Sonil Ventilfabrik's role in the TPMS supply chain
As is the case in any manufacturing business, production of the finished item usually represents the last link in a complex supply chain. Tyre Pressure Monitoring Systems (TPMS) are no different. So with a view to understanding a little more of the TPMS landscape, Tyres & Accessories contacted growing Indian valve and TPMS part supplier Sonil Ventilfabrik. The company's link to the segment is in the development and manufacture of what it calls "aiding accessories" to external TPMS sensors. The latest particular aiding accessory, also known as the T valve, has a dual purpose. It offers an additional port to mount TPMS sensors and is simultaneously used to fill tyres with air without removing the external sensor.
Sonil Ventilfabrik’s facility located in Jamnagar, Gujarat, India is responsible for producing the company’s parts. Production capacity at the factory currently amounts to 25,000 sets per month for standard bore T valves, 5,000 sets per month large bore T valves, with the super large bore T valves under development with the technology predicted to be ready in time for field trials around the time that that this article goes to press in the April 2012 edition of Tyres & Accessories. Currently these production figures represent capacity utilisation of around 25 per cent. This figure is said to be on the up with the company “gradually increasing volumes.”
When asked which key markets the company is targeting, Sonil Ventilfabrik’s Himesh Shah simply answers: “worldwide.” The mainly focus of sales is on aftermarket fitment, but the company also supplies “some quantity” to OEMs.
Sonil Ventilfabrik was started following 17 years’ experience as proprietor of a small scale manufacturing business producing bicycle tube valves in 2000. Gradually it has grown and manufactures various types of bicycle as well as automotive tyre – tube valves and accessories.
As a result of growing demand, in 2003 the company added OTR (Large Bore) tube and tubeless tyre valves and accessories (such as the TRJ 1175C, TRJ 650 – 02, TRSP2, TRJ 670 – 03 products) to its portfolio. In 2008 the decision was made to branch into Super Large Bore, Mega Bore and Z Bore tubeless tyre valves and accessories.
The company also manufactures and develop valves and accessories to client specific bespoke requirements. One such example of this is the development of dual head spud/swivel products to permit mining tyre customers to use rapid inflation tooling. Tyres & Accessories has it on good authority that the company is currently prototyping a range of valves of this kind with a view to trialling the equipment in working conditions in Australian mines.