Continental’s Bengaluru plant has reached a milestone for producing one million Airbag Control Units (ACUs), a landmark achieved in a single calendar year. The high-on-safety technology company had started ACU production in the Bengaluru plant in 2016. In 2019, the company added additional assembly lines to increase its capacity to meet the growing market demand.
Continental is localising the entire value chain from R&D to design and production according to customers’ requirement. Apart from catering to leading OEMs in the local market, the Bengaluru plant also exports these control units to other Asian regions.
Sukhdeep Sandhu, Head - Passive Safety and Sensorics (PSS) business unit, Continental Automotive India said, “We have been continuously increasing our manufacturing and R&D efforts in India with our ‘in the market, for the market’ approach. With growing consumer preference for safer vehicles and progressive steps taken by the OEMs, safety contents in a vehicle have been on the rise. We will continue to innovate and produce safety-critical technologies for Indian and global markets. Further, our localisation approach also elevates our innovation capabilities, adapting globally proven technologies to the local market needs. Because we believe safety is for all.”
Phanindra Karody, Head of Bengaluru Plant, Continental Automotive India, said, “Producing one million ACUs per year is a special milestone for us. Over the past two years, the pandemic presented many challenges. However, as a team, we adapted to the changing scenarios and were able to reach our targets with minimal disruptions. Also, the move towards Industry 4.0 has helped us not only in maintaining product quality and global manufacturing standards but also effectively mobilize our supply chain. We are planning to increase our ACU production capacity by at least 30 percent in the next few years.”
Safety is for all
Being a critical component for the functioning of airbags, the ACU provides restraint control features and supports instant communication with the satellite crash sensors, which help detect and evaluate the intensity of the crash situation and focus on occupant safety functions.
The product lines of Continental’s Airbag Control Unit are based on a modular platform approach, which is scalable, flexible, and cost-optimised via modular building blocks. With its basic functions and integration option of additional safety features, it is designed to meet all market requirements.
The basic version supports standard passive safety functions and therefore is suited to rising demand for cost-effective safety features, such as front and side airbags, and belt pretensioners, in emerging markets. Additional safety functions such as Vehicle Dynamics Sensing, Rollover Detection, and Event Data Recording can be integrated within the modular concept.
“Continental is committed to Vision Zero - Zero Fatalities, Zero Injuries, and Zero Crashes. With a competent line of safety solutions, Continental is in a good position to meet growing demands in the vehicle safety area, both locally and globally. In addition, our Technical Center India (TCI) has built competencies across domains within a short time and has an extensive engineering workforce working on advanced safety technologies. The R&D team of PSS business unit is innovating to adapt sophisticated safety technologies into more affordable and functional solutions,” added Sandhu.
Continental is currently in its 150th year. Founded in 1871, the technology company offers safe, efficient, intelligent and affordable solutions for vehicles, machines, traffic and transportation. In 2020, Continental generated sales of 37.7 billion euros (Rs 311,665 crore) and currently employs more than 192,000 people in 58 countries and markets. On October 8, 2021, the company celebrated its 150th anniversary.
The company has been present in India for close to 50 years through technology partnerships (Continental Tires since 1974) and joint ventures for its various businesses. Today, the tier 1 automotive supplier, tire manufacturer, and industrial partner operate across India – with about 8,000 employees across 13 locations, including eight plants that cater to the Indian market and a Technical Center that supports Continental's global R&D activities.