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Innovations of ALP Group – Launch of Nitrile Rail

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The Metro Rail News team Interviewed Mr Tejbir Singh Anand and Ms Ravleen Anand on the outskirts of IREE 2023. Tejbir is the  Managing Director of ALP Aeroflex India Pvt Ltd and ALP Overseas Pvt Ltd. This interview explores the latest innovations and technologies ushered by ALP Aeroflex India Pvt Ltd in the Rail mobility sector, particularly emphasising Nitrile Rail (a new product). This interview also unravels the company’s commitment to sustainability and an environmentally friendly approach to business, as Ms. Ravleen, Director of ALP Group, explained.  

With over two decades of experience, Tejbir has led the company to global recognition through joint ventures in the USA, Spain, Australia, Singapore, and South Africa. Tejbir’s strategic initiatives have elevated ALP Overseas as a global brand, focusing on various industries.  Here are the edited excerpts:-

IREE Interview ALP MD 01

Q.1: Please tell us about your company, ALP Group, and Aeroflex.

The ALP Group consists of three distinct entities, each with unique characteristics. ALP Aeroflex is a joint venture formed with Aeroflex of Thailand. The company manufactures thermal and acoustic insulation products for the Transport Sector, HVAC and Construction industry. Meanwhile, ALP Overseas is a subsidiary wholly owned by the ALP family that caters to aftermarket and international operations. ALP Nishikawa is a JV manufacturing whether sealing for automobile manufacturers. 

Across all three companies within the ALP Group, we specialize in polymer technology, covering rubber and plastics. Our expertise extends to various applications, including consumer durables, household applications, automotive, construction, HVAC, and more, where polymer science is integral to product advancement and performance enhancement.

ALP group 01

Q. 2: Can you tell us about ALP Aerocell Rail, your recently launched product?

In line with the modernisation of Indian Railways and the introduction of advanced trains, there’s a growing need to upgrade the materials used in the railway system. ALP’s Aerocell Rail is designed to meet the highest safety standards. It is space-saving and akin to insulation used in German Rail. It’s an environmentally friendly and sustainable import substitution product compared to all other insulation used in rail coaches in India. It also has EN 45545 -2 – HL3 – R1 – fire rating approved, while the requirement is R2 by Indian Railways (thus better).

The main focus of Aerocell Rail is to improve safety in case of a fire. In public transport like buses, buildings, and railways, people are more likely to die from inhaling toxic fumes than from the fire itself. Aerocell Rail significantly reduces the release of toxic fumes and slows fire spread. It also prevents bugs and insects from damaging the material because it has antimicrobial properties. This makes Aerocell Rail an essential choice for ensuring passenger safety and material durability in railways.

Q.3 ALP Group is a more than 35-year-old company, and you are carrying its legacy. How do you feel about the responsibility you have on your shoulders? 

While family plays a central role, it’s essential to note that our business operates highly professionally. With multiple locations across diverse geographies, it becomes impractical for the family to be omnipresent. Therefore, each company operates autonomously, possessing its own infrastructure and organisational structure. These entities are collectively overseen by a common board comprising family members and seasoned professionals. This approach instils my confidence, equipping us to expand into new geographies and sectors without undue burden.

Q.4  Indian Railway is going through a massive transformation in track modernisation, signalling system and rolling stock. So, how do you see these changes, and how will the ALP Group be a part of this transformation? 

The ongoing transformation in India, encompassing various sectors, including the Indian Railways, reflects a nation striving to bridge technological gaps with the Western world. As these advancements unfold, upgrading the entire supply chain to remain competitive and aligned with global standards becomes imperative. The ALP Group has been at the forefront of these endeavours, exemplified by our pioneering introduction of EPDM Polymer in 1985 when natural rubber was prevalent in the manufacturing of Fiat and Ambassador cars. Within three years, the entire automotive industry transitioned to EPDM.

Similarly, in the case of Aeroflex, we witnessed a transformation from traditional thermal insulation materials such as glass wool or fibreglass to Nitrile and rubber insulation for building and HVAC applications. This adaptation to new technologies is underpinned by our belief that providing the requisite high-quality input materials is essential with the influx of advanced technologies in India. For instance, as electric vehicle (EV) buses become a reality, their lightweight design becomes critical for extending battery life and ensuring efficient travel. We are actively collaborating with the bus industry to develop lighter materials, replacing expensive and heavy metals like aluminium with thermoplastics, thereby addressing the unique challenges presented by EV technology. These are the prominent areas where we are actively engaged in technological advancement.

ALPgroup 02

Q.5: What are the plans for ALP Group?

In each of our three divisions, we have a unique plan. One of these divisions, ALP Nishikawa, focuses exclusively on making passenger car parts. We have a strong presence in India, accounting for about 45% of the market for ceiling materials. We’re expanding our operations to keep up with India’s growing automotive industry. We already have factories in Gujarat, Gurgaon, and Punjab, and we’re setting up a new one in Haryana, close to the new Maruti factory. This move is in response to India’s expected increase in car production from 4 million vehicles today to an estimated 7 to 8 million in the next five to seven years. We’re getting ready to meet the rising demand in the market.

In the building and construction sector, ALP Aeroflex is expanding its presence to encompass various construction types, including infrastructure, commercial, and residential projects. We are introducing new product lines, such as XLP Foam, alongside our existing offerings, like nitrile and EPDM foams, to meet the industry’s growing demand for acoustic solutions.

Simultaneously, ALP Overseas is undergoing an extensive international expansion, with established operations in the US, Europe, and Australia. This expansion strategy aligns with the “Make in India, Make for the World” approach, capitalising on India’s cost-effective, high-tech manufacturing capabilities. We foster backwards integration by establishing subsidiaries in these regions, transferring labour-intensive tasks to India and selling our products within a comprehensive global network.

Our commitment to sustainability is evident through our eco-friendly practices, zero-waste production, and qualification for carbon credits. This approach embodies a holistic approach to business, moving backwards and forward to establish control over the entire market.

IREE Interview ALP MD 02
Managing editor of Metro Rial News presenting the October issue of our monthly magazine to MD, ALP Overseas Pvt Ltd.

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