KOCHI: Hailing the formation of a working group on natural rubber by the Rubber Board, the Automotive Tyre Manufacturers’ Association has emphasised the need to maintain quality of rubber, which is increasingly crucial in tyre manufacturing.
“Indian tyre manufacturing is converging to the world in Research and Development (R&D), automation and technology. Quality of natural rubber as a key determinant of end product quality needs to go up the curve to keep pace with the changing scenario in manufacturing,” said Satish Sharma, chairman ATMA.
He pointed out that R&D spend by major tyre companies in India has gone up three fold from 0.6 per cent of revenue five years ago to more than two per cent.
However, quality of tyres is largely determined by the quality of raw materials used and that is where the quality and consistency of natural rubber, the principal raw material assumes significance, he pointed out. “Being the largest consumer of natural rubber in India, tyre industry has a lot at stake when it comes to natural rubber quality and consistency delivered sustainably,” he said.
The demands and expectations of auto sector and motorists from tyres have gone up manifold. Tyres are expected to meet the mutually diverse demands of grip, low rolling resistance, light weighting and fuel efficiency.
Manufacturing technologically superior tyres, especially new generation truck and bus radials, require very high quality of rubber as a critical raw-material. The quality of natural rubber and other raw materials is therefore paramount, Sharma added.