ACMA Tech Summit urges suppliers to stay invested in R&D to ride future trends

by Autocar Pro News Desk , 26 Nov 2019

L-R: Sunil Arora, Co-Chairperson, ACMA Skilling & Mentoring and MD, Abilities India Pistons & Rings; Dr Martin Koers, MD, VDA, Germany; Deepak Jain, president, ACMA & CMD, Lumax Industries; Girish Wagh, President & Head-CVBU, Tata Motors; Sarwant Singh, Managing Partner, Frost & Sullivan; F R Singhvi, Chairperson-ACMA Skilling & Mentoring and JMD of Sansera Engineering Ltd; and Vinnie Mehta, Director General, ACMA.

As the Indian automotive industry races towards April 2020, when the mandate for stringent BS6 emissions kicks in, as well as engages with disruptive technologies and global megatrends like CASE ((Connected, Autonomous, Shared, Electrified), stakeholders are fast realising the benefits of in-house research and development and the need to constantly innovate. It also means collaborating with like-minded partner companies on a larger scale.     

These and other such measures were part of the lively debate among national and international experts in technologies, which are shaping the automotive environment of tomorrow, at the fifth ACMA Technology Summit held on November 25-26 in Pune. The overriding theme of ‘Exploring New Frontiers of Technology’ was in line with ACMA’s endeavour to facilitate the Indian auto component industry in identifying disruptive challenges and delineating a roadmap for its future. The ACMA Summit witnessed incisive sessions on the Future of Mobility, Green Mobility, Industry 4.0, Electric Mobility, AI, Blockchain, Design Thinking and Autonomous Driving.

The event saw the presence of eminent personalities from the government and the industry including Deepak Jain, president, ACMA; Girish Wagh, president and head -CVBU, Tata Motors; Dr Martin Koers, MD, German Association of the Automotive Industry (VDA); Pravin Agarwal, joint secretary, Department of Heavy Industry, government of India; Ashok Sharma, assistant VP & Operating Head, Honda Cars India; Raju Ketkale, senior VP & director, Toyota Kirloskar Motors; and Sarwant Singh, managing partner, Frost & Sullivan to name a few.

Commenting on the rapidly changing dynamics in the industry, Deepak Jain, president, ACMA said, “The automotive industry in India is undergoing significant stress due to plummeting sales, which in turn has adversely impacted the performance of the components sector. But with sound macro-economic fundamentals and the recent interventions by the government, it is only a matter of time that the growth will return to the industry. It is, therefore, necessary to ensure that the industry is prepared for the next growth cycle, especially our Tier 2s and Tier 3s.”

VDA reaches out to ACMA members
According to Dr. Martin Koers, Managing Director, German Association of the Automotive Industry (VDA), "Alternative energy, automation, connectivity and new services are the key trends which the industry needs to be prepared for. The combustion engine will be of utmost importance even in the future, even though the future is electric. We are convinced that depending on the mobility need, different technologies are required. We should therefore look at renewable fuels when planning a holistic approach. VDA extends an invitation to all ACMA members for knowledge exchange, and problem solving discussions with their German counterparts."

Arun Rao, senior director, Sales, 3DS Value Solutions, Dassault Systèmes India said: "The ACMA Centre of Excellence - Design & Engineering Lab aims to skill people here in India so they are able to use the disruptive technologies and help ACMA members prepare for the future."

"Technology collaboration becomes the most important aspect for the future. This opens up a platform for global tech and skill exchange," said Ms. Sowmya Chaturvedi, Supply Chain Head, Cummins India.

"Technological  challenges have given us a good opportunity to upskill ourselves and come to a global level, as it challenges us to reduce error and increase competitiveness, remarked Yogesh Umbarkar, VP, Asia-Ricardo Software, Ricardo India.

"No panic, more planning, is the right way to prepare for the future. Continue with your current tech, but start putting in money for R&D of the future technologies ," said F R Singhvi, Chairperson, ACMA Skilling & Mentoring and JMD of Sansera Engineering

"The automotive industry needs to make fundamental and strategic decisions now to save the industry’s future by preparing to reshape the value proposition, adapting organisational demands and leveraging partnerships," commented Ashok Sharma, AVP & Operating Head, Honda Cars India.

"ACMA is working towards getting the supply chain ready for smart, intelligent and connected vehicles. Our competitiveness relies on quality, localisation, costs and fulfilling the needs of the customers," said Deepak Jain, president, ACMA.

62 companies bag ACMA excellence awards
The Summit also witnessed conferring of ACMA Annual Awards, honouring excellence in the component industry. Of the 161 applicants, 62 winners were awarded this year. The ACMA Awards are bestowed for Excellence in Export, New Product Design & Development, Process Technology, Manufacturing, Supplier Development, Human Resource, Inclusive Growth – A Make in India Drive, HSE (Health, Safety & Environment) and Unique Initiatives.

The event also witnessed the launch of ACMA-Frost & Sullivan study on ‘Mega Themes of the Future - Opportunities for the Indian Auto Industry’. The study dwells extensively on disruptions being faced by the Indian automotive industry in the form of CASE technologies. It also highlights how these disruptions are fueling innovation, bringing in new business models and creating revenue-generating hotspots. 

ACMA also signed MoUs with the Centre for Development of Advanced Computing (C-DAC) and Society of Automotive Engineers, India (SAE INDIA) as knowledge partners for ACMA Centre of Excellence (ACoE). With C-DAC, ACMA will jointly work to develop content for training programs and collaborate in designing and setting up of labs, conduct workshops and knowledge sessions, provide technology services using C-DAC products and technology, and develop e-learning platforms customised for the auto sector.

While with SAE INDIA, knowledge sharing in the area of mobility engineering will be a key focus. ACMA and SAEINDIA will jointly leverage SAEINDIA Collegiate Clubs (AICTE Accredited Engineering Institutions/Universities) for joint programs, connect with national and international subject matter experts to conduct training and design and conduct certification programs. As long-term goals, establishing a best-in-class e-library for mobility engineering and building an e-network for on-line courses could be considered.

Also read: CV industry may take up to 5 years to reach previous sales peak: Tata Motors' Girish Wagh