Feb 14, 2019

IGJME 2019 Indicates Steady Rise of Hi-Tech Jewellery Machinery Among Indian Manufacturers

The 6th India Gem & Jewellery Machinery Exhibition (IGJME) held at the Bombay Exhibition Centre, Goregaon in conjunction with Signature IIJS 2019 drew to a close last evening with clear indications that the use of hi-tech machinery in Indian jewellery manufacturing was rising steadily.

A number of international manufacturers, some of them first-time entrants to the market, reported significant interest among jewellery manufacturers, both for the export and domestic market, as well as retailers in introducing various levels of mechanisation into their operations. Quite a few of the exhibitors, in fact, believed that this platform was the ideal place to showcase new generation products and technologies to the Indian industry, as visitors from across the country attend the show.

South Korean company NELT, a first time exhibitor making its initial entry into India, had on display its range of modern 3D printers, from slightly larger models to the smaller and very compact NELT500, which attracted a lot of interest. “The show has been very good, and we are happy with the outcome,” said CEO Jin Mi Hyun.

“Our machines can be used for gold and silver ornaments or to manufacture rubber moulds,” said Marketing Director Jason Kim, confirming that there were lots of good inquiries, including some with high potential to be converted into sales soon.

Imaginarium, a relative veteran in the industry and a pioneer in offering 3D printing services to the Indian jewellery industry, was also showcasing a cutting-edge, all-new 3D printer from Rapidscope, Germany.

“It can be called the Next-Gen of 3D printers with a number of new ‘Smart’ features that make it as easy to operate as a handheld smart phone,” said Mehul Patel, Business Development Manager. “Earlier it was being used mainly by the dental industry, this is the first of its kind for jewellery,” he added.

Among the smart features are the introduction of a touch screen control panel that allows settings to be pre-fixed and operated with a single touch; a temperature-controlled reservoir to ensure that the entire amount of resin is maintained at a standard temperature; more advanced software; modifications to the tray to allow for easy cleaning and 100% recovery of wastage; a larger platform plus a much higher operating speed. “Despite all these additions, the printer actually costs less than before,” Patel said.

“IGJME has been very good for us – we could interact with large retailer-manufacturers, as well as smaller players, and both exporters as well as domestic players. In fact, we already have orders in hand from the show, and lots of potential leads to build upon,” he tells us with a huge smile.

Another Indian company that was showcasing a new ‘smarter’ version of an older product was DSecure, manufacturers of machines for speedy and accurate identification of synthetic diamonds. Its latest model is JSmart, which as the name suggests, comes equipped with a touch screen control panel and is therefore extremely simple to operate. “It is also significantly faster,” said a representative of the company, “and now completes scanning of the diamonds or jewellery in just one minute.”

The JSmart, which has been well received by the diamond trade and also by jewellers, can scan loose diamonds as well as jewellery, including a 3600 scan of rings or bangles with diamonds set across them. “The screen marks out any lab-grown synthetics that may be there, and the grid helps identify exactly which of the stones are not natural ones,” according to the DSecure team.

“The visitor numbers were a little low this year, and the position of our stall (in the last aisle) was an added disadvantage,” the company rep stated, suggesting that the aisles and entry-exit points should be laid out in a manner that ensures no stalls are cut off from the natural flow of visitor traffic.

Though not in the same category as touch screen enabled machinery, the jewellery waxes available under the Fire n Frost brand of Precizioned, a provider of integrated casting solutions, were definitely also at the cutting-edge. Mark Hattersley, International Sales Manager, informed us that the company was adapting the materials and technology that it has developed for aerospace manufacturers to the needs of the jewellery industry.

“We have recently introduced this new range of jewellery waxes in association with Ankit Enterprises, the authorised distributor in India,” he says, explaining that they are technically far superior to anything else available in the market.

“These waxes are suited for manufacturers of premium jewellery and higher end products. They are compatible with both injection mould and vacuum machines, and while you have to put in some effort to learn how they work best, once you have mastered the settings, they are guaranteed to deliver a superior product,” he stated.

According to Hattersley, the waxes provide a clear burn, have greater flexibility and the moulds formed are less brittle. “They also have a superior finish with a very smooth surface,” he adds, “reducing the cost and effort involved in the final finishing.”

Expressing satisfaction with the traffic at the show and the response, he said, “We are very keen on working in India. After the US, this is only the second market in which we have made this product available. And, we have great hopes as the market is huge here compared to that country.”

While expressing overall satisfaction with the business at the show, Paolo Lepri, Export Sales Manager at Giusti Tech srl felt that the selection of dates, which excluded a full weekend, had impacted traffic at the show. “Numbers were lower than in previous years, but we still met many of our clients and also had new inquiries,” he said.

Lepri also said that the company, which offers machines under the brand name GB Meccanica, is already well-entrenched in the Indian market, having entered almost 15 years ago. “Our chain and ball machines, as well as those for hollow jewellery, are already widely used in many of the major manufacturing centres, particularly in Mumbai, Bengaluru and Coimbatore. There is an interest in moving to superior machines and technology throughout the country, though companies in the south and the west are adopting technology faster than those in the north or east,” he observed.