Moflex flush with orders
Leaf springs maker has commissioned a dedicated line at its Vadodara unit.
A commercial vehicle manufacturer has indicated its keenness in sourcing parabolic springs and Moflex will soon develop samples. At present, over 80 percent of products made are exported and the balance is equally divided between the replacement market and local OEMs. The company’s export markets include the US, European Union, Middle East and Australia. Latin America is on the radar too. Moflex is also scouring for technical aid from other countries to make parabolic springs for a host of applications. These are generally rugged and produced on state-of-the-art equipment with advanced design features.
Individual spring leaves are tapered and heat treated. Bending stresses in the material are evenly distributed along the length of the leaf. There is a lot of contact area on all wear points and stresses caused by drilling are minimised by having the guide straps positioned near the end of the leaves. The clamp area under the axles is kept absolutely flat to prevent preload and these advantages attract vehicle makers to parabolic springs.
At present, the company has installed capacity of 600 tonnes of which 65 percent is used. This will change once new orders come in and, in fact, an additional 600 tonnes will be added next fiscal at a cost of Rs 2.5 crore. Moflex has got into an association with the Netherlands-based CBI (centre for promotion of imports from developing countries) which helps SMEs in developing countries to better their technology and marketing. The company participated at Automechanika Frankfurt and plans to increase its global branding in other expos as part of the CBI programme.
Since there is significant demand for parabolic springs in Europe, Budhiraja feels that this initiative will help the company penetrate EU markets. It has already received three enquiries from Eastern Europe and samples are being developed now.
“These companies are looking at us for a wide range of applications in truck and heavy commercial vehicles with a volume of up to 200 tonnes per month,” he said. Production will start by January if everything goes according to plan. Vikrant Auto Suspension, an associate company of Moflex, is working on a new layout. The focus here will be on lean manufacturing with help from Mahindra & Mahindra. After completing the UNIDO cluster programme (which involves building capability for SSIs), the Rs 27 crore company increased capacity to 430 tonnes per month from 250 tonnes without additional machinery or human capital.
Budhiraja said that once the current project is through, capacity will be up further to 600 tonnes. While furnace capacity was hiked by 20 percent, overall productivity almost doubled. This initiative will help the company meet the growing needs of one of its major customers, Mahindra & Mahindra, to whom it has been supplying up to 300 tonnes a month. Vikrant is also the single source for GM India’s Tavera.
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