“In my opinion, the entire PVC wire and cable market will switch to EBXL wires and cables as the awareness for EBXL is projected to increase substantially.”
Excerpts of the interview with Mr. Ajeet Singh, General Manager – Sales & Marketing, APAR Industries Limited:
Brief Overview of the Company
Established in 1958, APAR Industries Limited, having revenue of Rs 7500 Cr, provides solutions to its customers in more than 125 countries in the business segments of – specialty oils and lubricants, overhead transmission conventional and high-temp conductors, copper catenary wires, OPGW, electrical and telecommunication cables in India.
We, at APAR, are poised to embark on our mission “To design and manufacture building blocks for energy infrastructure, transportation and telecommunication sectors that contribute meaningfully to a safer place”. We have always believed to be in the leadership position in all the product segments. In 2008, Apar took over Uniflex Cables Ltd. and merged it with APAR Industries Ltd. with effect from 1st April 2010. We have grown year after year from about INR 100 crore to over INR 1600 crore in the period of ten-eleven years, registering a growth rate of > 25 % CAGR. Now, we are well positioned among the top five- six power cable manufacturers in India and are known for the high quality of all our products.
By leading the innovation curve, we deliver to our global customers – “Tomorrow’s Solutions Today”. The word ‘innovation’ is an integral part of our DNA and the concept is widely spread among our team members, and is not limited to a few. The innovation is not only for the end products, but also in our processes across various functions.
The cable division of APAR is a pioneer in the manufacturing of various kinds of cables. We cater to sectors including – power generation, transmission & distribution as well as specialized sectors such as marine and shipyard, oil & gas, railways including loco/coach wiring and metro railway, mining, renewable energy, etc. We are an ISO & OHSAS-accredited manufacturer and we also hold the UL-certification for certain sections of cables. Moreover, our testing Lab is accredited by NABL as per ISO: 17025.
Our range of wire and cable products include: LV/MV/ HV, XLPE power cables up to 66 kV, building wires/house wires/flexible/FRLS/FS/control/instrumentation cables, medium voltage covered conductors (MVCC); and elastomeric (rubber) cables up to 33 kV. In addition, we also provide – optical fiber cables (including fire-resistant/survival type), windmill and solar DC cables as per EN/TUV standards (renewable sector), specialty composite/hybrid cables, electron-beam irradiated cables; and 105°C XLPE cables.
Product Portfolio and Technical Capabilities
APAR has developed specialty EBXL (Electron Beam Cross Linked) cables that are in-house manufactured. Company’s Anushakti wires come with PVC of 105˚C rating that enhances physical and electrical properties of the insulation material. This improves the insulation resistance, reduces leakage current, makes the wires non-melting, improves the current carrying capacity by over 50%, thereby, it provides protection against electric shock/short-circuit, for fire safety. The wires are far superior to any conventional FR PVC wires available in the market that do not catch fire.
Abreast of the technologies worldwide, APAR “Anushakti wires” are manufactured with E-BEAM technology and exhibit extended properties such as – high-temperature withstanding capacity up to 105˚C, high-current carrying capacity, and prevents short- circuits. They are heat and melt-resistant and thereby, are solder iron-resistant. Moreover, the wires qualify the Hot Deformation Test, they are able to reduce smokes, and have a longer operating life span.
In addition to the aforesaid properties, the wire and cable products are also environment-friendly, safe, and ideal for the high-end and safety projects. The area range of APAR Anushakti wires are: single core from 0.75 sq. mm to 240 sq. mm conductor area.
Manufacturing and Technical Setup
We have set up a state-of-the-art 1.5 MeV, 2.5 MeV and 3.0 MeV Electron Beam Accelerators, along with suitable handling systems that have been installed in our facility in western India, which is based at Khatalwada in South Gujarat. Our two E-BEAM equipment were installed in 2011 and we have almost a decade long experience in the manufacturing of the e-beam wires and cables.
We have a fully trained in-house team to handle the machinery, and to manufacture world-class products. Also, AERB (Atomic Energy Regulatory Board) has been supervising the installation periodically.
“We have set up a state-of-the-art 1.5 MeV, 2.5 MeV and 3.0 MeV Electron Beam Accelerators, along with suitable handling systems that have been installed in our facility in western India, which is based at Khatalwada in South Gujarat.”
At present, we are operational in the southern and western India market. However, we are also intermittently serving the markets in Delhi-NCR, and Kolkata. We are open to serve anywhere in India for bulk orders.
We are exporting huge quantities of EBXL solar cables in the international market, besides being a leading player for EBXL supplies to railway coaches, locomotives and ship building applications.
APAR Anushakti wires can be widely used wherever fire safety, short circuit and overloads are some of the major concerns. As a matter of fact, it must be used in all residential and commercial applications, especially in highly crowded area viz. hotels, hospitals, schools and colleges, airports, malls, and multiplexes and high rise buildings.
We are planning to explore the market through – retail, project, OEM industry, and the government through — our channel and directly. To create awareness about EBXL products, we are exploring digital and BTL routes. We have our team in the field who are consistently working to create awareness among the influencer mainly electricians, builders, consultants, and the government and semi-government departments.
Raw Material and Quality
The various materials used for EBXL are PVE and Polyolefins. All of these require specialty formulations, which is done in-house in our compounding facility. This gives us a sense of control on the quality, and also, it keeps the costs under control. The extrusion equipment are also specially customized to meet the various requirements pertinent to these wires and cables. Ably supported by a competent engineering team, and quality control systems, we are able to offer the highest quality.
Market Potential and Demand Shift
In my opinion, the entire PVC wire and cable market will switch to EBXL wires and cables as the awareness for EBXL is projected to increase. Some more players have already ventured in the segment and this will enhance the awareness about the EBXL wires and cables. Some of our competitors are also intending to install the e-beam facility and some of them have already installed it. However, at present, they are not using it for wires. The customer shift to e beam wire cable is a bit slow in pace, because of the lack of awareness among end-consumers and influencers.
“APAR has been working diligently to create awareness among all the stakeholders; mainly through BTL and Digital routes; we are closely working with all the influencers and installers. They are mainly electricians, retailers, dealer, consultant, contractor, interior designer-architect, industries and Govt. departments.”
APAR has been working diligently to create awareness among all the stakeholders; mainly through BTL and Digital routes; we are closely working with all the influencers and installers. They are mainly electricians, retailers, dealer, consultant, contractor, interior designer-architect, industries and Govt. departments. We are frequently organizing meets and webinar too. To create mass awareness, we do participate in exhibitions such as – Elecrama, Ace-tech and others.
Now, we have also taken the digital route to promote the EBXL products, especially, on the social media platforms i.e. LinkedIn, YouTube, Twitter, and Facebook, where our brand is showing footprints, and is gaining good reach. Similarly, we are also planning to venture into the e-commerce space.
We are quite confident and assured that the EBXL segment has a great future in the domestic market, developing countries as well as developed countries. This is the need of the hour, and it must be installed in all the electrical installation systems, be it residential or commercial, private or public. To make the premise fire- safe, APAR Anushakti wires and Mahashakti cables are highly recommended.
Advantages Over Conventional Curing Process
The conventional method of cross-linking is based on thermally induced “chemical cross- linking”, which has drawbacks including – it is carried out at high temperature which affects the life of polymers due to degradation caused by high temperature exposure.
On the other hand, the electron beam cross- linking is carried out at room temperature and with the electron– beam accelerators; the insulation materials can be cross–linked within a few seconds. The homogeneous irradiation ensures that the homogeneous cross-linking is achieved. The term ‘irradiation’ simply implies the act of applying radiation (for radiant energy) to some materials.