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World-class manufacturer Kirloskar Brothers Limited maintains a strong focus on extensive high-quality support for pump operators
World-class pump manufacturing requires expert engineers and expertise in systems for fluid management. Kirloskar Brothers Limited (KBL) trades precisely on these attributes. KBL is the flagship subsidiary of the US$2.1bn Kirloskar Group. KBL leads Africa’s markets for fluid management solutions to serve large infrastructure projects, addressing requirements in water resource management, power generation, oil and gas operations, solar-operated pumps, building and construction, irrigation, valves, and marine and defence applications. Specifically, the company engineers and manufactures industrial, agricultural and domestic pumps, valves and hydro turbines.
KBL has eight manufacturing facilities in India – Kirloskarvadi, Dewas, Kondhapuri, Shirwal, Ahmedabad, Kaniyur, Kolhapur and Karad. The company has also invested heavily in seven manufacturing and packaging facilities around the globe including facilities in Egypt and South Africa.
Manufacturing innovations such as KBL’s i-NS pump – an aesthetically-advanced nonclog sewage submersible pump with a compact form factor and low maintenance – distinguishes the company in Africa’s key emerging and established markets. It is particularly notable for its modular concept, enabling interchangeability of components. Its integrated design also eliminates most of the potential leakage and short circuit issues typically faced by the end-users in the water and wastewater treatment industries, sewage, building construction and allied sectors. The integration of major components also translates into a reduced total number of parts, and minimised fasteners, so the pump has better assembly and dismantling lead time than its competitors.
Mr Sanjay Kirloskar, chairman and managing director at Kirloskar Brothers Limited, is particularly proud of innovations such as the i-NS pump. He spoke, recently, of the development of the “technologically advanced i–NS”, which reaffirms the company’s commitment to “providing advanced fluid-handling solutions for critical applications”.
Quality manufacturing environments
All facilities operated by KBL are ISO 9001 and ISO 14001, OHSAS 18001, ISO 14000 Environment Standard certified and apply Total Quality Management tools using European Foundation for Quality Management (EFQM) model.
Such attention to quality is critical to its ability to meet the growing demand for its pumps and systems across various industries and market segments – but so is KBL’s dynamic structure, and flexible response. The business is segregated to serve different verticals, to ensure that it is a truly customer-focused organisation, supporting product and project management and operational efficiency in all situations and at all stages. KBL is structured to serve gas, oil and defence; power; distribution; building and construction; irrigation; water resource management; and customer service and spares. Such commitment to excellence has been acknowledged. For example, with KBL’s all-women plant at Coimbatore winning the Merit Award by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) under the 5S excellence category, 5S being the five-step technique for creating and maintaining good housekeeping at workplace, to make it clutter-free, well-organised and clean, to increase morale, product quality, a positive impression on customers and the overall efficiency of the organisation.
Working well in Africa
KBL has a strong record of service to vertical industries throughout Africa – as demonstrated by its work in West Africa, where it has acted as successful partner to irrigation specialists in region. Most notably, its partnership with the Government of Senegal to support economic growth through improved water resource management goes back a decade to 2005, when it first showcased its range of pumps and capabilities to ministers from over 25 African nations at the CII-Exim Bank Conclave on India-Africa Project Partnership. It is an established industry lore that the Senegalese government reached out to KBL to provide it with knowledge and technology to help boost the country’s rice production levels through implementation of irrigation equipment and that this partnership has been especially successful, with rewards to all key commercial and community stakeholders.
In particular, the River Senegal is now an all year round source of much-needed water and nutrients, where historically there had not been the means to deliver water to the fields along it. In ten years, KBL’s support for improved irrigation has seen Senegalese rice production grow from less than 100,000 tonnes to approximately 1,000,000 tonnes, on the back of the supply of around 2,400 diesel engine-driven pump sets, and 20 drip irrigation systems and accessories, with pipes, trolleys, hoses, pontoons and valves.
In addition, KBL has many prestigious pump installations to its credit in Africa. Few of the notable installations include supplies to the Department of Water Affairs of Namibia, Malawi and Tanzania, large HSC and VT pumps with Rand Water & Kroonstad, Municipality in South Africa, Mopani Copper Mines in Zambia, Lusaka Water & Sewerage Board, etc.