Text & Photo: Bhargav TS

Plastic auto components and injection moulded parts manufacturer AG Industries, plans to start production of plastic fuel tanks for motorcycles. Once the commercial production starts, the Gurgaon based company will be the first in the country to make such an innovative product. For 2-wheelers the company currently supplies several plastic components like side covers, seat bays, front and rear mud guards, front visor with head lamp, and air filter assembly. Established in 1993, it has been developing and supplying various plastic parts FOR tractors and utility vehicles in addition to 2-wheelers.

Sanjay-Malik,-Assistant-Vice-President-_-Business-Development-&-Engineering,-AG-Industries-copySpeaking to Auto Components India, Sanjay Malik, Assistant Vice President – Business Development & Engineering, AG Industries said, “To manufacture plastic fuel tanks for motorcycles we are discussing with Hero MotoCorp. We are expecting the project to be kick-started in early 2015 and from then on we can see a huge change coming in the motorcycle industry as the fuel tanks will weigh 30% less. We will be manufacturing these fuel tanks in special grade plastic material in the blow moulding process.”

Plastic tanks can help address space constraints with complex shapes. Therefore, design engineers have greater flexibility in design and styling without having to worry about fitting the fuel tank. Malik says plastic fuel tanks are setting new standards in lightweight, advanced packaging technology with emission levels equal to or better than the steel tanks. The resins that are chosen to manufacture fuel tanks, lead to a reduction in the weight besides, being corrosion free; in addition it also incorporates a unique slosh noise-prevention technology.

AG Industries has recently started operations at its sixth unit in Bawal (Haryana) in the name of Gmax Auto, primarily for tool design and fabrication processes. The company has 2 plants in Bawal, and 1 each in Gurgaon, Manesar and Haridwar. All the units are well equipped with modern machinery and automatic material handling systems to meet international standards of manufacturing. Catering to automobiles and auto-ancillaries, the company’s expertise lies in plastic molding, painting, decoration and sub-assemblies as an initiative towards upward integration. To provide total solutions, the company has assembly lines in all its units to make parts like air cleaner, rear fender and battery box as well as decoration of painted parts for different models of motorcycles and exterior parts of passenger cars.

The company also plans to start manufacturing components for commercial vehicleS and set up plants in the eastern and southern regions. “We are looking to manufacture commercial vehicle parts at the earliest. We are also planning to enter into the western and southern regions, which are our next potential markets. We plan to set up a production plant near Pune by end 2015 to cater to the OEMs based in that location followed by the southern region,” adds Malik.

Explaining on the advantages of plastic over sheet metal Malik said, “We are using various types of engineering plastics that are polymer based and these materials have same properties and strength when compared to sheet metal parts. These plastic components are less in weight by about 20% and help in achieving better fuel efficiency. Normally in tractor industry, most of the components are in sheet metal, but now it has been changed to plastic parts, and currently we supply to Suraj.”

As part of expansion and diversification AG Industries has entered into manufacturing of air bag covers with technical assistance from K D Corporation of Korea. The safety plastic components manufactured by the company are being used in the cars of Maruti Suzuki, Ford, Tata Motors, and Nissan, and exported to other markets through Tier-1 suppliers like Autoliv India and Mann and Hummel. The plastic component manufacturer has combined production capacity of over 36,000 tons of engineering plastics per annum, making about 400,000 parts for Hero MotoCorp and 7,500 parts for Mahindra & Mahindra. Last year the company recorded a turnover of Rs 1,000 crore and is aiming to grow by 20% in the current financial year.

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