Indian Railways is life line of nation providing affordable and comfortable transport services to passengers and the largest and economical carrier of bulk goods. To meet the demands, manufacturing and creation of assets and the maintenance thereof in good fettle is a very crucial aspect. However, there it finds challenges like obsolescence of machinery and plant, complexities of diverse product mix and infrastructural bottlenecks during its operation. For example, the percentage of over aged machines over IR had increased from 47% in 1952 to 77% in 1979. This was an obstacle to meet the production and maintenance services for a growing economy like India. However, this also entailed a massive investment; hence an agreement was negotiated with the International Development Association of the World Bank for providing a credit of $95M for the first phase of workshop modernisation programme that was envisaged to be completed during 80s. The unprecedented magnitude of this effort prompted the Government of India to set up a special organisation dedicated to these endeavours, leading to establishment of Central Organisation for Modernisation of Workshops (COFMOW) in 1979. This was followed by second and third phases of modernization for another 7 years with IDA credits of Rs.400 crores.
Since its inception it has successfully helped modernization of Production Units and Workshops all over Indian Railways. Spanning over four decades, COFMOW has acquired unmatched expertise in developing specifications for machine, plants and equipment meeting client needs and their procurement by the virtue of its vast experience of procurement of over 22,020 machines valued at `6,223.72 crores catapulting as a leading specialised organisation. Today it is in a position to offer its services to those needing modernization or up-gradation of their manufacturing, maintenance, training and other activities towards enhancing the productivity.
The organization has evolved from a humble beginning from merely procurement of machines and plants to providing turnkey solutions for installation and commissioning that includes foundation and electrical upgrading further by incorporating of AMC conditions. There has also been focus towards promotion of indigenous efforts and matching the pace with latest developments like Industrie4.0 for improved productivity.
The organization has developed a niche in its area of operation and management services that includes but not limited to procurement of machinery and plants, taking up of projects for setting up of a new facility or augmentation among other activities encompassing not only Ministry of Railways but other ministries and departments.