Volvo dump trucks for higher productivity, more gains

Volvo FMX 520 26.1Cu copy

Two new 10×4 dump trucks from Volvo on the FMX platform reflect technology and innovation for higher productivity and more gains.

Story by: Ashish Bhatia

Volvo Trucks entered the Indian market in 1996. It zeroed in on a site on the outskirts of Bangalore to build modern trucks. Two decades later almost, it has launched two dump trucks that threaten to blur the boundary between a 100-tonne dump truck and a 31-tonne premium heavy duty tipper. Addressing the demand for higher productivity and more gains, these dump trucks are based on the tried and tested FMX premium heavy duty tipper platform. According to a Volvo Trucks India official, they were developed to address a need for an efficient machine that was not as big or as demanding as a dump truck, nor was it as small or less accommodating as a heavy duty tipper. Born out of the Volvo’s ability and experience, on a rigid tipper chassis with five axles and a payload capacity of 60-tonne, the dump trucks are called FMX 520 and FMX 480 respectively.

Big and burly

The FMX 520 and FMX 480 are powered by a 520 hp, 13-litre six-cylinder Volvo D13 engine mated to a 14-speed fully synchronised splitter-range manual transmission with an oil cooler. This engine also powers the Volvo FH 520 puller, and puts out a torque of 2400 Nm @ 1050-1400 rpm. The 10×4 configuration means that out of the five axles, two axles are driven. The first two and the fifth axle are steerable on the FMX 520. On the FMX 480, the first three axles are steerable. Measuring 10,105 mm in length and 4,130 mm in height, the two heavy duty front steerable axles (three on FMX 480) help with not just high ground clearance but a high load carrying capability with their I-beam design. The steerable fifth axle on the FMX 520 is also referred to as a pusher axle with electronically programmable pneumatic suspension which ensures right load distribution across the vehicle under the given gross weight. Additional protective cover on the air suspension bellows make them more reliable to use in the mining conditions. A straight I-beam design, the pusher axle is steered through electronic actuation and hydraulic assistance. The rear tandem drive axle ensures optimum traction and pulling ability. The reduction at the hubs takes place via four planetary gears, and results in an uniform load distribution.

Made for a hard life in mines

The chassis of FMX 520 and FMX 480 is made up of a robust C-channel section side members made of high strength steel. There’s full length inner reinforcement, the thickness of which is 5 mm. The front section of the chassis is bent outwards to accommodate the cab and engine, and has the same thickness of 8 mm in the web and the flanges. The front closing member with a central heavy duty towing device can sustain a lateral pull or push of up to 32-tonnes. The cab, engine, transmission and chassis cross member provide extra ruggedness to the chassis for tough off-road applications.

The superstructure on the 10×4 FMX 520 measures 26.1 cu. m., and that of the 10×4 FMX 480 measures 24 cu. m. Claimed to be capable of enhancing the productivity in line with the increasing demands of coal production, the FMX 520 offers 33 per cent higher capacity compared to the 8×4 solutions available in the market. The FMX 480 offers 28 per cent higher capacity. Developed with an eye on the government’s plans to double the coal production to one-billion tonnes by 2020, unique about both the dump trucks is the cab mounting and the engine mounting. The four-point engine mounting is optimised to reduce vibrations and improve road handling. Neither of the dump trucks are expected to ply on the road; they do not conform to the 49-tonne ceiling on trucks set by the Indian government, limiting their use in mines only. The four-point cab mounting includes the use of coil springs and shock absorbers.

Also unique about the suspension is the design of the front axle. The leaves lie flush with the each other only in the middle and at the ends. These ensure that the friction between leaves is less, providing a smooth and comfortable ride. The springs leaves are made from special steel. Their dimensions ensure that the load is evenly distributed over each cross section of the leaf. Riding on 12-24 cross ply mining tyres, the FMX dump trucks, according to Pierre Jean Verge Salamon, President, Volvo Group Trucks India, are a result of significant investments in bringing in new products keeping in mind the growth in coal mining. Vinod Aggarwal, CEO, VE Commercial Vehicles, said, “We believe in creating and delivering value to our customers with our comprehensive offering to help them improve upon their productivity and profitability. The comprehensive offering also includes Volvo’s aftermarket on-site support with more than 130 touch points. Aggarwal drew attention to Volvo Financial Services, which aims to meet the customer financing requirements.

While the tipping gear on the FMX 520 is from Mithra Kyokuto, the one found on the FMX 480 is from Hyva. It is a 5-stage hydraulic tipping cylinder provided with knock off valve limiting the tipping angle to 45 degrees. This is claimed to create less hydraulic pressure in the system. Aimed at overburden application, the two FMX dump trucks are equipped with a Volvo patented Volvo Engine Compression brakes (VEB+) for safer driving. Safer driving is also taken care of with a cabin that is spacious and comfortable for putting in long working hours. The availability to Volvo’s unique Dynafleet telematics system adds to safety. It also adds to efficiency and security by enabling the driver to improve upon his fuel saving skills and for the fleet company to manage the fleet in an efficient and cost effective manner.

Indian CVs tread foreign shores

FUSO FJ MEDIUM HEAVY CONCRETE MIXER FOR THAILAND copy VOLVO B7R Coach - 4 copyfoto2 copy

Treading foreign shores, Indian commercial vehicles are eyeing advanced markets like Europe.

Story by: Ashish Bhatia

As the year draws to and end, exports are one of the positives the CV industry in India will remember for long. Low fuel prices not succeeding to uplift some of the CV segments in the domestic market, it is the exports that are a definite positive that the Indian commercial vehicle industry will look at with pride. Thrust on exports is growing. It is helping the Indian commercial vehicle manufacturers as well as the suppliers to gain valuable global insight in the process. Ravi Pisharody, Executive Director, Commercial Vehicle Business Unit, Tata Motors is known to have expressed that his company has been exporting for 20 years. He is also known to have said that they are ensuring every new CV they develop will conform to global standards, making it a potential candidate for exports. Apart from the Prime and Ultra, Tata Motors is banking on the Xenon and Ace to drive into new export markets. The CV manufacturer is making necessary changes and employing new technology to ensure that these vehicle address the needs of the local markets there. Rising beyond the SAARC region, Tata Motors is concentrating on Far East Asian markets like the Philippines, Indonesia, Malaysia and Vietnam. It is also concentrating on Australia and Africa, and has flagged off an assembly operation in Tunisia.

