2012 Lightweighting Special: BD Industries gets OEMs to think out of the box
The Mumbai-based BD Industries (BDI) has a range of products that it says can help automakers reduce vehicle weight.
BDI, which is a Tier 1 supplier for Mahindra & Mahindra, John Deere, Ashok Leyland, Daimler, Volvo, JCB, Bajaj Auto and Tata Motors, says it works from concept stage with the OEMs, essentially to understand the automaker’s requirement and accordingly design the product as per process requirement which results in both a reduction of weight as well as the price.
BDI has recently developed ballast weight in plastic for a leading tractor manufacturer in India. The product is currently under validation. Conventional ballast weight is manufactured in aluminium/ cast iron, where the weight of a ballast is 75kg. The plastic ballast BDI developed weighs 6kg and when required, can be filled with water to obtain 75kg weight.The company is currently developing the complete scuttle with fuel tank as an integrated part for a tractor.
Dalbir Saini disagrees that engineering plastics are the only cost-effective answer to steel? “No, they are not the only cost-effective answer to steel. We are working with PB1 material which was earlier recommended for injection or blow moulding only, but we have developed this material through our R&D for rotational moulding and successfully implemented for hydraulic tanks for excavators.”
As regards research and development expenditure on lightweighting efforts, he says, “About four percent of our total turnover is spent on R&D. All our projects are for conversion from steel or other material, to plastics.”
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