India’s first fully integrated and indigenous 4,500-tonne press line facility — used to manufacture a critical component of chassis — will be launched on Wednesday at Auto Profiles Limited, a large-scale engineering-based company at Adityapur industrial area in Seraikela-Kharsawan.
Chassis long members, which are part of automobile’s frame, are currently manufactured at four units in the country — Tata Motors plants at Pune and Jamshedpur, Ashok Leyland (Chennai) and Asia Motors Works (Bhuj, Gujarat).
However, all four units use imported materials while the painting facilities are situated separately.
However, Auto Profiles Limited, aided by Tata Motors technology, has used raw material from Tata Steel and Steel Authority of India Limited for installing the new press line facility at its third plant.
It is also equipped with pre-treatment and powder coating process, using automatic, in-line powder coating (painting) and baking ability synchronised with the press line facility under one roof, making it a fully integrated unit.
Executive director of Tata Motors S.B. Borwankar will inaugurate the indigenous press line facility.
Speaking to The Telegraph, director (technical) of Auto Profiles Limited Ashok Kumar Verma said that the press line facility had been installed at a cost of Rs 35 crore within a span of one and a half years.
“Tata Motors is our primary buyer and we began installation work in February 2011 after getting the letter of intent from them. The plant will have a manufacturing capacity of 700 long members per day, which can be used in 350 automobiles (two each in one automobile),” said the director.
The plant has a raw material (steel strips and coils) feeding unit, which channels the raw material into the 4,500-tonne main hydraulic press.
This is followed by the die-tilting device, in which die casts are passed through conveyor trolleys in an 18metre-long automatic machine.
“Since the die weight is above 60 tonnes, a tilting device has been provided over the die cart to assist in lifting and closing of the top die. The press has a fully automatic material feeding and exit device. The output of the press line is automatically passed through a pre-treatment and powder coating process using the in-line powder coating and baking facility,” added the director.
Auto Profiles, which has three plants and posted a turnover of Rs 330 crore last fiscal, has plans to manufacture fully assembled chassis in the years to come.
“We are planning reinforcement of the three plants along with the casting units for a formal integration of fully assembled chassis for the market,” said managing director of the company Bikash Mukherjee.