Interaction with Mr. Umesh Mhatre from SMT

Umesh Mhatre  | Managing Director | Surface Modification Technologies

Technology | PerformCoat
SMT offers both standard as well as tailor-made coating solutions to augment the performance of various cutting tools, dies, moulds as well as components used in engineering, Pharmaceutical and Aerospace industries. SMT is continuously working on developing new solutions to meet requirements.

Q1) Tell us about SMT services or a coating function? And how’s your journey so far?

Surface Modification Technologies Pvt. Ltd. (SMT) is a leading surface engineering company providing surface enhancement solutions in the field of metal finishing and coating through high-performance Physical Vapor Deposition (PVD) coating technologies.  These solutions improve the working life and performance of the tools, components and articles used in various industrial sectors. The company has been involved in the business of surface engineering for over 18 years offering standard as well as tailor-made solutions to enhance the performance of various cutting tools, knives and blades, dies, moulds and components used in the engineering industry, paper and plastic cutting industry, pharmaceutical industry, the aerospace industry as well as various segments of the decorative industry.  The foundations of SMT were established in the year 2004 in Mumbai by Myself and Mr. Jimmy Chheda.  In the nearly two decades since its inception, SMT continuously grew and evolved, transitioning from a pure PVD coating company to a surface engineering company with three coating centres, a research and development centre and a manufacturing setup in three different locations in India. In our innovative journey, during the course of our history, SMT has continuously focused on building long-lasting relationships with stakeholders while pursuing excellence relentlessly.

Q2) How’s SMT solutions helping Pharma and other industries? And what major challenges in your business?

The Pharma industry is a blend of mechanical engineering and pharmaceutical engineering. These are two different worlds.  For pharmaceutical companies, it is very important to be on the cutting edge of manufacturing processes.  But at the same time, they have to meet strict regulations from the Food and Drug Administration. There are many challenges in manufacturing pharmaceutical products. One of the most important challenges is to avoid sticking pharmaceutical formulation to the tools that are used during the manufacturing of drugs without violating FDA guidelines. Sticking causes product defects, downtime in manufacturing, and yield losses.  The research and Development team of SMT designed very specific biocompatible PVD coating solutions to address this issue way back in 2008. Since then, till today these solutions are well accepted and extensively used by the Indian pharmaceutical industry. We are continuously working on developing new solutions to address production-related challenges in the pharmaceutical industry. 

Since we are working with various types of industrial sectors, understanding industry-specific operations, their problems and designing tailor-made solutions to solve the problems is a major challenge for us. 

Q3) Brief us how PVD coating processes meet individual requirements?

Physical vapour deposition (PVD) is a well-known technology that is widely used for the deposition of thin solid films having unique properties such as high hardness, excellent wear and corrosion resistance, high-temperature durability, good impact strength etc. These properties enhance the working life of the tools and components by tribological behaviour improvement, optical enhancement, aesthetic upgrading etc.  Appling these state-of-the-art coatings in a controlled environment particularly under ultra-high vacuum along with a high purity gas atmosphere makes this technology eco-friendly. With a wide range of applications already being perfectly established, these processes are becoming an integral part of industrial applications. PVD technologies are one of the promising alternatives to conventional electroplating or similar chemical technologies. 

Mastery of the precise control over meals and alloys deposition in the reactive environment from nanometres to micrometres is a critical advantage of these techniques. This gives the flexibility to design a required coating structure having required properties for the given application.  Such flexibility helps to address the specific requirement of individual applications. 

Q4) As we entered the new year, what are the plans of SMT for this year?

On the background of pandemic under cities where the world continues to deal with the spread and effects of Covid-19, the new financial year appears to be more opportunistic at the same time more challenging.  As we all know, every milestone starts with a single step and every sound plan starts with perfect analysis. SMT also follow the same principle to achieve our larger goal to become an Indian corporate company providing state-of-the-art solutions in the field of surface engineering services for various industrial sectors.  In the year 2022-23, we have plans to enter into new markets such as agriculture and bio-medical industries where our newly developed PVD coating solutions can be very effectively applied to benefit these industries and help us to expand our horizons.  The research and development team will keep continuing exploring new markets for existing surface engineering solutions and new solutions for existing markets. 

Q5) What would you like to say on the union budget 2022-23? And what were your industry expectations?

Union Budget 2022 appears to be growth-oriented.   Focus on increased capital expenditure and controlling revenue expenditures reflects the emphasis of the government strengthening the moment of ‘Make in India’.  This also should result in decreasing the dependency on imports.  All said and done, implementation of government policies is always a question under the radar but let’s be optimistic and continue our efforts to make “Make in India” a successful initiative.