Honda to export parts to Asian ops

Honda Siel Cars India (HSCI) is expanding its component export footprint to support the parent company in terms of sourcing components from best-cost country. The company’s second plant is also aggressively working on manufacturing components to match the company’s intent in the mass localisation programme, especially for the new small car Brio slated to be launched in September this year.

Autocar Pro News DeskBy Autocar Pro News Desk calendar 07 Feb 2011 Views icon4012 Views Share - Share to Facebook Share to Twitter Share to LinkedIn Share to Whatsapp
Honda Siel Cars India (HSCI) is expanding its component export footprint to support the parent company in terms of sourcing components from best-cost country. The company’s second plant is also aggressively working on manufacturing components to match the company’s intent in the mass localisation programme, especially for the new small car Brio slated to be launched in September this year.

With the Indo-Asean FTA in place, HSCI will get integrated into Honda’s pan-Asia supply chain network and the second plant will be used to export certain engine components to Asian countries. Situated in Tapukara in Rajasthan, about 100km from Delhi, HSCI’s second plant has been manufacturing sheet metal stampings and engine parts since its commissioning in September 2008. Over a period of time it also began exporting to Honda’s facilities in Thailand and Japan. Rajeev Wasan, head (plant 2), HSCI, says the company will export components to Malaysia, Indonesia and Philippines in phases.

Of the 600 acres, HSCI’s plant has come up in 450 acres while the rest has been earmarked for the suppliers. The plant is broadly classified into press and powertrain manufacturing divisions. The press facility comprises of 1,500 tonne tandem lead press and three other tandem press of 1,000 tonnes with each maintaining a tact time of seven seconds. The press line is equipped with several advanced features including auto de-stack sheet feeder and online sheet cleaning, robotised part pick-up and transfer, safety sensors that stop robot and machine operation in case of breach of safety fence and underground scrap recovery conveyor.

The specialty of the powertrain line is that close to one-third of the machines have been procured from local suppliers. According to Wasan, the uniqueness of this facility is the presence of GSN (Gas Soft Nitriding) operation in the crankshaft manufacturing line, “a unique operation, which nobody does in the country.” Of the engine components planned to be manufactured, the company currently makes crankshaft and connecting rod. “In addition to that, we will be making the cylinder block, cylinder head and transmission case. Basically the implements will be fully localised and these parts will be meant for captive consumption as well as exports to various countries including Japan, Thailand and other Asean countries,” he said. The company is also adding capacity in its manufacturing lines that make crankshaft and connecting rods. Since the plant makes critical components for engines the company follows stringent quality norms. Among other things it has robotised cracking machine for connecting rods.

A major fillip to productivity at the Tapukara plant of HSCI is abundant power supply as it gets 99 percent of power from the electricity board. “We have not utilised the captive power for the last couple of months,” said Wasan. As compared to this situation, the the company’s Greater Noida plant gets only 40 percent of its power requirements from the State electricity board while the rest is locally generated. Furthermore, diesel has turned dearer, the company has recently shifted to CNG power generators. “The Tapukara plant is also strategically located as it is closer to the upcoming Delhi-Mumbai freight corridor,” he said. The new plant has been modeled on the lines of Honda’s latest global plants with special focus on the environment and safety. About 25 percent of the zero discharge plant has been covered with more than 20,000 trees. Besides, the factory uses natural lighting in order to save energy. The plant has already employed 250 associates which is likely to go up to 500 by end of the current fiscal. The supplier’s cluster is spread over 150 acres having space for eight critical and bulky part suppliers. Proximity to HSCI’s car plant and use of updated techniques and features by these component suppliers will make the overall process of car production more efficient, he added.
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