The company is also renowned as a leading Third party calibration service provider as per ISO - 17025 (NABL) guidelines. In addition to supplying individual items of equipment, EIE also undertakes complete turnkey projects for the design, supply, installation and commissioning of entire laboratories.
"All our products are developed and fabricated in-house for which we undertake extensive R&D. We are fully ISO 9001 compliant, and most of EIE products adhere to international testing standards ASTM, BS, DIN and ISO. These standards provide guidelines for manufacturing and fabrication, selection of raw materials etc. After fabricating them, they undergo functional tests across all parameters, before going to the market," informed Kunal Parikh, CEO, Export Head, ELE Instruments.
"Our products are being largely used in the domestic market, with 75% in civil construction works, which is the bread and butter for us. Our machines are present wherever construction work is being done. If a building is being constructed, the contractor will need soil testing. For road construction, the bitumen/asphalt material has to be tested, as during paving it must be ensured that it will have the right road bearing capacity for high volume and heavy-load traffic," he said.
As regards the company's main markets, Parikh informed that in India, the company is supplying to all regions, but a bigger share is going to Maharashtra and south India. Major buyers are contractors, civil engineers, institutes and third-party testing laboratories. "Once our machine is procured and commissioned, we depute our service person to demonstrate its technical functionality and analysis of the testing results. Training depends on an individual's grasping capability; sometimes, it is completed within a day or two and sometimes it may extend to 5-10 days."
Price of the machines starts at ₹10,000 and the most expensive comes at about ₹20 lakhs. Parikh stresses on regular maintenance of the machines to ensure their reliable performance and longevity. This involves calibrating the electronic parts of the machine at intervals of 6 months or once a year, depending on the usage. The company gives an option of AMC and CMC, which includes cost of parts.
"A machine's life is between 5-10 years, after which, some parts may need to be replaced. The lifespan of our machines depends on how the user handles and maintains it. A roughly-used machine will not last more than a year. ISRO has been using our hot plates for more than 10 years. They had bought four hot plates in a single purchase from us, three of which were bought as back-ups in case of a breakdown. Till date, the three hot plates are still lying unused! Contractors use our machines in the temporary mobile labs that are installed every 25 kms during road construction. These machines are exposed to dust and heat, despite precautionary measures, so many opt for third party tests, which are done in their labs."
Concrete Freeze Thaw Chamber
EIE Instruments has a few dealers, but major sales are being done through online and through word-of-mouth publicity. Net users will find all technical details, usage guidelines and prices online, and the company has also developed an animated video of its prime products that can be viewed on YouTube.
The company has been evolving over the years and a lot of technical advancements are being made in the products to enhance their precision and durability. "We don't have any plans to expand our product line as we want to concentrate on promoting and improving the performance of our current range and maintain their high quality," said Parikh.
From undertaking testing of asphalt, cement, bitumen, concrete, and salt, the company has expanded its horizon into pharma, petroleum, textiles and the tile ceramic industries as well. EIE has two plants in Ahmedabad and a third plant is coming up. It is manufacturing more than 500 Testing Equipment for different industries, and exporting to 50 countries, with the African region, Middle East, Nepal, Bhutan, Sri Lanka, South East Asia and Bangladesh contributing most of the sales revenue.
"We are growing by 20-30 % year-on-year in terms of revenue. We maintain a large inventory at all times; we have a staff of 250, out of which 60 are highly qualified service engineers, who travel the length and breadth of the country for giving service to our customers and demos to new ones. About 75% of the company's business is coming from the Construction sector so since the last four years we have started participating in tradeshows like Bauma ConExpo, India and Concrete show, Mumbai, to connect with our customers more closely."