Rock­man ac­quires Moldex for car­bon com­pos­ite foray

Auto components India - - CONTENTS - Text: Anirudh Ra­heja ACI

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

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