Reaching New Heights with the Aid of Latest Technology
Technology plays a crucial role in today’s world. Jewellery industry which earlier relied on the hands of its craftsmen, now with the help of technology is soaring towards new heights. To highlight the importance of technology in the jewellery industry, team FLOROSCENT spoke to jewellers on how it has impacted their business for the better.
New technologies, integration of traditional manufacturing, enhanced supply chain management and access to markets across the nation has transformed the jewellery industry of the country. New technologies have had a deep impact in the way jewellery is manufactured, marketed and sold. Now with the help of machine tools, software and other technologies, it is possible to create jewellery with awe inspiring designs, lightest of jewellery in minimum possible time. Also, technology has changed the way stones are graded, authenticity of a gemstone established in gemological labs and institute. Technology also has had a deep and positive bearing in the logistic aspect of the industry.
Introduction of technology
As the markets, both domestic and international, opened, the demand for jewellery from retailers soared. Also, quest for unique jewellery and changing fashion trends led to the increase for demand in jewellery from different regions. With the advent of multi chain stores, there was a further increase in demand. For jewellery manufacturers, it became necessary to ramp up the production. Initially machine tools to polish, buff etc. were introduced and now jewellers have moved on to more sophisticated technology like laser system and computer aided technology for Jewellery making. Manufacturers like ‘EMERALD’ a name synonymous with quality and enchanting designs, has gradually transformed gold jewellery manufacturing from conventional methods to technology and talent driven one. With over 33 years of tradition in gold jewellery manufacturing, it is known for its quality consciousness, perfection, reputation and business ethics. Its 3,00,000+ design collection – the largest in the world speaks volumes about its strength and range. Technology plays a pivotal role in its four ultra-modern production facilities in Coimbatore. Speaking about the kind of technology used, K Srinivasan, Managing Director, Emerald Jewel, says, “We have introduced for the first time in India platinum chain which is locally manufactured with Italian quality. We also introduced laser system for Jewellery making and computer aided technology called electrofusion along with milling and drilling.”
Bengaluru based Vijay Gems and Jewellery, was established in 1993, they began with loose diamond trading and then expanded to manufacture diamond studded gold jewellery. Vijay Kumar, Managing Director, Vijay Gems and Jewellery says “Manufacturing started with four workers and single machine which manufactured gold wires and now we have almost all kinds of latest machines used in manufacturing”
Speaking about technological advancement Raman Solanki, Director, Sangam Chains says that he has seen the evolution of technology in the past 45 years. Technology has changed the way jewellery is manufactured. He says, “There has been a vast change, localised work has completely stopped. We have brought in Italian machines and other new technologies from world over.”
With the growth in jewellery manufacturing supporting industry like logistics are also revamping the way they are functioning. Bhavik Chinai, Director, Vamaship says, “The logistics industry has been unorganised since decades and there’s a major gap between shippers and logistics companies where shippers don’t have visibility on a good price for shipping and don’t receive great service, while logistics companies aren’t able to reach out to thousands of companies across geographies due to limited sales resources.” He further adds, “To eliminate the major gap between shippers and logistics companies, Vamaship uses technology to create a win-win for all stakeholders, creating a new sales channel for logistics companies and bringing economical prices and automated shipping processes for the shippers.”
Time and cost involve in introducing new technology
Introducing new technology is no child’s play. High end machinery especially the imported ones come at a premium price and it at times deters manufacturers. Doubts like whether the return would be worth it plagues the mind. However, an astute businessman understands that for any investment to bear fruit it takes time. Agreeing to the fact that state of the art machineries cost money, Srinivasan says, “To introduce any new technology it needs couple of crores. The gestation period varies from six months to one year in order to adapt and create design according to Indian taste.” He adds, “Cost should not be deterrent, in the long run it is beneficial to invest in latest technology. One should go with the mindset that minimum three to four years will be required to recover the cost.” Concurring with the view, Solanki says, “Latest technology from world over does come at a price, however if we can optimize its utilization then it is worth every penny. We have brought in Italian machines and other technology from world over. We keep upgrading, innovating as we know in the long run it will benefit the business.” Chinai avers, “For a tech company like our investment in latest technology is not a cost to recover but an investment. It is a onetime cost and an ongoing process as almost all our tech is developed in-house.”
