Germany-based sealing solutions major Wallstabe & Schneider has begun exporting auto components made at its manufacturing facility in India.
Wallstabe operates in India through a joint venture with the Divekar Group under the corporate umbrella of Divekar Wallstabe & Schneider Precision Seals. While the company set up the joint venture in 2010, its production momentum in India kick-started only two years later.
Talking to Autocar Professional recently, Juergen Wallstabe, managing partner, Wallstabe & Schneider, said the company’s production plant in Thane district in Maharashtra manufactures over 500 different parts.
The company makes a varied range of products needed for sealing areas in vehicles like O-rings, diaphragms, gasket and profile seals, precision moulded seals and composite parts. Globally, Wallstabe makes over 6,000 items parts with an overwhelming 95 percent of total production consumed by the automotive industry.
“The majority of our customers are Tier 1s and Tier 2s while we also supply to a few OEMs in India,” Wallstabe said.
The major customers in India include Bosch, Continental, Mann + Hummel and Magnetti Marelli. The company has around 40 major customers in the country and the customer base is growing year-on-year, he added.
In addition to India, Wallstabe has manufacturing plants at its headquarters Germany as well as in Mexico. Globally the company exports its products to 40 countries, primarily from its German and Mexican plants. Now the Indian joint venture plans to export its products in a big way. It has begun shipping products to Brazil and China in small numbers, and plans to gradually expand the operation over the next 2-3 years.
The Indian production facility has an advanced manufacturing practice so as to suit its global customers in developed markets. According to Wallstabe, the mixing of rubber compounds is done with an integrated computer aided system that controls the raw materials, recipe management, computer aided-weighting and preparation of final batches. The actual mixing is done in a 45-litre internal mixer and special, coloured compounds are manufactured in two roll mills.
The company has expertise in the development of all synthetic elastomeric materials like Nitrile rubber (NBR), Silicones (VMQ), Ethylene-propylene (EPDM), Neoprene (CR), Acrylic rubbers (ACM & AEM), Styrene-Butadiene rubbers (SBR). Flurocarbon Rubber (FKM, FFKM), Flurosilicones (FVMQ), Hydrogenated Nitrile rubber (HNBR). These are manufactured to various harnesses from 40 to 90 shore as per customer specifications.