As manufacturers scout for ways to slash the grams and cut the kilos in their quest to lightweight vehicles and drive efficiency, the supplier community is benefiting from the growing demand for products that fit the bill.
Hosur-based Prakash Technoplast India, a five-decade-old company which has established itself as a reliable supplier for injection moulded plastic components, is eyeing greater traction from the automotive industry as a growing number of plastic parts find application in vehicles.
The company is a Tier 1 and 2 supplier to a number of Indian OEMs including Ashok Leyland, Daimler CV India, VST Tillers and TVS Motor Co among others and Tier 1 suppliers such as Tata Toyo, Harita, Exide, Prakash Seating and Tenneco India. Its products include battery covers, bellows and dust covers, bump caps, air suspension valve body, fender wheel arc, cable ties and strap, air filter housing, headlamp embellisher, fan and impellers, handle and armrests, radiator fans, battery housing and IP assembly. The company also supplies sub-assemblies to Tier 2 suppliers; after final assembly, the final product goes to passenger car makers including Tata Motors, Maruti Suzuki, Renault India, Volvo Auto India, Ford India and Mahindra & Mahindra.
Speaking to Autocar Professional recently, Prakash Valecha, managing director, Prakash Technoplast India (pictured above), said, “We are into value engineering and optimise product design which gives better life and quality. Our products like bellows and bump caps go into shock absorbers and suspension systems of OEMs like Maruti Suzuki India, Renault, Volvo and M&M as Tier 2 suppliers which replace metal. We are also supplying rearview mirrors to some variants of the Renault Kwid through its Tier 1 supplier Tata Ficosa.”
The company’s manufacturing operation is from a 35,000 square foot facility staffed by 150 people in Hosur. It has in house-high-end machinery including tool development. ‘‘Tool making is the backbone of any injection moulding supplier. Not only do we make them in-house but design and develop tools ourselves. This helps us cut short the product development time,” says Valecha.
Prakash Industries has also developed full injection moulded ergonomically design seats for buses and supplies to most bus manufacturers, bodybuilders and STUs. It supplies the seat backdrop cover and side armrest handle of seats to Harita Systems for application in premium coaches from Scania and Volvo.
“There is a common belief that plastic is not good but it can be recycled many times and is lightweight, adding a lot of value to vehicle manufacturers,” says Valecha.
Products like high-end bellow and driveshaft bellows, which replaces metal and rubber, have long-life properties. Prakash Technoplast India is among few companies in India with capabilities to manufacture components from one grams to 10,000 grams (10 kg).
Valecha says the company has been recording over 30 percent YoY growth over the last decade. This rate of growth, from the domestic and export markets, is likely to be maintained as a result of continuous innovation and focus on quality products.
The company, which ships its products to South East Asian countries, is eyeing bigger numbers in the export market. The company is rated by Crisil as high performance and high financial capability. Last year the company has received best supplier award from Ashok Leyland.