Shooting innovative queue


 Photo source:expert.ru

The former defense plant, capable to bring raw ideas to the level of industrial products, helping private businesses to create innovative products and launch them into production

Figure: Konstantin BatynkovGod ago Russian toolmakers have made a breakthrough in the global high-tech market — the company "Interskol", a leading developer and manufacturer of power tools, first bought a leading Italian firm instrumental Felisatti, and then the Spanish Casals. Thus, the "Interskol" was released in the segment of professional power tools, which is positioned equipment with high added value, accumulating high technology. For the first time in the history of the USSR and Russia, our company started to export power to Western Europe — in France, in Italy, in Greece (on the European expansion of our toolmakers we described in the article "From the Italian saw and a Russian engine," see "Expert» № 39 per 2010).

Now interskolovtsy intend to occupy the market of professional engineering leadership. To realize these ambitious plans is not enough to simply products of the company stand out from the masses are very similar in performance and functions of the products of other industry players in the world elektroinstrumentalnoy — Bosch, Hitachi, Makita, Black & Decker. Required quality advantages over competitors. And they only give a high level of innovation.

And with that, our toolmakers are lucky: they were able to find a partner with a strong engineering and design school that is able to alter the raw innovations so that they can be run in batch production. They became the Izhevsk Mechanical Works (IMZ).

The most interesting thing in this story is that the alternative industrial site at the disposal of "INTERSKOL" no. And if IMZ had survived in the 1990s and was not ready to put innovation to "INTERSKOL" on stream, the prospects of one of the most dynamic Russian companies, which broke away at great cost to the world market, would have been very vague.

Manage heart and brown
The main specialization of the Izhevsk Mechanical Plant in the late 1940’s were hunting rifles and pistols. In the early 1980s, the company was asked to more responsible business: a commercial high-technology manufacturing complex systems — the gyro platforms for course management tactical medium-range missiles.

Under this project, and mastered the plant was the best at the moment automated import metal working centers, all types of castings, including accurate, and manufacturing technology of microelectronic circuit boards with 2 micron design rule — the most advanced in the country at the time. At that time, the company has formed a strong engineering and design school, able to lead the development of new products and develop their production.

In the 1990s, left alone with the market, the plant kept afloat mainly by exports rifles and pistols, and developed through a fan of technical solutions developed for the gyro platforms. Fortunately, the then Director General of IMZ Basil Chuguevsky had the will and professionalism gradually implement these backlogs in market products.

We started with a simple. On the basis of the electric motor, which was one of the elements of electro-mechanical gyro platforms, the company established the production of food processors. Then, also on the basis of the electric motor, have mastered the household power line — hammers, planes, angle grinders and so on.

A little later a tech — inclinometers and pacemakers. Inclinometer — a device that allows you to determine how well or mine is located relative to the magnetic poles of the Earth. It is a magnitosferichesky gyro (ferrite bead hanging in the magnetic field of a permanent magnet), placed in a special capsule that isolates it from external fields. All this is to give light weight and electronics on a rope down into the well or mine. The processed data displayed on the computer screen in the form of the borehole.

Inclinometer is indispensable in cases where it is necessary to conduct controlled drilling — Drill to target, for example, where, according to the geological survey, held a thin layer of oil. "Oil-bearing formation is often a narrow river with a width of two meters. In such a formation drill must be entered at an angle — as the needle is in the vein. This so-called horizontal drilling — says Mikhail Dorogushin, chief engineer of the IMZ. — This drill can be done only with the help of the inclinometer, which accurately displays the drill to the desired horizon. "

Inclinometer is interesting not only oil companies but also those who extract ore and diamonds designed by explosions, as well as builders and plotters various tunnels. A Moscow construction company, is building high-rise buildings in the capital, acquired from IMZ inclinometer to drill holes for piles (more precisely, it is real mine down to 100 m) vertically.

This has created a non-trivial product factory SKB "Vector", and that after the collapse of the Union continued to engage in all types of gyros — laser, wave, solid-state and magnitosfericheskimi. Unfortunately, the direction of the inclinometer is not among the priorities for the IMZ. It slowly evolved to support the potential of plant engineering school. "Inclinometer — is a complex high-technology product, and we are constantly improving. First, our unit was 72 centimeters in diameter, and now we’re doing it a diameter of 42 centimeters, and it is in demand, as in Soviet times naburili a lot of narrow wells where large appliances do not pass — emphasizes Mikhail Dorogushin. — We produce 10-15 units per year at 30-45 million rubles, and this gives us confidence that we can make high-tech equipment. " Meanwhile, the Izhevsk inclinometer, apparently, a good export potential — similar imported equipment, with the same features are much more expensive.

Sergey Nazarov, Chairman of the Board of Directors’ INTERSKOL ", creating innovative products that make a bet on the Izhevsk Mechanical Plant
Photo: Alexander Zabrin
Pacemakers IMZ first made based on its own chips made by Micron Technology 2. Now the company’s specialists write algorithms for processors purchased abroad. Engaged in this direction are the same people who in 1980 created the electronic "brains" for ballistic missiles. Then our rockets still flying and hit the target, so it is not surprising that the technical parameters Izhevsk pacemakers are not inferior to imported. They stand at the same time and a half to two times cheaper. In the past, not the most successful, the plant was sold these devices to 100 million rubles.

