Rubber & Tyre Machinery World

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Global Approach To Rubber Machinery Technology

Make in India is an initiative launched by the Government of India in 2014 to encourage multi-national and national companies to manufacture their products in India. While this initiative has garnered significant international attention and keenly watched, few Indian machinery companies have been steadily building up their repute with global approach and right technology.

In this special edition of Know Your Supplier’s cover story, we feature one such company Bharaj Machineries Pvt. Ltd., through an interactive conversation with Amardeep Singh, Director – Sales & Projects.

Established in 1982 with a vision, to always produce most advanced and quality machinery for the rubber industry, Bharaj has transformed into a giant machinery supplier. Read the full interview here of how Bharaj’s aspiration to be leaders in their various business segments’ is filled with passion and backed with technology.

KYS Cover-June-2016

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(This digital edition is available on Youblisher and Yumpu)

Based in Mumbai, India, Bharaj manufactures and supply high-quality and advanced machinery for the rubber industry. They specialise in rubber mould manufacturing, rubber moulding, extrusion and mixing technology.

They are a preferred choice for many rubber related industries starting from Tyre, Automotive, Sports, Footwear, Pharmaceutical, Aerospace and Specialized Silicon Rubber Industry with exports to USA, UK, France, Canada and many Asian Countries.

Here is a teaser from the interview.

Q) What products and services can a prospective equipment buyer expect when they approach you?

ASB: Yes, we offer complete solutions in rubber mould manufacturing, rubber moulding, extrusion and rubber mixing areas. Bharaj designs and manufactures latest technology rubber machinery that saves power, compact in size, has low maintenance, requires minimum labour through smart automation and are user-friendly. Our prospects can choose from a range of Cold Feed Extruders (Plain/Vent Types), Heavy duty Rubber Mixing Mills, Rubber Dispersion Kneaders, Hot Feed Extruders, Refiner Mills, Cracker Mills, Grinding Mills, Calenders with complete lines, Batch-Off Units, Vulcanizers, Bale Cutters, Conveyors, Stock Blenders, Vacuum Compression Type Rubber Moulding Machines, etc.

Bharaj Machineries

Q) How do you compete technologically on your product offerings? 

ASB: Starting as a small manufacturing unit, today Bharaj Machineries has evolved into a well-respected machinery supplier for the rubber industry in India as well as in the Global Market in the areas of rubber mould manufacturing, rubber moulding, extrusion and mixing technology. We focus on providing high quality machinery at a competitive price. The wide range of quality machinery made by Bharaj is well-accepted worldwide. Our competitively priced equipment performs consistently and we extend prompt back-up. We export to developed countries like USA, UK, France, Canada and many Asian countries. Hence, it is also apt to mention here that Bharaj manufactured machinery are considered as a first choice for many rubber related industries starting from Tyre, Automotive, Sports, Pharmaceutical, Footwear, Aerospace and Specialized Silicon Rubber Industry. Depending on the equipment, we offer quick delivery to our customers. Some of our equipment is delivered in as low as 25 days.

Download PDF of this special edition here

As they pursue global growth, Bharaj management respects and value every equipment buyers’ desire for optimum technology in their production floor. Emphasizes, Amardeep Singh Bharaj,

“We recommend the right machinery with right features that gives our customers the best return on his investment. This means we consult him on equipment selection to match his production process, share layout drawings and take great care to clarify his genuine queries in the most practical manner feasible. Depending on availability, we arrange equipment visits for our prospects either at our 30,500 Sft ultramodern and state-of-the-art manufacturing plant near Mumbai or at any of customer sites.”

I hope you find the contents on this leading rubber and tyre industry equipment supplier, and their global approach to rubber machinery technology, informative .

Below is the rubber machinery supplier info image-card of Bharaj Machineries and their contacts, if you would like to reach them quickly.

Bharaj Info Card

In addition, we have two other knowledge-enriching topics from our portal in the ‘Insight’ and ‘Tips’ sections of this special edition.

Let me know your thoughts.


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Slitter: It’s Not as Simple as You Think

Slitter is a simple cutting machinery used in tyre industry to slit the wider ply to narrow strips. Yet, its not as simple as the name sounds.

The contents of this post has been adopted from a newsletter shared with us by L&T Rubber Processing Machinery.

Slitter

Each slitter consists of

  1. Let-off Assembly
  2. Cutter Assembly
  3. Winder Assembly and
  4. Conveyor Assembly

Let-off Assembly:  You feed the material and the insulating liner into the slitter cutter area using a mobile cart known as let-off cart.

Cutter Assembly: As the name suggests, your ply is cut or slit through two to eleven cutters, that are arranged in a single-line assembly. Key features of this part of the assembly are

  • You can adjust the width of the output web using the manual slide option.
  • You can adjust the Ply tension using a pneumatic system.
  • The knife assembly is also adjustable.
  • Depending on your preference, you could also opt for Pneumatic knife cutter.