Then & Now
With the introduction of technology, work done in manufacturing units have undergone a vast change. According to manufacturer time taken to craft a jewellery has reduced, the finished product is of higher quality and many new designs have been introduced. Srinivasan says, “Before getting laser technology, we were doing manual work with sheet metal. Now with the help of laser and computer almost the work has been reduced to 50%, also it has led to huge saving in gold flow and inventory management. Electrofusion with thin wire was never been possible in casting and was done in hand only. With electrofusion, we have been able to give customer a unique design with less weight and uniqueness which people have accepted with huge response and we are getting orders more than our capacity.”
With the introduction of technology our production capacity has increased by manifold also it has allowed us to experiment and introduce new designs says Solanki. He says, “Our specialty is chains and there are four to five machines just to manufacture different, types and weight of chain. Handmade items are good but the productivity is less and the finish is not as refined as machine made chains. Also with machines our production capacity has increased five-six times. 300-400 grams’ chain can be made by hand in a day whereas with machines one can go up to three-four kgs of chain in a day.” Adding to it, Jain says, “Quality and finish of the product has definitely increased. Earlier perfection was not there as quality of handmade jewellery depended on the skills of the artisans and customers accepted that. However, with the introduction of machine made jewellery customers too are looking for light weight and finer jewellery. We have machines for polishing, buffing to give that finer edge and our designers use CAD to come out with stunning designs.” He further adds, “With machines, production time has reduced drastically, earlier a pair of bangle used to be manufactured in couple of weeks or rather it used to take minimum 15 days, now it can be manufactured in three days.”
The core challenge faced when anything new is introduced is acceptance by traditional players. it’s adopted only by a fraction of industry due to foreseen implementation challenges and slow return of investment. Mastering the technology and using it in a way that suits Indian demand. Srinivasan says, “Initially we http://www.achaten-suisse.com/ had difficulties as to where to use and how to use the new technology. How to adapt it to the needs of Indian consumers was our biggest concern and through trial and error method we overcome difficulties and started making optimum utilization.” He adds, “Despite the initial problems, we keep upgrading our machines. Next, we are eyeing on sintering technology with which we can make some unique design with excellent finish. This technology will be used for high end jewellery.”
Chinai agrees that when it comes to technology like software and aps, it is difficult to change the mindset of traditional players. He says, “As a marketplace, Vamaship success depends on adoption of technology by partners which is taking time. This has been a major challenge. The advantage of using technology is believed in once its experienced. We’ve gone all out making customers and partners try Vamaship and once they do, they have a new expectation of shipping experience which is only possible through us. We’ve created a simple user interface for all audiences to adopt and understand the platform.”
Solanki says there was some hesitation, when they decided to adopt new technology, as to how would consumers react to machine made jewellery, at the same time they were confident as times were changing and consumers were ready to experiment with new designs and weightage. “When we started manufacturing, machine made chains, consumers responded well. There was a craze for machine made, light weight chains, it was readily accepted by consumers. The chains are available in every weightage which suits the pocket of every consumer,” says Solanki. He adds, “Upgrading machinery is an ongoing process, we purchase new machines if we feel that it will help us increase our productivity.”
Crafting jewellery is an art form, handcrafted jewellery by master craftsman will always be in demand but the market for machine made jewellery will only increase. Millennials look for wearable, variety and pocket friendly jewellery. Also, the new generation wants innovation in jewellery designs and this can be possible with the help of new technologies like machine tools, software. Adapting to change is the way forward and mantra for any business to thrive and succeed.
“We have introduced for the first time in India platinum chain which is locally manufactured with Italian quality. We also introduced laser system for Jewellery making and computer aided technology called electrofusion along with milling and drilling,” K Srinivasan, MD, Emerald Jewel Industry India Ltd.
“Manufacturing started with four workers and a single machine which manufactured gold wires and now we have almost all kinds of latest machines used in manufacturing,” Vijay Kumar, MD, Vijay Gems and Jewelley.
“There has been a vast change in the way jewellery is manufactured over the years. Localised work has completely stopped. We have brought in Italian machines and other new technologies from world over,” Raman Solanki, Director, Sangam Jewels & Gold LLP
“To eliminate the major gap between shippers and logistics companies, Vamaship uses technology to create a win-win
for all stakeholders, creating a new sales channel for logistics companies and bringing economical prices and automated shipping processes for the shippers,” Bhavik Chinai, Director, Vamaship