Bevel Gears (India) Pvt. Ltd. considers itself a “niche within a niche” when it comes to making and supplying bevel gears.
“Our niche is bevel gears,” said Mushtaq Jamal, vice president of engineering and business development with Bevel Gears (India). “We manufacture straight, spiral, hypoids, and high ratio hypoids.”
That niche within a niche comes from being able to offer a wide variety of bevel gears, according to Jamal.
“If a company does straight bevel gears, it doesn’t mean that they can do spirals,” he said. “And if they do spirals, it doesn’t mean they can do hypoids. And if they can do hypoids and spirals, it doesn’t mean they can do spiral grinding or angular bevels. We also offer straight bevel grinding that is a capability that normally has customers asking us to repeat what we said because so few companies offer the service. We manufacture 4-tooth hypoid pinions and recently developed high ratio hypoids for a 1:60 set with a single-tooth pinion. It’s all a niche within a niche. When you factor into that the different sizes, then what really sets us apart is the fact that we do all these types of bevel gears and all these different aspects and sizes of them. Add the bevel gearbox line and it is an additional dimension for our customers to leverage.”
Variety of sizes
Not only does Bevel Gears (India) make an assortment of bevel gears, but it can produce them in a variety of sizes. It is also one of the few companies that offers both Gleason and Klingelnberg bevel gear systems.
“We make bevel gears from about a quarter of an inch up to 80 inches,” Jamal said. “And for bevel gears, that’s a very broad range by global standards.”
Bevel Gears (India) does a lot of specialized work and has diversified and serves several markets, including mining, defense, robotics, medical, and the steel and crushing industries, according to Jamal.
While some companies focus on automotive work, Bevel Gears (India) has taken its bevel gear expertise in a different direction. The approach is for a higher mix with lower volumes, which customers appreciate.
“On our brochure, we basically say that we’re a one-stop shop — as cliché as that may sound,” he said. “It’s really a very broad spectrum of what we offer. Many people are surprised to hear that several of our customers are other gear manufacturers. We export about 40 to 50 percent of our business around the world with customers ranging from service repair shops to international OEMs.”
He added that presently a large portion of BGI’s global exports are for the North American and European markets.
Bevel Gears (India) also can reverse engineer or redesign specific gears, and the company is capable of producing smaller gears for a customer in the thousands. When those bevel gear orders require larger sets of 40 inches or larger, Bevel Gears (India) can specifically produce a single gear set for a customer if needed.
“It’s been a very interesting journey, because it introduces you to so many different industries,” he said. “When I joined the company I never thought these would go into so many different places — literally. We have manufactured bevel sets for truck prototypes to washing machines, master ground spiral sets to robotics to ratio changes for ATV’s and rally cars, to reverse engineering legacy jet engines. In several instances, we have customers who know their respective market-specific products and know their parts, but they don’t really know the gearing aspect of it. When this situation arises, we try to assist with improvements or design tips, and it is well received. As a policy, we believe in relationship building, which then becomes the foundation of forging business relationships.”
When a customer is looking at robots on a manufacturing line, that customer is more concerned with where those robots are going and what tolerances have to be met and maintained. For another business, a customer might need gears for an industrial gearbox for a 50-year-old design with only a rough sketch to work with.
“It may be the same product, but what they want out of it is entirely different — strength or part fit and function or vibration sensitivity at high rpm’s,” Jamal said. “The job specific aspects can vary, but the quality is a constant that has to be maintained, and we continually strive to improve this area.”
Made to print
About 90 to 95 percent of the gears Bevel Gears (India) produces are made to print, according to Jamal.
“So the customers already have what they want, and they come to us for the execution,” he said.
The remaining percentage of the company’s gear work involves reverse engineering, design, and standard bevel gearboxes.
“This is something that not every bevel gear shop has,” Jamal said. “In certain instances, if customers want improved strengths, ratio changes, stronger materials, or design analysis to be done, then we provide that value as well. It’s not just, ‘give us your print, we’ll make you a part.’ If they want a deeper dive, then we can do that.”
Bevel Gears (India) is also active with the American Gear Manufacturers Association (AGMA).
“AGMA has been an invaluable association for us. From the networking to the Gear Expos to the standards and committees, the team has been welcoming and the Association as a whole has been very rewarding. We have been participating at Gear Expo since the 1980s prior to when India was considered a global gearing provider. In 2012, we hosted and coordinated an AGMA delegation to India,” Jamal said. “About 22 AGMA members came across. We coordinated visits to several different companies around the country, and it allowed the participants to see and assess firsthand the gearing capabilities. Sulaiman Jamal, the company founder and managing director, was invited to join the AGMA board of directors in 2011, which I believe is the first time someone from the Indian subcontinent has been asked to do so. That was a very proud moment for all of us.”
Sulaiman Jamal’s endeavor has definitely come a long way since he began the company in 1976 in a 200-square-foot office, and the company’s recognition has increased exponentially within the gear industry, according to Jamal.
“Originally, he used to work for another gear manufacturer,” he said. “And that company was higher-production-quantity focused.”
A new future
But Sulaiman Jamal had a vision to branch out and get into producing smaller bevel gears, and when the company he worked for wasn’t interested in going down that path, he left and pursued that dream on his own.
“Sulaiman started out with a single 2-tool straight bevel generator he bought at an auction,” Jamal said. “His first customer was actually IBM in the ’70s, who required gears for the punch card machines. This was at a time when the domestic market was in its infancy. Today we have over 75 bevel and bevel-related machines and have a team of nearly 100 people. He still maintains that you have to be very passionate about this business to persevere and succeed, and it is sound advice.”
As Bevel Gears (India) continues to grow, Jamal said he expects the company to continue with further specialization with bevel gears while expanding select international territories and applications. In the near future, the company plans to have a dedicated facility for aerospace with 5-axis machining centers and CNC gear inspection. The aim is to be a model gear shop that would do India proud both in capability and technology.
“It’s a very interesting time to be involved in the gear industry and to see what’s possible with the new CNC capabilities of next generation machinery,” he said. “When you’re driven by need and desire, it’s very interesting to see what you can achieve.”
But in the here and now, Jamal said Bevel Gears (India) will continue to make some of the smallest and largest bevel gears, competing on a global stage with some of the biggest names in the industry.
For more information: www.bevelgearsindia.com