Balkrishna Industries (BKT), a one stop shop for all off-highway tyres (OHT) solutions, will continue focus on the OHT business though product innovation and greater market penetration.
“As speciality tyres are our core business and our bread and butter, we’re constantly trying to accommodate the need of every end user of off highway tyres,” said Rajiv Poddar, Joint Managing Director of BKT while talking to the journalists over a video conference during the Excon 2015.
New launch at Excon
BKT returned to this year’s Excon to launch a series of giant off-the-road (OTR) tyres for mining applications. It launched a specially designed OTR for trucks in mining service and quarry operations.
“The newly launched OTR tyre range 27.00R49 can offer lowest total cost of ownership for mining operators,” Rajiv claims. The newly launched giant tyre will be manufactured at the company’s Bhuj plant.
Doubling production capacity
Today BKT has emerged as one of the world’s leading manufacturers of off highway tyres with over 92 per cent exported to more than 130 countries. Today the company has the manufacturing capacity of about 160,000 tonnes per annum. Speaking at Excon, Rajiv said that the company has plans to more than double its turnover. “With Bhuj facility coming on stream we will be able to bring that capacity up to 280,000 tonnes per annum from the existing capacity of 160,000 tonnes per annum — nearly doubling the existing capacities,” he said.
BKT has four state-of-the-art manufacturing units located at Aurangabad in Maharashtra, Bhiwadi and Chopanki in Rajasthan and Bhuj in Gujarat. The greenfield plant in Bhuj is built with an investment of around $ 450 million over 300 acres of land, just a few kilometres away from the Mundra port offering logistical advantages in transport of raw materials. “The Bhuj facility will have full production by 2017,” Rajiv revealed.
BKT also has an in-house mould design and production unit at Dombivali near Mumbai which enables the company in achieving production flexibility and frequent change-over in the production cycle within a short time, resulting in a faster ‘concept-to-market’ product rollout.
BKT is the first off-highway tyre manufacturer in India to be Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals (REACH) compliant for its entire range of products and has the world’s fastest turnaround time of 8 – 10 weeks for new product development. It has also achieved the international Standard for Quality Management System (ISO 9001:2008) and Environmental Management System (ISO 14001:2004) certifications.
BKT claims to be the first tyre company in India to produce the all-steel radial OTR tyres thus joining an elite class of all-steel OTR manufacturers in the world.
Today the company has products from 5-inch rim diameter to 54-inch rim diameter and has products available for the traditional vehicles like dumpers, graders, trailers, forklifts, and implements to the technologically advanced machines like high horsepower tractors, combines, harvesters, GPS-controlled vehicles, articulated dump trucks, high-speed cranes, sophisticated port vehicles and container handlers. BKT maintains a huge 2,300 different stock keeping units (SKU) for various kinds of applications.
With the future of off-highway tyre segment being radial, BKT’s new facility at Bhuj will have the emphasis on radials. This facility will also produce ultra large and giant OTR tyres up to 51-inch rim diameter. The tyres up to 35-inch rim diameter in the radial OTR segment are already available and apart from this, in the agriculture sector BKT has radials up to 54-inch.
“As speciality tyres are our core business and our bread and butter, we’re constantly trying to accommodate the need of every end user of off highway tyres.”
Rajiv Poddar, Joint Managing Director, BKT