Right tech for the right market

CV exports, in the case of Tata Motors, is set to make the SuperAce Mint a familiar sight in the Thai market, which is also Asia’s largest pick-up truck market. Tata Motors already supplies the Xenon to this market. Australia, at the other end, is turning out to be a lead market for Tata Motors from the technology stand point. The OEM is looking at offering a pick-up truck with an automatic transmission there. Keeping away from Europe, which according to Pisharody, is an expensive proposition, Tata Motors is expecting an export growth of 30 per cent year-on-year.

Applying a good deal of export thrust, Daimler India Commercial Vehicles (DICV), under the aegis of Daimler Trucks Asia, is banking on the world-class trucks and bus (chassis) produced at Chennai. Working closely with Mitsubishi Fuso Truck and Bus Corporation (MFTBC), Japan, the OEM is exporting trucks to 14 markets spread across the Far East Asia and Africa. DICV trucks recently entered the South African market. From early this year, the bus chassis built at Oragadam in a dedicated plant begun exports to markets like Egypt where MCV builds the bodies and offers them as Mercedes-Benz. According to Erich Nesselhauf, Managing Director and CEO, DICV, exports of CVs built at Oragadam are part of DICV’s global growth strategy. To reach out to LHD markets, DICV ensured that its CVs could be suitably modified. Demonstrating interesting manufacturing flexibility, DICV began exporting its bus chassis well before it launched them locally, in the Indian market.

Eyeing advanced markets with world-class CVs

Despite being an expensive proposition, some Indian CV manufacturers are leveraging their European roots to export CVs to Europe. Volvo Buses India, for example, announced the export of its inter-city, twin-axle buses to Europe recently. Employing an imported Euro 6 powertrain, the buses are built on the same conveyor as the Indian buses. Conforming to the European standards and specifications, they are aimed at inter-city coach segment that typically does between 100 and 300 km. The Indian bus will thus compete against buses made by Diamler, Iveco and many European home grown brands. Claim industry sources, that one Volvo B8R single-axle chassis based bus was exported to Belgium in July 2015 from the Ennore port. Also, two B9R 9400 multi-axle buses are known to have been exported to South Africa during the same month; in March 2015 two more buses are claimed to have been exported to the same destination. In August 2015 seven B9Rs are claimed to have been exported to South Africa; one in September and two in October. Another Volvo Group company, Volvo Eicher Commercial Vehicles (VECV), is exporting its CVs to 25 countries. In this regards, Vinod Aggarwal, Chief Executive Officer, VECV, is known to have expressed that they are adapting the Pro series products according to specific country requirements. Aggarwal is also known to have mentioned that in South East Asian countries, the need is for better technology laden products that could compete with the Japanese products. VECV is thus adapting its products to address the specific needs and aspirations of those target markets.

A source close to Ashok Leyland revealed that the company is bullish about SAARC markets barring Pakistan. India’s largest bus manufacturer, Ashok Leyland has been catering to the Sri Lankan market through its local subsidiary Lanka Ashok Leyland for a long time. The company is known to have found a local partner in Nigeria to help with the assembly operations for buses. A similar arrangement is underway for the east African region. The operation capacities are expected to range between 2000 and 4000 units per annum. Ashok Leyland is also claimed to be chalking out plans to invade the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) and Latin American markets. Holding a 75.1 per cent stake in Optare plc., UK, Ashok Leyland has invested in a facility at Ras Al Khaimah, UAE, with a capacity to build 2,000 vehicles. If the Optare connection and Ras Al Khaimah facility reflect on Ashok Leyland’s exports aspirations, the company has won a USD 82 million (approximately Rs.521 crore) contract from Senegal to supply 475 buses as part of building Senegal’s comprehensive and integrated transportation system.

Lack of local prowess

As Indian CV manufacturers exert an export thrust, an interesting environment that they find themselves in is to compete with players that are of foreign origin; are from advanced markets of Europe, Japan, etc. A local player is often non existent. Pisharody is known to have commented on this, that there are no local commercial vehicles companies in many export markets, leaving them to compete with European manufacturers and those that are advanced market based. In such a situation, Indian companies seem to enjoy the price advantage with the support of products that are comparable or even superior in value terms. If companies like Nextmotive, which manufactures SCVs, are finding it advantageous to export to SAARC and African markets, it may be safe to assume that an Indian CV is well received, and has managed to make a good impression. The global markets, it said, have warmed up to Indian commercial vehicles.

The figures

What better way than to look at figures to understand the export drive of Indian CV OEMs. In the period between January 2015 and October 2015, 80,823 commercial vehicles were exported according to the SIAM data available. This marked a 13.4 per cent rise over the 71,303 numbers of commercial vehicles sold during the corresponding period last year. A closer look at the CV export data also reveals that a better gain was achieved beginning March 2015. September 2015 saw a dip with CV exports amounting to 7,672 units, a decline of (-) 5.95 per cent when compared to the sale of 8,157 units sold in September 2014. In October 2015, 8,168 units were exported marking a rise of close to 9 per cent when compared to the sale of 7,494 units in October 2014.

The march continues

Indian commercial vehicles are making in roads into new markets across the world. Their ability to match the specifications of competing products from manufacturers based in advanced markets is presenting them with a big price advantage. Indian commercial vehicles are turning out to be less costlier than those from the advanced market players by up to 35 per cent, claim some industry experts. The fact that some of the export markets are far behind in emission compliance, is actually leading to an amount of complexity at the Indian commercial vehicle manufacturer’s end. The quest for providing world-class commercial vehicles is not lost. It is in fact gaining momentum, albeit with an expectation that the conditions in the domestic market continues to improve. Exports are supportive no doubt, they are however not yet enough to offset the domestic slow down. The potential for exports therefore is immense.

EXCON 2015 signals the return of a positive sentiment

Volvo Dump Truck copy Torro 31 tipper from Mahindra copy The strong arm of technology copy SSAB body for Scania P410 copy Schwing stetter copy Sany copy Pro 8031 from Volvo Eicher copy Mahindra 605Di Engine copy M2M_4941 copy M2M_4925 copy JCB machines copy JCB Engine copy IMG_20151126_104117610 copy IMG_20151125_163349465 copy Bridgestone copy BKT copy

 

It was the return of a positive sentiment that made EXCON 2015 exciting as well as successful. It is claimed to be the biggest exhibition of construction equipment in South-East Asia.

