Rajkot-based Orbit Bearings is one of the largest producers and exporters of taper, cylindrical roller & unitized/hub bearings in India. The company has been able to achieve this due to its transformation on the back of a focused high-quality design, development and testing infrastructure. Engineering Review caught up with Vinesh Patel, Managing Director, Orbit Bearings India Pvt. Ltd., at their new facility to understand the company’s relentless focus and dedication in the field of taper roller bearings.
Focus on expertise
It is a known fact that focus leads to expertise. This is true when one learns that Orbit has a 50 percent sales in exports because of its dedication to produce high performance bearings. “We get 50 percent of our sales from European & American OEMs as we are particularly robust in taper roller bearings and unitized/hub bearings for wheel end solutions. In this product segment, we are doing standardized roller bearings as well as unitized/hub bearings and both of these products are exported. We are meeting their quality standards and in some cases, we are going beyond their requirements due to our diligence and expertise in the segment. Hence it is easy for us to provide high performance taper roller bearings even to the Indian OEMs,” revealed Vinesh Patel.
In this competitive world, performance is the key recipe to success, says Patel. Global automotive companies coming to India also demand high performance bearings. Orbit’s expertise with global OEMs helps them support the Indian requirements for CV industry. Speaking about the value that his bearings add, Patel said: “The commercial vehicle industry is currently looking to improve the mileage and require maintenance-free bearings. With our Indian government recognized test house, we can generate road simulation and endurance testing. Further we also undertake L10 testing, escalated life testing as well as comparative analysis study. A variety of application tests can be conducted on our test bench that helps us derive customized products for our customers. This rigorous testing and quality checks help our bearings to run up to 10 lakh km on European/American roads which we are further improving to 15 lakh km.”
Notably, there are different developments that are taking place to enhance the life of the bearings. Orbit technology centre is extensively working on material science, lubrication, designing, validation, internal geometries, and surface finishes to improve on life expectancy of bearings. “We import majority of raw materials to ensure we deliver the best in-line products to our privileged customers. All these elements contribute to improve the performance of our products,” informed the MD.
Orbit has been using advanced software for designing and analysis of bearings, that helps in 3-dimensional designing of the bearings, bearing selection based on application, bearing design optimization, stress analysis of bearings, bearing life calculations using modern standards (DIN ISO 281 Sup 4), to study the effects of thermal expansion, contamination, high speed effects, misalignments, preload, micro geometry, lubricant film thickness & bending on performance of bearings. This software is also capable of conducting sensitivity analysis, helping us to deliver customized bearing solutions.
Meeting the needs of aftermarket
With start of the new plant we have started to produce 12 million bearings per year. As the company achieves the desired production target, it is simultaneously being attentive to the needs of aftermarket. Instead of luring the customers through schemes, Orbit is trying to gain customers on the back of its guaranteed performance. “Ours are maintenance free, pre-set bearings in the wheel end application and are greased for life. The wheel end bearings come with assembled hub for heavy and light commercial vehicles. We are trying to attract the fleet owners and truck operators by selling them high performance bearings. We make them realize that the maintenance cost will come down as far as the bearings are concerned. They can avoid re-greasing process, mainly for taper roller bearings for wheel ends. We intend to increase our aftermarket sales 5 percent to 7 percent by the end of 2021, when we expand from 32 to 50 and to 150 distributors,” concluded Patel.
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