COBO - The future in the TRADITION

Stefano Scapin and Mitesh Chitkara

“At bauma CONEXPO INDIA this year we will display our VEGA IST - an integrated Steering Column Kit with full CAN BUS system, having an instrument cluster with 4.3” TFT display with integrated connectivity. We are also going to showcase our latest displays Tera 10 HE /12 HE with multi-touch and optical bonding technologies.”

Infrastructure development in an efficient and timely manner in a country as large as India is not feasible without good quality Construction Equipment

The government has initiated a lot of policies for time-bound creation of world-class infrastructure in the country. Today, 15-30% of the total cost of the project is allocated for Construction Equipment (buying/leasing). Public spending will drive growth in the near and medium term. Government has decided to kickstart growth through public spending till private investments kick in for the road sector. Focus of government in developing the railways, power, urban development and mining, will also fuel growth of the CE industry.

Indian market is shifting towards global standards instead of local expectations.

COBO is well placed with local and global OEMs in India for different sectors like Agricultural Machinery (Tractors, Harvesters, Sprayers etc); Construction Equipment (Excavators, Loaders, Cranes, Pavers etc), Material Handling (Fork Lifts, Reach Stackers, Telehandlers etc), and Access Work Platforms. Most of our business is with Vehicle OEMs, but we are improving our presence in the aftermarket area as well.

Our approach is to have an early engagement with OEMs at their R&D level to understand their requirements and technical specifications. Accordingly, we offer/develop solution for their specific requirements, which never compromise on quality. We are serving almost everyone in the industry in terms of local as well as global OEMs.

Our branch office in India has the required infrastructure to support client’s needs in a timely manner. Additionally, we manage all our software development, software testing, installation and calibration activities for different applications to which we cater to, through our local team only. It also helps us to offer prompt support services to the local clients, if need arises. We are also working towards having a small warehouse for some of our clients who would like to buy locally against an assured order and firm planning.

Our team in India is taking care of sales, customer support, software application development, software testing and after sales services.

Asia Pacific is the Region wherein COBO is penetrating with the highest growth rate. India, in particular, has been growing impressively. Until 2015 we have been managing our clients (mostly global OEMs with local setups) from our headquarters without any local presence. But seeing that India has high potential and can generate important returns, we have established a strong local presence, which is helping us to consolidate and further develop this market.

Now we are working with the main Vehicle OEMs in the Off-Highway Vehicle Market. We are confident that our growth will continue as COBO in India will provide added value solutions to clients by defining the right products and solutions for the desired applications, and provide the right mix of quality, technology and cost with premium service.

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Since we design and manufacture most of the components in-house for integrated systems, their superior technical attributes give us a competitive edge in quality, delivery and cost.

Our strength is that we’re a one-stop solution provider for different requirements and have 6 product lines such as:

Electromechanical (lighting: headlamps, rear lamps, work lamps, rotating lamps, technologies: filament / halogen bulbs, HID and LED). Switches (ignition key switches, rocker panel switches, lever combination switches, rotary switches and push button switches – technologies: electromechanical and hall effect), fuel level senders, DC / DC converters and inverters for vehicle electrification.

Instrument Cluster: from individual analogue gauges to fully programmable devices with TFT display.

Electronics: displays, controllers, sensors and accessories (joysticks, keypads etc).

Mechanical: seating systems, steering columns, steering wheels, armrests and complete steering column assemblies.

Systems: wiring harnesses and complete vehicle systems.

Connectivity: short distance connectivity devices such as CAN BUS to Bluetooth / Wi-fi modules and long-distance connectivity devices such as GPS / GRPS modules.

At bauma CONEXPO INDIA, we’re showcasing our VEGA IST - an integrated Steering Column Kit with full CAN BUS system, having an instrument cluster with 4.3” TFT display with integrated connectivity. Our other products on display include:

Tera 10 HE /12 HE - multi-touch screen display of 10.1 and 12.1 inch size with optical bonding technology, based on 32 bits microcontroller, 8GB flash memory and Linux embedded OS. Possibility to read up to 4 video cameras and show them simultaneously on the same screen.

ALGA MAX –a very unique Instrument cluster with an option of 4.3’ or 5’ Hi resolution TFT display in the middle to provide advance graphics, camera input and connectivity like Bluetooth, WIFI and GPS.

In addition to these, we’ll showcase connectivity solutions and invite all our clients, followers and readers to walk-in to our booth to get information about these innovative products.

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COBO has been investing over 50 million euros in the last 5 years in R&D. We want to pioneer many more technological solutions. Even if we define ourselves as a ‘non-automotive’ company, we work into some premium segments of two and four-wheeler markets. This drives us to develop technological solutions such as full LED lighting, contactless switches, connectivity solutions and power electronic solutions, which will be needed in our core business market - the Off-Highway Vehicle Market. The Automotive Market at the end is the benchmark for Off-Highway Vehicle Market and consequently the components and solutions being developed and provided.

On integrated solutions for the Indian market are based on quality, reliability and performance, with commercial viability. The Indian market is already using some of the most sophisticated technologies since the export rate of Off-Highway vehicles is quite significant and on a growth path.

The Indian market has strong fundamentals to attract global competitors to invest locally.

We have seen quite a decent movement towards Off-Highway components and vehicle manufacturers in recent years. COBO also intends moving in the same direction, step by step. In terms of manufacturing COBO is present with 7 plants in Italy and 4 abroad (USA, China, Romania and Brazil). Some of our products have high labour content and localization will certainly generate some benefits. Our business in India is growing and we are considering setting up a local manufacturing business unit as soon as we achieve all the right conditions.

NBM&CW December 2018

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