Story & photos by : Bhushan Mhapralkar

Heavy rains until the day before EXCON 2015 would commence at the Bangalore International Exhibition Grounds had the organisers and participants worried. The rains threatened to jeopardise the preparations, and called for valiant efforts to stabilise the ground for display of heavy earth moving and construction equipment in the open area. Attracting over 800 exhibitors, of which 270 were from overseas, the five-day fair opened its doors with the skies a shade of deep blue on November 25, 2015. The mushy soil patches underneath the carpet at some places in the open display area were the only telltale reminders of what it was like the day before. Claimed to be the biggest exhibition of construction equipment in South-East Asia, the eigth edition was spread across 2,20,000 sq. m. and witnessed over 200 product launches. Attracting over 35000 business visitors from across the globe, the fair, organised by Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), had country pavilions from Germany, Italy, China, Korea, Turkey and United Kingdom. Attracting participation from 22 countries, EXCON 2015 was arranged in two parts almost, consisting of an open ground display area and a closed display area spread across four halls.

If the tower cranes, mobile cranes, backhoes, excavators, tippers and concrete mixers found their way to the open display area, the closed display area saw the presence of components and aggregate makers like BKT tyres, JCB Engines, Allison Transmissions, Trelleborg, ITR and many more, showcasing India’s potential as a preferred outsourcing destination for construction equipment manufacturing. Pointing at India’s rising prominence as a global hub for construction equipment manufacturing, EXCON 2015 saw the participation of almost all the leading players in the construction equipment industry.

Targetting the construction of 100 km of roads everyday

Reflecting the return of a positive sentiment on the back of the beginning of activity in mining and infrastructure, chief guest and minister for Road Transport, Highways and Shipping, Nitin Gadkari, in his inaugural speech mentioned that infrastructure development is highly essential for the progress of the country and the need of the hour was quality construction, good equipment and a good approach. He stressed upon the use of bio-diesel or ethanol in construction machinery to reduce pollution and be in sync with the government’s vision of a clean India that is free from pollution. Touching upon the need to create skilled manpower, Gadkari mentioned that the atmosphere for road development is good. He said that the government was planning to increase the national highway road length from the current 96,000 km to 1,50,000 km. Revealing that the government was also planning an express highway between Delhi and Srinagar, which will reduce travel time to six hours, and an express highway between Mumbai and Nagpur, Gadkari spoke of a target to build 100 km of roads per day. He also spoke about the plan to convert 111 rivers into inland waterways, and that his ministry is exploring the usage of waste materials such as oil sludge in the construction of roads. About 1200 centres for roadside amenities such as restaurants, rest houses etc. and 200 truck driver clubs have also been planned.

Sumit Mazumder, President, CII, mentioned that the industrial growth is on a steady upward trajectory led by higher growth in the manufacturing sector. Vipin Sondhi, Chairman, EXCON 2015 and MD & CEO of JCB India, expressed that the (construction equipment) industry witnessed difficult 36 months. “There has been some stability right now,” he added. Anand Sundaresan, President, ICEMA, and Vice Chairman and Managing Director of Schwing Stetter India, complemented the Indian government on the significant growth witnessed in the road sector. The construction industry went through a decline however, he remarked. Despite the difficult past, it was the beginning of mining and infrastructure activities that saw the stakeholders of the industry point at a brighter future; stress on the emergence of a positive sentiment. Some also pointed at the influx of technology in the form of new, efficient and highly productive machines.

Volvo FMX dump truck

The highlight of EXCON 2015 was perhaps the launch of the Volvo dump truck in two versions, the FMX 480 and the FMX 520. Aimed at mining application strictly, and to address the gap between the big dump trucks and the heavy duty tippers, these dump trucks are equipped with a 24 cu. m. and a 26 cu. m. rock body. Structured over five axles (10×4), the trucks are powered by a 13-litre Euro 3 engine that does 480 hp and 520 hp. Transmission is a 14-speed manual unit. While, the third axle on the FMX 480 is steerable, on the FMX 520, the fifth axle is steerable. Speaking on the occassion, Pierre Jean Verge Salamon, President, Volvo Group Trucks India, said that he is very positive about the Indian growth story. Expressing his optimism about the government’s plans to double the coal production to one billion tonnes by 2020, Salamon mentioned that the next five years will open up several new opportunities in coal mining, redefining productivity and efficiency demands. Speaking to CV, a company official also mentioned that his company was evaluating the prospect of road trains at coal mining sites. Trials were underway, he claimed. An official announcement will be made when the time is right, he added.

SSAB body for Scania P410

Anders Grundstormer, Managing Director, Scania CV India, also announced that they were looking at road trains to take out coal from the pits. Expressing that the market looks promising, Grundstormer said, “The mining market looks promising, and that of the coal especially, in terms of input of coal and manufacture of coal. Outbound capacity of mines will double; currently it is 550 million tonnes, he added. Grundstormer averred, “We expect to take 35 per cent of the market share of the premium segment. We will focus on outbound; we will look at concepts of road trains that we have in Indonesia and Austalia. Coal import is increasing and will continue to grow before the India made coal levels out the import.” he exclaimed. An important announcement at EXCON was the launch of P410 premium heavy duty tipper with a SSAB body. According to Grundstormer, the SSAB body is lighter yet stronger, and offers higher productivity with an ability to accommodate one more bucket full of overburden.

Pro 8031 from Volvo Eicher

Volvo Eicher displayed the Pro 8031T (8×4) heavy duty 31-tonne tipper and Pro 8031XM 330 hp (8×4) tipper with rock body and box body options for mining apart from the Pro 6025T 220 hp (6×4) box body. An RMC with 210 hp was also displayed. The portfolio was a reflection of the fact that Volvo Eicher is now fully equipped to address mining and construction segments. Speaking on the sidelines of the launch, Vinod Aggarwal, CEO, VE Commercial Vehicles said, that the worst recession for the commercial vehicle industry is behind us. More growth is expected to come from mining and construction. He drew attention to the fact, that the coal mining industry is showing handsome growth with significant focus of the government to increase domestic production of coal. “A number of infrastructure projects are under implementation and the construction segment too is likely to show good growth in the next two to three years.” he added.

