Demand in 2021 will be better than this year
Timken has been manufacturing in India for the last 30 years. Sanjay Koul, Managing Director, Timken India, explains the current market scenario and the company’s products and solutions for the CE market. 

How is the industrial bearings market doing currently in India? What is the demand trend of bearings from infrastructure equipment applications? 
The consumption is down and hence the demand is low. The equipment builders in most of the sectors are going slow and one of the reasons is that end-users are delaying their projects and the Capex. While the demand before the lockdown was more or less good, during the lockdown and now, the after-effects of the lockdown are resulting in a lower demand.

What are the technology trends in industrial bearings and accessories? 
The technology in the field of material sciences, grinding profiles, application engineering using the latest software and then the way we manufacture with robotics which ensures repeatability and reliability as never before, are some of the many new trends. Also now condition monitoring and sensor pack bearings have become more popular as uptime and predictability is very important as everything is now connected to customer delight.

What are your latest products in construction equipment applications?
We have the whole range of products from tapered roller bearings (TRBs) to ball bearings (BBs) to crossed roller bearings (CRBs) and spherical roller bearings (SRBs) for the construction industry, be it metal, power, cement, pumps, lifts, mixers etc. We have the whole range and the focus is that under harsher environment, we give ZERO breakdown time due to the bearings or allied components.

What are the innovations in materials and design?
It is huge and it ranges from special coatings to denser bearings. Our state-of-the-art POWER DENSITY bearings are well respected in the industry. Not only bearings, but split bearings, couplings, drive and chains, the whole range of innovation make the application customer-friendly and at the same time deliver quality which set the standards for the industry. Timken has always excelled in the area where the application requirement needs real engineering and the environment is harsh, say, the bearing in a submarine gearbox or a bearing on a wind mill. The challenges that are overcome by engineering is where Timken adds value.

What is your view on the government’s focus on Make-in-India initiative? Will this have a positive impact on the bearings industry in India?  
Timken is a global company. We manufacture in industrial markets around the world. We have been manufacturing in India for the last 30 years and will continue to expand our manufacturing footprint in India based on the local demand and the potential to export. The Make in India initiative is key to ensure fair global trade opportunities for manufacturers in our industry.

How do you foresee demand of bearings for CE applications?
While we are facing the brunt of the pandemic economically and otherwise, I believe the future is going to be good for the construction equipment. I anticipate that demand in 2021 will be better than this year and will continue to grow. The road network of India and then the network of roads in the states which are close to the international borders will for sure bring in good news for the industry. The construction sector which has seen some bad times should look for cheer in 2021 and beyond and Timken will always be a good partner for the construction industry.