In the heat of combat or emergencies, vehicles used by VIPS, police, military and emergency services need protection from everything from bumpy roads to bullets. Business head of SAFESURE Runflat Systems Vishweshwar Rao Japala discusses how the company's design and manufacturing of its tyre technology keeps armoured
and emergency services vehicles rolling under any circumstances.
How do the SAFESURE Runflat and bead lock systems work?
Vishweshwar Rao Japala: The Runflat and bead lock systems are used for continuous mobility of armoured transportation and can help enhance the performance of bulletproof vehicles. They extend mobility in case of tyre shootout or blasts that would otherwise result in overturning, loss of control or anything that might expose occupants to life-threatening risks.
SAFESURE bead lock is a unique and innovative two-piece, mechanical device that secures the bead of a tyre to the wheel, ensuring that both rotate together. In situations where air pressure is insufficient to hold the bead in place, a bead lock does that job.
The SAFESURE Runflat system enables customers to continue journeys for extended distances up to 100km where one or more tyres is deflated or damaged. It helps them withstand hits from semi-automatic rifles, armour-piercing rounds and even blasts from landmines.
The mobility is accomplished by a device that supports treads at sufficient distances from the wheel, ensuring that sidewalls are not damaged by rims. The Runflat is mounted securely on the rim, which is not in contact with the tyre during the normal course of a journey, and so won't cause it any damage.
SAFESURE Runflat Systems conducts stringent quality control procedures at every level of manufacturing to guarantee the quality of the final product. All new products are developed in-house by our engineering and design department, equipped with solid modelling and finite element analysis (FEA), custom-developed design control, failure mode and effect analysis (FMEA) and advanced product quality planning (APQP) processes. Products are designed, tested, validated and documented to meet the most stringent security requirements.
Can you give us some background about SAFESURE Runflat Systems?
The company is headquartered in Hyderabad, India, where its leading-edge design and manufacturing facilities help it to lead the sector. At SAFESURE Runflat Systems, innovation starts from the point when the order is taken. Technology then enables the company to deliver perfectly tailored, cost-effective and reliable products.
Engineers and professionals are involved with every process, including design, production and quality control. Each member of the team comes with unique skills and works enthusiastically and energetically towards delivering high-performance products of the finest quality. SAFESURE Runflat Systems' in-house R&D and design team consists of qualified and experienced professionals of international repute.
The company was founded in 2008, and is acclaimed for its unique and innovative processes and products. SAFESURE Runflat Systems are time-tested, proven and reliable for the sort of bulletproof vehicles used by VIPs, police, paramilitary, military and combat/non-combat hardware, such as armed personal transportation, mine-protected vehicles, light armoured multipurpose vehicle (LAMV), custom-made armoured vehicles, cars, SUVs buses and so on.
The company's mission is to supply world-class products and services that exceed customers' expectations by employing state-of-the-art manufacturing and quality procedures.
How do the tyre needs vary depending on the use? For example, combat vehicles have different needs to ambulances. How do you manage this?
Since inception, the main objective had been to provide cost-effective, high-performance products, and the firm caters to many different segments. Focusing is crucial to understanding the needs and potential applications of our clients before designs are formalised.
Combat vehicles are heavy and need Runflat to provide high-performance over long distances, whereas ambulances and other security-related vehicles have to be fast and agile, so the Runflat design and choice of material combinations decide the sort of system that is used.
What type, size and configurations of Runflat are available, and how is the type and wheel rim chosen?
We recommend two or three-piece Runflat systems for cars and SUVs that have steel or alloy single-piece DC wheel rims. For armoured trucks and buses we recommend single-piece DC wheel rims to address weight issues, and special aluminium forged steel bolt-on wheels for robustness and ease of assembly and maintenance, and three-piece lock-ring wheel rims for cost efficiency. SAFESURE Runflat systems are designed and manufactured for any type of wheel and vehicle configuration.
How do your products improve on the competition, and how are you working to position yourselves in the market?
SAFESURE Runflat Systems is a young company compared with its competitors, but offers a far superior range of products and services. Customers rate us better than our rivals because of our proven ability to deliver customised solutions to meet customer requirements, in a cost-effective, short development time of under four weeks, and with assured product quality.
We want to position ourselves as a technology leader by developing innovative solutions, and by developing Runflats for any type of wheel rim, vehicle and configuration with assured continuous mobility.
At SAFESURE Runflat Systems we maintain ready stocks of standard sizes and we normally require just four weeks to fulfil a new purchase order.
Generally, who are your main customers, where do they work and what is their feedback?
SAFESURE Runflat Systems is very active in India, the United Arab Emirates and the Middle East, and plans to expand to Russia and South America soon. Clients range from small amouring companies to giant OEMs, government, police and the armed forces. Customers appreciate the firm's cost-efficiency, technical support and the consistency of its products and services.
SAFESURE Runflat Systems complies with NATO and FINABEL (20.A.5) standards and is approved by the Ordnance Factory Board, Indian Ministry of Defence and major OEMs, after required ballistic and field trials. Our products have successfully passed tests against armour-piercing rounds B32 by HP White Laboratory, US.