Component manufacturers are forming a close association with OEMs to meet the higher performance standards of equipment. P.P. Basistha takes a look.
Demand by OEMs for components such as hydraulics, transmission and drives, valves, and pump controls, is on the rise. According to component manufacturers, there was close to 15% rise in demand in 2017, as compared to 2016. Heightened activity in road construction sector and renewed traction in mining and mineral processing, has led to higher deployment of digging, extraction, loading, haulage, leveling and surface preparation equipment. This has resulted in greater demand for components. Improved offtake of mobile cranes is also a key demand driver.
OEMs, faced with the challenge to deliver higher levels of productivity, reliability, and optimization of their equipment, are setting stricter technical standards for component manufacturers. The standards are being set to justify the total lifecycle cost of the equipment. The other challenge for component manufacturers is to ensure timely delivery of their products, for which they are enhancing their production capabilities, and looking into backward integration with vendors to further streamline their production processes.
Bonfiglioli: Leading through experience
According to him, design of a transmission plays a vital part in delivering better efficiency and enhancing performance to withstand longer duty cycles. Both these objectives don't always run concurrent to each other, and many a times, achieving one may lead to undoing of the other. The challenge in design and manufacturing of a transmission lies in coming up with innovative solutions that meet all these objectives.
Bonfiglioli, having worked with all major OEMs across the globe in construction equipment, has decades of experience that enables it to provide solutions for diverse objectives. One such solution is its 700CK Series of drives used on tracked machines of 1.5 to 120 ton. These products are the result of its partnership with Kayaba Industries Co. All the hydraulic and mechanical functions like power drive, operating and travel speed, hydraulic and mechanical emergency braking system, and overload protection, are incorporated in a single unit. Extreme compactness, lightweight, efficiency, and smooth operation, are the key features of 700CK Series of track drives.
"It is our belief that with ever stringent emission norms, construction equipment will evolve to become more efficient than ever before and hybrid & electric technologies will come in for greater use as we move towards a greener economy," opines Kennady.
Bonfiglioli's deep commitment to the green economy has conditioned its entire organisational model, not only in the choice of markets, but also in the development of new products. In the last decade, the company has developed various products designed specifically for use with electric motors that offer a wide range of performance specifications.
Elaborates Kennady, "India, which is the largest Backhoe Loader market in the world, could benefit enormously with our products like wheel traction drives, launched under 600 Series Product Platform. This drive is specifically designed for backhoe loaders and other construction equipment. Each of the special 4-wheel traction drives is capable of reaching an output torque of 40.000 Nm, and is driven by a liquid cooled 30kW electric motor. The independent control of each wheel gives the opportunity for the backhoe loaders to be driven better on slippery surfaces. The Bonfiglioli 610 drives also increase the precision of the machine, making the manoeuvrability easier in tight spaces, for example, in building sites located at city centers. This solution enables OEMs to adopt hybrid technology that combines diesel & electric power, allowing energy generation and regeneration in a way that has never been done before for construction machinery."
Bonfiglioli's strength lies in its designing and developing customised solutions for a wide range of applications. This necessitates constant engagement with customers, right from the initial design phase, in view of the high level of customisation required. "Our local design centre in India enables an in-depth interaction with our customer, and that all of the required performance criteria are met so that we can develop a product that meets customer expectations," says Kennady, who informs that the company's upcoming 140,000 sq.ft facility adjacent to its plant at Thirumudivakkam in Chennai, will house an expanded design centre and a test lab to simulate specific customer requirements.
Bonfiglioli has been in India for nearly two decades, during which it has developed a range of power transmission products that permeate every walk of life such as industrial solutions that find applications across the breadth of industry, wind solutions for wind turbines, and mobile solutions for self-propelled agricultural, mining, warehousing and construction equipment. Along with its manufacturing facilities in Chennai and Pune, the company has offices for providing after-sales and after-market services in major industrial hubs of Mumbai, Delhi, Ahmedabad, Hyderabad, Kolkata, Bangalore, Coimbatore and other metros.
