“Solving customer problems is at the core of our business, just like it was when founder Henry Timken patented a tapered roller bearing design that made life easier for freight wagon operators and their mules, says Ajay Das, Managing Director, Timken India. In an exculisive chat with Equipment India, Ajay Das speaks at length about the industry, its challenges, and the companies core competencies. Excerpts from the interview.
How is Timken India placed in the emerging market scenario? As India builds its infrastructure, we see significant opportunities for Timken India team to further enhance our customers’ equipment performance through the application of Timken technology and skills. Over the last two decades, Timken has built world class engineering, design, manufacturing, sales and service capabilities in India. We are in an excellent position to provide our discerning customers with best in the industry end-to-end solutions (design to aftermarket services) with the team and capabilities we have here in Bangalore, Chennai, Jamshedpur and sales offices across India.
A good example is the steel industry, where we partner with OEM designers and mill builders to study the application and suggest the right bearings and settings; manufacture highest performance and good quality bearings and then maintain it through our Milltec services team. We intend to make these unique capabilities available to a broader range of industries and customers in India, broaden our product offering in India and in the process become their preferred power transmission and friction management solutions provider. In India we have a strong team of Timken associates who are well trained and well equipped to utilise the Timken knowledge, products and solutions, in order to create superior value for our customers in India.
What are the core competencies and strengths of Timken India?For more than 100 years, Timken has focused on value creation for diverse industries and market segments. We deliver a variety of friction management and power transmission solutions for applications ranging from aircraft and automobiles to mining equipment and medical instruments. We’ve grown considerably since our founding in 1899, but solving customer problems is still at the core of our business, just like it was when founder Henry Timken patented a tapered roller bearing design that made life easier for freight wagon operators and their mules. Our main strengths are strong product performance, local manufacturing footprints, and support from the local technology centre.
How strong is Timken India in the mining and mineral processing sectors? Timken invests heavily in gaining a better understanding of the challenging conditions found in mining, so that we can develop solutions that make sense for the industry. With more than 60 years of experience in mining, we’ve become a trusted resource for both equipment manufacturers and for those who operate and maintain mining equipment. From longwall shearers and shaker screens to massive draglines and shovels, Timken applies its history of providing quality bearings for mining equipment, large and small, throughout the world.
Our years of experience in supporting equipment makers and mine operators provide us with unique insights that lead to new technologies. Many ideas for innovative products and services develop as a result of working onsite with customers. Isolated problems sometimes spawn industry-wide solutions. For instance, the extreme debris and contamination present in mining and construction equipment pushed Timken to develop engineered surfaces, heat-treating processes and debris-resistant bearings.Mining customers turn to us for a comprehensive line of mining solutions, including debris-resistant bearings, lubricants, maintenance tools, seals and condition monitoring devices. We also provide bearing maintenance training and bearing repair services for a broad line of related products “around the bearing.” These products and services help mine operators and maintenance teams keep equipment running reliably. Timken is very strong in the mining segment where the critical applications are handled by Timken.
In the construction equipment segment, how do you look at the potential for bearings? Heavy equipment plays a vital role in every construction project, from digging the foundation for a new home to excavating an entire hillside for a new highway. Construction equipment owners and operators can’t be slowed down by machines that aren’t up to the job or require frequent maintenance. From bulldozers to backhoes, you’ll find that Timken technology helps to keep construction equipment hard at work. Construction equipment has to work reliably in dirty and dusty environments. Our expertise in metallurgy, bearing manufacturing and engineered surfaces enables us to provide bearings and components that hold up even in the toughest conditions. Construction equipment leads a tough life, with long work days, heavy loads and a dirty environment. Customers turn to bearing manufactures, to keep the equipment digging, pushing and moving. We have a very strong presence in construction market especially in critical application. This segment is poised to grow since the infrastructure sector is receiving full support from the government. This segment will require more mechanisation to speed up the job and these days even size of the projects are bigger and demand larger size equipment.
Can you name some of the OEMs Timken India supplies to in India? CAT, BEML, JCB, ZF, Telcon, Dana, Carraro, M&M, Escorts, etc.
How do you look at the potential from the aftermarket? Timken has a strong reach within the Indian market and is connected with the equipment user in the remotest of India. This helps us to address the requirement in the aftermarket since we have complete the cradle to grave under our control.
How do you look at the interface between OEMs, component manufacturers? With the growth in the industry, most of the end users are offloading the axles and transmission build to Tier I manufacturers due to their expertise that has developed over the years.
Tell us about your production facility, capacity, and capacity utilisation?Timken India, a subsidiary of the Timken Company, begun its operations in 1989, with a state -of-the -art manufacturing facility at Jamshedpur. To cater to the growing market, Timken has subsequently setup a manufacturing facility in Chennai in 2008. The Timken Technology Centre, Bangalore, is one of the four Timken innovation and development centres around the world, which provides our customers a unique opportunity to access a global pool of engineering expertise and the latest technological advancements. It is part of our vision to leverage technology and people to deliver a sustainable and competitive advantage to our customers.
How do you view the capability of meeting stringent emission norms from an aggregate suppliers view?We adhere to strict standards of ethics and integrity and those standards extend to how we conduct ourselves as responsible global citizens. We operate in a manner that promotes environmental responsibility which is fundamental to the way we do business.
We have practices relative to energy conservation, greenhouse gas reductions, and recycling waste streams which reflect our ongoing commitment to global citizenship. As we enhance environmental training opportunities and community outreach activities, we look forward to building upon the solid foundation of environmental stewardship that we have established at the company.
Product and Services:
Bearing products:Cylindrical roller bearingsDebris resistant bearingsSpherical roller bearingsTapered roller bearingsPillow blocks
Lubricants and lubricating systemsSingle-point lubricatorsTimken industrial greases
Additional productsReliability solutionsMaintenance and repair tools