Timken India Ltd, a subsidiary of Timken Company, is a leader in bearing technology with its first state-of-the-art manufacturing facility set up in Jamshedpur, Jharkhand, in 1992. The company offers friction management solutions that maximise performance, fuel-efficiency and equipment life in various industries. S. Sivaramakrishnan, in an email interaction with Prashant C. Trikannad, spoke about the critical role played by bearings in Indian industry.
Can you briefly tell us about your company since its incorporation in India in 1987?
Timken India Ltd, a subsidiary of Timken Company, started its operations in 1989.
In keeping with global standards, the first state-of the-art manufacturing facility was set up in Jamshedpur, Jharkhand, in 1992. To cater to the growing market, Timken subsequently set up a manufacturing facility in Chennai, Tamil Nadu, in 2008.
The Timken Technology Centre in Bangalore is one of the four Timken innovation and development centres around the world, which provides our customers a unique opportunity to access global pool of engineering expertise and the latest technological advancements.
In India, Timken has launched its first Gear Service facility outside of the United States inRaipur, Chhatttisgarh. With a shop area of 33,000 sq. ft and spread over two acres, this dedicated facility supports all servicing and repair requirements of large industrial gear boxes apart from offering a host of key services that address the gearbox needs of every customer.
Apart from this Timken has sales offices in Delhi, Kolkata, Pune, Ahmedabad, Chennai, Bangalore and Jamshedpur.
What kind of products does Timken manufacture and what is your plant capacity?
At Timken we engineer, manufacture and market mechanical power transmission and friction management components. Our bearings, gearboxes, chain and related products and services support diversified markets worldwide.
Our portfolio ranges from a wide range of anti-friction bearings and housed units. We also have a significant portfolio of adjacencies like couplings, seals, lubricants and lubricators, chains and gears. Our Jamshedpur plant manufactures taper roller bearings up to 8 inch outside diameter and our Chennai plant up to 24 inches outside diameter.
Which key sectors does your company cater to in India? What are some of the main applications for your products?
Around the world and in a variety of industries, customers improve their performance by turning to Timken. Our employees deliver value by working closely with customers to provide friction management and power transmission solutions that cater to their specific industry and applications.
The main applications for our products are in the aerospace, agriculture, automotive and heavy truck, cement and aggregate industries, construction equipment, mining, power generation and energy, gear drives, health and machine tools, paper, primary metals, rail and wind energy industries.
How critical is the role of bearings and its related systems in industrial growth?
Bearings played a pivotal role in the development of various industries and also helped industrial revolutions and technological advancements, as it allows the new industrial machinery to operate more efficiently.
Bearings are highly engineered components and is a huge industry and is also fundamental for the capital goods industry as it provides the principal industrial equipment base for the manufacturing industries. Thus, in that way the global manufacturing industry relies on precision components like bearings for its core activities. Looking at the other way, the global economic activities and global consumer spending would decide the growth of the industrial production and in turn, the use of bearings in manufacturing. The bearing industry, therefore, has developed a strong correlation with the global economic growth and economic activities.
Technologically the bearing industry has simultaneously developed alongside the other segments such as gears and lubricants. The advances brought in metallurgy – microstructure alloys and heat treatment, has in turns helped other industrial areas to develop, newer technological frontiers such as coatings. The complex gauging challenges have helped the global metrological industry to innovate and grow to the next level. Newer statistical methods have emerged from the bearing industry, which are today the standard techniques used for the fatigue life components. New processes to manage the complex supply chains have emerged from this industry.
Thus, bearings as an industry have played a vital part in the industrial growth and thus advance the benefit for human kind.
What are some of the breakthroughs led by Timken in bearing technology in India?
1. Adapt: A combination bearing inner CRB and outer SRB – great product for castors and paper and pulp applications.
2. FE bearing: Fuel efficient bearings used in pinions – increases vehicle efficiency up to 1 per cent.
3. High performance SRBs: Innovative new cage design – gearboxes runs much cooler.
4. Shaft Guard technology: To eliminate shaft damage due to clamping in case of WIR bearings.
5. SRNB product: New generation sealing technology for rolling mill bearing.
What is the current market scenario for bearings in India and where do you see it moving in the next financial year?
The general mood of the nation is “positive” and we are particularly looking forward to infrastructure build and manufacturing growth in India. During the lean periods, we invested in new product and new business development and we believe we are positioned very well to ride the growth path
What are your company’s growth expectations in 2015-16?
2015-16 will be best year for Timken in India.
Do you have any specific investment plans in coming months?
We continue to look for investment opportunities to cater to both, domestic demand and also exports. Services is another area that could attract additional investment.