Ricardo’s software hastens hard metal

A bullish-on-India Ricardo Software aims to capitalise on OEMs’ faster-to-market vehicle development programs and the upcoming trend of Tier 1 suppliers designing and developing key components in conjunction with automakers. Amit Panday reports.

By Autocar Pro News Desk calendar 14 May 2014 Views icon14698 Views Share - Share to Facebook Share to Twitter Share to LinkedIn Share to Whatsapp

A bullish-on-India Ricardo Software aims to capitalise on OEMs’ faster-to-market vehicle development programs and the upcoming trend of Tier 1 suppliers designing and developing key components in conjunction with automakers. Amit Panday reports.

Ricardo Software, the leading global provider of simulation software, product innovation, and engineering solutions, is gung-ho on new business potential in India. Recognising future growth in the region, the company had set up its own software arm last year in Pune to cater to OEMs and suppliers, helping drive development of engines, transmissions, gearboxes (along with sub-parts) and also complete vehicle programs. Also, since 2007, the Delhi-based Ricardo India, a wholly owned subsidiary of Ricardo plc, has been providing strategy and technical consulting services to all major local OEMs since 2007.

Yogesh Umbarkar, general manager, Ricardo Software India, says: “Though Ricardo was present earlier as well (in the software business) through its distribution partner, MIRA-Caepro, with increasing needs of our engine development and validation software solutions among Indian OEMs and the supplier base, the company decided to provide its own support system to customers here with more local focus and to cater to their demands.”

Umbarkar reports directly to Thomas Fickenscher, global commercial manager, Ricardo Software UK, who along with David Higbie, global director, Ricardo Software, was in India for the Ricardo user conference held in Pune on March 11.

Eyeing the big market potential for simulation tools in India, Higbie told Autocar Professional that “India is a high potential market supported by the presence of world-class automotive OEMs and supplier base. Going forward, the legislations on the electric vehicle front, emissions and in many other areas here will define the market for us.”

Global support system


While digital prototyping and simulation tools are increasingly becoming popular due to stiffer deadlines for vehicle development programs and reducing durations for development and validation of vehicle parts, the engineering support system backing these tools is one of the primary concerns which OEMs and other users face today. “That is another area where Ricardo ensures unparalleled support to OEMs,” adds Umbarkar.

In India, the company has an application engineering group to provide support services to its customers worldwide. “While we initially take up OEM/supplier simulation-based problems, we educate them about the benefits of our solutions. We help clients with the installation process and run simulation programs as a pilot project for them. Our customers remain directly in touch with global experts, who follow a strict mandate to respond with the adequate solutions within the deadlines. This new arrangement opens the way for customers to improve in-house simulation capabilities through a direct line of high-level expert advice and assistance from Ricardo’s global support team. However, if the OEM does not buy our solution, Ricardo still takes up the job as a consulting service (handled by the team based in Delhi),” explains Umbarkar.

Ricardo works closely with its clients. In February, at the Auto Expo, Mahindra & Mahindra revealed a five-speed automated manual transmission (AMT) on its Quanto MUV. The transmission, a significant step forward in transmission technology deployed in made-in-India cars, is the result of a tech and engineering collaboration with Ricardo. Designed specifically to improve the driving experience and fuel economy in an urban environment, the unit incorporates the key efficiency advantages of a manual transmission while providing the smooth comfort and convenience of an automatic.

Hi-tech tools for Tier 1 suppliers


Besides big OEMs, company officials are seeing a trend of Indian Tier 1 suppliers opting for advanced simulation tools. “While this is a healthy sign of a maturing market wherein the OEMs want their suppliers to move up the ladder and support them in designing the required components, they are increasingly aiming at improved product quality across the supply chain of products,” says Umbarkar.

Major Tier 1 suppliers like Shriram Pistons & Rings, India Pistons and Sharda Motor design and manufacture crucial engine components. These companies are among those using Ricardo’s software solutions to develop products jointly with their customers.

Also read: Interview with Ricardo’s David Higbie, Thomas Fickenscher, Yogesh Umbarkar



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