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Usha Martin Ltd.: Diversified Oil Tempered Wires for Automotive Sector

Globally recognized for manufacturing best-in-class steel wire ropes, Usha Martin has added oil tempered wires to their already existing product portfolio. Standing at 10,000 tonne per annum of oil tempered wire now, the company is planning to expand its capacity further to 18,000 tonne per annum.

With a glorious track record of over 50 years, Usha Martin is one of the leading specialty steel manufacturers in India. Being one of the largest wire rope manufacturers in the world, the company enjoys a global base with facilities located in UK, India, Bangkok, and Dubai. It has collaborated with global companies including TESAC wire rope of Japan, Joh Pengg of Austria, and Gustav Wolf of Germany for some specific products. The comprehensive product portfolio incorporates wire rope, strand, wire, prestressing, cable, machinery, specialty steel bar, and specialty steel wire rod.

Pengg Usha is a joint venture between Usha Martin and Joh Pengg AG of Austria to produce oil tempered wire (1.4mm-10 mm) for the automotive industry. The unit at Ranchi unit has a complete range of manufacturing and testing facilities for producing high quality oil tempered wires. The key facilities include shaving line, oil tempering line, testing line, tensile testing machine, torsion testing machine, wrap testing machine and equipments for testing metallurgical properties.

Wire and Cable India hosted a small interaction with Mr. P.K. Jain, Joint Managing Director (Wire & Wire Ropes Business), Usha Martin Ltd. to know more about product developments, market reach, and other priorities with regards to wire and wire ropes business in India, especially its oil tempered wires of various grades produced at its (Pengg Usha) Ranchi facility. Excerpts:

Wire and Cable India: To start with, kindly update us about your specific product, i.e. oil tempered wire meant for automotive industry, along with its production capacity, facilities, machineries and technology etc. Which industries do you cater through these products?

P.K. Jain: Our present installed capacity is 10,000 TPA of oil tempered wires of various grades covering the entire gamut of auto sector requirement. We produce oil tempered wires covering the auto sector for static, clutch, and valve applications. Our state-of-the-art plant in Ranchi born out of the joint venture between Usha Martin and Joh Pengg AG – Austria has all the best work centres from world leaders in the respective fields.

WCI: Indian steel industry is envisaging support from the Government in the form of some anti dumping duty on the import of certain steel products from China. Share your views on the matter.

PKJ: We are producing European quality materials at Indian prices to cater to domestic auto sector client requirements. The raw materials to produce some special grades oil tempered wires are imported from world leaders in producing quality steels from Japan, Europe and Korea – which are many time above the MIP set by the GOI as per the Notification. Oil tempered wires does not attract anti dumping duties for imports.

WCI: Cost reduction, better quality, enhanced efficiency are the common demands of the businesses today. What efforts your company is making on this front?

PKJ: We have the best machine centres imported from the leaders in the respective fields, e.g. our austenitizing furnaces, eddy current machines, etc. are from the best producers in the respective fields to name a few; these work centres help us provide world quality standard at optimum efficiency.

WCI: Have you planned any investments for capacity expansion or technology upgradation or on any other front? If yes then please share details.

PKJ: We plan to further add to our present capacity and build up the same to 18,000 TPA by FY 19-20.

WCI: What are the new emerging trends with regard to existing production and demand in the Steel Wire segment? Where do you see this market moving in the future?

PKJ: The market is gradually but surely moving towards high end application like the use of super clean wire for clutch application oil tempered wire production and use of profile wires and vanadium grade raw material to attain higher tensile thereby bringing down the spring RM costs by way of lesser weight.

WCI: In addition to the above question, what are the growth areas for your company? What’s your strategy to get maximum benefit from these opportunities?

PKJ: We are diversifying into fine and profile oil tempered wire segment. This will help cater to the requirement of domestic clients who have to wait for countless days for imported wire variety reaching them from abroad at the moment.

WCI: Lastly your views on the Indian steel wire industry.

PKJ: The auto sector growth projected at double digits present a lot of opportunities for our growth. With Indian auto sector poised for three-fold rise by 2020.The present auto production of about 2M is set to clock around 6M by that period. With plans in the offing for Indian steel mills to produce super clean steels in the near future our need to import raw material for the high end production will not be there and we will be able to meet client requirement of further shorter delivery schedules. The bottoming out of the Chinese economy and recent headlines of Chinese auto major setting up base in Chennai bears good news for the economy and the sector in general.


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