The value edge

Print edition : July 01, 2011

Dr V. Kannan, director, Comprehensive Cancer Centre, KMCH, explains the functioning of the rapid arc trilogy linear accelerator (in the background). - K. ANANTHAN

Be it health care institutions or manufacturing units, the objective is to excel.

COIMBATORE has emerged, after Chennai, as an important medical hub. Of the several hospitals offering quality medical care, the Kovai Medical Centre and Hospital (KMCH) is the front runner. Every department in medical care is available here and it has earned a name for itself as an ethically, professionally run hospital. It has the latest equipment in cancer treatment, interventional radiology, orthopaedics, and so on. The KMCH regularly does kidney, heart, liver and lung transplants.

We are a complete hospital. With one million sq. ft. of built-up area and a total of 800 beds, we are among the largest private/corporate hospitals in India, said Dr Nalla G. Palaniswami, chairman, KMCH. He founded the KMCH with 225 beds in June 1990. It soon expanded to 500 beds, and will be an 800-bed hospital in another three months. The expansion of beds plus the upgradation of equipment will cost Rs.250 crore. Of this, Rs.125 crore went into buying equipment. Seven operation theatres are being added to the existing nine.

We are a top hospital in interventional neurology and we have all the latest equipment in the field, Dr Palaniswami said. Dr Mathew Cherian, the well-known interventional radiologist, is available as a consultant, he added. The latest types of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and computed tomography (CT) scanners are available here.

In oncology, the KMCH has the latest equipment available anywhere in the world, including the rapid arc trilogy linear accelerator (TLA), the positron emission tomography (PET) scanner and the single photo emission computed tomography (SPECT) scanner. Dr V. Kannan, a leading oncologist, is now director, Comprehensive Cancer Centre, and consultant and head, Radiation Oncology, KMCH. Dr Kannan called the TLA one of the technologically highest ends in radiation cancer treatment.

The KMCH has a four-dimensional respiratory gated treatment for cancer. In 4-D, the machine will be on only when the tumour is under the field of treatment. By doing this, we can drastically reduce the effect of radiation on the normal tissues adjacent to the tumour, Dr Kannan explained. The KMCH is the second hospital in India, after Max Hospital in New Delhi, to execute a functional PET-based 4-D radiation therapy (RT). By using 4-D RT along with intensity-modulated radiation therapy (IMRT), I can significantly reduce the radiation dose to the heart when I treat a cancer of the left breast, Dr Kannan said. When a tumour of the abdomen is treated, the kidneys are often at risk. We can now reduce the dose to the kidneys and give an adequate radiation dose to the tumour alone, he added.

The KMCH also specialises in plastic surgery, including breast and facial reconstruction, and obesity reduction. We are planning to start a medical college on this campus, said Dr Palaniswami, adding that eight acres has been set apart for it.

Grinders

Coimbatore is the leader in the manufacture of wet grinders, mixies, pumps and motors, automobile components, fans, textile machines, assembly machines, rubber components used in machinery, plastic injection moulds, and so on.

The Elgi 'ULTRA Perfect+' wet grinder, equipped with a timer.-BY SPECIAL ARRANGEMENT

Elgi Ultra Industries Limited, the leader in tabletop wet grinders, has now turned its attention to mixies and pressure cookers. It launched a 1,000-watt mixie called Choice Plus in February. It recently launched a pressure cooker called Endura Plus in 3.5-litre, 5.5-litre and 8-litre capacities. According to R. Pragadeeswaran, general manager, marketing, the cooker has a satin-finish inner surface that prevents food from sticking to it and also makes it easier to clean. The cooker is made of food-grade stainless steel; has a sandwich bottom for quick and even heat transmission; and heat-resistant bakelite handles with twin-screw locking.

The company's Ultra series of grinders is a hit. Elgi has a 35 per cent market share in wet grinders in India, claimed Balakrishnan, director, operations.

Pumps and motors

For the manufacturers of pumps and motors in Coimbatore, business is on the average side this year. Unlike last year, there is no boom this year. The unseasonal rain in January damaged many crops and so farmers' buying capacity has been reduced, said V. Krishnakumar, general manager, marketing, Aquasub Engineering and Aquapump Industries, Coimbatore. The power cut too in the State has had a negative impact. His company also manufactures borewell and open-well submersibles, single-phase domestic pumps and jet pumps, agriculture monoblocks, domestic monoblocks and pressure boosting systems.

The Indian market in agriculture and domestic pumps is valued at Rs.4,000 crore a year, and Coimbatore alone accounts for Rs.2,000 crore. Until a few years ago, Coimbatore's share stood at 70 per cent, but it is losing out to Ahmedabad because of the power cut.

Krishnakumar said: We concentrate on agricultural pumps, especially for the African market. We have now formed a Building Services Division to manufacture high-pressure pumps that will take water to any floor.

Craftsman Automation manufactures a range of products on contract including gearboxes and sub-assemblies, manufacturing tools, dies for plastic parts and press tools and plastic injection moulded components. It provides finishing and manufacturing services and also manufactures its own products such as lifting gears, marine products and washing machines. Its revenue in 2010-11 was Rs.333.83 crore.

The gearboxes are meant for windmills, passenger lifts and mining applications. Its manufacturing plants are located in Coimbatore, Ambattur and Sriperumbudur near Chennai, Pune, Jamshedpur (Jharkhand) and Pithampur (Madhya Pradesh). Its customers for cylinder blocks and heads include Royal Enfield, Eicher, Tata, Mahindra, Daimler, Caterpillar and John Deere. Its products are exported to several countries.

S. Ravi, its young managing director, founded the company in 1984. The company has two subsidiaries, Carl Stahl Craftsman, a joint venture in India between Carl Stahl and Craftsman Automation, and Craftsman Marine in the Netherlands. The products from Carl Stahl Craftsman include cranes and hoists. Craftsman Marine manufactures manoeuvring equipment, electronic products, portholes and hatches, engine gauges and so on for pleasure craft.

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