Slitter Knife Arrangement

Conveyor Assembly: After the web or ply has been slit, they are guided through a belt conveyor to maintain them wrinkle-free. Key features of this part of the assembly are

  • There is a yard meter for display so you could see the running cut length.
  • The assembly maintains constant line speed and web tension.
  • An equal spread of web is maintained.
  • Hand wheel is provided for you to adjust the conveyor belt tension.

Winder Assembly: The web or ply that has been cut by the knife assembly is wound using the winding mechanism on the mobile rewind carts.

These Slitters can also be identified as Stage 1 and Stage 2 Slitters.

Stage 1 Slitter – Here, you can slit the ply into two strips (each of 730 mm)  to a max of 12 strips (each of 120 mm). The wound ply obtained from 1st stage slitter on the winder cart can be used as an input in 2nd stage for further slicing.

Stage 2 Slitter – If you require the width of the ply strips to be narrowed further from 120 mm, then you could use a stage 2 slitter machine. Here’s how you do the second stage slitting.

  • The rewind cart from 1st stage slitter machine (output) is easily towed and moved into the 2nd stage machine as its Let-off Unit (input).
  • The cart is aligned on the fixed guide rails.
  • The web is gradually unwound individually from each drum at a time interval of 40-50 minutes.
  • The web is fed into the 2nd stage slitter and slit through a knife assembly into smaller widths.
  • The ply is rewound across “n” numbers of winders depending on your requirement.

A sample Slitter Machinery specification offered by L&T is as below:

  • Width of Supply Material:                        1460 mm (Maximum)
  • Diameter of Supply Material:                  1250 mm (Maximum)
  • Thickness of Supply Material:                 1.2 mm (Maximum)
  • Diameter of Supply Material Shell:        360 mm
  • Max chord angle for supply material:    0°
  • Supply Material:                                         Rubber / Nylon
  • Diameter of liner material:                       800 mm (Maximum)
  • Diameter of liner material shell:             360 mm
  • Trimming:                                                    Knife type
  • No of Knives:                                               02 to 11
  • Line speed:                                                   20 m/min
  • Width of output Layer:                             (730 mm x 2) to (120 mm x 12)
  • No of winders (Rewind carts)                  Two
  • Let-off material loading /unloading:      Manual
  • Cutter adjustment:                                     Manual
  • Setting liner-roller:                                    Semi-Automatic
  • Winding cart loading / unloading:         Manual

Summarizing a slitter is not as simple a rubber machinery as you think and suppliers offer you designs with various levels of automation to meet your requirement of slitting the ply or rubber sheet for your product applications.

Do you agree?

(L&T’s Rubber Processing Machinery business manufactures and markets machinery for the global tyre and rubber industry. The machines are produced at its facility in Kancheepuram, Tamil Nadu. You could reach out to them for customized solutions on rpmsales.ltmbu@larsentoubro.com.)


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Will Post Cure Inflator Machinery Ever Die?

Few weeks back, I shared Jacob Peled’s presentation ‘The Future of Tire Plants’ and more recently, ‘Visions of the Future’ on our LinkedIn Page. On reading, an industry friend asked me this question – ‘Will Post Cure Inflator Machinery Ever Die?

While Jacob’s presentation envisions the shortening of curing time by use of higher temperatures and pressure, automation, development of bladder, materials etc, there have been no specific mention of Post Cure Inflators.

So where did this question rise from, I was curious.

Historically, the process of Post Curing Inflation has seen its popularity rise and fall at different time intervals. Tyre technology has been evolving to embrace increased efficiency at all stages of manufacturing. And Post Curing Inflation is not really an energy efficient process, reasoned my friend clarifying the basis for his question.

So, what is Post Cure Inflator Machinery?

Post Cure Inflator (PCI) machinery cools the tyre under pressure immediately after it has been cured.

post-cure-inflator-tire-machinery

Image: L&T Make Post Cure Inflator

For the tyre, this stage involves mounting them on the flanges, inflating it and cooling it according to a selected procedure. You may do this for one or two cycles (Note: one cycle is equal to the time taken for one curing cycle) depending on the specification arrived at for the time your cured tyre takes to cool down to room temperature.

Types of Post Cure Inflator Machinery

There are two types of Post Cure Inflator machinery, viz. Automatic and Semi-Automatic, in the market for use with tyres of passenger cars, light trucks, trucks and off-the-road equipment.