Four new Tata construction trucks

Tata Motors unveiled four new products, Prima 3138.K32 CuM Coal tipper, Prima LX 2523.K RePTO, Prima LX 3128.K 19 CuM scoop HRT and TataSAK 1613. If the 5.8-litre 130 hp 1613 is based on the popular semi forward control platform with a four-wheel drive ability for off-road mineral movement, the Prima LX 3128.K 19 CuM Scoop HRT is equipped with a hub reduction tandem rear axle. It is powered by a Cummins ISBe 6.7-litre 266 hp engine mated to a 9-speed gearbox. Speaking on the sidelines of the launch, Rajesh Kaul, Business Head – Intermediate, Medium & Heavy Trucks, Tata Motors, opined that the Prima LX 3128.K 19 CuM Scoop HRT makes an ideal vehicle for shallow and light mining application. He mentioned that the the four new construction trucks have been engineered on extensice customer feedback. “They have been built with world-class manufacturing standards, and are designed to offer maximum vehicle uptime and lowest TCO,” he added. Pointing at the Prima LX 2523.K RePTO, Kaul described it as a high powered concrete mixer with rear engine power take-off. “This one does not have a slave engine to power the concrete mixer,” he said. Power is drawn from the 230 hp, 6.7-litre engine mated to a 9-speed gearbox. The flagship was the Prima 3138.K 32 CuM box coal tipper. Powered by a 370 hp, 8.8-litre Cummins ISLe engine, and mated to a Eaton 9-speed gearbox, this one’s a powerful truck for heavy duty coal mining application. The coal body measures 32 cu. m.

Torro 31 tipper from Mahindra

The highlight of the Mahindra Trucks and Bus division display was the new Torro 31 8×4 tipper. Ideal for on road transportation of coal, iron ore and crushed stones, this truck is powered by a BS III compliant, 170 hp engine mated to a 9-speed gearbox. With the tipping mechanism from Hyva, the Torro 31, according to Nalin Mehta, CEO and Managing Director, adds to the company’s existing range of tippers, and would present the ability to carry more load and enjoy optimum mileage for superior productivity. Mehta also drew attention to the 6-7 per cent market share his company has gathered in the six to eight months. Also on display at the venue was the 274 hp Torro 25 tipper; a Truxo 25 transit mixer (6 cu. m. and 7 cu. m.) with a spacious and ergonomically designed cabin; a 58.5 kW Loadking Zoom 4×2 light duty tipper with a 5950 kg GVW, and a range of backhoes the company makes at its Chakan plant.

Engine business

Volvo Penta displayed CEV Bharat Stage III emission compliant D5 and D8 engines. These make up the company’s new medium duty engine range, and could replace the 6- or 7-litre six-cylinder engines. The base engines are made at Pithampur according to Jonas Nilsson, Head of Volvo Penta in India. Looking at intensifying its activities, Volvo Penta is also looking forward to offer its heavy duty range, which consists of the D11, D13 and D16 engines. Explaining that the D5 and D8 off-road engines share the same common electronics platform as their D11, D13, and D16 counterparts, which allows them to communicate using the same protocol, regardless of emissions level — simplifying design work for OEMs, Nilsson expressed that the engines’ four- and six-cylinder design and common design footprint make the design process easier for several emissions stages. Capable of complying with the most stringent emission norms, the engines are primarily aimed at construction equipment, port-based material handling equipment, raw material exploration, silver extraction, etc. Volvo Penta engines are powering the Sandvik loaders and haulers according to Nilsson. Pointing at sharing developmental resources, Nilsson exclaimed that the nature of application of engines will be to operate concrete pumps, stone crushers, mixers, mobile cranes, etc. According to Nilsson, Volvo Penta is also working with Putzmeister on the concrete pump; with TIL for mobile cranes, and with Cargotec for material handling equipment. Also supporting special application commercial vehicles, Volvo Penta is in discussion with OEMs in India too. Bullish about growth in all the sectors the company operates in, engines produced by it are also exported. Also exported is the equipment powered by Volvo Penta engines.

Greaves Cotton unveiled a 105 hp next generation automotive diesel engine. It is a three-cylinder, 1.5-litre engine with common-rail fuel injection. Likely to be offered in BS 4 guise, the engine, with some minor changes can be adapted for Euro 5 emission compliance. Producing a maximum torque of 220 Nm @ 1600-2000 rpm, the engine weighs 150 kgs (dry). According to Greaves Cotton sources, this engine could soon find its way into an SCV.

Mahindra displayed the 605DI engine in a naturally aspirated form. This engine is BS III CEV compliant and produces 60 hp. Displacing 3532 cc, it delivers a torque of 214 Nm between 1000 rpm and 1200 rpm. Resembling closely with the engines that power the Mahindra backhoes, the core architecture of this engine is claimed to be common to the Mahindra tractor (new generation) engines.

JCB displayed two engines at its stall in Hall 1. One that is made in India, and one that JCB is looking at offering to other off-highway OEMs in India. Both are four-cylinder engines and share the core architecture. The one that is made in India is BS III compliant, 16-valve unit that generates between 76 hp and 150 hp. Available in naturally aspirated, turbocharged and common-rail fuel injection guise with a high pressure rotary pump, the engine is based on the JCB Dieselmax motor. The block, bedplate design and crankshaft dimensions are similar to the Dieselmax, and the cylinder block has been designed for heavy duty off-highway application; the pistons are made of aluminum alloy, and the fuel injectors are centrally located for even burning of fuel. The engine that JCB is looking to offer in India confirms to Tier 4 final stage emission norms according to a JCB official, reflecting upon JCB’s decision to make its own engines. According to the official, the decision to make own engines was taken so that they could get the very best. An engine that was best suited for the job; that was significantly fuel efficient and productive than the engines sourced earlier. For the new engine, the company is hoping to find takers soon; for applications like harvesters, agri equipment, etc. Said Vipin Sondhi, that JCB exports engines to 60 countries, up from the earlier six. Describing India as a competitive manufacturing base, he explained that the company is using its international marketing network to market these engines. Claimed a JCB official that the Indian made engine is already finding application with a Delhi-based road sweeper machine manufacturer. Not stopping at the four-cylinder engine, JCB is also looking at offering six-cylinder engines of up to 284 hp. These, according to the official, are made on a flexible line that can be set up anywhere with little changes.

JCB machines

JCB showcased five new products and two new verticals. According to Vipin Sondhi, the five new products are in the existing range, and include the ‘ecoXcellence’ range of backhoe loaders, skid steer, master loader, 220LC Xtra tracked excavator and Loadall. The two new verticals include the skid steer loader and the telehandler. Sondhi also stressed upon the Livelink telematics solutions. He said that 10,000 machine until July 2015 have been delivered with Livelink, which enables the owner to retain full control of his machine. Explaining that health alerts are delivered in the form of an SMS, Sondhi remarked that JCB could take a pre-emptive action if a certain machine was found to be facing a problem, or is likely to face an issue. He added that JCB has introduced a new Livelink fitment package for those who would want to fit it on their machines. Mentioning that the sector is currently at Bharat Stage III level of compliance, Sondhi opined that the reduction in the use of diesel for the same amount of productivity points at sustainability. “When we launched 3DX two years ago it was saving Rs 2 lakh per year, now it saves another 10 per cent,” expressed Sondhi. Expressing that GST will make India a unified market and bring about a clarity in taxation, Sondhi drew attention to the department of industrial policy announcing an FDI relaxation in 15 sectors including the construction sector. Referring to the construction sector as the one which drives ‘Make in India’ Sondhi remarked that they were creating entrepreneurs by helping operators to turn into owners of construction equipment. With the biggest display area of all the exhibitiors, at 4500 sq m, JCB construction equipment display reflected upon the fact that the machines have been designed for Indian conditions. There are about 400 design engineers the company has employed at its

Pune site.

