Gaurav Bawa, Senior Vice President, WIKA India
Tell us about your company’s expertise and experience in providing hygienic instruments specifically tailored for the food and beverages industry?
In food production, food safety plays one of the most important roles for consumers. In the industrial manufacturing of food and beverages, the hygienic design of plant components in contact with products is an essential prerequisite to avoid microbiological contamination, and thus, ensuring product quality. As part of the overall hygienic concept of a plant, the measuring instruments used must comply with special requirements of the material, surface finish quality, process safety, connection engineering and cleaning in the scope of the Clean-in-Place (CIP) process.
What quality control measures do you have in place to ensure that your hygienic instrumentation meets industry standards and regulations?
We maintain hygienic standards and safety in conformity with international standards such as FDA (Food and Drug Administration), EHEDG (European Hygienic Engineering & Design Group), 3-A Sanitary Standards, Inc., and ATEX (Directive 94/9/EC).
For conformity verification within the framework of an HACCP concept, we have a comprehensive programme of certificates available. For the ongoing testing of the measuring instruments in the context of quality management, a wide range of calibration equipment and calibration services are also available.
Please provide us with an overview of the current trends in the food and beverages industry and the response your instruments have received in light of these trends.
The food and beverages industry is experiencing increased demand from multiple lanes. There is a demand for healthy foods, functional foods as well as off-the-shelf packaged food. For Gen Z, the demand for fresh, ready-to-eat food is also on the rise. Thus, the production and packaging process, transportation of food and beverages to shops and supermarkets, showcasing them at a certain temperature, and ensuring last-mile delivery, all require instrumentation related to precise temperature control, viscosity measurement, pressure, and dryness. Smart instrumentation products like WIKA’s (name the products?) are driving forces behind maintaining these necessary conditions.
Can you provide examples of successful applications of your hygienic instrumentation in F&B industry, highlighting the benefits and advantages they provided to customers?
As the food and beverages industry require different products to be maintained at different temperatures, WIKA’s ‘Multi-function Temperature Calibrator’, a device with four controller parameters that can calibrate with an external reference is an excellent example of a successful application. Nowadays, fast and simple testing of thermometers is a “must” when it comes to the operational safety of machines and plants. The portable calibrators of the CTx9100 family are particularly suited for on-site calibrations and are extremely user-friendly. Due to their compact design and their low weight, the instruments can be taken and used almost anywhere.
With their temperature multi-function calibrator, covering the temperature range from -20 … +150 °C [-4 … +302 °F], one can perform not only the common functions but also use it as a surface temperature calibrator and an infrared black body with special inserts. It is like having four instruments in one! The calibration temperature, adjusted simply using two keys on the controller, can be quickly controlled, without compromising the real refrigeration temperature. The actual and set temperature can be displayed simultaneously on a large 4-digit, high-contrast LCD display, virtually eliminating reading errors and allowing seamless adjustments to continue.
In terms of competition, how would you assess the Indian market? Additionally, could you highlight any unique features or technologies integrated into your hygienic instrumentation that differentiate your products from competitors in the market?
With the adoption of Industry 4.0 and the increasing deployment of AI and ML and 5G-enabled equipment, the demand for precision instrumentation will only rise. The market is big enough for every player to find their own niche. WIKA believes in quality and service and does not foresee any competition or the need for any specific strategy to gain an edge over other market players. As long as we maintain our vision, WIKA will always have a formidable edge over its competitors.
India’s Test and Measurement Equipment Market was valued at USD390.77 million in 2022 and is anticipated to experience robust growth in the forecast period of 2019- 2028 with a CAGR of 4.33%, according to Research and Markets. The growth rate is high and will only be driven northwards.
Brief us about your recent innovations, investments and expansion plans.
WIKA India has been experiencing double-digit growth over the past many years, and the COVID-19 pandemic did not impact this growth. Riding on this growth, the company aims to double its turnover by 2025. With respect to innovation, its FSFD product has been developed to detect the water flow in wet sprinkler system. Moreover, its adjustable time delay mechanism also helps to avoid false alarms during water surges.
Taking advantage of an affordable workforce in India to build up a cost-effective production process that is aided by a good supply chain and distribution channel, WIKA India is also planning to establish India as a global export hub for nearby geographies. We already have a strong presence in India and intend to focus on strengthening our market share in the segments where we are present, while managing our service line and creating differentiation through customized smart solutions.
Aiding in our expansion, our force measurement and SKID solutions like flow metering skids and wagon loading skids are the perfect players. We have invested massive manpower, time and skills to develop these products and make these easy to use for our customers. We can proudly state that our products are a perfect example of our commitment to sustainability and delivering user-friendly products. What’s impressive is that we do not just focus on the product development, we also give equal importance to the development of our human resources and their skills.