Facility Visit India: Hi-Tech Visions

Author / Editor: Ahlam Rais, Vogel Business Media India / Rosemarie Stahl

Spread over a hundred acres, SKF's Pune facilit focuses on implementing new technologies to manufacture a wide range of bearings for automotive and industrial applications .

The Shop Floor at SKF's Pune Facility.
The Shop Floor at SKF's Pune Facility.
(Photo: SKF)

SKF’s roots in India can be traced back to 1923, when a trading arm of SKF Group was set up in Kolkata. Today, SKF is present in India by way of three different entities—SKF India Ltd (the listed entity), Lincoln Helios India Ltd (in 2010, SKF acquired Lincoln Group, which is represented in India), and SKF Technologies Pvt Ltd, which is a SKF Group subsidiary. In December 2011, the company inaugurated a state-of-the-art Global Technical Centre India in Bengaluru, reinforcing its group strategy to bring technology development closer to customers, locally. Director, Automotive OE, SKF India, Harsha Kadam says, “Over the years, we have invested for long term growth and have evolved from two manufacturing plants in the 90s to six manufacturing plants and a Global Technical Centre in India.” In addition to this, the company has developed a supplier network of over 300 distributors across the country and serves the fast-growing Indian market with high-quality products and solutions. “Our manufacturing footprint is spread evenly covering the entire country to serve the small and large size bearings, seals, housings, lubrication systems for virtually all automotive and industrial applications that require rotational or linear motion,” he adds.


In focus: the Pune facility

SKF’s Pune facility has been in existence since 1960s and is spread approximately over 100 acre. The plant manufactures a wide range of bearings for automotive and industrial applications such as deep groove ball bearing, tapered roller bearing, hub bearing units, seize resistant ball bearing and McPherson strut bearing units.

High quality products

The SKF Group focuses on developing and implementing new technologies to increase reliability and flexibility, reduce costs and improve environmental performance. This is evident through activities carried out by its Pune facility where the performance of the products has been improved by an advanced selection of steel and heat treatment combination. And to maintain this high standard, considerable investments have also been made in heat treatment equipment. Kadam mentions, “Intelligent machining, integrating sensors and measuring equipment have been incorporated into machines for more consistent and reliable manufacturing processes. Components such as advanced intelligent technologies for vision systems and measuring equipment enable tighter control of manufacturing processes.” This is not all! To improve its sustainability quotient, the facility implements new processes and carries out energy efficient measures to reduce the use of process media. It also carries out optimum utilization of materials for all the manufacturing processes, resulting in reduced waste, manufacturing variations and allowances.

Green scale

The manufacturing and working area is roughly 40 per cent out of the total space occupied by the facility and the remaining area is green. Since 2010, the SKF Group has implemented the policy to build all new facilities as per LEED principles. “We have implemented several environmentfriendly practices in the existing facility in Pune, such as water recycling, waste recycling, energy management services, which significantly impact our CO2 emissions and energy consumption. We continue to explore and find new ways to conserve energy and implement best practices that help to reduce our CO2 emissions,” says Kadam.

Asset management services

SKF has combined its manufacturing experience and knowledge of rotating machine reliability to form a uniquely comprehensive range of strategic and tactical asset management services for its facility that covers: Consultancy in manufacturing and process industries, and industry-leading expertise in application engineering and condition monitoring. “Building on the knowledge accumulated over the past decades, SKF has developed advanced services and technologies to maintain, monitor, repair and optimize assets throughout their operating life. We focus on providing the optimum replacement parts at the right time and help our customers to optimize their asset efficiency,” opines Kadam. SKF remanufacturing services can restore bearings, housings and spindles to full working specifications, avoiding costly replacement. “Our spare parts optimization and management services can provide replacement parts while minimizing the cost of stock,” concludes Kadam.