PYN Precision to make clutch gears

The company has outlined plans for automation and to supply clutch levers to Maruti Suzuki.

Autocar Pro News DeskBy Autocar Pro News Desk calendar 01 Aug 2011 Views icon5057 Views Share - Share to Facebook Share to Twitter Share to LinkedIn Share to Whatsapp
PYN Precision to make clutch gears
Faridabad-based PYN Precision Components is gearing up to begin manufacture of clutch levers to meet the growing demand for the component from its key customer, Maruti Suzuki which is also driving the supplier to embrace automation.

The growing shortage of cast iron castings currently faced by OE manufacturers is also pushing PYN to adopt backward integration to make it self-sufficient and reduce its dependence on external sources. OEs have indicated that PYN can be optimistic of a steady stream of orders once the foundry is in place.

Managing director Kishore K Gupta told Autocar Professional that PYN will be the first in its size of companies to put in place a robotised handling system for pulleys. This will reduce manpower from 16 to four and also ensure faster production.

PYN is expanding its existing one-acre facility equipped with 45 CNC machines by setting up a new unit, spread over 4,000 square feet, in the same premises. The new facility will be automated with three gantry robots, sourced from Japan at a cost of Rs 30 lakh each. These will travel around the unit, feeding different machines and undertake loading and unloading operations. “Their efficiency will be 25 percent higher than that of manpower and production will escalate from 150,000 pulleys per month to 180,000 pulleys monthly,” says Gupta.

The company currently supplies pulleys directly to Maruti Suzuki for air-conditioning, crankshafts and water pumps for engines. PYN uses the broaching process to maintain high accuracy, repeatability and a good finish in the production of pulleys ensuring that tolerance is within 10 microns. The broaching process involves machining holes, forming symmetrical or irregular holes, grooves or slots in machine parts especially when the size or shape of an opening or its length in proportion to the diameter or width make other machining processes unviable.

The development of the broaching machine and broaches has led to its extensive application to external, flat and other surfaces. PYN, which is also a major supplier of aerospace parts, is moving out its aerospace business that contributes 10 percent of its overall turnover from Faridabad to Bangalore. The new unit that will be housed in a rented premise in Bangalore will produce machined components for rockets catering to the requirements of Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL).

Clutch-ing new business

PYN’s new clutch lever business, for which Gupta foresees a large market, will thereafter move into the vacated unit at Faridabad. According to Gupta, Maruti Suzuki produces around 100,000 cars per month with each car using one clutch lever on the engine. “When you press the clutch pedal, that lever operates the clutch,” explains Gupta.

PYN received the Letter of Intent from Suzuki Powertrain last fortnight for developing the clutch levers for the new Maruti Swift Dzire diesel, SX4 petrol and diesel as well as the Ritz diesel, with supplies to commence from October 2011. “Maruti has a large demand for clutch levers and has been facing a shortage. So we will invest Rs 10 lakh for broaching operations while other facilities will be common,” says Gupta.

Supplies of around 50,000 units per month are targeted from the unit for Suzuki Powertrain and PYN is optimistic of supplying 50 percent of the carmaker’s requirements for clutch levers by the year end.

Gunning for new business from GM

PYN is also a supplier to General Motors for bearing caps and is in talks with the OE for engine brackets for its new hatchback and saloon CN100 and NGS in petrol and diesel versions to be rolled out in 2012. PYN is already supplying bearing caps for the just launched 1000cc Chevrolet Beat diesel hatchback and will be doing so for the new 1.3-litre diesel engine as well.

PYN services customers like Suzuki Powertrain for bearing caps for Maruti diesel engines, Subros for brackets and connectors in compressors and fittings for air-conditioners, engine brackets for Tata Motors and planetary carriers for Cararo component maker for use in axles, from its Pune plant. It is a Tier 1 supplier for Maruti and Suzuki Powertrain.

With the ongoing expansion programme, PYN expects to clock a topline of Rs 60 crore by 2012-13 and Rs 100 crore by 2013-14 once its foundry goes on stream.

The company’s strategy is to become self-sufficient by establishing a CI castings foundry for which a final decision will be taken next fiscal. Gupta says OEs like Maruti Suzuki, General Motors and Volkswagen had been hesitant to place large orders with PYN, as it lacked a modern foundry and was also facing capacity issues.

PYN currently buys 350 tonnes of castings every month from outside sources and machines the components on its CNC machines. But it has been exploring the possibility of setting up an automatic foundry in Faridabad on an acre of land with an investment of Rs 5 crore primarily through debt. “It will be a German disamatic foundry that can produce lakhs of components very fast,” says Gupta.

The company’s Pune plant also requires castings especially as OEs have indicated that PYN will be considered for supplies of cast iron parts like brackets, brake drums, pulleys and fly wheels for all newer models once the foundry is in place.

According to Gupta, if PYN can produce the same component at a good price point, it will make PYN competitive. Industry at present is faced with shortages in CI castings while aluminium castings have adequate vendors.

Gupta attributes PYN’s rise from a Rs 10 crore to Rs 40 crore company in the last three years to Maruti Suzuki. In the absence of a foreign technical collaborator, the carmaker taught PYN management principles of employee motivation, transparency in work and employee involvement.

“Maruti Suzuki did not tell us that we were a bad or average vendor. They told us that we were not world- class. The gap is very large, so they adapted us. They created the Maruti Centre of Excellence and visited our factory, analysing, training and motivating our people,” elaborates Gupta. This increased focus on product quality enabled a cut in rejection levels and downsizing of costs as well as shoring up of the topline and savings. Simultaneously, it led to an energy saving of four percent and Gupta says the energy cost has today been trimmed to two percent of turnover and the components are Euro III and IV-compliant.
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