The Indian pharma industry has started emphasizing technology updates and industry norms. Material Handling and Entrance Automation has a key role to play in facilitating this quest for being truly world-class and ensuring a “competitive advantage” for the Indian pharmaceutical industry.”

Samir Gandhi & Kartik Gandhi

MANAGING DIRECTOR AND CEO & DIRECTOR, GANDHI AUTOMATIONS

November 26, 2019

Could you provide a brief introduction to Gandhi Automations and the role it plays supporting manufacturing in India's pharmaceutical industry through its innovative products?

In India, the logistics and supply chain sectors have traditionally not been given as much importance and subsidization as drug formulation, however, since 2018 when the Goods and Services Tax (GST) was launched in India, we have found that logistics and warehousing have received infrastructure status in the country. Now, every company wants to have its own manufacturing unit and logistics park. In particular pharmaceutical cold storage, which is key in preserving medicines and ensuring they reach other parts of the country in their original condition, has gained traction.

Gandhi Automations’ products come into play at such logistics parks and manufacturing units. From the gate at the entrance to the boom barrier, which barricades vehicles from entering, to rolling shutters and the apparatuses that seal off areas inside the warehouse from airborne particles and humidity, every aspect requires a Gandhi Automations product, which is where our innovation lies. For example, we have added a self-repairing feature to normal clean room doors. Forklifts tend to damage these doors, leading to the door coming off its hinges. Further, there is energy loss and dust accumulation. The self-repairing feature has an ‘up’ button that reinserts the door through its zip line feature, and no external engineer is required to fix the door. This solution is energy efficient, and the desired environment is maintained.

Could you elaborate on how Gandhi Automations’ products are also helping to raise safety standards?

Our solutions are innovative and centered on providing energy efficiency. We have a telescopic lip dock leveler that is used at loading bays to bridge the gap and height difference between the truck bed and the loading bay where the loading and unloading is being done. The dock levelers land on the truck bed and become the platform, thus compensating for the height difference and gap. In pharmaceuticals, we see a lot of side loading, so a normal dock leveler is unable to cover the large gap. We have introduced a telescopic lip that goes one-meter deep, lands on the truck bed and becomes the platform. In India, we have plenty of hilly regions where the truck is unable to reach exactly near the loading bay, and our solution is extremely helpful in easing the loading problem. Further, the dock leveler holds the forklift and the palate preventing them from slipping off. The person operating also remains safe, which was not the case when conventional methods were used. Thus, automation is helping companies achieve all safety norms and regulations. We have a European 1398 certification, making our dock levelers the safest in the world.

How does Gandhi Automations engage with clients that are less interested to incorporate high-tech solutions and automation into their operations?

Entrance automation is relatively new to the pharmaceutical industry, and it will take time for companies to realize the importance of entrances in increasing their productivity cycle and achieving energy efficiency. The first step is educating people and increasing awareness that there is a unique technology for manufacturing and storage units. We work as a consultant and we take into consideration the need of a customer and accordingly provide the best customized option. We provide customized solution as per specific need of a particular sector e.g. pharmaceutical, chemical, automobile, food, cold storage etc. Each of these sectors has a unique material handling and warehousing requirement. Because of our expertise in this field, we understand and explain to the client how he can make optimum use of the technology. The customer acknowledges this as the greatest value addition to him or her when approaching Gandhi Automations for a particular product. We design, manufacture, supply, install and maintain highly sophisticated products. To fulfill our objective of providing products that are technologically advanced, energy efficient and safe, we have a project engineering team that uses the latest design software combined with technologically advanced machinery to offer the customer a well-engineered product. All our products are based on the latest technology that conforms to very high standards of safety.

How can the Government of India further support manufacturing within the pharmaceutical industry?

‘Make in India’ has been a successful initiative, and we are proud to be amongst the companies that are delivering world-class products made in India. All our products are manufactured and quality tested in our manufacturing unit located in Bhiwandi. Through ‘Make in India,’ numerous industries are also receiving a boost and are able to deliver to international standards. In terms of gaps, logistics and warehousing are lacking because they only recently achieved infrastructure status, and as a result companies were outsourcing this rather than having their own logistics units to support manufacturing. I believe the next three to four years will streamline operations and bring the industry together in creating regulations and meeting certain standards and specifications.

In the future, I feel technology advancement combined with material handling equipment will change how logistics and supply chain management companies function. Looking at the current situation at hand, the future of material handling sector looks very promising as it is not just helping companies perform better but also save money whilst increasing their production capacity. Thus, we at Gandhi Automations are always innovating and learning new technological advancements to help improve processes for all kinds of industries.

How is the increase in API production in India going to impact the pharmaceutical industry as a whole?

APIs and formulations are getting a boost in India due to the slowdown in China. We are able to cater to this market as a result of ‘Make in India’ opening up Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) to the pharmaceutical industry. For example, we have numerous Japanese companies investing in northeast India, a region that is moving towards industrialization. Increased investment is one of the key reasons that India is able to fill the global gap for APIs and formulation, along with the dedicated work ethic of the Indian people. We believe this growth will continue for the next five years, because there are several budding pharmaceutical hubs for manufacturing such as Goa, Baddi, Hyderabad, Sikkim, Varanasi and Baroda that will receive large investment.

Could you provide a final message to our readers about Gandhi Automations’ role in the pharmaceutical industry and where you see the company in the next five years?

We want to create a revolution in entrance automation in India and increase awareness on pharmaceutical clean rooms and logistics. Our clean room doors are working at the rate of 2.5 m/s, and we are planning to achieve 2 m/s by the end of this year, which will be the fastest clean room door in the world. We have introduced high-speed vertical doors because we believe conventional sliding doors are not energy efficient, and as a result we have achieved 70% energy savings on paper. We want to take our products to the rest of the world, and we want to enable growth and development in the pharmaceutical industry by creating awareness and helping people upgrade to automation.

The Indian pharma industry has started emphasizing technology updates and industry norms. Material Handling and Entrance Automation has a key role to play in facilitating this quest for being truly world-class and ensuring a “competitive advantage” for the Indian pharmaceutical industry. To address the need of user-friendly operations, Material Handling and Entrance Automation are the latest technology. It provides ease of operation, swiftness and above all security, the pre-requisite benchmark.

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