PMP Drive Systems India: Offering Integrated Drives
PMP Drive Systems India is doubling its production capacity at its Chakan manufacturing facility by increasing the number of shifts. It has also set up a new assembly line for manufacturing gear boxes for compactors, and for excavators of 8-14-20 tons. The company manufactures integrated drives comprising of gear boxes and hydraulic motors for crawler mounted vehicles, Gearboxes for Transit mixers, while its Hydraulic components are imported from its parent facility in Italy. PMP cater to major customers in this segment.
He adds, "We are the first European manufacturer in India to offer integrated drives, which include the gearboxes and hydraulic motors, while most component manufacturers are manufacturing their own gearboxes and sourcing the hydraulic motors. So, we are providing a single-window support to our customers." PMP provides integrated drives for excavators, tracked crushers and blast hole drilling rigs to Indian customers.
The company conducts various quality and performance tests of its products prior to delivery. After every six months or 500,1000 hours of utilization of the components, a critical pressure mapping is done, and if needed by customers, it conducts strip analysis and validation of the components. Along with in-house support to customers, PMP is also developing a dealer base for the northern and southern markets.
Eaton: Integrating solutions
Uniquely positioned to offer complete hydraulic and electrical systems, Eaton offers one of the most comprehensive ranges of products and solutions - from hoses and fittings to pumps, valves to motors, electronic controls and software to electrical and filtration, Eaton products help make machines more productive and more efficient. Eaton's experience and systems engineering expertise stand out in the construction, mining, and agriculture industry.
"Eaton's state-of-the-art innovation center in Pune is part of our global innovation and engineering value chain. With over 1500 application engineers, the center is engaged in cutting edge programs from product conception, designing, development, prototyping as well as installing products on mix and match models," adds Shandar.
The product application study at Eaton takes into consideration critical parameters like ambient and working temperature, space, bends and pressure flow for hoses. Its cylinders and pumps for hydraulics are designed to give high productivity with power management and fuel saving. The electronic controls are designed for precision and fuel economy. Prior to delivery, all products undergo comprehensive reliability tests based on critical parameters for equipment optimization and include pressure mapping, flow controls, flow priority, and gradients.
As a global technology leader in power management, Eaton's portfolio of electrical, hydraulic, and mechanical solutions enables its customers operate equipment more efficiently, safely and sustainably. Eaton's hydraulic and electric components are used in motor graders, wheel loaders, crushers, excavators, and backhoe loaders. For crushers, it provides hydraulic power packs and valves tanks. Eaton works with key OEMs in the construction equipment industry. It has over 100 distributors and channel partners across the country and condition monitoring support is provided by Eaton's extensive network of field engineers.
ZF India: Higher capacity transmissions
ZF India manufactures driveline compo- nents, axles and transmission systems. Its newly set-up India Technology Centre (ITC) in Hyderabad, offers critical application engineering support to the ZF Products globally.
For ZF India, the rigid dump truck is one of its focus business for its transmissions, with major customers like Ashok Leyland, Tata's Prima range of trucks, AMW, Volvo Eicher Mahindra & Mahindra and Man Trucks India.
ZF's higher capacity transmissions have high levels of durability and are designed to meet the application of tippers that are powered by 280-300-350-400 hp engines, with minimal breakdown. The company imports its 12 and 16 speed transmissions from its parent facility in Germany. It has a service centre in Bengaluru and Pune, and also renders support through its dealers throughout India.
Murphy: Rugged Comprehensive Solutions
Murphy is keen to expand its presence in the growing road equipment sector, where it sees sufficient room for growth in the motor graders, compactors and pavers space. The company, with its complete set of solutions comprising Displays, Controllers, Hydraulic valves, Sensors and Systems, is well positioned to meet the requirements for higher efficiency, reliability and productivity in these machines. It is currently supplying units and system component to several equipment manufacturers.
Sustained alliance for development
The close alliance of component manufacturers with OEMs will give them access to more advanced solutions, which, in turn, will enhance their product design and manufacturing capability. QEMs stand to gain too as these components will increase the quality and performance of their equipment. The association needs to be carried forward across the lifecycle of the equipment and as per a critical understanding of the equipment's application and required performance based on condition monitoring analysis. This will make more effective new developments and scope of utilization of components by the OEMs.