Daramic announces grand opening of separator plant in India

Daramic, the lead-acid battery separator manufacturer, on April 26 announced the grand opening of the first major polyethylene battery separator manufacturing facility in India, in Gujarat.

The company would not reveal how many high-performance PE separators it will produce in a year, but said it was responding to growing demand from the local market.

Global marketing director Dawn Heng told BESB that the plant would make separators for all kinds of flooded lead-acid batteries for automotive, motive power, deep cycle and stationary applications.

“Previous practice was to use either automotive or industrial products that are standard in other regions, while no specific R&D and production was done in India. With our local end-to-end production and local R&D centre in India, we can really deliver the ad hoc products for local customer needs and support their innovation and growth,” said Heng.

Heng said Daramic’s strategy had been to work with OEMs and battery makers to understand market need before developing products to meet that need.

“With more emerging applications coming (start-stop, renewable energy), and the complexity of the lead-acid battery in different applications, one size can’t fit all,” Heng said.

“As a result, the product produced in the Gujarat plant will adopt this principle to serve market need, ie to improve life and performance such as rechargeability, capacity, water loss, grid corrosion and so on, in the highly abused batteries in India.”

The Gujarat plant, which will be Daramic’s sixth manufacturing site in Asia, bringing its number of global facilities to 10, will support Daramic’s intentions to increase global capacity.

“Daramic is the only separator supplier with a local R&D centre in Bangalore, where we can introduce the latest results and target local need,” said Heng.

He said the plant would mainly focus on the Indian market but also serve nearby countries such as Pakistan, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka.

The company says it supplies nearly 50% of the world’s demand for this kind of separator.