However, innovative lines and did not become the core business for the IMZ. They remain and help entertain feelings of engineers, yearning for complex large-scale problems since the Soviet defense industry. Feeds the plant is still subject rifle, where technologies have not changed much since the 1950s (see "The heirs of German gunsmiths").

Dying function
By the early 2000s, IMZ has lost almost all the technological benefits acquired during the major projects of the Soviet military-industrial complex. The industrial base of the plant obsolete, both physically and mentally. Spot modernization, is to buy some modern tools, allows you to close the most obvious failures, but does not change the situation as a whole. It turned out that no competitive trumps the former leader of the defense is gone. However, by the time the engineering and technological landscape of the country has changed so much that the unique steel "old" habitual, more r
ecently, self-evident competence.

With a huge amount of not embodied in the life of inventions, some of which also have a grain of truth, and the novelty, redraw these made-to-knee in the development of technology-based products — such that they can be manufactured quickly, cheaply and efficiently in batch production — has become almost no one. In Soviet times, the function performed by the system of branch institutes, NGOs and the NPP. In the 1990s, this link is almost entirely dropped, and competence of the "transformation" of inventions in the serial products has become extremely scarce. First of all, the deficit experienced dynamic companies who need to continuously launch new models of equipment.

IMZ has retained this function is dying out in the best possible way: plant designers are well versed in all the intricacies of process technology, the nuances of making this or that detail, and the real possibilities of the equipment, take the original essence of the invention only and actually develop an entirely different product. "No one inventor never think through his invention so that it can be manufactured in a factory. All they draw, no good, — says Mikhail Dorogushin. — And we know that we must do it to be efficient and thus cheaper and quality. Therefore, we can turn into any commercial product of innovative development. "

Realize the value of their competence IMZ benefited from collaboration with the private sector — with "Interskol." IMZ cooperation and "INTERSKOL" began in 1998, and in 2010 izhevchane on the basis of its past experience created for the defense interskolovtsev innovation that will produce a real revolution elektroinstrumentalnoy industry. This valve engine — an alternative to the traditional electric motors, which are equipped with all kinds of power tools. Now prototypes of Izhevsk "gates" are being tested in the "INTERSKOL" (see "The Little Engine with great brains").

Time to hammer nails
This year, "INTERSKOL" and IMZ begins a new stage of cooperation, involving the creation of a whole range of innovative products, most of which should be attributed to high-tech. The main function of IMZ in this large-scale project — it is the "transformation" of third-party development in serial products.

Teamwork is constructed as follows. Interskolovtsy conduct primary triage developments, which are produced by the company itself or bring Kulibins from the side, and the fact that it may be interesting to the market, is transmitted to the IMZ. Factory experts at or immediately say "it will not go", or rework the design so that it can be reproduced commercially. Then, in the experimental shop of the plant manufactured prototypes. They are sent to Moscow, the office of "INTERSKOL" — to the test. Investments at this stage requires relatively small: an estimated Michael Dorogushina, partners are investing about 2 million rubles.

This way it’s been three innovation. These include a new type of gear designed to work in a power tool, in conjunction with valve engine. "Putting a traditional brushless motor gear does not make sense, because the valve engine resource ten thousand hours, and the traditional gear worn by 400-600 hours, — says Mikhail Dorogushin. — A resource of the new gear is comparable to the resource valve engine. "

In the market the innovation seen as a breakthrough. "Reducer there for a hundred years. Russian engineers could only guess as to modify it, "- said with envy Sergei Nazarov, Chairman of the Board of Directors’ INTERSKOL," technical director of Europe’s leading engineering company Caleidos Group, where he was shown prototypes of new products. Now redraws IMZ’s design ideas, adapting it to mass production.

The second innovation is a new class of energy-efficient power generators, based upon the valve engine. The idea of such a product came to a head Sergei Nazarov after last year’s ice storm and subsequent continuity of electrical wires in the Moscow region, where the increased demand began to use portable electric generators. Now these generators are based on the traditional motor. If instead the motor supply valve that is carried out as shown in the "INTERSKOL" test, the efficiency of power unit will rise immediately by 20%. In other words, the "valve" generator will give the consumer a quarter more energy.

The third perspective development of an innovative portfolio of partners — the family of short punches. They are shorter than normal by 4-6 inches and can creep into tight places — piers, risers, etc. In the market these few centimeters will give a significant competitive advantage.

Construction of the "shorties" developed Yuri Colgan, head of the design department "INTERSKOL" comes from VNIISMI (All-Union Scientific Research Institute of mechanized and manual construction and installation tool). IMZ is already on its redrawn and now manufactured prototypes.

