Thursday, May 29, 2014

GMT history - part 4 - Hand operated chucks

PV was looking for a chuck design which is far superior than the Scroll Type. Although Reishauer and Forkardt manual chucks were available by import at that time their design were different and manufacturing them were difficult as it involves special machines which cannot be used for any other operation except for making components for these chucks.

Berg chuck with worm and worm wheel design
Through Voltas PV imported Berg Chuck from Germany. On a study of its design he found the chuck is unique because of its worm and worm wheel design and steep rise and fall of cam. This design has high mechanical advantage for machining castings and forgings. In those days castings and forgings were so uneven on outer surface during machining intermittent cuts will emerge. To deal with such machining parameters high gripping force chucks are the only answer.
Voltas were representing Gildemeister Germany who are manufacturers of Multi Spindle Chuck and Bar Autos. Berg Germany were associated with Gildemeister for work holding. In 1963 GMT signed agreement with Berg for the manufacture of Manual Chucks…the rest is history

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

GMT-history-part-3-manufacture of surface plates

When PV started GMT he wanted to make Bench Lathes similar to the designs of South Bend USA. This design appealed to him and he felt it would be useful as a training lathe to train operators. He purchased 3 machines: one bench lathe and two lathes which he installed in PREWO and used for jobbing.
PV displaying GMT Cast Iron Surface Plate at an exhibition in the early 60’s
The Bench Lathe was stripped completely drawings were taken, patterns were made for Bed and castings were also made. After machining, the Bed scraping had to be done. He was looking for a Surface plate as a master for scraping. At that time Praga were the only Indian manufacturer of SurfacePlates. They were quoting long delivery. He therefore decided to look at standards for Surface Plates as per BS 817- 1957.After getting into the manufacture of Surface plate for internal use he was approached by Voltas to manufacture and supply Surface Plate to them. They will be the selling agents. PV therefore abandoned Lathe project and fully focused on Surface Plate manufacture and signed selling agreement with Voltas.

Today, GMT is the most respected brand among the surface plate manufacturers in India.

Friday, May 16, 2014

GMT – The beginnings – Part-2

The factory used to be lit by tube lights, the floor was dark with oil and coolant soaked in from innumerable spills from the hundreds of trial assemblies of special purpose machines, and the air was redolent of the smells of machine oil, coolant and grease. 
Purchase of part for machines was a HUGE challenge.Nothing was available locally in Pallikaranai and all parts had to be purchased from Mount Road or George Town
and the excitement of each installation merited heated discussions and arguments, with with the whole team wanting to know everything about the machine design,the commissioning problems and the customer feedback.
Voltas were our sales agents. This gave us access to the industrial markets in India. When we parted with them, we established our own network by carrying a chuck in a box from customer to customer. PV*, Jagannathan**, LSM*** have trudged for miles carrying an Hand Operated Chuck in a suitcase to demonstrate and sell. In the old days one just walked into any establishment and expect to be welcomed with warm hospitality and friendship and a willingness to learn. Today one has to fix an appointment and cross the “security barrier” before one can meet a prospective user.

The dedication and the perseverance of our sales team paid off with GMT establishing itself as the most reliable brand for chucks in the Indian market.

*PV – P.Venkat Raman, Founder, GMT

**K.Jagannathan – currently the Executive Director-Sales & Marketing, GMT

***LSM – L.Subramaniam – currently the General Manager, GMT

Thursday, May 15, 2014

GMT – The beginnings – Part-1

The GMT was founded by PV (P.Venkat Raman) in 1959 He had two objectives. While he pursued a personal childhood dream to be an engineer and "own machines", the broader vision was to start a business in a remote village and propel it into prosperity.
Pallikaranai was a tiny hamlet forgotten by the world, across the Pallikaranai Marsh from Velacherry.
This is the only photo available of the site of the company when it was built in 1966. A few wretched peasants eked out a living from paddy fields which stretched for miles around and to the visible horizon in front of the site. There was an "ERI" (a small lake) behind and another one to the right of the factory. At dawn and dusk herds of emaciated buffaloes crossed the winding dirt track which lead from Velacherry to Pallikaranai across the Marsh. During the monsoon, parts of the track were submerged in the Marsh and water snakes would often cross it.

Once GMT was built,  young local boys were employed, electricity and telephone lines came to the village, George set up his tea shop .... He flourished and grew sustaining GMT's employees  As it grew and started employing people from across the marsh, bus services were started by the then PTC at the company's request in 1972

PV succeeded in his dream in large measure