Text: Bhargav TS

Aurangabad based Nirlep Engineering, which manufactures brake pistons and carburettor pistons, is taking key steps to play a larger role in the local and global automotive sector. The company has plans to bring in new products and is working on new platforms even as it lays the ground for new business. Earlier, Nirlep was a major manufacturer of non-stick consumer goods and this expertise enabled the company to kick-start its engineering division, which currently manufactures auto components that are layered with non-stick coatings.

Speaking to Auto Components India, Nityanand Bhogale, Director, Nirlep Engineering said, “We bagged our first order from KEHIN, which makes carburettor assemblies. After gaining expertise in aluminum forging, heat treatment, machining, hard anodizing and coating, we received an order from Bosch India,” he said.

Today Nirlep manufactures brake pistons for Bosch that go into brake assemblies and carburettor pistons for KEHIN, assembled into carburettors. It also manufactures forged, heat treated, machined and hard anodised cylinders for Knorr-Bremse for its commercial vehicle applications.

Coated components are usually imported from Japan but for the first time in the country Nirlep has commenced export of braking pistons to Bosch Thailand. “We have bagged an order from Bosch Thailand and started supplying the components recently from our Aurangabad facility. This is an important achievement for Nirlep as this opens up the international market for us. We are now targeting other markets like Japan and North America and are also working with other customers like TACO for development of aluminium components for their overseas customers,” reveals Bhogale.

The company is also exploring opportunities to start manufacturing HVAC components, where it sees more demand coming from Eastern Europe. Bhogale disclosed that Nirlep will commence pilot production for the same by early next year and commercial production is expected to start by mid 2015.

For more than 9 years Nirlep is into manufacturing of auto components made out of cold and hot forgings and has achieved critical shapes and geometries by eliminating the machining process and scrap generation. “We have acquired a very peculiar skill set in aluminum forging and machining, therefore any component that will enable us to practise our skill sets will be most welcome, let it be any component – we are ready to take up the challenge to develop them,” Bhogale said.

The Aurangabad facility of Nirlep has a capacity to manufacture 3.6 million components annually. Currently there are many process improvements under development at the plant now, which will lead to increase in efficiency and ultimately increase capacity. Most processes currently have scope for improvement and step-by-step every process will be improved upon. “We are also investing Rs 3 crore this year to enhance our current cumulative capacity of 8 million to 14 million components. During the expansion phase we will be adding more high speed machines to cater to new customers and to ramp up capacity. These high speed machines will help in faster loading and unloading the components. Moreover, for cutting aluminium, we need higher cutting speed machines, which gives good finish, eliminates one process and reduces the operation time,” he added.

In order to improve productivity and process capabilities in CNC machining, Nirlep has integrated the CNC turning centres with robots. In order to achieve repetitive accuracy in heat treatment process and to maintain quality of components, the company has installed the latest technology drop bottom furnace. During anodizing, to maintain the layer thickness within 5 microns, Nirlep uses programmable logic controlled rectifiers. With wide experience in the field of non-stick coating the company has established an in-house coating unit with automatic spraying machines. These machines deliver coating thickness within ± 3 microns and help to achieve good surface finish. Last year, Nirlep had sales of around Rs 21 crore and expects to reach Rs 25 crore this year.


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