  1. Automatic Post Cure Inflator units are installed at the rear of tyre curing presses, to receive the cured tyres from the curing presses. The tyres are cooled to ambient temperature under controlled air pressure to avoid distortion of plies. After cooling, tyres are discharged onto the takeaway conveyor rollers. Post Cure Inflators are available in 2-position and 4-position designs, which allow for inflation time equivalent to curing time and double the curing time respectively.
  2. Semi Automatic Post Cure Inflator units are located in the curing area and cured tyres are loaded into these units. Tyres are cooled to the ambient temperature under controlled air pressure and are manually discharged from these units.

Machinery suppliers offer design features like adjustable inflation, auto/manual rotation, and adjustable bead width. These features enable Post Cure Inflator machinery to also function as a testing stand for secondary, manual inspection of sidewall or runout rejects.

To examine the importance of this tyre machinery further, let’s understand the process deeper.

Post Curing Inflation Process & its Significance

Post Curing Inflation is recommended especially for tyres of nylon carcass construction. This is because nylon has a unique property of shrinking while it is heated.  When you have nylon in your tyre carcass (i.e. the skeleton of the tyre), there is a tendency for it to shrink as you heat the tyre to vulcanize.

Since vulcanizing of the tyre happens inside a curing press, it is not possible for these nylon cords to shrink. This is because there is high pressure inside the tyre which keeps these nylon cords in the stretched condition. But when the curing is completed and you release the pressure inside the bladder, the nylon cords tend to shrink since your tyre is still hot.

To avoid this hot or thermal shrinkage, the tyre is to be cooled under pressure. If you skip this process, the tyres may lose shape or get distorted or have changes in dimensions.

Post Cure Inflator machinery stabilizes the shape of your tyre in production. When you delay Post Curing Inflation, the damage caused would be irreversible and highly undesirable – both for your company’s reputation and customers safety.

If your customer is given a tyre which was affected by Post Curing Inflation delay, its dimensions will be different from normal tyres. This leads to uneven wear, problems to the axle and bearings of their vehicle. The distortion in shape further leads to tyre uniformity problems that adversely impacts the level of comfort and performance of tyres in the highly advanced vehicles. Last but not the least, a distorted tyre is not safe and lead to accidents.  Needless to say, all of the above creates a negative impact on the company’s image and lead to economic and legal implications for your company.

When the design of your tyre construction changes, Post Curing Inflation process allow your tyres to maintain their designed profile and performance characteristics as they reach road temperatures.

Summarizing, while the popularity of Post Curing Inflation process (and hence Post Cure Inflator Machinery) may shift back and forth, this tyre machinery will not die soon.

What do you think?


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10 C’s of Supplier Evaluation That Benefits You Quicker

Have you ever finalized and transacted with a supplier, only to realize, later, that you’d made the wrong choice?

This could be in any form.

For example, you may have found a supplier that offered a good price, but later realized that its quality standards were low, or that its communication was unacceptably poor.

Or in cases of sub-contracting, equipment supplied and branded with your logo are substandard.

It makes no difference what business you are in; suppliers and vendors play a key role in your company’s success.

The real cost of mismatches between your needs and a supplier’s offerings are not always obvious. Such mismatches can add costs, delay projects and even damage your organization’s reputation when the equipment supplied is substandard.

Selecting your right supplier (for machinery, equipment or spares) includes much more than a focus purely on cost.

If you are actively involved in supplier selection you already know that it can be an exhaustive process. Because there are a wide range of variables to consider that make the supplier selection process complex and time-consuming.

You may introduce standardization criteria through an assessment framework or template for selecting suppliers. Having a formalized system in place to track and evaluate supplier and vendor performance is essential to the smooth operation and profitability of your company. This also helps you level the playing field whilst giving you a standardized procedure removing some of the guesswork from the process.

But how should you evaluate your potential suppliers? Here’s where Ray Carter’s work assumes significance.

To the uninitiated, Ray Carter (Director of DPSS Consultants) first outlined his Seven Cs of Supplier Evaluation in a 1995 article in ‘Purchasing and Supply Management’.  He later added three new Cs to the model.

The “10 C’s of Supplier Evaluation” help you avoid supplier or vendor problems. Such a checklist helps you to outline organizational needs, understand how suppliers can meet them, and identify the right supplier for you.

10-Cs-of-Supplier-Evaluation

While your criteria of selection for rubber and tyre machinery suppliers may be subtly different – developing a standardized set of requirements will help simplify the process and remove subjectivity.

So what to consider in 10 C’s of Supplier Evaluation that benefits you quicker?

  1. Competency:

Does your supplier have the skills to deliver the products you require?

This is fundamental to being a good supplier and competency needs to have evidence to back it up, there is no point in you simply making assumptions. Your supplier needs to provide hard evidence.

So, make a thorough assessment of the supplier’s capabilities measured against your needs, but then also look at what other customers think. How happy are they with the supplier? Have they encountered any problems? And why have former customers changed supplier?

When you evaluate, look for customers whose needs and values are similar to yours, to ensure that the information you gather is relevant to your organization.

