KLR Industries has about 400 employees and delivers product all over the world—including the USA. They manufacture well drilling accessories such as drill bits, drill stem, hammer drills, etc. for bore wells, horizontal drilling for mining operations and regular water well drilling.
The owner of the company (center in the picture above) picked us up in his car and took us to the plant. He was dressed in black—a symbol of a Hindu cleansing process. For 45 days he is not allowed to wear shoes so he had to hand us off to an employee to go through the plant because there are a lot of metal shavings all over the concrete and packed dirt floors. He has to sleep on the floor with no pillow outside his house; he must take his shirt off when he eats and can only eat one meal a day; he must wash his legs whenever he uses the restroom—plus lots of other rituals.
We also saw how they harden the drill bits and how they make up to 12-inch diameter rock-roller drill bits; some bits were carbon, some steel, some were carbide.
Hardened rock-roller bits.
It was interesting to see state of the art CNC controlled metal lathes, cutters and finishers being operated by men with sandals—no safety gear anywhere in sight!
The heat hardening system they had looked like it was built in 1950 and has never been updated. We were amazed!! Incredible India.
The interesting part of the tour was that they also build the drill rigs from scratch—everything except the truck engine and frame. We saw drill rigs going out the door with all the labels and decorations that the customer wanted; we saw rigs that will drill down to 2,000 feet; we saw rigs mounted on small trucks, large trucks with multiple axles and a trailer. Each had the drill tower, an air compressor with diesel engine, hydraulic controls of the drilling hardware as well as giant stabilizers to keep it all upright!