JK Tyre & Industries will invest over ₹100 crore in addition to the ₹200 crore already pumped into its Research and Development (R&D) centre in Mysuru.
The Raghupati Singhania Centre of Excellence (RPSCOE), inaugurated in 2018, is known as the company’s global technology centre and there are plans to procure additional equipment to ramp up R&D infrastructure to enhance its testing and product development capabilities.
V.K. Misra, technical director, JK Tyre & Industries, said on Wednesday that the country was set to move towards a star rating system for the tyre industry and the company was upgrading the R&D centre so that it is technology-ready when the rating system rolls out. The rating system is being pushed by the Bureau of Energy Efficiency and Petroleum Conservation Research Association and the ratings will reflect the fuel-saving property or efficiency of product.
Mr. Misra said the R&D centre in Mysuru will have state-of-the-art tools for tyre analysis. In future, all tyres will have star rating, and hence the emphasis on R&D and upgrade of facilities, Mr. Misra said, pointing out that the firm invests 1% to 1.5% of its total turnover on R&D.
R&D has also helped develop tubeless tyres for trucks with higher fuel efficiency while there is also development of tyres for the electric vehicle segment which is still in the nascent stage in India but poised for growth. “We are technology-ready to provide tyres for the EV segment and have offered the new tyres to manufacturers engaged in development of EVs like Mahindra and Nissan,” Mr. Misra said.
The ongoing R&D for EV has spin-off benefits deployed for conventional tyres as well, according to Mr. Misra, who said t the company has developed a new product with “fuel saver technology’’ that offers 8% higher fuel efficiency. “We did tests last year and this data is based on actual tests. The same is being adopted for tubeless tyres as well,” he said.
Mr. Misra said Mysuru’s R&D establishment was a centralised centre with 180 people and was poised for expansion. Mysuru was selected for the centre as the company has three plants, besides there also being a conducive atmosphere and ambience for research and creativity, he said.
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