Plans include a forging shop in Chennai and new facility in Uttaranchal.
KKR Metal’s objective is to move all units under one roof to improve overall operational efficiency. It began as a machining centre and grew continuously by going in for pressure die cast as part of its backward integration move. The components manufactured include sleeves for fuel injection systems, pump covers, shafts, piston valves and transmittal components for the textile industry.
KK Ramesh, chief executive officer, says that the company plans to make sub-assemblies to move up the value chain. It is also readying a Rs 2 crore greenfield facility in Pantnagar, Uttaranchal for fuel injection components. Some machines from the Chennai unit will be shifted here initially. KKR Metals supplies fuel injection components to Tata Motors (as a tier-2 vendor) and machined parts to Brakes India, Cummins India, Delphi-TVS, Lucas-TVS, Mico, Mitsuba, PSPL and Ucal Fuel.
It also exports some suspension parts to a major North American carmaker. The global business accounts for seven percent of turnover and could reach 30 percent by 2008-09. According to Ramesh, KKR intends becoming an integrated manufacturing company for the automotive industry. It has three pressure diecast machines with capacities of 100, 150 and 200 tonnes that make parts like pump bodies and starter motor covers. Three more such machines will be installed next year.
The company will also import 400 and 600 tonne machines from Germany to make large components. All the existing pressure diecast machines are fully automatic supported by closed loop CNC controls. This reduces cycle time to 18 seconds and rejections to one percent. The average time to change the dies is less than ten minutes thanks to the combined efficiencies of an overhead crane and CNC controls. These machines are configured in such a way that tolerance levels for parameters like temperature, shot weight and ladle angle are maintained within stipulated limits.
KKR Metal makes alloys and components from ingots but will soon set up its own foundry for this purpose. The idea is to send the molten metal directly to the holding furnace and save on energy costs. The company has also invested in a 250 kW windmill at Udumalpet near Coimbatore to harness renewable energy that can support the smelting process and improve the quality of alloys. It has dedicated furnaces for every grade of customer-specified alloys.
Ramesh said that KKR Metal would invest Rs 3 crore towards a full-fledged tool room in its endeavour to become a subassembly supplier. The standards room was upgraded at a cost of Rs 1.5 crore. The company has developed a web-enabled digital video system by which the CEO can see the manufacturing operations on his laptop.
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