Wood & Panel

Patrick Phua

Patrick Phua

Patrick Phua, General Manager, Sales, Weinig Asia speaks to Wood & Panel on the floors of IndiaWood on the company’s participation and expectations from the show, the current state of woodworking industry of India and more. Excerpts.

woodandpaneleurope Tell us about your participation in this edition of IndiaWood.
Patrick Phua: I will say the quality of the visitors has improved compared to the last IndiaWood and we see more people with serious inquiry. Of course they are few people here who are mainly on shopping trips or just for information trip but end of the day I will say the exhibition is quite good and we have a good number of serious inquiry on each day. In fact in the first two days we were looking at about 30 to 40 inquiries.

woodandpaneleurope How do you see the current state of woodworking industry in South East Asia?
Patrick Phua: If you look at today’s situation with virus issue, there is a bit of slowdown in the market requirement. However, at the end of the day it depends on how quick the problems can be resolved and hopefully it won’t be a big impact for the industry.

woodandpaneleurope What are the machines you are showcasing here at IndiaWood?
Patrick Phua: Well, this year we are showing the panel machines as well as the solid wood machine. So, we are showing two different sectors! We are showing two different kinds of edge-banders: one is the manual machine while the other is the fully automatic machine. Both the machines carry the same things. Here in exhibitions we only run PUR glue because we have certain customers who don’t believe that we can actually run PUR glue throughout the day.

woodandpaneleurope What about the digitization? How do you see the Indian market reacting to the digitization and automation?
Patrick Phua: Well, to include digitization you have to have a lot of work to do. Firstly, the infrastructure has to be there in the factory. Of course the advantage is that you have everything on time and where you can see, even from your Smartphone, what’s going on with the machine what is the production volume etc. But the challenge is that the assisting machine has to have a control board and thus an upgraded machine is needed. So as of now, I would say it’s only for those big companies who are really keen.

woodandpaneleurope Do you offer any education or training?
Patrick Phua: For all the machines we show here in India, we are not only showing the machines we are also spending time to explain the customers, to educate them and also the operators on how to take care of the machines or how to maintain the machines. However, if you will look at in Europe or in Germany we have our own training center where people can just come into Germany receive a few days training. But the challenge in India is that we have to pay a huge amount of import tax to the Government if we need to bring any machine here.

woodandpaneleurope What about the after sales service?
Patrick Phua: Well, for Weinig, we have actually two engineers here and we are partners with Nitshaw where we have 5 engineers. So in total we have 7 engineers only here in India. We answer query about after sale service and we offer the backup service in case the customer press the wrong button where the machine can stop or crash. They just have to call our engineers. Most of the time, the problem can be actually solved over the phone only.

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