BKT recently celebrated the 10th anniversary of its Earthmax range, revealing its objective to achieve a 10% market share in the all-steel radial segment in the global OTR market by 2025.
During the celebrations, Rajiv Poddar, joint MD of BKT, commented, “The development and production of OTR giant tires has been made possible through the strategic transfer of the entire OTR all-steel radial manufacturing line to our state-of-the-art production site in Bhuj in 2014-2015. The opening of the Bhuj production plant has been part of our overall strategy to gain a foothold in the global OTR tire market and to strive for our strategic vision to reach a sales volume of 40,000 tons per year in the all-steel radial segment by 2020 worldwide on the path to meeting our strategic objectives to reach a 10% market share in OTR by 2025, when our Bhuj site will run at full capacity.”
Dilip Vaidya, president and director of technology at BKT, outlined the mining sector as one of the toughest sectors. “In these rocky, abrasive and harsh environments, tires are exposed to extremely high mechanical stress and fatigue, to heavy loads, and the toughest handling and transportation conditions,” he said.
He also gave an overview of the challenges in tire design and development, especially giant tire development, and mentioned the advantages of the latest generation of machinery that was purchased for improved compounding, steel cord processing and steel cord cutting, along with a new tire building machine to complete and enhance the tire manufacturing process.
Continued Vaidya, “We are researching solutions to cope with sensor-assisted autonomous transportation, enhanced tire and equipment integration systems, data flow and analytics optimization for increased productivity – all this in compliance with the megatrends of sustainability, diverse mobility, electrification and safety.”
Following the announcement of BKT’s partnership with Kultevat, he added, “In addition to lab optimization and manufacturing process trials on all of our tire ranges, we will also focus on compounding methods for the OTR segment.”
Other ongoing projects will focus on the development of high-performance compounds by means of nanomaterials or nanocomposites providing enhanced thermal and mechanical stability. Research in this field focuses on graphene, nanoclay and nanocellulose. In this context, BKT’s recently opened carbon black manufacturing plant also comes into play.