Ten new products from Sany

Sany premiered 10 new products at the fair. These includes a two and three-tonne mini excavator called SY20 & SY35; 75-tonne flagship excavator called SY750; SPC400 40-tonne truck crane; STC600S 60-tonne truck crane; SCC1500E 150-tonne crawler crane; SAG120-3 120 hp small capacity motor grader; SAG160-5 160 hp motor grader; SBP60F 60 cu. m. per hour batching plant, and STM6 transit mixer.

Putting up a significant display at the fair, Schwing Stetter India displayed 16 new products. These included a M30Z batching plant, a SLM 2200 self loading mixer, RVH 18 circular distributor, LW 300 FN wheel loader of 3-tonne capacity, ZL50GN wheel loader of 5-tonne capacity and a GR 150 motorgrader. Drawing attention to Gadkari mentioning a target of 100 km road construction in his inaugural speech, V. G. Sakthikumar, Managing Director, Schwing Stetter Sales & Services, said that it will open a big market requirement for a company like theirs. Also, the taking off of the nuclear projects and other projects, he added. “Activity is happening and it is a matter of time when it gets moving on the ground,” stated Sakthikumar. He also opined, “Money is not a problem and there are enough projects, which will open a big floodgate for construction equipment. I believe that growth will come in by the middle of next year.” Pointing at companies taking advance action given the shortening window span, Sakthikumar mentioned that their strategy to launch products even when the market was down was to avoid delay when the window opened. “It also helped us to build confidence in the minds of our customers,” he said. Stressing on long term commitment, he explained that they are keen to address the needs of their customers above all, and with high quality products and service support. Eyeing an opportunity in view of the smart cities programme, Schwing Stetter recently launched a sludge pump. Close to an year ago, it announced an entry into tower cranes.

Volvo CE displays the EC750D excavator

Highlighting Volvo CE’s engineering prowess was the 75-tonne EC750D excavator. One of the biggest machines at the fair, the heavy weight 508 hp EC750D (powered by Volvo D16 Tier 3 engine) is set to address the strong demand for larger equipment to meet meet growing production targets. The EC750D, said Dimitrov Krishnan, Vice President, Volvo CE India, is well placed to work in tandem with the new FMX dump trucks that have been launched by Volvo Trucks, and is aimed at mining applications. More specifically in line with the government targeting annual coal production of one-billion tonnes by 2020, he added. He expressed further, that pressure is building on mining operators to improve both their productivity and output. Hinting at a synergy between the Volvo Group companies, Dimitrov said, “The volume of excavation is very high in a coal mine.” Volvo CE has already sold the first six EC750D machines in India to BGR Mining and Infrastructure Pvt Ltd, one of the largest private mining contractors in India. Apart from excavators, Volvo CE will be focusing on excavators for land clearing, compactors, and pavers.

Dump truck tyre from BKT

At Excon 2015, BKT launched a 100-tonne dump truck tyre of all-steel radial construction. Said Ashok P. Chhajer, General Manager – OE Sales, Balkrishna Industries Ltd., that they are highly confident of this tyre. It will lead to a lot of foreign exchange saving since it is made in India, he added. Claiming that all the steel radial dump truck tyres are currently imported, Chhajer mentioned that this is the largest all-steel radial tyre produced in the country till date. The dump truck tyre is made at BKT’s new plant at Bhuj in Gujarat. BKT has invested in the latest technology and equipment at the Bhuj plant, and with the view that this plant will turn out a majority of radial tyres unlike the Aurangabad plant, which produces a good deal of bias-ply tyres. Almost 90 per cent of what the company produces in India is exported. Starting with the manufacture of two wheeler tyres for Bajaj Auto by setting up a plant at Walunj on the outskirts of Aurangabad, BKT specialises in the manufacture of off-highway equipment tyres. It was some fifteen years ago that the company exited the truck and bus tyre market. Concentrating solely on off-highway segment tyres, the nearest that the company produces to a truck tyre is the 10.00 R20 off-highway tipper tyre. According to Chhajer it costs more than a similar tyre from another manufacturer, and will offer far superior performance under harsh off-highway mining operating conditions. Having got this far without collaborating with any tyre manufacturer, BKT will be selling the new dump tyre across the globe. The company will target OE as well as aftermarket with this tyre. According to Chhajer, BEML has taken a keen interest in this tyre. He credits the development of tyres including this one to a team of 50 R&D engineers who introduce 150 to 160 new tyre sizes ever year. Other than BKT, Bridgestone put up a display of off-highway tyres at its booth in Hall 3.

The strong arm of technology

Every machine, every aggregate and every part that was displayed at EXCON 2015 spoke of technology. Better yet, technology spoke up in no uncertain terms. Right from a dandy looking hydraulic cylinder, boom section, body component, tyre, bucket, engine to the highly complicated Allison 4000 series transmission on display in Hall 2. Indicating a rising role of technology to address the changing needs of the customers, which are often contradicting, the presence of heavy weight machines like the Volvo EC750D excavator signalled a distinct shift. A shift to higher productivity machines that are also quite efficient. The rising demand for telematics solutions pointed at the growing need for security. It also hinted at the need for a skilled manpower capable of understanding the efficiency and technology at work. A work force that is able to get the most out of the machines.

The return of positive sentiment was the highlight of EXCON 2015. Generating positive energy and enthusiasm, EXCON 2015 would act as a catalyst for further growth.

Customisable LED headlamps for CV

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Hella India Lighting is developing customisable LED headlamps for commercial vehicles.

Story by: Anirudh Raheja

LED automotive lighting offers a distinct advantage over conventional lighting. LED consume less power and last longer than an incandescent bulb would. Especially in the case of an automobile, which could be subjected to rough road conditions quite often, and long hours of service. Hella India Lighting (HIL), the Indian subsidiary of German automotive lighting specialist Hella, has been developing LED based headlamps for commercial vehicles. “By early next year, you will be able to see semi-customisable projector headlamps for the Commercial Vehicle (CV) industry from Hella in the Indian market,” says HIL’s managing director Ramashankar Pandey. With the cost of developing new LEDs decreasing, Pandey feels that it is time the industry takes to LED technology at a higher pace. “Projector modules have mass customisation manufacturing philosophy. With the same projeRS3 copyctor modules, we can develop different lamps by changing the design and bezel around it and fulfill the demands,” he adds.

