KC Bearings spreads wings

Expands into heavy duty bearings used in trucks.

Autocar Pro News DeskBy Autocar Pro News Desk calendar 03 Oct 2006 Views icon3083 Views Share - Share to Facebook Share to Twitter Share to LinkedIn Share to Whatsapp
KC Bearings spreads wings
KC Bearings is expanding into heavy duty bearings used in trucks. These are 38 diameter ball-ball and ball-roller type bearings that are completely machine-driven. The company already has the technology and knowhow from its erstwhile partner Hoover-NSK of the US and there is no investment planned for the expansion. It is working with Force Motors to develop these bearings for MAN.

At present, KC Bearings supplies its integral shaft water pump bearings and tensioner pulley bearings indirectly to Mahindra & Mahindra, Ashok Leyland, Bajaj Tempo, Force Motors, Hindustan Motors and Jai Hind Industries. The company’s bearings are supplied to water pump makers like Chennai-based Alpump. These are then fitted in cars, jeeps, trucks, tractors, three-wheelers and are also used for industrial applications.

The aftermarket and exports are its other sources of revenue which hit Rs 4 crore last year. The company aims to achieve a turnover of Rs 4.5 crore this fiscal, largely through increase of exports from the current 10 percent. Its bearings are mainly exported to Germany, the US and Malaysia. Some also make it to Japan through water pump manufacturers.

The two manufacturing plants are KC Bearings and Integra Bearings in Ahmednagar which make about 60,000 bearings of different types. KC Shah, managing director, Integra Bearings, told Autocar Professional that the company's immediate concern was to fully use its capacity before going for any kind of expansion. "Constraint of funds is one of the challenges we face apart from increasing price competition,” he said.

Nitin Dalal, managing director, KC Bearings said, “We also have competition from China in the replacement market. These are not illegal imports, but because of their rates, labour laws and government regulations, the Chinese are able to sell at a cheaper rate.”

Going forward, the company aims to increase exports by 10-15 percent in 2007-08. It also sees its growth from domestic sales since water pump manufacturers are increasing their production along with the expansion in the auto industry. The company hopes to supply bearings directly to Maruti and Tata while it is also targeting Hyundai which is yet to indigenise its bearings.

Even though carmakers are coming up with new platforms, Shah said his company has the basic technological know-how. It would, therefore, only take about three months to upgrade its equipment and tooling to meet the demand of newer engines with an investment of about Rs1-2 lakhs. "Our equipment is in line with what is available in NSK, Koyo or any other reputable manufacturer abroad in the US or Japan," he said.
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