Tapco Pneumatics scores with ‘Elektra’ electric door actuators without compressed air
Tapco Pneumatics swears by its home-grown smart electric door actuator for buses. ‘Designed for safe ride’, Elektra encompasses both electrical and pneumatic-operated bus door controllers.
As the first-generation business house, Tapco began as a trader of pneumatic products in 2004 in Chennai. The next two years saw the company receiving inquiries for customized products under their own brand name. Elektra range includes pneumatic in-swing, out-swing, Jack-knife doors and plug-in option besides electric out-swing doors. They also have top and floor mounted ones too.
Ms. Ashitha Sudhakar, Head – Business Development, said: “We started with the manufacturing of cylinders, valves and all pneumatic equipment for the retail sector in the automotive industry. We started receiving orders from bus body builders looking for pneumatic cylinders. On conducting a market study, we realized that the bus body builder segment was largely untapped and decided to foray into it. We have had very good success and today, we have clients located all over India.”
Elektra – Go Green Project
Automated doors in passenger buses, especially in school buses, are now mostly considered a norm. Ms. Ashitha shared: “Studies showed that 40 per cent of the
accidents happen due to lack of proper doors and proper door closure – either because they are manually operated or due to mishandling. We also realized that in India there is no door solution available for hydraulic brake buses. We took this up as a challenge and Elektra was born.” Tapco’s strength lies in its in-house R&D and all products are ARAI certified. The company’s Elektra is a go green project. The officials at Tapco believe that slowly the pneumatic door systems will get replaced by electrical auto door controllers with their easy maintenance feature.
She said: “The technology that we use is on par with the German technology. Our solutions are completely safe because these are sensor integrated. It means the doors detect automatically if there are any obstacles in the passage and the driver is immediately alerted. The system has an emergency control also built into it and we also have LED lighting and emergency buzzer too.”
Elektra is completely localized making its solutions highly cost-effective. Ms. Ashitha added: “Since we work with local vendors, we can tailor-make solutions for our customers for half the cost that the market offers them. And that is our USP.”
With their service network and residential engineers located in all the metro cities across India, Tapco is able to attend to the emergency servicing promptly. Currently, Tapco has branches in Coimbatore and Bangalore and is looking forward to opening another in Pune / Delhi.
She said: “We have recently bagged a huge order for the TNSTC where we are providing door solutions with advanced sensors for about 4,000 buses. Of which, we have already fulfilled orders for 3,000 buses.” As a project execution company, Tapco has its own teams for production, installation and 22 service engineers besides an inhouse quality testing facility. According to Ms. Ashitha, the present trend is to install sensors in Elektra and it is work in progress. She said: “Soon we will be launching products with advanced sensors. We surely will match the quality of our products with those of the imported ones.” In the next two quarters, Tapco is aggressively looking at creating tie-ups with the OEMs and carving a niche for itself as a home-grown, safe and trusted door actuator supplier