  1. Capacity

Your supplier needs to have sufficient capacity to enable it to operate flexibly. The more flexible the supplier is, the more it can meet fluctuations in demand.

Look at the supplier’s entire resources (including staff, equipment, storage, and materials). Does it have the resources to meet your needs, particularly when commitments to other clients are considered? Can your supplier flex their capacity in line with your requirements?

The supplier needs to have enough capacity to handle your firm’s requirements. So, how quickly will it be able to respond to these (and to other market and supply) fluctuations?

  1. Commitment

Quality is a key requirement for any business.

Your supplier needs to provide evidence that it’s committed to high quality standards. Wherever appropriate, look for quality initiatives such as ISO 9001 and Six Sigma, within the supplier organization.

The supplier also needs to show that it is committed to you, as a customer, for the duration of the time that you expect to work together. This is particularly important if you’re planning a long-term relationship with the supplier. You’ll need evidence of its ongoing commitment to delivering to your requirements, whatever the needs of its other customers.

Does your supplier have the commitment to maintain suitable quality performance?

  1. Control

Query how much control this supplier has over its policies, processes, procedures, and supply chain. Control is important because it is control of the processes and internal procedures that needs to be looked at, so that a full profile can be established of the supplier and how much control the supplier has.

Control can take various forms, for example, how much control does the supplier have in terms of its suppliers warning it when goods become scarce or even stop being produced.

So there are lots of different aspects to control. Is your supplier in control of their policies and procedures? How will it ensure that it delivers consistently and reliably, particularly if it relies on scarce resources, and particularly if these are controlled by another organization?

  1. Cash

This is the financial standing of the supplier. Your supplier should be in good financial health.

Cash-positive firms are in a much better position to withstand the ups and downs of an uncertain economy. So, does your supplier have plenty of cash at hand, or is it overextended financially? And what information can the supplier offer to demonstrate its ongoing financial strength? Does your supplier have adequate financial standing? Are they in a robust position or are they teetering on the edge of financial meltdown?

  1. Cost

Look at the cost of the product that this supplier offers. You will find it interesting to observe that cost is not listed as the No. 1 issue and is in the middle of the 10 C’s of Supplier Evaluation list for a reason: other factors, such as a commitment to quality and financial health, can potentially affect your business much more than cost alone, particularly if you will be relying on the supplier on an ongoing basis.

What is the cost of products from the supplier? How does this compare with the other firms that you’re considering?

(On a related note, you may also read our post on Total Cost of Ownership)

  1. Consistency

How will this supplier ensure that it consistently provides high quality goods or services?

No one can be perfect all of the time. However, the supplier should have processes or procedures in place to ensure consistency. Ask your supplier about its approach, and get a demonstration and a test product, if possible.

Does your supplier guarantee a consistent product time and time again?

  1. Culture

This is an interesting point. Carter felt that the supplier should be one that has the same values and ways of operating as the customer. In a sense this is almost about compatibility, but it makes sense for the supplier and the customer to have some shared values and practices, otherwise the relationship could be strained in the future, simply due to the clash in different cultures.

The best business relationships are based on closely matching workplace values. For example, what if your organization’s most important value is quality and your main supplier cares more about meeting deadlines? This mismatch could mean that it’s willing to cut corners in a way that could prove to be unacceptable to you.

So evaluate, does the supplier share the same cultural values as your organization? Does it make sense that your supplier shares similar values and attitudes to avoid strains in the future relationship?

  1. Clean

This is a reflection of increased environmental awareness and refers to your supplier’s commitment to sustainability, and its adherence to environmental laws and best practices.

So in a sense, suppliers are asked to demonstrate their ‘green credentials’. What is it doing to lighten its environmental footprint? Ask to see evidence of any green credentials that it’s earned.

Also, does this supplier treat its people (and the people around it) well?  Does it have a reputation for doing business ethically? Does your supplier have an appropriate sustainability policy?

  1. Communication

Although it may seem obvious, query how the supplier plans to keep in touch with you. Will it be by fax, email or telephone?

Communication also covers the ICT software and applications that the supplier has. What tools will you utilize to communicate with your supplier? Will its proposed communication approaches align with your preferred methods? And who will be your contact person at this firm?

It’s also important to find out how the supplier will handle communications in the event of a crisis. For example consider how you will manage problem resolution and issue escalation. How quickly will it notify you if there’s a supply disruption? How will that communication take place? And will you be able to reach senior people, if you need to?

Summarizing, the Carter 10 C’s of Supplier Evaluation model is an internationally recognized approach, taught in procurement studies, and acknowledged as an all-inclusive means of making sure that a thorough method is adopted to evaluate suppliers in a fair manner for all potential entrants.

How do you evaluate and select your suppliers?


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