Auto Components

DuPont India to sharpen focus on lightweighting

Pune, September 15, 2013: DuPont India, a wholly-owned subsidiary of the 211-year-old US-based engineering company DuPont, is all set to sharpen its focus on its core R&D drivers – sustainability, lightweighting, safety, comfort & design, improved performance, total system costs, and alternate drivetrains.

“To reduce the dependence on fossil fuels and cut down the CO2 emissions, we recognise large scale adoption of lightweighting technologies which of all forms the largest area of operations for us in automotive,” said H P Nanda, director, strategy and growth initiatives, DuPont India.

The company, which has an R&D centre (called DuPont Knowledge Center where over 450 scientists work) in Hyderabad and an innovation centre in Pune, is working on several forms of advanced materials and processes such as polymers, green materials, and alternate sources to develop vehicle-specific components made of lighter composites.

The knowledge centre is equipped with fabrication and development centre, polymers application centre, helmet and vest fabrication, and a ballistic range, which happens to be the only such facility in a non-governmental setup. Nanda underlines that “our mission is to drive India’s growth by developing science-based solutions tailored for India and ASEAN nations. While we have over 4,000 officials working at DuPont India, roughly 15-20 percent of our total revenues come from automotive operations.”

The material company has developed certain patented, composite-configurations trademarked under names such as Tyvek, Nomex, Zytel, Kevlar, Vamac and many others which are used in developing vehicle components such as fuel tank, oil filter module, air intake manifold, air cleaner cover, cylinder head cover, air ducts, engine mounts, fuel filler pipes, hoses, and multiple other parts. Interestingly, most of these parts made by using DuPont-supplied materials are 50 percent lighter than their conventional counterparts.

While the samples are on display at DuPont’s Pune-based innovation centre which is headed by Yasuhiko Ohashi, he says that “engineers and designers from automotive OEMs who visit our Pune centre can touch and feel the samples we have put on display at our innovation centre. This centre plays a key role in terms of displaying DuPont’s capabilities and customer relationship.”

The entire gamut of operations place DuPont anywhere between being a Tier 4 supplier to a Tier 1 supplier for the automotive OEMs. Among the OEMs which use DuPont’s materials are Maruti Suzuki, Tata Motors, Hyundai Motor, Toyota Kirloskar Motor, Mahindra & Mahindra and Bajaj Auto.

The company has recently expanded its integrated science capabilities at its Hyderabad centre by setting up a new application development centre. The said facility houses thermoplastic and elastomer processing and testing equipment and leverages existing analytic equipment shared with several DuPont science disciplines. The new centre also expanded the capabilities in the areas of computer aided engineering (CAE), 3D surface computer aided design (CAD), mold-flow, warpage, structural, impact and NVH (noise, vibration and harshness) analysis.

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