NHB & the world of Precision Balls
With continuous investments in technology, systems and training, the NHB Group has transformed itself from manufacturing balls for bicycles to over a thousand high precision applications that affect everyone’s daily life. Understanding the needs of the customer, NHB’s nine warehouses today globally deliver justin-time service to cater to fluctuating demands and ensure satisfaction. With a legacy and experience in ball manufacture close to seven decades, NHB is one of the leading manufacturers of high precision balls. It is exporting its products to more than 20 countries across the world, gaining a strong presence in noise sensitive and other critical applications.
A glimpse into the history
NHB was founded by M.D Mehta who was trading in parachutes and chemicals in the USA in 1940’s. That was when he came across a demand for steel balls in India. Since this was an item he never dealt with before, he advertised in The New York Times for a supplier. Two enterprising Americans approached him with a proposal to manufacture the steel balls in New Haven, Connecticut. The duo was equipped with the knowledge and technical knowhow to manufacture the balls, but no capital. M.D. Mehta, an entrepreneur by heart, decided to venture into the new product line – Steel Balls. That marked the beginning of the enterprise called NHB. Soon NHB grew exponentially, and in 1949 the manufacturing facilities were relocated to India. Now headquartered in Mumbai, NHB is a global player with two plants located in the state of Gujarat.
Ever-expanding products range
Besides high precision balls, the company is also offering a wide range of products and solutions for the industry. These include hub wheel bearings, passivated stainless steel balls for car seat belt systems, constant velocity joints for driving shafts, water pump bearings, etc. NHB’s chrome steel balls need a special mention. Branded as INQ and ESQ, the chrome steel balls characterise superior geometrical precision for very smooth rotation. These balls, undergoing a special heat treatment, has a high thermal stability. NHB also offers special balls to be used in critical transmission automotive applications. “Our fundamental strength is the adoption of latest technologies and methods. Through continuous improvement in technology up-gradation, we provide our customers best-in-class products adhering to our vision – Leadership through Quality,” says Kalpesh Mehta, Managing Director, NHB. A practical shop floor engineer at NHB, today Kalpesh is leading NHB to be a dominant player in the precision ball segment. With the help of 350 associates, he has refocused the traditional manufacturing to high value added business, paving the way for high growth through organic and inorganic integration. He believes that his company’s vision can give a sustainable advantage in the global market. “We have created a unique manufacturing technology second to none. With concepts such as ‘channels’ and ‘lean manufacturing’ we have been able to match our customer expectations in all areas of performance and put NHB on the global map when it comes to high precision balls,” says Kalpesh Mehta