Solid tyres would present a good opportunity to grow. It was this thinking that got me into the manufacture of solid tyres, says Ramanik Patel, Proprietor, Affix Cold Tread Company, in an interview with Bhushan Mhapralkar. Excerpts of the interview.
What was the reason behind setting up Affix Cold Tread Company?
I was into the business of retreading truck and other automobile tyres. With a long experience in retreading of tyres, I saw an opportunity in solid tyres. I found that solid tyres would present a good opportunity to grow. It was this thinking that got me into the manufacture of solid tyres.
When was Affix Cold Tread Company established? What was the first product of the company?
Affix Cold Tread Company was established in 2000 as a retreader of truck and other automobile tyres. As mentioned earlier, we were into cold retreading of tyres. The initial set-up was therefore to do cold retreading of automobile tyres.
Could you elaborate on the product range.
The company´s product range includes heavy-duty solid tyres, high abrasion resistant solid tyres, polyurethane solid tyres, steel rubber tyres, heat resistant solid tyres, press-on solid tyres, caster wheels, paver tyres, industrial trolley solid tyres, industrial tyres and rubber lining for ball mills.
Where do these tyres find applications?
The heavy duty solid tyres find use in mobile conveyors, mobile hoppers, load handling equipment, load rotators, trailer for pump-engine sets, composure sets, generator sets, pipe rotators, internal port trailers, aircraft support equipment and scissor lifts. The polyurethane solid tyres, for example, find application in sensor paver machines, forklifts and in various types of trolleys.
What are the specialities of your manufacturing facility?
We have a modern manufacturing infrastructure at Ahmedabad, Gujarat. The facility has the most modern and sophisticated machines. We have hydraulic presses, lathe machines, drill machines, dispersion kneaders, and mixing mills. These machines are in sync with the latest developments in our field of work.
We have also invested in a spacious warehouse that is managed by a highly efficient and diligent team. The unit is installed with modern material handling equipment to ensure efficient operations. It is also a part of our logistics, which ensures efficient supply of products to the clients.
What is the technology used in the manufacturing of these tyres?
The technology to manufacture solid tyres is a little different from that of automobile tyres, tube type and tubeless tyres. Solid tyres are made up of layers starting with the tread on the outside, and moving through various other layers like the primary resilio layer, the secondary resilio layer, transition base and the primary base. The process of manufacture, to put it simply, involves a rolling metal wheel with adhesive attached to it.
What advantages do solid tyres offer over pneumatic tyres in applications?
Solid tyres are low speed (15 kmph and less), heavy-duty tyres. They are more resistant to wear and tear. Solid tyres on industrial machines like forklifts make for a better fit because of springy nature, which reduces the machine´s chance of a rollover. Backhoes and similar construction vehicles use solid tyres on construction sites, where the chance of puncture of pneumatic tyres is high.
Which countries do you export to?
We export solid tyres to the Middle East market.
Who do you consider as your competitors?
We consider other solid tyre manufacturers as our competitors.
What are your growth plans?
We plan to grow in tune with the growth of the industry. We are thus looking at a growth rate of 5-8 per cent.
Are you planning to introduce any new products?
Not now. We do not feel there is a need to introduce any new products at present.