Technology transfer mission takes place at Mahindra Ideal Lanka, Welipenna | Daily News
SL technicians set to roll over all stages of car assembly at the plant

Technology transfer mission takes place at Mahindra Ideal Lanka, Welipenna

Nalin Welgama, Sadhasivam Durairaj, and Suren Galagoda, at Ideal Group Head Office in Colombo.
Nalin Welgama, Sadhasivam Durairaj, and Suren Galagoda, at Ideal Group Head Office in Colombo.

An Indian Automobile Engineer, who was a plant head Mahindra Ideal Lanka Pvt Ltd. (MILPL), car assembly plant in Wellipenna of is due to leave the island after completing this training mission. Post his movement, MILPL plant will be run by 100% Sri Lankan technical workforce.

Engineer Sadhasivam Durairaj told the media recently that he would be completing his two-year technology transfer mission and Plant Head role on January 31, 2021, and he had the utmost confidence that Sri Lankan technicians have gained the knowledge and competency to create a product according to the specifications of Mahindra & Mahindra, India.

“I can assure that Sri Lankan car assembly technicians at MILPL can perform the duties and responsibilities such as diagnostic tests on the assembled product to ensure efficiency and conduct adjustments as needed on par with global standards,” he said.

“Assembly technicians must be knowledgeable about the technology and mechanical industry as well as can analyse designs as a guide for creating high-quality products. Sri Lankan technicians have now absorbed all these skills to perform assembly operations with no supervision”.

Sadhasivam Durairaj, Indian automobile engineer and plant head at Mahindra Ideal Lanka car assembly plant in Welipenna on site.

“I trained around 50 technicians and found that working at an assembly plant producing a quality product had come naturally to them. That made my job easier and more enjoyable. When I first interviewed them, I had planned to ask them only the basic questions, but I was surprised that they were even able to answer questions on more complex things such as functions of car parts, Importance of automotive systems, root causes etc. That made me confident in producing global standard quality cars in Sri Lanka from day one. I saw that training was mainly required in areas such as standardization, plant safety, shop floor disciplines etc. Over the period, they learned quickly and they adhered to standards and specifications. I’d simply say that they were good learners and followers”.

Referring to personal attributes of his Sri Lankan technical staff, Sadhasivam said, “They showed a great deal of self-discipline, attention to detail, good problem-solving skills, passion for technology and focus on the end-user of the product; all of which led to functional excellence at the assembly line”.

“The global automotive industry supply chain adopts lean manufacturing concepts, our Mahindra Ideal Lanka plant is a venue for Lean Production. We procure around 30% parts locally – seat, exhaust, battery and tyre, the local value-added parts are ordered based on the monthly requirements and procured on Just-In-Time (JIT) basis. Similarly, other consumables and Imported parts are procured based on our stockholding policy – this depends on the lead time which includes packaging, shipment and customs clearance”, he said.

When asked about the assembly plant’s production capacity, Sadhasivam said,” the annual capacity is 5,000 units, now we produce 100+ cars per month and we will ramp up daily production as market demand increases. Presently we have assembled KUV100 Manual Petrol variants, and we have planned to add KUV100 AMT Diesel variants in the time to come”.

“Our technicians at MILPL plant are committed to ‘Zero Defect Manufacturing and doing it right the first time. The past two years of my life as Head of Vehicle Production Plant of Mahindra Ideal Lanka have been full of amazing experiences and a lot of professional satisfaction. I came across some of the most talented, experienced and friendly coworkers in Sri Lanka, I would miss being part of this great workplace and would say that anyone who gets the opportunity to work here will find it an energy-filled environment.”