BKT has transformed itself into a successful player over the years, with a strong presence in over 130 countries including India. Quality-conscious users who adhere to stringent conformity standards in regions like Europe and America tend to prefer BKT as supplier, thus underlining the fact that every BKT product is superior and delivers the expected performance.
BKT has made its presence felt among international OEMs in the industrial, construction and agricultural tyre segments, and has grown since its inception in 1988, into a diversified industrial conglomerate, exporting its expansive range of off-highway solutions to the world.
BKT is a global player and enjoys a strong presence in a staggering 130 countries, along with India. This has been achieved by using the foremost quality of raw materials that are processed through the most advanced and developed technology creating a BKT product. ¨Each product passes over 450 stages of tests. The result of this rigorous practice is that BKT products are known for their reliability and have the lowest claim ratio in the industry,¨ says Rajiv Poddar, Executive Director, BKT.
BKT has products from 5¨ rim diameter to 54¨ rim diameter, for vehicles ranging from trailers, forklifts, etc, to technologically advanced machines like high horsepower tractors, combines, harvesters, GPS controlled vehicles, articulated dump trucks, high-speed cranes, sophisticated port vehicles and container handlers.
BKT has recently launched two tyre variants; the 20400R35, SR47, is meant for dump trucks of 65 tonnes and basically used in rocky terrain. The second one, the 29.5R25 is for articulated dump trucks. With the help of this tyre, the articulated dump truck can take even the smallest turn and can operate at smaller radius, but capacities are not very high. ¨We had earlier launched the SR40 at the first stage. As you know, we continuously keep on improving our products and this is the next stage, where we have introduced the SR41; it´s an improved version, after a complete compound line-up and pattern has been modified after analysing the initial feedback from customers,¨ says Dilip Vaidya, President and Director, Technology, BKT.
¨The articulated dump truck market is a big market for us and we are going to develop our tyre variants for this sector in a big way,¨ says Rajiv Poddar. ¨Even though the mining sector is not doing well currently, the medium and long- term prospects look good and we see some positive signs in the international markets as well. Going forward, we feel that the Indian market will also improve in the next year,¨ he adds.
BKT has ventured into the production of all steel radials since 2008. It is the first tyre company in India to produce the all-steel radial OTR tyre. An all-steel radial plant at Chopanki, Rajasthan, is now functioning on full throttle, producing top-of-the-line radial tyres for OTR vehicles ranging from rigid dump trucks to snow manoeuvring vehicles. This is the result of years of research and innovation by the R&D department at BKT, which has developed tyres that can encounter the toughest and the most hostile terrains faced during mining and industrial activities. These have already found strong appreciation in BKT´s chain of suppliers all over the world. The tyres under this segment range from a 20¨ diameter tipper truck size to a giant 51¨ rigid dump truck size, in both radial and bias make, thus covering every customer requirement in regards to industrial use and mining.
¨We are the biggest manufacturers of agricultural radial tyres and in Europe, 90 per cent of it is radial. OTR is almost at a hundred per cent in Europe and 80 per cent in the US while in India, it is 35 per cent.¨
Research & development
BKT´s R&D team is touted to be one of the best in the country compared to other companies in the business, and has many advancements and original creations to its credit, developed in response to the needs of their elite customers all around the world. BKT is the first tyre company in India to produce the all-steel radial OTR tyre. All of this is possible because of the interest those helming the company take in the possibilities of research.
¨We are very confident about our R&D work. Our products have been running quite successfully and we are proud that these products are developed in-house. Nobody can be more proud of having a self-generated or self-owned technology rather than having it outsourced from abroad,¨ says Dilip Vaidya.
BKT has a modern dedicated R&D facility equipped with state-of-the-art technology which can develop various types of rubber compounds required for manufacturing tyres for various applications. Their testing labs are one of the most advanced in the country and match up to the ones abroad. BKT is also associated with various testing facilities across Europe to ensure maximum assessment before its products are rolled out to the markets.
Clean and green
Ever since its inception, BKT has been very conscious about protecting the environment. Today, BKT´s efforts to reduce carbon footprints have been recognised by the businesses they deal in and even by the government of India.
¨From 2009 we have changed all our chemicals because the European Union implemented a regulation banning some carcinogenic chemicals.. We were the first in India to adopt this regulation for all our products. The aromatic oil which is being used by all Indian tyre manufacturers is banned in Europe. Most of people are still using aromatic oil but we are not,¨ says Dilip Vaidya.
BKT had started off as a manufacturer of tyres for Indian customers but shifted focus towards exports when the agricultural market was in boom mode globally. Now, the Indian market is growing, and more machines and automation is coming in. ¨Till about six months ago, we did not have extra capacity. Now we are focusing on the growing Indian market and slowly ramping up the capacity,¨ Rajiv Poddar says.
In the coming years, BKT will be consolidating its presence. ¨Our new plant is coming up in Bhuj and it will practically double our capacity. So today we are looking at 8 per cent growth and our capacity is 1,60,000 tonne per annum; moreover, we are looking at going up to 2,80,000 tonne per annum by 2015. So, the overall tonnage in the market will be higher, growth will be about 8-10 per cent in the domestic market but of enhanced capacity. In the future, BKT will have an increased presence in the in Indian market,¨ Rajiv Poddar concludes.
BKT has products from 5¨ rim diameter to 54¨ rim diameter, for vehicles ranging from trailers, forklifts, etc, to technologically advanced machines.
Rajiv Poddar, Executive Director, BKT. ¨We are looking at 8 per cent growth and our capacity is 1,60,000 tonne per annum. We are looking at going up to 2,80,000 tonne per annum by 2015.¨