Philips starts manufacturing radio frequency coils under PLI scheme

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Philips India has started manufacturing radio frequency (RF) coils, used in Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) systems, in the country. India has become the hub for manufacturing these MR coils for Philips globally. These products are also being supplied to other OEMs across the world. Production of MR coils is being transferred from overseas to India.

Philips is manufacturing the MR coils at the Philips Healthcare Innovation Centre (HIC) at Chakan, Pune, with an investment of Rs 400 crore under the PLI scheme of the government of India, Daniel Mazon, vice chairman & MD, Philips Indian Subcontinent, said. Philips was among the first companies to avail of the government’s production-linked incentive (PLI) scheme that supported local manufacturing of the MR coil. The plant has a capacity to produce 14,000 plus coils per year. The product made in India met the most stringent quality standards recognised across the world including the US, Europe and China, Mazon said. During the MRI scan, the coils are used to transmit the radiofrequency (RF) energy to the tissue of interest and to receive the induced RF signal from the tissue. The company is also working on an initiative for shifting the DXR (digital x-ray) footprint from Hamburg to Pune and Bangalore.

Increase in the demand for diagnostic, treating and monitoring equipment as well as remote health care management saw the company report an increase in volumes in the country. The company saw a surge in demand for critical care equipment such as ventilators, oxygenators, x-rays and scans during the Covid-19 pandemic across Tier I, Tier II and Tier III markets in the country, Mazon said. Sales of some of the products went from a couple of thousand to more than 20,000 units during the year. The company provided over 35,000 oxygen concentrators in India during the pandemic in 2021. Philips eICUs connected 450 plus beds across 40 locations across India during the pandemic.

The share of locally manufactured medical equipment is also growing and was set to increase further with the company working on developing the vendor base and the ecosystem for these high-precision equipment, Peeyush Kaushik, global mobile surgery business leader and head of Innovation Center, Philips, Pune, said.The company also developed the first-of-a-kind mobile ICUs in India to tackle Covid-19 and other emergencies. The locally manufactured mobile ICUs can be deployed in a day and help rapidly increase ICU capacity to meet critical-care requirements with a prefabricated ICU with capacity of nine beds.

To support this growth, the company has been ramping up production capacity and recruiting talent. Philips recruited 3,300 professionals in India in 2021 something that had never happened before.

The firm has already made 1,400 offers during the first quarter of 2022 and would continue recruiting talent this year. According to Kaushik, around 900 of those recruited were for manufacturing and R&D operations. These were high-end jobs in R&D, AI, mechatronics and software with company being able to recruit as well as retain talent, Kaushik said. In some of the product, the Indian operations has got the entire business ownership of the product, which gives people a sense of ownership, belonging and doing something important, Kaushik added.

Philips HIC is also the global headquarters for the Mobile C-arm business of Image Guided Therapy Systems business group and the Mobile Diagnostic X-ray business group. It is also the R&D and design partner for radiography diagnostic X-ray. It has successfully delivered 1,500 plus systems from India to customers in more than 120 different countries worldwide, including the US and Europe.