Denso low-cost heat exchangers for Etios
“We’ve succeeded in substantially lowering the cost of these products by increasing our local procurement, and by using common materials to reduce the types of materials we use by more than 70 percent,” says Akio Shikamura, senior executive director of Denso’s Thermal Systems Business Group.
Noriyi Miyazaki, manager, Indian Business Strategy, Indian business unit, Thermal Business Unit, says: “In the Indian automotive market, where compact cars are the mainstream, it is essential for us to provide cost-competitive products. Also, to provide products that best meet customer needs, we carefully studied customer needs and the environment of car use in India, while applying many years of our know-how and experience into product development. For materials, we closely cooperated with local material suppliers."
Miyazakil adds, “We manufacture the heat exchangers at Denso Kirloskar Industries and plan to produce 70,000 units of each product annually for a total of 280,000 units.” “In addition to introducing low-cost product designs, we also reduced costs on the production side by using our manufacturing strengths to create more efficient production lines,” adds Shikamura.
“Our various innovations and improvements allowed us to manufacture the four products on a single line.” Conventionally, the company would have to manufacture each product on separate production lines. This new method has improved Denso’s manufacturing efficiency even at a small production quantity.
The new heat exchangers also break new ground in another area. Tadashi Nakabou, manager, Research & Development Section 1, Heat Exchanger Research & Development Division, Denso, says: “The total weight of the four heat exchangers is one of the lightest among those installed in compact cars in India and this weight reduction contributes to fuel efficiency." He continues, "On the production side, the integration of separate conventional production lines into one helps save energy. We also saved energy in transportation of materials and components due to increased local procurement."
The Etios was launched in early December to a tremendous reception with bookings zooming up and supplies to customers began in January. Toyota Kirloskar Motor has received an avalanche of bookings and has gone on record to say that there will be a six- to eight-month waiting period.
Denso is confident that it can meet with requirement. “The current booking level is within our expectations,” adds Miyazaki. Denso made improvements to the forming machine, which allowed it to combine the production of two different kinds of tubes using one single machine. Conventionally the two tubes — hollow tubes for radiators and heater cores, and pressure-resistant tubes with corrugated internal structure for evaporators and condensers — were produced using separate machines due to difference in the tube’s structure.
After the Etios, Denso aims to deploy these products to other vehicles in India and other emerging markets.
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