The history of the heavy engineering industry in the country begins with the setting up of Heavy Engineering Corporation Ltd. at Ranchi in 1958.
The Corporation supervises the Heavy Machine Building Plant, Foundry Forge Plant and the Heavy Machine Tools Plant with annual installed capacity of 80,000 tons of heavy machinery, 1, 20,000 tons of foundry forges and 25,000 tons of structural. The heavy machine tools plant has an installed capacity of 278 machine tools (weighing 10,000 tons) annually. Besides producing blast furnaces for steel plants the Corporation manufactures heavy crushing and grinding equipment’s, cranes, equipment’s for rolling mills, mines and press forging and drilling rigs for oil wells.
Structural include steel plant structures to railway bridges, penstocks and hydraulic gates etc. In 1977-78 there were 125 units engaged in the fabrication of structural items, with a total capacity
The Tungabhadra Steel Products Ltd., Tungabhadra (Karnataka), set up in 1947, is producing structural including gates, and hoists, transmission towers and penstock pipes.
The Bharat Heavy Plate and Vessels Ltd., Vishakhapatnam (1966), established with Czech assistance, manufactures heavy plates and vessels equipment needed for the fertilizer, petro-chemical, petroleum and other heavy chemical industries. Its annual capacity is 23,000 tons. A plant for heavy compressors and pumps required for setting up fertilizer, chemical, petro-chemical and steel plants has been set up at Naini (Allahabad). Another plant to manufacture high pressure boilers and boiler fittings has started production at Tiruchchirappalli. Other important units manufacturing structural include Larsen and Toubro Ltd., Powai (Mumbai), M/s Jessop and Co. Ltd. Kolkata M/s Richardson & Cruddas Ltd., Mumbai, M/s Guest Keen and Williams and Greaves Cotton Ltd., Mumbai. Drills for drilling holes in rocky formation up to a depth of 200 meters are manufactured at Naroda near Ahmadabad.
India manufactures a great variety of machinery for various industries like cotton textile, jute textile, sugar, cement, paper, chemicals, tea, coal mining, fertilizer and dairy etc. The country is not only self sufficient in many areas of industrial machinery but also generates surplus for export.
1. Textile Machinery
India is not only self-sufficient in respect of textile machinery but also exports it to a number of Asian and African countries. The Textile Machinery Corporation Ltd., Mumbai (1939) is the major producer of such machinery. It has auxiliary units at Kolkata, Ahmadabad, Coimbatore, Ludhiana, Gwalior and Belgaria.
The products include carding engines, ring frames, draw frames, fly frames, speed frames, sizing machines, open width bleaching plant, hot air stators, mercerizes, and polymerizes etc. India manufactured Rs. 10.4 crores worth of cotton textile machinery in 1960-61 which increased to Rs. 30.3 crores in 1970-71, Rs. 302.7 crores in 1980- 81 and Rs. 1,029.6 crores in 1991-92. It also exported Rs. 15 crores worth of textile machinery in 1977-78.
2. Sugar Mill Machinery
There are 35 firms producing sugar mill machinery. These are mostly concentrated in the states of Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, West Bengal, Bihar, Punjab, Madhya Pradesh and Andhra Pradesh. Important manufacturers include M/s G.R. Engineering Works, Larsen and Toubro, Richardson and Cruddas (all at Mumbai); Buckau Wolf and Walchandnagar Industries (Pune); Kay Iron Works (Yamunanagar), and National Sugar Industries, Chennai. The production of sugar mill machinery was worth Rs. 4.4 crores in 1960-61; Rs. 24.2 crores in 1980-81 and Rs. 102.8 crores in 1992-93.
3. Cement Mill Machinery
There are 13 units manufacturing cement mill machinery in the country. These are mainly located in Tamil Nadu, West Bengal, Bihar, Orissa and Karnataka. Important centers of production are Chennai, Mumbai, Pune, New Delhi, Shahabad and Durgapur. The major producers are M/s Larsen and Toubro and ACC-Vickers (Mumbai), Minato Shirke Concrete Machines (Pune), and Rohit Machines Corporation (New Delhi). The total value of production rose from Rs. 60 lakh in 1960-61 to Rs. 42 millions in 1970-71; Rs. 2,761 million in 1990-91 and Rs. 3,237 million in 1993-94.
4. Jute Mill Machinery
There are 63 units producing jute mill machinery. Majority of them lie in the Kolkata-Haora region. Products include cone winders, boiling presses, broad looms, drawing frame and spinning frame etc. The total output was Rs. 219 lakh which increased to Rs. 50 million in 1980-81 and Rs. 48 million in 1989-90.
5. Chemical and Pharmaceutical Machinery
There are private and 3 public sector units. These include such products like sulphuric acid, superphosphate, water treatment, solvent extraction, fatty acids, alcohol, heat exchangers, pressure vessels, crystallizers, evaporators etc. The production was worth Rs. 21.9 crores in 1971 -72, Rs. 60 crores, in 1976-77 and Rs. 400 crores in 1991-92.
6. Mining Machinery
The Mining and Allied Machinery Corporation, Durgapur, a public sector company, is the major producer of mining equipment’s like grinding mills, rotary kilns, power shovels, coal cutters, loaders, conveyors, haulages, pumps, axial fans, booster fans, shuttle cars, power shovels, rotary kilns, electrical winders, booster fans, automatic cape keeps, safety hooks, drilling rigs and mine locomotives etc. The total production was of the value of Rs. 27.3 crores in 1979-80 and Rs. 80 crores in 1991-92.
7. Paper Mill Machinery
Machinery for paper mill is manufactured by 15 firms located in West Bengal, Maharashtra, Bihar, Punjab and Orissa. Important centers are Titagarh, Jamshedpur and Rourkela. The total production was of the value of Rs. 6.06 crores in 1971-72; Rs. 18 crores in 1976-77; Rs. 33.40 crores in 1990-91 and Rs. 48 crores in 1991-92.
8. Agricultural Machinery
There are 11 units located at Faridabad, Kolkata, Chennai, Vadodara, Hyderabad, Dehagaon and Sonepat which are engaged in the manufacture of agricultural machinery like excavators, bull-dozers, power tillers, steel discs, threshers, setters, tractors and a host of other implements. The annual production of tractors was 6,318 in 1965-66 which increased to 166,800 in 1971-72; 71,000 in 1980-81, 1, 46,391 in 1992-93 and 2, 50,379 in 1997-98.
9. Building and Construction Machinery
There are altogether 20 units engaged in the manufacture of building and construction machinery like concrete mixers, concrete vibrators, asphalt mixers, roller fan mixers, bitumen boilers, stone crushers and granulators etc. The total production was evaluated at Rs. 8 crores in 1978.
The country also manufactures substantial quantity of power driven pumps, diesel engines, weighing machines, sewing machines, dairy machinery, oil-mill machinery, tobacco machinery, rubber machinery, rayon and synthetic plants machinery, drilling equipments, gas cylinders, reduction gears, conveyors and wagon tipplers.