Standing at a capacity of 4 lakh tonne per annum today, the company has rapidly emerged as one the leading manufacturer of carbon and alloy steel.
Aarti Steels Ltd. is a fully integrated steel manufacturing company with manufacturing facilities for carbon and alloy steel rounds and squares, sponge iron, power and ferro alloys. The company also manufactures spring steel wires and tyre bead wire for the automotive industry. Moreover, it is a leading manufacturer of high carbon steel wire in India with capacity of 50000 mt per annum.
Wire & Cable India recently talked to Mr. Vinayak Mittal, Director, Aarti Steels Ltd. to get to know the company, the product range and manufacturing facilities. Excerpts:
Wire & Cable India: Aarti Steels Ltd. is an integrated steel manufacturing company with a large array of products. Tell us specifically, about your wire product range with major application.
Vinayak Mittal: Aarti Steels Ltd. is a flagship company of Aarti Group of industries having business interest in producing steel products like high carbon steel wires and textile. The total turnover of the group is around Rs. 2200 Crore. The company was established in 1979 in Ludhiana which steadily emerged as one the leading manufacturer of carbon and alloy steel with state-of-the-art technology plant located in Punjab and Orissa with a capacity of 4 lakh tonne per annum.
We manufacture a complete range of carbon, alloy and special steels confirming to national and international standards including customer specific requirement. Our steel product includes round, RCS and flats for two wheeler industry.
In 1992, the company put up its steel wire drawing unit in Ludhiana and later on emerged as one of the leading manufacturer of high carbon steel wire in India with capacity of 50000 mt per annum . Our steel wire drawing unit is equipped with state-of- the-art machinery like mechanical descaler, electro pickling, straight line PLC wire drawing machines, gas fired patenting furnace, galvanizing furnace with ceramic bath which ensure good and consistent quality of high carbon steel wires.
We manufacture different types of high carbon steel wires – uncoated and coated with Zinc and Bronze. One of our major products is tyre bead wire and we supply this product to almost all the major auto and cycle tyre manufacturer in India. Our other products include high carbon steel wire ungalvanized and galvanized for making springs for different application, high carbon rolling quality wire for auto control cables/outer of auto cable, HTGS wire and strand for ACSR conductor. It is used as a strength member in ACSR conductor. Music Spring steel wire and messenger wire which is used for strength member in Optical Fiber Cables are also among our products.
WCI: As of now, what is total capacity of Aarti Steels Ltd., and how much is it producing? Also tell us the total capacity and production of wire products.
VM: We are producing steel, sponge iron, ferro alloys, coal crushing and high carbon steel wires along with power. Our capacity for these products is steel-0.5 million tonne; sponge iron-0.24 million tonne; ferro alloys-0.065 million tonne; coal washing-1 million tonne; high carbon steel wires-0.05 tonne; and power-90MW. The overall capacity utilization is about 90 percent.
WCI: Please update us with company’s infrastructure, technology and R& D set up.
VM: We have got very good equipment and R&D centre to produce products as per national and international standard including customer specific requirement. The centre is equipped with an electric arc furnace with the facility for eccentric bottom tapping of 30 mt capacity from ABB. Then, we have ladle furnace with equal capacity for secondary refining of steel, vacuum degassing plant, 6/11 meter two strands continuous casting machine and close casting from ladle to Tundish and Tundish to mould. The centre also comes with a round and square rolling mills.
Wire drawing unit is also equipped with state-of-the-art machinery to produce very good and consistent quality high carbon steel wires. It has a mechanical descaler, straight line PLC controlled wire drawing machines, gas based lead patenting furnace, galvanizing furnace with ceramic bath, and modern bronze coating line for bead wire.
Our R&D centre is also equipped with the latest equipment like spectrometers (two), Olympus metallurgical microscope with photographic attachments, and Leco image analyzer with automatic inclusion counting and rating. Then, it has Olympus zoom stereo microscope with photographic attachment and various analyzers such as Leco carbon sulphur analyzer, Leco nitrogen oxygen analyzer, and Leco hydrogen analyzer. Additionally, the R&D centre has Magnaflux machine, tensile testing machine, Ultrasnoic machine and metascope.
WCI: What are the most pressing issues and challenges for Indian Steel Industry? How can we make the Indian steel industry really competitive to global standard?
VM: There are certain issues or challenges for the Indian steel Industry like low per capita steel consumption of 61 kg against world average of 208 kg. Shortage of coking coal required to produce steel. About 70 percent of the coking coal requirement of the domestic steel industry is met through imports. India needs to make a special efforts to domestically produce steel for high end applications like electrical steel (CRGO), special steel and alloys for power equipment, aerospace, defense and nuclear application.
Moreover, the Indian Steel industry is disadvantaged due to limited availability of essential raw material such as high grade Manganese ore and chromite, coking coal, steel grade, limestone, refractory raw material, nickel, ferrous scrap, etc.
Appropriate govt. policy is required with regard to allocation of iron ore and coal mines. In the past, cancellation of iron ore and coal mines allocation, delay in land acquisition, environmental clearances which has led to many of the projects facing significant cost and time overruns. Slow economic growth and idle steel capacity globally.
Creation of demand for steel industry is one of the major tasks. To drive steel demand a large investment is required in construction and manufacturing sector like rural development, urban infrastructure, roads and highways, railways etc. The ‘Make in India’ campaign is likely to bring significant investment in construction, infrastructure, automobile, ship building and power sectors. The establishments of steel plants near the ports for easy import of scarce raw material and exporting steel products. More joints ventures with overseas companies required to efficient technology to make special and alloy steel required for critical application. Availability of raw material at competitive price is important for the growth of steel industry.
WCI: Your view on the steel industry’s outlook incoming 3-5 years.
VM: Indian steel industry has come a long way from producing 22 mt in FY 1991-92 to 122 mt in FY2015-16 and became the 3rd largest producer of steel in the world. India’s competitive advantage in steel production, to a large extent varied from the indigenous availability of high grade iron ore and non coking coal. In addition, it has vast and rapidly growing market for steel, strong MSME sector and young work force with competitive labor cost. So, there is overall positive outlook for the Indian steel industry.
Moreover, the outlook in the coming 3-5 years is also positive as govt. taking many policy decisions to increase the consumption of steel in India by bringing lots of investment in construction and manufacturing sectors including rural development, urban infrastructure, roads and highways, railways, ship-building and defense.