Bhuj, India – Balkrishna Industries Ltd.’s steady move into the giant radial off-the-road sector will continue in 2016 with the addition of a 51-inch size, company officials disclosed during the recent ceremonial opening of the firm’s $500 million (€461 million) Bhuj factory in northwest India.
BKT’s largest tire now is the 27.00R49, used in mining and quarry applications. The company has a dedicated tire building and curing area within the 313,500-sq.-ft. factory complex for the giant sizes. The plant can turn out three such tires a day, based on the current complement of equipment in this area.
This existing building area can be adjusted to make the 51-inch sizes, according to Dilip M. Vaidya, president and director, technology. BKT sourced the dedicated building equipment for giant tires from Tianjin Siaxiang Technology Co. Ltd.
BKT is evaluating the market for the possible development of a 57-inch size, Vaidya said, noting the company calculates it would take about two years to develop and bring to market a tire of this size.
Mumbai, India-based BKT does not see market conditions at this time as supporting such a decision, Vaidya said, but that management is monitoring the situation.
BKT has set aside area within the Bhuj factory’s confines for adding a building and curing area dedicated to the 57-inch project, he noted.
The company has all but ruled out a move to add a 63-inch radial, he added, saying the market is not currently large enough to justify BKT’s investing in this segment.