Story by: Sricharan R

Pune-based ARaymond Fasteners India, the local arm of the French ARaymond Network, a global leader within the automotive industry for fastening solutions for powertrain, chassis, car body and electrical and mechatronics applications, is planning to set up a new manufacturing facility in Chennai. The new plant will cater to the needs of its OE customers in South India.

ARaymond’s first Indian project was the Tata Nano. The company began its operations in India in November 2007 and later its two-moulding machine-facilities were opened in October 2008 in Pimpri near Pune. In 2011, the company commissioned its Chakan facility, and the Pimpri establishment was moved after an year. The company has sales and customer support offices in Gurgaon (Delhi) and Chennai. It has plans to expand its warehouse network across India. Sanand in Gujarat may be the next location.

“We have our sales offices in Chennai and in Delhi. Facility- wise, we have recently constructed our warehouse in Chennai and now we are planning to set up a manufacturing facility here,” Chinmay Oak, Senior Manager, Marketing, ARaymond Fasteners India, said.

The new facility in Sriperumbudur is expected to go on stream by the second half of next year. “Once the new warehouse is settled, we will begin to invest in machines for the new facility. We chose Chennai because we have a lot of customers like Ashok Leyland, Ford, and Hyundai. Kia Motors also is coming in. To supply to our customers in the Southern region, we wanted to be present here and Chennai is the ideal spot for that,” Chinmay said.

From its Pune plant ARaymond is also supplying to tractor manufacturers and two-wheeler OEMs like Bajaj and TVS.

With the BSVI coming in the Indian market, ARaymond is ready to supply its customers with the products they require. Some of the new products include fasteners with urea in it. They will be required as there will be pressure in the walls inside and they can help control and maintain the pressure at a certain degree.

“We are basically into non-traditional fasteners. We have a lot of plastic clips to mount electrical wiring harnesses and quick connectors. OEMs are now making NVH resistant or BSR resistant cars to make them quieter. We have some products for that. There are bi-injector products for pipe lifts and a few other parts where the outer part is solid like nylon and the inner is softer. This dampens vibration and there will be less noise and harshness in the vehicle,” he said.

Speaking about another new product, Chinmay said, ” Our connecting fluid line takes just about half a second to connect fluid lines. At one end you have the connector and you simply push the pipes, and that is how it works. People are using this technology now as it makes their work easy.”

The fastener company is also ready for another major challenge, the electric vehicles. For an electric car, the battery needs to be at an optimised temperature and the company has cooling connectors to keep the temperature at the required level. He said most of the fasteners for the EVs will be the same as the other cars, except a few including the cooling connectos.

ARaymond has products for lightweighting also. “These fasteners do not directly increase weight. But, people are shifting from steel to aluminium here. We also have some parts made in aluminium. We are converting some fasteners to aluminium and to composites. They will not add to weight and offer the OEMs alternatives,” he said.

About the emerging trends in the automotive industry, he said that “parts are getting connected and there will be lighter and environment-friendly cars. Electric cars will come, but it will be the lighter cars that come first. EVs will take time and the car manufacturers are working aggressively on them. People are investing in battery and E-technology. Is it possible in India? We have to see as there are many challenges, including infrastructure and charging stations,” Chinmay said.

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