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An industry that can bolster the economy of Madurai

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Rubber sheets being stacked in a unit.
Rubber sheets being stacked in a unit.

S. Annamalai

Because of its proximity to production centres, rubber has been a traditional industry of the Temple City

Rubber goods worth about Rs.1,000 crore are produced in Madurai annually

All automobile majors are regular buyers of components

History, tradition and contiguity of Madurai favour a long rendezvous with rubber. This ancient city is home to rubber units that are the envy of many for the quality of products they manufacture, the timely delivery, the cost involved and eco-friendly practices they follow.

Because of its proximity to rubber producing centres, the city has had rubber as a traditional industry. Besides gloves, condoms, sports goods, mats and other utility products, Madurai contributes to the production of automobile components made of rubber in a big way.

“We (in Madurai) produce many automobile components, starting from tyres to the tiniest part,” says B. T. Bangera, Managing Director, Hi-Tech Arai, a global supplier of automobile components.

All automobile majors, including General Motors, Ford, Toyota and Honda, are regular buyers of components.

Rubber goods worth about Rs.1,000 crore are produced here annually, according to Mr. Bangera. “Along with tyres and beltings, technically specified polymer engineered products for precision application are also produced here with zero defect. Because one defective component means a defective car,” he adds.

Major contributor

The rubber industry, industrialists feel, has a rich potential to transform Madurai economy. The anticipated growth in this industry, triggered by a boom in automobile sector, will have a cascading effect on other wings of the local economy.

Upgrading technology, assisting with finance and applying good manufacturing practices will put the rubber industry on a higher pedestal when Madurai is gearing up to be recognised as one of the emerging industrial towns in the country.

Green industry

The rubber industry here is a ‘green industry.’

The big manufacturers are the earliest to get ISO 14000 certification for good environment management systems.

Despite being an industry with potential to cause pollution, the manufacturers are taking “special care” to adopt environment-friendly processes.

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