Hyva eyes assembly plant in Pithampur

by 27 Jun 2007


Hyva India plans to set up a fourth plant in Pithampur to assemble tipper bodies for Force-MAN. The new facility is expected to become operational by 2008-end. This will be Hyva’s smallest unit in the country, and should be able to service 200-250 tippers a month. “We have not decided the investment proposal for this plant, but we will initially need to put in at least Rs 2.5 crore for the paint shop,” managing director, Hyva India, Sudhir Prabhu told Autocar Professional.

Hyva, which makes hydraulic tippers and hydraulic cylinders, compressors for cement transport, hydraulic tailgate/tail-lifts, truck-mounted cranes and many other compactors, will also be moving to a new facility in Bangalore by August this year. It is currently constructing a 6,000 sqm unit in Bangalore. The plant will make tippers (and garbage compactors) catering to customers like Ashok Leyland and Volvo. Hyva is building its capacity to make 700-750 tippers in Bangalore. “We will be making 400 tippers a month for Ashok Leyland. Volvo is also doubling its tipper requirement from us to 100 per month, and we hope to continue being their single source supplier,” Prabhu said.

Moreover, the company has also begun operations at a new plant in Jamshedpur. Covering an area of 6,000 sqm, the facility will make tippers exclusively for Tata Motors. For the moment, Hyva supplies about 700 tippers a month to Tata. But volumes are expected to increase to 1,600 tippers starting next year. Hyva is also discussing with Tata if it could mount its tippers directly at Tata's plant in Jamshedpur.

EXPORT OBLIGATIONS

The company also wants to expand capacity at its Navi Mumbai plant, which is also Hyva’s headquarters in India. It presently makes 36,000 telescopic cylinders here annually and plans to increase this output to 40,000 cylinders by next year. The reason is that the company wants to increase its export obligations to Hyva International, which has a demand of 6,000 cylinders a year. Due to its capacity constraints, the Indian operation is only able to deliver 4,000 cylinders.

These expansions meant that Hyva had to invest Rs 25 crore in its three operations last year, with another investment of Rs 12 crore slated for next year. These funds will mainly go towards new CNC machines and robotic welding. The company is in talks with Kuka Robotics, which also has set up its operation in Pune and has won an order worth 50 million euros from Tata.

##### 'PROJECT POWERHOUSE'

Another big initiative Hyva India is exploring is what has been dubbed ‘Project Powerhouse’. The plan involves manufacturing double acting single stage cylinders in India. Hyva Group currently buys 60,000 of these cylinders – used in truck-mounted cranes, hook loaders and compactors – from countries like Italy, Spain, Ireland and a few others. “We are having a problem of finding the right kind of people in India. And so Hyva Group is also looking at Baltic States to start making double acting single stage cylinders. We of course would like to have it in India, for which we may buy or rent out a new area in Navi Mumbai,” Prabhu says.

Hyva currently employs 600 people in India and has a requirement of another 250 people by the end of this year. Prabhu adds that the main problem is finding employable engineers. Importantly, Hyva tries to build relationships with its employees and provide them with new challenges in order to retain them in the company.

In this context, Hyva India and DaimlerChrysler India are in serious discussions to set up a kind of a training centre to help ease the problem of finding the right talent. This will be a new greenfield project which will aim to provide one to two years of training for technicians and equipment operators.

FINDING RIGHT PEOPLE

Both companies will also use their overseas connections to bring in experts for these courses. What’s more is that Volkswagen and General Motors are also keen to play an important role in this project. DaimlerChrysler, Volkswagen and General Motors are setting up their new plants in Pune. They will require a large number of skilled manpower, and such an institute could address this challenge.

Meanwhile, Hyva has revised its India turnover to Rs 1,250 crore, from Rs 700 crore, by 2010. Exports will account to almost Rs 300 crore by this period. Last year, Hyva India took over China to become the largest operation in the Hyva group after it earned Rs 240 crore. The company is on track to achieve a turnover of Rs 360 crore this year, of which exports would account for Rs 35 crore. “We want to ensure that 25 percent of our turnover comes from exports,” Prabhu says.

AMMAR MASTER