COVER STORY

2-WHEELER ALLOY WHEEL MANUFACTURING FACILITY, MAHARASHTRA

Minda Group as a policy have always asked for truly functional, neat, clean, well-organized production facilities, compliance to Vaastu and safety as top priority. The plant must excel and achieve the best of green sustainability benchmarks and improve from the previous ones, all the decisions starts from these stand points.

studio LINEDESIGN architects have created an entirely different and eclectic identity for Minda Industries, 2-wheeler Alloy wheel manufacturing facility – The First Alloy wheel manufacturing plant in India designed & executed to bag the highest level of Green Building certification.

Facility Details
This plant is first of MINDA Group as it is a new venture they have recently entered into i.e. manufacturing of two wheeler alloys, thus it involved a lot of research and development to achieve the best building designs and specifications for this nature of industry.

The project was in MIDC SUPA Industrial Zone, 100 Kms off Pune on the Pune Ahmednagar highway. It is a new under development industrial pocket. The terrain provided many interesting challenges, the site had contours running up to 8m in gradient. Since the Vaastu principles were not conducive to the direction or the orientation, some amount of filling had to be done and was planned to do the same with locally available materials. The production facility is divided into four main blocks.

Production Facility: First one was the production facility where the basic raw material i.e. Aluminum comes in the form of Ingots, it is stored in the RM warehouse, melted, die casted, machined, finished, and prepared for further treatment.

PT Lines & Paint Shop: The second shop has PT lines and the paint shop. It has been separated out due to safety concerns and to keep the plant free from any eventualities and risks. Since paint shops are susceptible to fire and other potential risks by way of use of highly combustible materials & processes.

FG Store: The FG store has been separated out again to de-risk the challenges posed by way of a large plant.

Admin Block: The admin block has been separately planned with canteen and other facilities for the associates.

Since large spans were needed due to the Die casting machines and melting furnaces, the span required was quite large up to 32 meters and there was no other option and it was an obvious choice to go for steel for its versatility, large scale and large span of rings.

PEB is one of the first choices when it comes to sustainable and eco-friendly buildings. Steel is the preferred material for all prefab structures and pre-engineered Buildings use steel which is more than 70 per cent recyclable.

These buildings are cost effective, energy efficient and provide better quality environment as they are cooler in hot conditions due to the favorable roofing material, suitable insulation, and natural ventilation. The use of skylights and solar panels mounted on rooftops of industrial buildings will meet daylight and captive power requirements which will reduce their dependence on power supply from other sources and at the same time reduce emissions and gain carbon credits under clean development mechanism.

Effective usage of insulation material, louvers and other materials also help in making PEB one of the most preferred green buildings.

We as a firm practice and remains fully committed to the most sustainable ways of construction techniques to produce a whole-sum sustainable environment in the form of MINDA Industries Alloy Wheel manufacturing facility for the users that creates the sense of openness and free interactions. With the aesthetic qualities complemented by the versatility of the steel structure, MINDA Industries is a beautiful precision of architecture.

Gaurav Varmani
Principal Architect
studio LINEDESIGN Architects

Structural Specifics
The wall sheeting in the plant had started right from the bottom. It is just 400mm brick wall and then the wall sheeting is placed just above that, which gives a very clean look to the exterior and is faster to build.

VARIOUS softwares were used to develop the designs which included AutoCad, Revit, Staadpro and other proprietary structure design softwares for PEB design. The project spreads over 20 acres of hardscaped land and constructed around 2.7 million sq ft. of built up area.

Building Geometrics – PEB Structures
Production Building – 130m x 125m
Paint shop & Warehouse Building- 32m x 125m
Roof Slope – 1:20

With such sustainability measures, working with steel also gave the upper hand on creating large spaces without columns. The endeavor was to practice and create a sustainable architecture that remains sensitive to its surroundings and user experience.

Roofing
Another construction strategy that was implied was the use of High SRI material for the roof i.e. Precoated Galvalume sheets with bubble wrap thermal insulation. This led to the reduction of heat island effect inside the factory. The effort of putting the energy efficient lighting design under the efficient building envelope design and provision of renewable energy resulted in obtaining a substantial 46 per cent of savings on energy.

The salient features of this one-of-a-kind building included the provision of renewable energy. The Solar Panels were installed on the rooftop that contributed to more than 10 per cent of the total annual energy consumption of the factory. Another, milestone that was set by the team was the provision of an integrated rainwater harvesting system and Zero Liquid Discharge Treatment Plant on-site. This helped in treating 100 per cent of the wastewater generated and recycled the same for both process and horticulture requirements in the harsh hard terrains of Western Plateau’s of India.

Apart, from the sustainable provisions while constructing the factory, more than 35 per cent of the natural topography was preserved on site. Eco-friendly refrigerants were used while catering to the universal design approach in sync with latest Global guidelines on Green sustainable environments. LNG is used extensively for process requirements in the production facility to encourage the use of non-fossil fuels. The other non-process waste was managed efficiently by the waste management plant that included the use of 13 per cent of recycled material.

Timelines & Experience
The project was started and completed within a short span of 10 months from the date of groundbreaking. Except for a few challenges during the COVID pandemic it was on track and immediately once the lockdown opened, the project was commissioned as some of it was incomplete.

The overall experience from the project had been very satisfying and enriching. The design team learned new technologies and processes, since the Minda group was also entering in this business for first time lot of research and development went into the design evolution and specially designed certain innovative systems to extract out the fumes from the die casting machines to deliver maximum comfort to the operators inside the plant.

Since the process involves die casting and melting furnaces the temperature rises to up to 60 degree plus in the workspace environment, so it was very important to consider worker comfort and also ensure that the production shop remains dust free. Another important consideration is to ensure Zero water leakages, since aluminum molten metal in furnaces is susceptible to flash blasts in case of water meeting the molten metal.

The whole project was efficiently micro-coordinated by MINDA Projects Limited, an EPC company based out of Manesar Gurgaon. MPL has undertaken various plants for Japanese companies pan India over the last decade and they are also currently working with distinguished customers such as Maruti Suzuki & Hero Cycles in the Automobile sector. We would like to especially thank Mr. Ajit Kumar, the project head from Minda Projects Limited for leading in an exceptionally strong way and giving the focus, direction, and motivation to the entire team to achieve the project goals.

Fact File
Client: Minda Industries Limited
Architects: Studio LINEDESIGN Architects
EPC & PMC Company: Minda Projects Limited
Structural Consultants: AKB Consultants
Steel Tonnage : 1350 MT