Rockman acquires Moldex for carbon composite foray
Aiming to further enhance its capacities for advanced auto components, Rockman Industries recently acquired the controlling stake in Moldex Composites that largely specialises in developing nextgen carbon composites. The component specialist, part of the $5-billion Hero group, has plans to pump in over Rs 5,000 crore for diversification in the component sector and has invested Rs 100 crore on its latest foray.
A specialist in developing carbon components for F1 racing cars that comprise over 85% carbon composites, Moldex Composites is an Indo-British joint venture that currently has a manufacturing facility in a Special Economic Zone in Surat, Gujarat.
Suman Kant Munjal, CMD, Rockman Group, said, “Besides our entry in motorsports and aerospace sectors, globally too there has been a shift towards using carbon fibre in automotives. Over the next half a decade, Rockman expects over 10% top line from carbon composites that currently stands at around Rs 2,250 crore.”
With this, Rockman Industries is targeting to diversify into highend automotive component manufacturing, motorsports and aerospace segments. According to Ujjwal Munjal, Executive Director, Rockman Industries, it is time for thet Rockman group, whose focus has always been on two- wheeler business, to expand its horizon. He said maintaining the decade-long 25% CAGR of the company was challenging and could be achieved by staying within the same thought process.
Ian Thompson, Co-founder, Moldex Composites, said that carbon composites reduce weight of the components and hold better strength-to-weight ratio over aluminium or steel components along with optimised performance. “Carbon composites can be moulded into complex shapes with less cost in tooling while ensuring higher performance, good fatigue and better resistance to corrosion.”
As the focus on weight reduction is on the rise in the automotive industry, Parag Raida, co-founder, Moldex Composites, said that stringent regulatory norms along with the need for superior performance can pave the way for carbon composites. Besides lifecycle costs, at one-fourth of the weight of steel and half the weight of aluminium, carbon composites offer similar strength as of steel or aluminium-based parts, he added. Reduction in weight of a vehicle will increase its acceleration with better emission norms, and lead to carrying of more payload for increased distance in aeroplanes.
Initially Rockman will export over 95% of its products from the Moldex facility to Europe and the US. In order to expand its global footprint, Rockman is also planning to set up sales office in the UK and the US. Besides enhancing Moldex’s production, which is at 60% of its capacity, Rockman plans to invest Rs 500 crore for setting up 2 more production facilities, one in Gujarat and another in South India.
Rockman currently has 5 manufacturing facilities spread across Bawal, Haridwar, Ludhiana and Chennai that supply automotive and aluminium-based die casting components to leading auto OEMS in India and abroad.
Suman Kant Munjal, CMD, Rockman Group
Ian Thompson, Cofounder, Moldex Composites