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Permalli Wallace is an Indian company that has been diversifying its business and skills over the years, while maintaining a solid core business as manufacturers of wood-based densified impregnated laminates for industrial and engineering applications.
(Published on June 2008 – JEC Magazine #41)
Based in Bhopal, halfway between Mumbai and New Delhi, Permalli Wallace is considered a major player in the composite material sector both in India and overseas. The company already exports 15% of its production.
The company is very intent on expanding its business. To support its growth, it injected new funds into the construction or extension of no less than three new buildings. There is therefore no shortage of projects or potential markets.
The plant recently benefited from an investment programme only just 3 years ago, which helped to significantly increase its SMC production means. However, wood laminate still remains the company’s main activity, representing a total of 32-33%. Once the construction work has been completed, the plant will have about 60,000 mÇ of premises for production, R&D and training.
The premises have been divided into 5 production areas:
The production and maintenance functions are supported by in-house tool room facilities. The company stands out from the crowd by its broad range of skills. Not only does it employ 230 people over the two sites in Bhopal, but it also operates 6 days a week.
R&D and quality : top priorities
The company has been certified ISO 9001 by DNV Netherlands since 1997, and also has an integrated management system designed to meet quality assurance requirements. An independent calibration laboratory provides in-house calibration services for metrological and process control instruments and gauges. The company has been re-certified to ISO 9001 quality management systems, and is gearing up for the ISO14000 environmental management system certification. The R&D facilities have been approved by the Government of India’s Department of Science & Technology since 1976. They are well equipped with modern machines and facilities for development, testing and evaluation of raw materials and finished products. The R&D Department has developed several products and critical applications for the power, defence, aerospace, railways and automotive sectors.
Almost 50 years
Permali Wallace Private Limited was established in 1961 as part of a technical and financial collaboration with Permali Limited, Gloucester, U.K. and Chase Lowe & Co., Manchester, U.K. In 1982, the company entered into another technical collaboration with BTR Permali RP Limited U.K. to develop sheet moulding compounds, dough moulding compounds and components thereof. Permali Wallace started as a manufacturer of wood-based densified impregnated laminates for industrial and engineering applications, growing steadily over the years and extending its product range. This range now includes wood veneer-based components, glass-reinforced composites, SMC & DMC moulded components, epoxy resin castings, cotton fabric composites, composites combining glass and wood compreg, and composites using high-tech fibres like polyester, Kevlar, etc. A number of formulations are produced in-house.
Future prospects and ambitions
Nowadays, the growth of the local market is such that Permalli Wallace could almost make do with doing very little to secure its future. However, the company has set some high standards and is aiming for 15% growth in 2008, with 25% in export by 2009. Export sales have already reached 15%, with the Middle East as its main client (25%), followed by Asia (20%) and Australia (10%). The rest is shared between Europe, North America and South America. The company exports to about 25 different countries. Several major contracts are currently being negotiated and test parts are being manufactured. These contracts are so big that the company’s forecasts will have to be revised upwards.