Staff Reporter

Company to supply tempered hardboards to DaimlerChrysler

  • WIP exports its products to 29 countries
  • Preferred supplier for several leading Indian auto manufacturers

    KANNUR: Premium cars being rolled out in the United States will don hardboards of the Western India Plywoods (WIP) here as the latter has made its first foray into the North American passenger car industry by clinching an order from U.S.-based auto major DaimlerChrysler Corporation for tempered hardboards.

    The entry of the WIP in the vast passenger car industry in the U.S. could not have come at a most opportune time as the company is looking forward to expanded business and increased exports of its wood-based products that include plywood, marine plywood, pre-finished boards, fire-retardant plywood, wood floors, densified wood, bamboo ply, flexi plywood and hardboards.

    DaimlerChrysler Corporation, makers of Mercedes Benz and other premium cars, has given its approval for the samples made by the WIP according to specifications and supplied through its approved vendors.

    "This is for the first time that the company has got a direct entry into the U.S. market," said WIP Managing Director P.K. Mohamed. The WIP has made a definite entry into the U.S. car industry by bagging the order for the tempered hardboards, he adds.

    The WIP products will be used by the DaimlerChrystler as foundations in both the dielectric and heated platen vulcanising trim processes.

    One of the leading wood-based industrial complexes in the country, WIP, founded by late A.K. Kaderkutty, doyen of wood-based panel industry, has already been a preferred supplier for several leading Indian auto manufacturers including Maruti, Ashok Leyland, Ford India and Reva.

    The WIP, established at Valapattanam here in 1945, has come a long way from being a company started to manufacture sawn timber and plywood on a modest scale. It has expanded over the years and grown into an integrated wood processing industrial complex that uses technologies ensuring cent per cent utilisation of wood.

    WIP now exports its products to 29 countries including the quality-conscious markets of Europe and the U.S., Mr. Mohamed said.

    The company has a strong research and development network to ensure maximum utilisation of wood. WIP's in-house R&D wing has earned recognition from the Department of Science and Technology of the Government of India.

    It has several patents for breakthrough products and technologies.

    The order the company has secured from the U.S. auto major is among the milestones it has crossed ever since its inception.

    The list of firsts includes development of irradiated wood, aircraft plywood, fire retardant plywood, high-pressure industrial laminates, weatherproof marine and fire-retardant hardboards, metal-faced plywood and pre-finished plywood and hardboards using UV-cured surface finishing technology.

    The company has obtained ISO 9002 certification for hardboards and pre-finished boards. Its clients include Indian Railways, Bharat Heavy Electricals and Transformers and Electricals Kerala.