Delphi-TVS rolls out low-cost ECU

Delphi-TVS’ Oragadam plant, which manufactures common-rail direct injection systems, has received accolades from Delphi for its innovative approach in containing investments. This has also drawn a number of visitors from Delphi. Senior executives of Delphi from Brazil and China visited the facility essentially to see how the company was able to reduce the investments on manufacturing common-rail systems with respect to Delphi’s facilities in other locations across the world;typically a high capi

Autocar Pro News DeskBy Autocar Pro News Desk calendar 04 Oct 2010 Views icon24739 Views Share - Share to Facebook Share to Twitter Share to LinkedIn Share to Whatsapp
Delphi-TVS rolls out low-cost ECU
Secondly, plant is also capable of making products not only in low volumes but also of high variety. While Delphi’s plants elsewhere make up to three varieties of nozzles, the Oragadam facility can make up to six varieties Usually Delphi goes for high automation and the change over between variants takes longer time. J S Chopra, president of Delphi-TVS, says: “When we set up the plant, we decided to make it flexible to have several changeovers in the shortest possible time. Also we went for CNC machines where the cycle times are lower. Delphi enabled us to go for the right process from day one.” The knowledge gained from its rotary pump plant at its Mannur facility, which has a lot of Japanese, Taiwanese and Indian machine tools achieving the same quality at lower investments, helped it to replicate the model in Oragadam. Moreover, the company confined robotics only to critical applications. Besides, it introduced different technologies, based on solvents, for washing. Deciding on the machines took a little longer, however it was worth spending time, says Chopra.

Placing orders for machines in bulk also helped the company to get a competitive price. It introduced semi-automation in certain assembly lines, which is suitable for volumes varieties that are required by the domestic market. These initiatives helped Delphi-TVS to contain investments significantly and became a case study for Delphi’s plants in other locations across the globe.

The company will introduce these controllers in its Unit Pump Common Rail (UPCR) system and common-rail direct injection systems soon. Since inception about two decades ago, Delphi-TVS has been supplying fuel injection system components including rotary pumps to a host of OEMs. From April 2009, it began supply of common-rail systems including pumps and injectors. It has won contracts from both Indian and global customers and will now be supplying a fuel injection system for a wide range of applications including passenger cars, utility vehicles, light, medium and heavy commercial vehicles. Besides, it will be supplying to two- and three-cylinder applications in small vehicle engines The company has also developed a new common-rail product family – UPCR – which offers the benefit of a common-rail system at a low cost, benefiting the spread of this technology to different market segments.

According to J S Chopra, president, the new UPCR system, which is developed for BS IV applications, will be introduced with the new ECU soon. It is also looking to expand this product platform to meet BS V standards. The new variant of the existing common-rail direct injection system will be coupled with the new ECUs. However, it will also be available with the existing ECU. Fuel injection systems with the new ECUs will be available before the end of this calendar year, he says.

“Delphi-TVS defined the boundary lines for the product and the development took place in Delphi in the UK. The system is customised to India for applications across the board. We fixed the price and worked backwards,” he reveals. Delphi-TVS' focus has been to provide cost-effective solutions to its customers, which has been helped by its Technical Centre which designs, develops and validates its products.

When asked to elaborate on the development of the ECU at an affordable cost, Chopra says the cost of any ECU is shared by its three major parts such as the housing, header and printed circuit board components. The company designed the new ECU by integrating the housing and header, which helped to reduce cost and make it competitive, he adds.

Working on Euro 5 and 6

Delphi-TVS has also begun working on Euro-5/BS V programmes with its customers. Here again, it will focus on providing cost-effective solutions through innovative strategies developed along with parent company, Delphi Diesel Systems, France.

Delphi Diesel has already begun several Euro-6 programmes with several of its key customers. It has demonstrated the levels of emissions using a simple ‘solenoid’ type common- rail injector, thereby offering value for money. Electronic systems are increasingly penetrating the automobile sector due to the enormous amount of flexibility they offer to manipulate the variables based on the desired requirements. This option is limited in mechanical systems and is possible only at the design stage. The electronic systems, once mapped, can work flawlessly. A closed loop system is also possible in the case of electronics due to controllability, flexibility and consistency. With emission regulations becoming stringent, only electronic systems can manage the consistency.

Electronic controllers were first employed by OEMs to control vehicular emissions but now they are used in a variety of applications including the stop/start system, HVAC, cruise control and on-board diagnostics. And with CAN (Controlled Area Network), common sensors are used for different applications.

Delphi-TVS caters to several OEMs and engine manufacturers including Tata Motors, Mahindra & Mahindra, Peugeot (France), Renault (France and India), SsyangYong (Korea), Hindustan Motors, Greaves, Ashok-Leyland Nissan, Simpsons-Tafe and Escorts. It has currently has three plants. While the main plant at Mannur, near Chennai, makes rotary pumps and mechanical unit pumps, the second plant at Pantnagar supplies rotary pumps.

Delphi-TVS’ common-rail products are manufactured at its new plant in Oragadam, the new emerging automotive hub near Chennai, which was set up at an investment of Rs 350 crore.
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