and improves endurance properties. It is commonly used in the heat treatment of gears.|
→ Read the Nitemper Processing paper circa 1970s
Into the New Millennium
At the end of the 1990s, the decision was made to build a new manufacturing plant exclusively for Ipsen products in the industrial hub of Kolkata. The first phase of its new head office and plant was completed in 2002 (plant pictured right). In the early 2000s, Ipsen India also collaborated with Ipsen Germany and the leading automotive OEM Group to build the first pusher furnace with Ipsen’s patented Supercarb process.
|Supercarb is known for its high efficiency, reducing gas consumption by up to 90%. It also considerably shortens processing time and results in more-uniform parts.|
In 2005, Leading automotive OEM in Jamshedpur, India placed the single largest order for an atmosphere batch furnace installation consisting of seven furnaces with ancillary equipment. This was Ipsen India’s first totally automated installation. This successful project led to many more furnace orders from the same group.
By 2008, Ipsen India had doubled its production space to provide more support to Ipsen Germany. Indo-German “co-engineering” and “co-manufacturing” teams were set up to streamline design and production operations across both entities. The same year, Ipsen International acquired the remaining shares of the joint venture company. Ipsen now owned 100 percent of the operational base in India and Ipsen Technologies Pvt Ltd was born. The decision was part of a long-term corporate strategy to establish operational centers worldwide and introduce the Ipsen brand to new markets.
In 2010, Ipsen won an order from leading Axle manufacturing company from Chakan (Pune). This would be Ipsen’s first pusher furnace built completely in India. Expansion continued in 2013 with the addition of a new sales head office in Pune, followed by regional offices in Delhi & Bangalore.
In 2015, Ipsen India sold its first twin chamber furnace line to a leading auto parts manufacturer in Aurangabad, which led to rapid growth in orders for this style of furnaces from other leading automotive companies in India. Ipsen India also supplied a pusher furnace line to a leading steering manufacturing company in Pune in that same year. In 2016, Ipsen India expanded their market reach into Southeast Asia with orders for both atmosphere and vacuum furnaces from Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia. In 2018, they achieved a milestone after reaching 1600M INR (about $19.5M USD) in bookings.
In the following years, they installed more than 30 vacuum furnaces for customers in the aerospace, metal injection molding, automotive and commercial heat treatment industries. They also supplied over 50 batch atmosphere furnaces for bearing applications, solidifying their position as the leader in the industry.
Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, Ipsen India produced their first pusher furnace line with press quenching facility for a leading automotive customer in 2020.
In 2022, Ipsen India added another manufacturing facility in Kolkata to keep up with its rapid growth. The new building added 22000 square feet of production space. Despite the global supply chain disruptions brought on by the pandemic, India has positioned themselves as a leading distributor in the manufacturing sector. Political reform has led to improved infrastructure and logistics as well as less restrictive foreign trade policies. For Ipsen India, that meant more orders for batch and pusher atmosphere furnaces from multinational corporations and their suppliers. The emergence of electric vehicles has led automotive manufacturing companies to expand their facilities.
After 41 years of continuous growth, what does the future hold for Ipsen India? There is certainly no slowing down for the company that achieved another record year in 2022. Ipsen India remains focused on improving sustainability and efficiency for their customers in India and Southeast Asia, as well as increasing aftermarket services for better response times and reduced downtime.