With the demand for standard post card headlamp designs refusing to fade despite the their lack of ability to address the changing lighting needs of commercial vehicles, compelling commercial vehicle operators to fit extra lights for better illumination, faster adoption of LED lighting will prove to be beneficial. It will also reduce the risk of haphazard aftermarket modifications that run the risk of a short circuit and subsequent damage that is often costly. “Adoption of technology in the CV industry is slow, and even though the industry is not shy,” remarks Pandey. He draws attention to his company supplying LED tail lights to the Ashok Leyland Boss last year. “These lighting equipment are based on Poke Yoke technology to give more response time during braking and remains active even if the vehicle is parked on the road side to reduce fatalities on the road,” avers Pandey. Hella is also a prime supplier of LED lights to the Ashok Leyland Janbus and many other coach makers in the country. Stress initially, said Pandey, was laid on promoting the LED lighting technology to coach builders. Emphasis on promoting the technology to trucks followed. Next came the tractors. Interestingly, it is the tractor industry that has been more keen to adopt LED lighting. Pandey revealed that two projects with leading tractor manufacturers in India are already underway on an experimental basis, and the products are expected to be launched in the next six months. Hella, it is clear, does not want to miss out on any sector. It does not come as a surprise therefore, when Pandey explains that his company is also planning a foray into two-wheeler lighting solutions. “By mid next year, based on the prototypes developed and discussions had with leading OEMs, the two-wheeler market will see our products based on projector modules and LEDs,” exclaimed Pandey.

Hella entered India in 1959 with the launch of the first truck by Tata in collaboration with Mercedes-Benz. The Tata 1210 flaunted Hella lights. Having come to command a leading position in automotive lighting, and as a leading supplier of lighting solutions to OEMs in India, HIL’s Derabassi plant churns out 1.48 million LED units annually. The plant also turns out 0.85 million units of headlamps and 0.76 million units of projector modules, and similar units of tail lamps as well. Opines Pandey that it is important to serve quality products irrespective of whether they are aimed at an OEM or at the aftermarket. It was not long ago that HIL undertook a complete renovation of the Derabassi plant. It installed moulding machines, metalising processes in a dust free environment to churn out products with enhanced surface coating to ensure that they have a long life.

Aftermarket thrust

Operating under three verticals, Hella India Lighting, Hella India Automotive and Hella Independent Aftermarket, the German tier 1 supplier is applying an amount of aftermarket thrust. It is going to the length of setting up a completely different vertical for aftermarket to harness the potential. Hella has joined hands with Mahle Behr to diversify into thermal business and churn out radiators, relay, flashers and engine cooling systems. In 2014, the company renovated the plant at Dhankot, which operates under the Hella India Automotive vertical to setup SMT lines for Remote Keyless Entry (RKE) and Body Control Module (BCM) for passenger cars. Passenger cars and commercial vehicles contribute equally to HIL’s revenue in India according to Pandey, and despite the passenger car parc being higher in numbers. Stressing upon the faster chrun out rate of commercial vehicle spares, Pandey explains that this also increases the possibility of piracy. “Our legal structure does not make for good enforcement. There’s a law in India for safety critical product to adhere to the AS standard for the aftermarket. The AS standard also applies to OEM. Its enforcement needs to be strictly carried out,” he adds. Pandey is optimistic of the situation changing. “The silver lining is the new safety bill, which will be quite stringent and there will be more emphasis on the fitness of the vehicle on the road rather than in the lab,” he mentions.

HIL is not waiting for the safety bill to turn into a law. The company frequently organises public debates and meetings with mechanics and electricians to create awareness regarding the use of original parts. “We have created an NGO to do mass education to teach drivers, fleet owners; we are also conducting campaigns at toll booths in close cooperation with the National Highway Authority of India (NHAI), Automechanika and ACMA to create awareness,” says Pandey. In order to curb the problem of piracy, HIL is making efforts to reach out to the customers directly. The company has installed hotlines and a mobile App. to facilitate warranty registration of its products. “This,” claims Pandey, “helps to understand the presence of spurious products.” The traditional method of conducting raids is not technically feasible anymore, he quips.

Out of the 30,000 people Hella employs in India, 6,000 work in the R&D. The company has invested in an engineering centre at Chennai, and in a Global Product Development Centre at Chakan, Pune. The two centres work closely with their international counterparts to develop new products. According to Pandey, this helps them to stay competitive. “To arrive at a cost competitive structure in India for LED lamps, we received a lot of support from our New Zealand centre,” Pandey remarks. Currently, over 30 per cent of Hella’s earnings come from the commercial vehicle business. These are expected to grow with most global commercial vehicle manufacturers investing in India. To ensure visibility, Hella has appointed over 12,000 retailers and 150 distributors in India. “We are technically ready, and it is just about creating awareness. It is time we should look out for certified products and progress towards a better future” Pandey signs off.

Global approach

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Q & A

Kartik Ramanan, General Manager – Global Bus Engine Business, Cummins Inc.

Interview by: Anirudh Raheja

Global approach

How does a variation in technology implementation take place at Cummins?

We do ‘fit for market’. Many years ago, we used to develop the technology in US, and then roll it out in other areas. But this approach does not help us any longer. What we have consciously done in the last few years is to enhance our understanding of the markets, which is why we have organised our bus business, which we did not have earlier. Today we have a complete team which looks after our bus business globally. We have people in India, China, US and Europe as well. There may be things that we do like stop-start technology where we cannot just take it off the European shelf and apply in India. So we may take it to the application engineering level in India and see what the constraints are. What constraints are particularly there for the Indian market and adapt it accordingly. But that is just one part. The other part is, we do products exclusively for India. In fact, we often bring it back to the advanced markets. We have already started; we are already running in that direction. If a product made in US can be used in India, why not a product made in India find use in US. One has to adapt.

So, will India be a potential start-stop technology hub and market?

Typically, we have a launch in one area and we always look to leverage the technology in other parts of the world. India is one area where we are actively looking at stop-start technology. Traffic in India is a major problem in various cities. There are still a few things from which we have to weave our way through. Transmissions for example. As to how it (start-stop tech) can mesh up with correct transmissions. Whether stop-start versus manual or stop-start versus automatic; it will take sometime for us to get through.

