At the core of NBC’s engineering success is a formidable Research and Development Centre, the only one of its kind in the country. Equipped with the latest CAD/CAM, calibration and testing equipment, special heat treatment facilities, and more importantly, with the sharpest engineering minds in the industry, this centre is responsible for NBC’s triumph in making bearings of unprecedented size and complexity. While these innovations have ensured technological leadership and an unshakable consumer base, the experience gained in designing these are the most valuable asset for the future. At NBC’s life test laboratory, a skilled team employs state-of-the-art technology to scrutinize bearing-behaviour and life spans under the most exacting conditions, in order to improve on current products an develop this helps us stay prepared to develop the next generation of bearings for a new, more demanding industry. NBC has the distinction of being one of the few companies in the world to manufacture bearings up to 2000 mm outer diameter with indigenous technology – clearly an in-house R&D achievement.
The hub and heart of NBC, R & D demonstrates the company’s collaborative and flexible approach, responding innovatively to customer and industry needs. Customers are increasingly working with NBC as a preferred technological partner right from the initiation of Projects. NBC collaboration includes assessment and analyses leading to not just component level but system level suggestions that impact client decisions. This is particularly true of the automotive industry.
NBC’s R & D division has a global footprint, and has embarked on international engagements, including close work with a German University.
The entire R & D process at NBC, from fundamental research to customer engineering, is conducted in-house . Everything happens here. Because the R & D is localized, support to and control at the plant reduces time and cost, and makes the whole process efficient.
NBC’s R&D division filed 13 patents in the past year – a clear indication of fast-growing innovation and a self-reliance on its own independent research capabilities. The aim is clear – to ensure technology leadership remains sustainable and effective solutions are found for customers needs. The team uses established stage gate processes and works on advanced equipment, sophisticated machinery and state-of-the art software packages, in specialized areas:
The lead-time target for new products is high and as lead time has reduced, the number of new products per year has significantly increased – from 22 new products in 2009-10 to 66 new products in 2012-13. Already this year 42 New Product Developments are underway.
Critical to dialogue and working with the customer to capture technical requirements, Application Engineering involves participation in new projects, virtual simulation of customer application for selecting right product, design clarification and customer acceptance for new design.
Product Engineering includes Product, Process and Tool Design and Development, Warranty Analysis, Industrial engineering and Projects. These are for new and existing products. Complete engineering and research facility is available to solve intricate problems and warranty issues with expert advice on design, development, manufacturing, installation and maintenance of bearings. NBC has implemented Design Automation Tools based on the CAD tool Pro-Engineer to reduce product development cycle time. Integrated Product Data across the development chain with a streamlined process, has resulted in a huge reduction in design time. Knowledge transfer – of product and customer input – has enhanced and brought uniformity to an efficient force, and consequently to quality of deliverables, in keeping with NBC’s high standards.
NBC’s unique R&D facility is used to design, develop and manufacture CNC grinding and super finishing machines, as well as other special purpose machines. NBC thus keeps pace with the latest technological advancements and saves significant machine cost and downtime. A well-equipped electronic design & development laboratory with all testing facilities supports the Machine Building Division.
NBC has the best facility within India for testing. The dust-proof environment of the product testing laboratory consists of Simulation Rigs, Endurance Life Test Rigs & Seal Performance Test Rigs. The skilled team tests and audits reliability of new products, and controls the manufacturing process and supply chain to develop bearings to meet the latest global requirements and standards.
With global consultancy and university partnerships NBC’s experienced team is involved in development of integrated solutions and value added products.
Modeling & Simulation: More accurate, in-depth static, dynamic and fatigue analysis is conducted by using Finite Element Analysis, simulation and mathematical modeling for designing new products and in optimizing customer design, thus meeting stiffness and life requirements.
An experienced team continuously works on improvement in existing process, new technology absorption, gauging excellence, standardization of machine features and new process development for next generation products
Advanced Material technology: Detailed analysis for microscopy is done by using latest equipment to ensure clean steel supply. The experienced team designs new heat treatment processes for improved product performance
Tribology: PhDs and engineers work on development of coatings, seal technology, lubrication oil and grease evaluation & development, contact mechanics and fatigue evaluation
A Prototype Shop within the sophisticated and modern environs of the R & D facility itself speeds up all design, development and testing processes.