OE plant equipment supplier Genix Automation which offers turnkey automation systems for the bodyshop and final assembly is making a push into the car service market. One of its first products is a “touchless” car washer, which it says is the first of
its kind in the country.
The FourWin system, as it is called, is a PLC-controlled robot that delivers high-pressure sprays of water (18 bar for wetting and rinse) alternating with shampoo and wax through a single circuit via two suspended arms to clean and shine a car even one as large as the Ford Endeavour — in just three minutes.
Apart from the automated part, manual intervention in the form of a hand scrub may sometimes be required in case of stubborn dirt. The waxed vehicle has also to be buffed manually. The system has a footprint no larger than the space required to park a single car, and uses 80–100 litres of water, 60ml of shampoo, and 40ml of wax for a single wash. It preserves the finish as there is no abrasive brush contact with the topcoat that might also transfer residual dirt to the surface.
Genix has priced the system at Rs 15 lakh inclusive of installation charges. FourWin offers a choice of three water recycling options at an extra charge. The top-end version allows continuous reuse of the wash water and requires only a top-up of around five litres for each wash.
The company installed its first FourWin at the Food Hub on the Mumbai–Pune Expressway in April. While Genix owns the system, it operates on a revenue-share basis with the Food Hub. This is a model that the company hopes to leverage as it launches the new system countrywide.
The service is priced at Rs 100 for a wash without wax going up to Rs 250 for a complete wash with vacuum cleaning of the interiors.
The franchisee route
Over the long term, Genix plans to appoint franchisees, says Genix’s managing director, Hiren Desai. The immediate targets for sales are housing complexes while the company will pursue revenue-sharing deals with auto service dealers, highway hospitality providers, and fuel stations, he added.
Genix has already approached a clutch of automotive OEMs including Ford India and has started talking to the company-owned and -operated outlets of the PSU oil refiners, says executive director (operations) Uday Nikam.
Established in 2006, the Pune-headquartered company has a regional sales and service office in Chennai, and will open one in Delhi shortly.
Genix is 90 percent owned by Desai and 10 percent by Genix Korea, a company that serves Hyundai and Kia in that market and is responsible for engineering and sourcing. The mechanical components for both its OE automation systems and FourWin, are sourced from Indonesia.
Genix is the sole India representative for Edixia, a French company that specialises in vision systems for inspection of bodyshells, and non-destructive 3D inspection of cylinder heads and engine blocks. The company expects to integrate its first inspection system for gap and flush-using Edixia technology for Tata Motors’ passenger car plant in Pune.
And, following the success of its first installation of an automated storage/retrieval system (AS/RS) for engines at the same Tata facility,
the company is developing new offerings that it will
roll out in the next few months. The AS/RS at Tata stores 500 engines, executive director (finance) Pritam Nanwani told Autocar Professional.
Engineered and built in Korea, this system uses RFID-tagged pallets to master the complex logistics of accepting 100 variants of Tata and Fiat engines meant for 13 different models of the two makes, and delivering them to the two assembly lines at K-block and the combined assembly line, also installed by Genix, at Fiat India in Ranjangaon.
Nikam says he expects AS/RS to account for 25 percent of Genix’s anticipated turnover of Rs 38 crore in 2010, and revenues from the FourWin business to account for another 15 percent.