Many parts of India are moving to Euro 4. How do you look at the implementation of stringent emission norms?

The issue is more about execution, than about capability. I think capability is there. It is difficult for me to say how it will go through but the jump from Euro V to Euro VI is significant. And moving from Euro IV to Euro VI will be a bigger leap. As far as execution is concerned, it will be in two levels. First of the two will be the infrastructure. Infrastructure needs to be ready. The second of the two will include the markets. Markets need to be ready to accept the kind of jump that will be needed. It is a huge jump in terms of initial costs, and it will come down to a decision, that will it be worthwhile putting the economy or market in jeopardy or in peril? If you don’t have buyers, then the new technology is of no use. In my opinion, there will be practical limitations for the implementation of Euro 5, but from the support stand-point we will support it.

There are three injectors working instead of six in start-stop technology. Doesn’t the pressure on injectors increase?

It is true that we have three injectors instead of six in start-stop technology. We are however also looking at a technology which can give infinite start-stops. In a market like India where traffic is a huge problem, it can be a kind of hybrid. Currently we have an SCR solution and EGR solutions as well. But SCR has a better life-cycle for the better (life) part of the engine. So, it all boils down to the initial costs involved.

What role does India play in terms of new product development at Cummins?

What we are working on is power density and making the engines more compact. Moving on from six cylinder to four cylinder engines will happen, but we need to be more careful. In Europe, we have already done that from 9-litre to 7-litre engines, and now from 7-litre to 4.5-litre gradually. There are some duty cycles which can support that trend. A potentially plain area can take that kind of technology easily, but for a hilly terrain, a six cylinder engine has its own benefits. There are specific challenges in India, Return On Investment (ROI) specifically. I think there is a lot of technology that you can put into India, but diversification in geographical conditions alter the approach to a big extent.

Kamal Motors owes growth to client ‘connect’

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Strategic touch points, customer centric offerings and coherent interaction is the key to Kamal Motors’ success thus far.

Story by: Rajesh Rajgor

Kamal Motors grew by 25 per cent in FY16. At a time when many commercial vehicle dealers are stressed, this could be termed as a sterling performance. Participating in the Tata Motors’ second phase of network expansion, which is poised to take the count of commercial vehicle dealerships to 4000 numbers by the end of FY17 from the existing 3000, Kamal Motors employed a two pronged strategy to achieve 25 per cent growth. First, it strategically invested in a 3S dealership on a national highway at Bhiwandi and Vasai respectively. This marked a graduation to selling and servicing a full range of Tata commercial vehicles. Second, it lay thrust on expanding its reach in the mofussil areas of Thane district, which led to good sales of all segments of buses and medium and heavy-duty trucks. An amount of risk was involved for certain. What helped however was the familiarity and experience of doing business in areas of Thane district. “It was in 2003-04 that we began opening up branches for small commercial vehicles in the far flung areas of Thane district like Boisar, Vasai and Ulhasnagar,” states Kamal Ailsinghani, Head, Kamal Motors. “Our Ulhasnagar branch caters to customers from Kalyan, Dombivali and Karjat. The touch points at Boisar, Vasai and Bhiwandi cater to the requirement of customers from North-West Mumbai,” he adds.

The introduction and subsequent growth of small commercial vehicles over the last decade and a half contributed handsomely to the growth of Kamal Motors. The role of small commercial vehicles as a last mile transportation solution meant that Kamal Motors would concentrate on areas in the city as well as on the periphery. As the reach of small commercial vehicles grew, Kamal Motors expanded its reach as well. This helped. From having a few outlets, Kamal Motors has come to have 11 touchpoints and the two above mentioned 3S outlets for full range of Tata CVs. “Starting as a Tata Authorised Service Station (TASS) we got our first dealership for commercial vehicles as a LCV dealer in 2002. The initial performance measurement was to sell 40 to 50 vehicles per month, but in a span of 18 months we surpassed the expectations of Tata Motors. We sold 500 vehicles per month” remarks Ailsinghani. The ability to sell more than expected numbers earned Kamal Motors a full range vehicle dealership in 2005 at Vapi and Navsari. The full CV range outlet at Vasai and Bhiwandi was awarded in 2013. Today, Kamal Motors ranks among the top ten dealers of Tata Motors’ Commercial Vehicle Business Unit in India. “Both the outlets in Gujarat and Maharashtra are 3S in nature, where we easily get to touch base with customers,” beams Ailsinghani. The Gujarat outlets are managed by Tejpal Ailsinghani under Tejpal Motors. Reasons Tejpal, “These branches allow us to touch base with customers in areas like Silvasa, Daman, Billimora and Chikhali.”

Coherent service

It is not just the infrastructure or sales that appeal the customers, it is the level of service that customer’s look for. To begin with, Kamal Motors has set a norm to attend to a vehicle within 90 minutes of its arrival at the outlet. “We are liable to give quick and pleasant service to our customers,” affirms Ailsinghani. An extension of this customer centric approach is the three Mobile Servicing Vans (MSV) Kamal Motors deploys. There is a roster for these MSVs across 11 outlets and the two 3S facilities in Thane district. “Customers can bring their vehicles to the outlets on the given day and get their problem sorted, reveals Venugopal Nair, Chief Executive Officer, Kamal Motors. He adds that small and mid-size transporters in and around the 11 outlets have liked the concept of MSVs. They have started picking up spare parts from the van at the time it travels to their locality.

Delving upon the role the two 3S dealerships will play, Nair says, new age vehicles will call for expert service, and owners would want to outsource all the service and maintenance. The concept of AMC will take off. This in turn will call for large modern servicing facilities that can accommodate a good number of CVs at any given time. “Customer is looking for a world-class product and an equally capable service support. Showroom experience is gaining prominence,” exclaims Nair. He adds, “As part of the showroom experience we deliver vehicles by performing a small ceremony to enhance the purchasing experience.”

Looking up to good times

During the peak period of FY2011-12, Kamal Motors sold seven to eight thousand vehicles. Ailsinghani expects FY2015-16 will see the numbers climb close to 5,500 vehicles. A ball park estimate in per centage for vehicles would be 40 per cent M&HCVs and 30 per cent SCVs and ICVs each. “It is to be noted that during the peak years of FY2011-12 it was 40 per cent SCVs and 30 per cent HCVs and ICVs respectively. Today, the saturation of SCVs in the market has led to a fall in the SCV numbers,” reveals Nair. Nair is of the opinion that once the manufacturing industry picks up pace SCV sales will also begin an upward movement. He avers, “A lot of small and medium scale enterprises provide support to manufacturers. Once momentum picks ups at SMEs, SCV sales will grow. It should be understood that manufacturers guarantee fixed business.” Nair explains further, that the rise and subsequent fall of SCVs has shifted the concept of FTU (First Time User) to M&HCVs. An availability of easy loan options make it easy for a medium or heavy CV buyer. “Today 85 per cent of the vehicle cost is financed with attractive finance schemes. We have several tie-ups with leading banks,” concludes Ailsinghani.

