Dec 15 2013 | Industry Zone

Ramnath Shenoy, General Manager (Sales & Engineering), NTN Bearing India Pvt Ltd

Ramnath Shenoy, General Manager (Sales & Engineering), NTN Bearing India Pvt Ltd shares his views with Sandeep Sharma about his company, core competencies, products & solutions offered to the power industry, brand NTN, application of bearings, technology adopted, distribution network, expansion plans and challenges before the power sector. Edited excerpts…

Tell us about your company, mission, objectives and your core competencies?
NTN is a US$ 6.5 billion bearings and precision equipment manufacturing company with plants and offices in over 70 countries around the world. Established in 1918, NTN makes a wide range of products for the automobile, steel, power sector, cement industry, construction machinery, aerospace, railways & wind turbine industry. Our Corporate philosophy is to contribute to international society by creating new technologies and developing new products.

NTN Bearing India Pvt. Ltd is a subsidiary of NTN Corporation Japan. It provides marketing and technical support to NTN customers in India: directly and through a wellorganized network of Authorized Distributors. From OEM’s to MRO’s (Maintenance, Repair, and Overhaul), all our customers rely on us for high-performing bearing products that increase the productivity and efficiency of their operations.

Could you provide us insight about your products/solutions offered for the Power sector?
NTN has several products for the equipment used in the Power Sector. These include Thrust bearings for Ball Mill application, NTN’s Ultage Series spherical roller bearings, cylindrical roller bearings and others. We also have a wide range of products for the Wind energy sector.

What’s the USP of your products and services? What does brand ‘NTN’ signify to the customer and you?
NTN’s USP is to provide higher technology products to its customers while keeping down the cost of technology. NTN’s ULTAGE Series Spherical Roller bearings are a prime example of the same. ULTAGE series bearings are engineered to work under extreme operating temperature of 200 ° Centigrade and at the same time have the highest load carrying capacity in the industry. They also support much higher speeds than the conventional type of spherical roller bearings. All this is available at the cost of a standard spherical roller bearing.

In comparison, the rest of the bearing industry offers high temperature bearings at a premium as compared to its standard range which can operate upto 100 ° Centigrade only.Another USP of NTN is that we offer our Indian customers, bearings produced at our plants in Japan, using the high quality bearing steel. Here we are competing with the rest of the bearing industry who source bearings or components from various countries and are not clear about the Country of Origin for the same.

Tell us about the application of bearings in Power sector? How is the industry response to NTN bearings?
NTN has a very strong presence in the Power Sector in India for over 15 years now. In fact Power sector was among the first to start using NTN bearings in all types of applications. NTN’s sealed Spherical roller bearings, Dust cover Bearing Units and Triple Lip sealed Bearings for coal conveyor systems are an example of NTN’s response to customer’s demand to develop products for the extreme environments in a Thermal power plant.

The Wind energy sector requires bearings with a high degree of reliability. NTN’s is supplying a range of bearings for the Wind Energy sector in India. We have also developed a condition monitoring equipment (CMS) for wind power generators.

Could you elaborate on the kind of technology adopted to manufacture NTN bearings?
NTN is an engineer driven company at its core. Engineers form a large part of its employee base and innovation is the norm. While technological innovation is the norm for the bearing industry, the driving force for NTN’s engineering excellence is an uncompromising commitment to Monozukuri. This symbolizes the spirit of producing excellent products and the ability to constantly improve production systems and processes.

How big and efficient is your distribution network and supply chain management?
NTN’s distribution network is one of its strengths in India. It has retained most of its members and they have grown with the company in the last 20 years. Today NTN has 23 Authorized Distributors in India supplying to over5000 customers in India. The bearings come directly from Japan, USA and are distributed from two dedicated warehouses in Chennai and Mumbai. As the number of SKU’s is very large, inventory planning is critical to our operations.

Who are your major clientele and the power projects you are associated with?
From the public sector power generating units like NTPC, Mahgenco, CSGENCO, GSGENCO to the private sector, Reliance, GVK and Tata Power, NTN is now a major supplier to over 140 Power generating units in India. One of NTN’s largest customer India is L&T-MHI who are known for their high quality and efficient power mills. NTN is
one of their preferred vendors for coal pulverizer equipment bearings. We have been selected as suppliers to L&T-MHI for three of their large projects: JP Nigree, Mahgenco and RNURVL. In Japan, NTN is OEM for Hitachi gear boxes used in coal pulverizers. Suzlon Energy is another large NTN customer who is sourcing most of their requirement of Wind Mill bearings from NTN.

What needs to be done by the power producers to increase supply and safeguard environment?
Transparency and adherence to policy should be the guiding principles for any industry. We cannot afford to ignore environmental issues.

What’s your recommendation for putting power sector on higher growth trajectory?
I think more effort is required from the industry to increase power generation from renewable sources of energy like solar, wind and tidal power. At the same time, the government should support by extending more incentives for the renewable energy sector.

Keeping in mind the current market scenario, do you expect revival of overall demand in FY2013-14?
Power is a commodity which has always been in shortage in India. Except for a few states, there is a power deficit everywhere, so the challenge is to increase power generation. Despite the currency and uncertain political situation, we expect a revival in the 2nd half of FY2013, especially for the Power sector.

What kind of CSR initiatives do you undertake?
In keeping with its corporate philosophy, NTN is expanding its business in India with our strategy of “On local site, with local materials, by local personnel”.

Once again, NTN has been different from other Japanese bearing makers in this aspect. We believe in promoting local talent in all aspects of our business. We also believe in giving equal opportunity to all our employees, irrespective of their gender, religion and background.

NTN is also working with several engineering colleges providing samples and guidance on bearing usage in projects undertaken by their students.

Going forward, what are your immediate and long term plans for expansion in India?
NTN Bearing India Pvt Ltd was setup in 2012 and is now serving over 5000 Industrial customers in India. Our long term plans are to increase our footprint in India and cater to every Industrial segment.

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