Article by: Bhargav TS
Story by : Bhargav TS

Manufacturer of precision engineered hydraulic cylinders that find use in the hydraulic systems of tippers, agricultural and off-highway equipment, SEA Hydrosystems is planning a domestic foray.

 

Established in 2010, Chennai-based SEA Hydrosystems is planning a domestic foray. Specialising in the manufacture of precision engineered hydraulic cylinders that find use in hydraulic systems of mining tippers, off-highway and agricultural equipment, SEA Hydrosystems has begun exploring opportunities in the Indian market. To support the foray into the domestic market, the company is working towards setting up a new facility in the Chennai region. The company has inked a deal with the Tamil Nadu government.

Catering to exports markets of US, Australia, New Zealand and other Asian countries like Singapore, Malaysia and Thailand prominently, SEA Hydrosystems has been supplying 200 to 250 container worth of cylinders every month. To taste the success in the domestic market, SEA Hydrosystems is also planning to setup a new facility in Chennai for which the company has inked a deal with the Tamil Nadu government. According to S Ravi, Managing Director, SEA Hydrosystems, the current capacity is to produce 5000 to 6000 cylinders per month. This pertains to the export oriented facility the company has in the Chennai region. As a part of the strategy to explore opportunities in India, the company has initiated talks with OEMs to understand their requirements. “We have initiated talks with OEMs in India to know their challenges and difficulties. We have got their inputs on issues like delivery hiccups and quality expectations. We plan to target agricultural implements, tractors and tippers pertaining to commercial vehicles in the Indian market. The tipper cylinders range between 10-inch and 25-inch, and are two- or three-stage telescopic cylinders,” explained S Ravi.

While the agreement with the Tamil Nadu government will facilitate the setting up of a unit that would complement its current facility at Sriperambudur, which measures 7000 sq. m. in size, the company is looking at investing USD 2 million to begin with. The new plant is expected to be erected and commissioned in less than two years, and will have a capacity to produce 10,000 cylinders per month. According to S Ravi, the new plant will address more of custom based cylinders than the standards ones. “Considering the exposure we have had in the export markets and the reviews we have had in India, it is obvious that the Indian market would have a higher requirement for custom based cylinders rather than standard hydraulic cylinders. The new facility being incorporated for the Indian market will output custom based products and the production will be voluminous,” stated S Ravi.

A young company that was established five years ago, SEA Hydrosystems has already come to gather a good pace in the export markets. Catering to agricultural equipments, garbage compactors and commercial vehicles, the company has come to earn the confidence of major players in the hydraulic domain like Eaton. Catering to Eaton’s Australian requirements, SEA Hydrosystems supplies standard cylinders for agricultural components. Also catering to clients like Burder, Wastech, and Stoll, the cylinders the company sends to the US market find application in agricultural implements and tractors. “There are oodles of distributors in US who receive our cylinders and supply them to OEMs and end users,” averred S Ravi. He added, “Quality becomes the verb for all our products. We are an ISO 9001:2008 certified company.” The Sriperumbudur plant is laced with modern and sophisticated machinery; has world-class welding and assembly units, and has the right amount of automation. Of the 5000 to 6000 cylinders produced per month, some 100 units are supplied to the domestic market. Delivering cylinders to offshore industries, ship building and cement factories, SEA Hydrosystems is one of the few companies which applies a good deal of export thrust. Explained S Ravi, “There are many unorganised players, and OEMs are compelled to rely on them. There are very few good players in the Indian market, and this opens the door for huge opportunities. We want to capitalise on these opportunities.” Reiterating that the standard of deliveries and the quality of cylinders often fail to meet the requisite standards, he added, “This would enable us to support the OEMs.”

 

Stressing upon R&D, S Ravi mentioned, “We have a ten member R&D facility which looks into the market needs and keeps a tab on the relevant developments. The cylinders are tested at a working pressure of around 4500 pounds per square inch (psi). The tests are against the pressure calibrated. The tolerance limit of the cylinders delivered to customers is given as 3000 psi though it could withstand up to 4500 psi.” He mentioned further, “The cylinders will be tested for any leakages, dimensional errors, etc., before shipping it across. The export domestic ratio as of now is 98:2 but three years down the line we plan to augment the same exponentially.” Well aware that the subsidies the existing manufacturers attract by the virtue of export, SEA Hydrosystems is looking at the new facility to deliver a revenue that is 20 to 30 per cent of what the export values amount to. Importing raw materials from Europe, the company may need to source raw material for the domestic venture from Europe as well. A search for Indian sourcing arrangements is on. With tubes and rods an important part of the raw material the company procures, S Ravi is of the opinion that green shoots like the TI Tubes venture could help them to indulge in quality sourcing locally. This would help the company to save costs and enhance its competitiveness. SEA Hydrosystems recorded a turnover of Rs 20 crore this year. The turnover almost doubled that of last year. According to S Ravi, the company is looking at reaching the Rs 100 crore mark in the next three years.

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