Tyre retreading, a profitable alternative

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Tyres rank among the top in the list of desirables by transporters. A shift to radials is turning tyre retreading into a profitable alternative.

Story by: Rajesh Rajgor

Manipal got it’s first Apollo Retreading Zone (ARZ) this year. The high retread potential in the coastal Karnataka region prompted this development. Expressed Satish Sharma, President, Asia Pacific, Middle East & Africa, Apollo Tyres Ltd, “The part of coastal Karnataka experiences high rate of passenger movement. The retread potential is high in this part of the state due to high use of public transport by people. Marking the fourth launch of an ARZ in the country, Satish Sharma stated that their objective is clear — to provide quality retreading service to truck and bus customers. “These branded outlets are equipped with the most advanced retreading machines, high quality tread material and trained workers,” he explained.

The mention by Sharma about making available a quality retreading service for truck and bus customers is hedged against the rising use of radial tyres in the commercial vehicle industry. After fuel efficiency it is the tyres that matter most to an operator. It is not surprising therefore that retreading, and its higher possibility in case of a radial tyre, is proving to be a profitable alternative. Apart from providing infrastructural support for retreading outlets, Apollo Tyres is also investing in training the employees of ARZ at its state-of-the-art Retread Research and Training Centre in Chennai. The company is targeting 20 branded retread outlets by the end of this fiscal pan-India. The 20 outlets will serve as quality retread centers, and fill the gap born out of the scarcity of quality retreading enterprises in the country. In Karnataka itself, Apollo Tyres is targeting Bangalore, Belgaum, Hubli and Shimoga for the establishment of ARZs.

Pioneering radial tyre technology, Michelin Tyres has introduced a new Michelin certified Recamic tyre retreading center in Hyderabad in order to ensure top quality retread solutions for the truck and bus operators in the region. According to B. Kumar, Country Manager, Channel Development, Michelin India, the setting up of the retreading center at Hyderabad is part of his company’s strategy to provide quality retread and repair solutions that last long and also prove to be of value to the fleet owners. The credit of kick-starting the retreading market in India should go to MRF. MRF Pretreads is claimed to be the most advanced pre-cured retreading system in India, and perfected over years of experience starting 1970. In the MRF Pretreads system, the tread rubber is pre-cured from MRF’s factory in a carefully controlled environment. This is claimed to ensure world-class quality.

Apart from tyre manufacturers like MRF, Michelin and Apollo, the retreading market in India also has companies like Indag Rubber, Tyresoles, Tolins Tyre and Midas. Their thrust is also on the back of rising radialisation in the CV industry. A well oiled franchise network, like that of the tyre manufacturers, has been installed by the smaller players too. What makes it interesting is the quality of work the franchises offer. They often have the most recent technology that has evolved in the area of retreaded tyres. This is combined with knowledge of retreading that has travelled through generations. A large chunk of retreading franchises in India are family run enterprises, and employ hot as well as cold retreading technology.

Technology

Tread assumes importance in either technology, hot or cold. It is that portion of the tyre, which is in contact with the road surface. It comprises of 20-25 per cent of the whole tyre body. The tyre body commands 75 to 80 per cent of the manufacturing cost of a tyre. Applying a new tread on the body of a worn tyre, gives it a fresh life. This fresh life, estimate industry experts, comes at half the price of a new tyre. An important criteria for retreading is however the quality of the fabric. If the core fabric of the tread is too damaged or already over used, retreading may not be possible. There are thus technological limitations too.

However, if the core fabric is in a good condition, the tyre is identified for potential retreading. Retreading is done either through a conventional method or a pre-cure method. The conventional method is sometimes referred to as the mould cure or hot cure process. An un-vulcanised rubber strip, after going through the process of vulcanisation adapts to the mould, is applied to the buffed casing of the tyre. However, modern day processes have adopted to a pre-cure method. This modern method, also referred to as cold cure, has the strip already pressed while it is applied to the casing. The strip is stuck to the casing by a layer of compounded un-cured rubber also known as cushion or bonding gum. The un-cured rubber is vulcanised by applying heat and pressure. As of current, the patterns of retreading in India are 50 per cent pre-cured and 50 per cent conventional. Modern processing technology has enabled the process to run smoothly and seamlessly.

Aiding the process

There are many machines used today for tyre retreading. These include machines and techniques like laser shearography that inspects a tyre for separation and damage. This is unlike manual inspection which limits the checking of radial tyres simply by the level of sound produced by tapping. Some also use non destructive testing machinery to determine if any steel cords are damaged or rusted which is not possible to do manually. A nail hole detector is also used to detect nail holes in the tyre which are not visible to human eye. Through computerised buffer, the tyres are then buffed for finesse, uniformity and radius. The computerised buffer buffs in such a way that steel belts (radial tyres) and nylon belts (bias tyres) are not damaged. Laser centered computerised builder is also used to apply tread on to the buffed tyre which uniformly stretches and fixes tread on it to ensure perfect (balanced) retreading. The tyre is then cured in an electric chamber in an inflated condition. The temperature, pressure and cure time is controlled. The result is a retreaded tyre, which is as good as new. Since it is about the proces of retreading an old tyre, retreading is environmentally friendly as well. There are many challenges, but the success for sustainable growth in the heavy transport sector also lies in how the retreading business will evolve in the future.

Tyre retreading market in India

Retreading of tyres in the commercial vehicle segment is poised for growth. The biggest driver for growth will be the rising use of radial truck and bus tyres. The other drivers will include the rise in multi-axle trucks, road infrastructure and highway connectivity. It is the operational savings that have led to the rise in popularity of tyre retreading in India. In the commercial vehicle segment especially. No section in the commercial vehicle industry is immune to retreading. May it be a 49-tonne tractor-trailer or a 1-tonne mini truck. Retreading of tyres is catching up. A retreaded tyre costs around 30 per cent less than a new tyre. At the other end, a retreaded tyre performs up to 80 per cent of a new tyre under similar operating conditions. It is the value for money a retreaded tyre offers, which has made it a favourite of a transporter.