Mr. Srikanth Chakravarthy, Vice President Global Strategy – RR, Managing Director India, Bekaert, walks us through the quality-related developments, steps to foster innovations and the future roadmap.
“We recently received the ‘Tire Manufacturing Innovation of the Year Award’ for BeCoFree, a solution that allows tire makers to remove cobalt completely from the tire while using a steel cord. This is a significant innovation as it addresses both the challenge of performance and sustainability together.”
Wire & Cable India: Please highlight technology and quality development or upgradation that recently took place.
Srikanth Chakravarthy: Bekaert is a world market and technology leader in steel wire transformation and coating technologies.
We recently received the ‘Tire Manufacturing Innovation of the Year Award’ for BeCoFree, a solution that allows tire makers to remove cobalt completely from the tire while using a steel cord.
This is a significant innovation as it addresses both the challenge of performance and sustainability together.
WCI: What have you been doing to foster innovation and R&D at your workplace?
SC: We see engagement with customers and suppliers as vital to innovation. Co-creation allows for much greater possibilities than creation alone, hence we engage heavily through the supply chain to find solutions that address current and future needs.
Behind this, we continuously invest in our capabilities and talents and have been able to attract strong talent through various levels in the organisation that can stimulate the change needed.
To begin with, we always challenge the traditional ways of doing things, and apply boundary-less thinking to ideate, within a structured framework that takes us all the way from idea to industrialisation through various stage gates.
WCI: What is your technology and business roadmap for the coming times?
SC: Our roadmap depends on the application and portfolio of solutions. However, what is common is that all our technologies address the key questions on sustainability, digitalisation, and innovative thinking.
WCI: Please take us through some of the technology-driven products manufactured by your company.
SC: Bekaert develops ever stronger and thinner tire cords to enable lightweight tire design. The ultra-thin metal fibres are a core material of sensor technologies. We develop innovative steel and synthetic mooring solutions for floating offshore wind turbines and our Bezinox wire protects submarine power cables against corrosion and energy losses. Our high-tech solutions for realising vertical cities include A-cords for elevators, ultra-thin metal fibres to manufacture scratch-free smart glazing, Dramix steel fibres for concrete reinforcement and Murfor Compact masonry reinforcement.
All our products are technology-driven. So either we are reinventing the product, or the process, or the application. Bringing in digital and CO2 reduction to create new and enhanced customer experiences are key characteristics influencing our innovation agenda.