Godrej Tooling sets sights on hydrogen fuel cell opportunity

However, Abhyankar acknowledges that the technology is still in its early stages, and they are waiting to see how use cases develop.

By Shahkar Abidi calendar 29 Jun 2024 Views icon1687 Views Share - Share to Facebook Share to Twitter Share to LinkedIn Share to Whatsapp
Godrej Tooling sets sights on hydrogen fuel cell opportunity

Mumbai-based Godrej Tooling, a major player in supplying automotive tooling to  clients like Honda, Maruti Suzuki, and Mahindra & Mahindra, is looking to capitalise on the burgeoning hydrogen fuel cell (HFC) technology space. The company believes its expertise in stamping tools can be a valuable asset in this new arena, according to Pankaj Abhyankar, Senior Vice President and Business Head, Godrej Tooling.

Abhyankar highlights a two-pronged approach for the company. First, it sees potential to directly contribute to HFC development through its core competency in stamping tools, likely for manufacturing fuel cell components. Secondly, he points out that manufacturers of electrolyzers, equipment crucial for hydrogen production, require workshop equipment that falls under the company's existing portfolio of jigs and fixtures. 

Electrolyzers are essentially the flip side of the coin for hydrogen fuel cell vehicles in a clean energy mobility system. They use electricity, preferably from renewable sources, to split water into hydrogen gas through electrolysis. This hydrogen gas then powers the vehicle's fuel cell, emitting only water vapour as a byproduct.

"We make stamping tools and a fuel cell involves a set of sheets that are put together," Abhyankar told Autocar Professional. "That's an area where we are looking at (doing some more) work." The company already boasts experience in various stamping techniques such as transfer stamping, progressive stamping, and tandem stamping, as well as panel tooling for tractors, commercial vehicles, and even two-wheelers.

Godrej Tooling further recognises the potential need for workshop equipment among electrolyzers manufacturers. "We already have a lot of workshop equipment which we do as a part of our jigs, fixtures, etc" he added.

The company is actively seeking partnerships in the HFC space, recognising hydrogen's potential as a major future player. However, Abhyankar acknowledges that the technology is still in its early stages, and they are waiting to see how use cases develop.

This move by Godrej Tooling reflects a wider trend within the Indian auto component industry, where traditional players are scrambling to adapt and secure a foothold in emerging technologies like electric vehicles (EVs) and hydrogen fuel cells. Hydrogen fuel cells are seen as a particularly promising alternative for long-haul transportation due to their extended range capabilities.

India's machine tool industry is already a significant player globally, ranking ninth in production and seventh in consumption, according to Gardner Intelligence's World Machine Tool Survey 2022. The Indian Machine Tool Manufacturers' Association (IMTMA) reports that the industry reached an estimated value of Rs 12,328 crore in production and Rs 24,536 crore in consumption in 2022–23. This represents a significant year-on-year growth of 32% and 55%, respectively, highlighting the industry's dynamism. 







 

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