There Sergei Nazarov, another idea that came izhevchanam especially liked — a special building blowers for nailing and anchors. Now guns for this purpose are made with powder cartridge. In fact, they are weapons of war, and delivered to their owners a lot of trouble — to obtain a license to use, with storage, etc.

The first models of blowers on the market already appeared, but the release of their firm, making this weapon has never engaged. Interskolovtsy confident that with a partner like IMZ, they will be able to beat these "amateurs", because the core competence IMZ — production is guns, including air. "Guns should do gunsmiths. Only then it will be a good gun, "- said Nazarov. To build weapons for nailing partners plan to begin next year.

Innovation on stream
When it comes time to run these innovations into production, "Interskol" connect its production base in China — Factories Corporation Crown, a partner of the joint venture Interskol Crown Group (a Chinese expansion of our toolmakers we talked in detail in the article "Ride the Dragon", see «Expert» № 28 in 2009). Otherwise, do not get a competitive product. "We can do it ourselves, but we can not do everything at the same high quality and cheap — says Mikhail Dorogushin. — That is why we will be producing at only those parts and sites that we have obtained within acceptable limits for the price-quality. " In Izhevsk, will be made as basic parts and components that comprise the know-how and must not fall into the hands of the Chinese.

Hunting rifles for 60 years, are the main products of Izhevsk Mechanical Works

Final assembly and finishing of the new products will do IMZ. Then begins the zone of responsibility "INTERSKOL" — promotion, work with the customer, the formation of the market and the actual sale. This is the scheme that will allow IMZ and "INTERSKOL" quickly create innovative products that run them in the series and bring to market, including the world.

The two sides highly value the established partnership. On IMZ expects that the innovative products that the company will master with the filing of "INTERSKOL" will load the idle capacity of the plant and significantly increase production. Although IMZ reserves the release of only the individual parts and components of the new technology, they will be produced in tens and hundreds of thousands of pieces, so that eventually may be able to be the main source of income, even for such a huge company like IMZ. "Our goal — to expand the production of power, primarily through innovative products that we create together with the" INTERSKOL "that it brought us about as much as the direction of Gun — 2.3 billion rubles per year", — said Mikhail Dorogushin.

In addition, "Interskol&q
uot; for the Izhevsk Mechanical Plant — the main sales channel. Near the IMZ is no developed system of power tools sales, while sales network "INTERSKOL" covers the whole of Russia and the CIS (the company has more than 150 dealers), and since last year also Europe and North Africa. Each year the company sold 4.5 million units of power tools.

Interskolovtsy that plan by 2012 to increase the volume of exports of high-tech professional tool to 8 million euros per year (about 40 thousand units), refer to the union with izhevchanami no less anxious. "We Izhevsk has everything to make new products in the shortest possible time. Another basis for the creation of innovative equipment, I do not see ", — says Sergey Nazarov.

The base is in crisis
Currently, however, the "base for the creation of innovative technology" is in a very shabby condition. First of all it concerns finances. Enterprise requires serious tools as a replacement for obsolete and outdated production capacity (of the order of 250 million U.S. dollars) and the organization of serial production of innovative products created in partnership with the "INTERSKOL." But the money from the IMZ is not, and in the short term to take them nowhere. And is there much of the credit of the state.

From 2006 to 2010, the plant is run by incompetent people — puppets of the state. In the five years that they have held sway for IMZ, production fell by almost half, the company has lost position in the rifle market, primarily in the United States and the Arab countries of the East, and Africa. Suffered and human capacity of the plant: because of lack of money and uncertainty with IMZ left several key personnel, including those engaged in advanced development in the field of power tools.

As a result, a successful company, back in 2005, which took the turnover of 3 billion rubles and work with efficiency 12%, it became unprofitable. "The most important thing — lost time behind in development, — says Vladimir Mayer, of the crew Chuguevsky Basil, who led the IMZ in September 2010, following the departure of favorites. — The money that the plant was to make over the last five years, could be used to move forward. "

The direct losses add significant payables, which left behind a government "managers." Now these debts and cash gaps seriously complicate the enterprise access to credit — the only source of cash. Private investment to wait for the plant and did not have to: unlikely there will be willing to invest in the company with state ownership, belonging to the same "Russian Technologies".

In addition to the financial problems of state-organized and co IMZ "INTERSKOL" can not but complicate the specificity inherent in all state-owned enterprises. In contrast to the dynamic "INTERSKOL" IMZ as any FSUE not portable and is not free to make decisions. Each step is more expensive than 5,000,000 rubles CEO is obliged to harmonize the "top". At the top two floors: the "Izhmash", which is the parent company of the holding "Small arms", which contains both IMZ and GC "Russian Technologies". Both structures are bureaucratized and clumsy.

Hopefully, the deal with all the problems our heroes help trusting relationship established between top managers of both companies. There is another encouraging fact: at the IMZ is not typical of SOEs understanding that the development of the plant is only possible through the creation of innovative products, and there is a willingness to engage in these products no matter what. "We have to do it. And we will do it for all the complexities and risks. We simply have no other way. If this is not done — the plant will die unequivocally "- this is the position of Michael Dorogushina.

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