Mumbai firm forges steel to Navy’s specs

Ashwin Shah

After months of trial & error, Krishna Allied produces super tough bulb bars

Mumbai, April 26

Mumbai-based Krishna Allied Industries has indigenised the manufacturing of bulb bars to produce warships for the Navy. “It took months of trial and error to make them to the Navy’s specifications,” said Ashwin Shah, Founder and Chairman of Krishna Allied.

Bulb bars are special kinds of steel bars with a high tensile strength and extreme toughness. Their high strength-to-weight ratio helps reduce the overall weight of the ship, enabling it to carry more cargo. Naval shipbuilding yards such as Mazgaon Dock have been importing bulb bars from Russia and other countries.

Tough task

Krishna Industries, which won the Defence Technology Absorption Award last year, has developed the technology to make bulb bars locally with the support of the Defence Research and Development Organisation.

“It was a tough task. The biggest challenge was to heat treat the steel sections. Initial results were not that encouraging, but we were not prepared to give up,” said Shah.

The company’s first order was from Mazgaon Dock. Besides saving foreign exchange, the locally made bulb bars work out to be cheaper for shipyards. “We recently got an order for 2,000 tonnes of bulb bars from Garden Reach Shipyard and hope to get more from other yards such as Cochin and Hindustan shipyard,” said Shah, who has proved that small entrepreneurs like him can contribute to the Make in India drive. The company has its manufacturing facilities at Halol in Gujarat. The fully automated unit will soon be powered by solar energy, Shah told BusinessLine.

Started in 1996 as a small engineering unit, Krishna Allied today has two units employing over 300 people. The turnaround year was 2004, when it began to make bulb bard to the Navy’s specifications. “The biggest hurdle was the absence of preset parameters, as the steel sections of this specification was made in India for the first time,” added Shah.

Published on April 26, 2015

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