The dynamic changes underway in the auto industry see the Automotive Component Manufacturers Association of India (ACMA), the apex body representing the Indian auto supplier fraternity, actively engaged in driving industry dynamics. On September 25, it organised the ‘National Conference and Technology Display on Leapfrogging from BS IV to BS VI: Implications for Auto Component Industry in India’ in Pune.
The day-long, three-session event saw representatives from OEMs, SIAM and Tier 1 suppliers address the 125-strong audience comprising top-notch officials across the vehicle and component supply chain. Mrs Rashmi Urdhwareshe, director, ARAI; Vinnie Mehta, director general, ACMA; Piyush Tamboli, chairman – western region – ACMA and CMD, Investment & Precision Castings; Piyush Munot, co-chairman – western region – ACMA and director, KCTR Varsha Automotive; Ashim Sharma, partner & division head – business performance improvement consulting (auto, engineering and logistics), Nomura Research Institute India; Prashant K Banerjee, deputy ED (technical), SIAM; Dr Anuradda Ganesh, director – R&D, Cummins India; Girish Ramaswamy, head, PES System Engineering India, Powertrain Engine Systems, Continental Automotive Components (India) were among the prominent dignitaries present.
DEATH OF SMALL DIESEL ENGINES
Pointing out small diesel engines as the first potential casualty of the incoming BS VI emission norms, PK Banerjee of SIAM remarked that small diesels do not generate enough heat to make DPF work. “Such engines will die out gradually as they won’t be able to meet the BS VI norms. On the other hand, cost viability and availability of BS VI fuel and uninterrupted supply of urea (for SCR systems) remains big concerns,” he said.
He also highlighted that by 2020, India will be ahead of Europe in emission norms for the two-wheeler industry by a full year. “Therefore, the industry needs to prepare for any unforeseen challenges that may come up. OEMs need to compensate the fuel efficiency losses due to stringent NOx control and also optimise engine performance for alternate fuels, which demands uniform ethanol blends across the country,” said Banerjee.
The industry appears to be in consensus on developing tailor-made solutions for Indian market over the blunt import and deployment of western technologies for the domestic market. Reiterating this outlook, Ganesh of Cummins India commented, “We need innovation now, no matter if it is reverse or forward. We are talking about BS VI norms, adoption of biofuels such as ethanol / methanol and also electrification of vehicles. Although we have a lot of questions but we need to focus on BS VI because that is clearly defined in front of us. Less time also means that we have to be right-first-time (in developing BS VI engines).”
The knowledge session on OEMs’ outlook had Jacob David Raj, senior manager, vehicle analytics and attributes, Truck & Bus Division, Mahindra & Mahindra and K Veeramani, general manager – power systems engineering division, Engineering Research Centre (ERC), Tata Motors.
According to M&M’s Raj, major change content for BS VI-compliant engines will be in the form of adopting common-rail injection systems, turbochargers and EGR, exhaust systems, along with additional sensors and controllers, cooling and air-intake systems.
“The key drivers for technology selection will be total cost of ownership, reliability and durability, simplicity in technology and acquisition cost. Major engineering challenges for the 2020 deadline include target setting for critical components, multiple applications and duty cycles, redefining vehicle architecture among others,” he added.
Elaborating on what OEMs expect from the component suppliers, Veeramani clarified, “Unlike previous emission upgrade programs till BS IV wherein vertical integration was executed by OEMs, the BS VI program need to be viewed from horizontal integration and large scale program management. Go for accelerated testing and ensure local development of BS VI technologies with support from skilled manpower.”
The senior Tata Motors official stressed on the need for suppliers to move away from the conventional approach and adopt accelerated development approach for the 2020 deadlines.
The event also had a tech display from ARaymond Fasteners India, BAPL Rototech, Helvoet Rubber & Plastic Technologies, Knorr- Bremse Systems, Schaeffler India and Renishaw Metrology Systems.
(This article was first published in the October 1, 2017 print edition of Autocar Professional)