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No break for growth...
For decades Sholinghur with its hillock temple was known as a pilgrim centre. Brakes India’s modern manufacturing facility changed the horizons of the small town.

A unit of the TVS Group, the Brakes India Foundry, has a blue chip client portfolio with half of its production exported.

Brakes India was set up at Padi in the early 1960s as part of the TVS Group. The Foundry was established in 1981 to supply iron castings. Today the foundry alone employs over 600 and produces high quality castings. Last year the turnover of the foundry, was Rs 824 crore.

India’s metal castings production grew by 22.3 per cent and stands third after Brazil and Germany. By 2016, the industry is expected to be worth $19.2 billion. Brakes India today is one of the prominent players in the industry along with Bharat Forge, Electrosteel Castings, Hinduja Foundries, Nelcast and the Rail Wheel Factory.

Casting products manufactured in the foundry include engine bearing caps and housings, chassis parts, steering knuckles, crank cases... These products are part of automobiles refrigerators and air conditioners.

The Foundry was set up with a Permanent Mould Foundry (PMF) unit, which now has an annual capacity of 12,000 tonnes. The Sand Foundry, set up in 1992, has a capacity of 65,000 tonnes. Capacity utilisation is 100 per cent in both these units.

Ford India, Godrej, Honeywell Turbo, Mahindra & Mahindra, Meritor, Renault, Robert Bosch, Toyota Kirloskar, TRW, Turbo Energy and Volvo Group are some of the prominent clients of the Brakes India Foundry.

 

Half the production exported…

Last year, 49 per cent of the foundry’s production was exported. The Czech Republic, Germany, Italy, UK and USA are among the export destinations. Exports are done through the Chennai, Ennore and Tuticorin ports.

“As the major ports are getting congested, we are planning to send our export products through other ports like Krishnapatnam and Kattupalli,” said S Sundaresan, Vice President (Operations).

Executive Director V Narasimhan said: “sand used in the manufacture of castings is being reused in the process and the overall waste product is used as manure. We grow vegetables and rice in our farm lands with foundry return sand.”

98.5 per cent of the sand used in the process is recycled and 1.5 per cent, fresh sand is used for top up.

It is not all castings and machinery. The company focuses on social amelioration projects such as health and education. Sundaram Health Centre has been set up by the foundry in Sholinghur to offer healthcare to the community around.

The foundry also set up the Vidya Peetam CBSE School that offers quality education in ideal learning environment for children from the nearby villages.

To bridge the gap between academic syllabus and industry expectations, the foundry runs a Technical Training Institute, Matrix, that offers a 30 month diploma programme for school pass-out students. These students are offered 70 per cent practical and 30 per cent theoretical training. Trained students are offered employment.

A striking feature of the Sholinghur plant is its clean ambience. For a high volume production of castings it was spic and span!

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