Volvo Penta to leverage presence in construction equipment segment in India

Volvo Penta Construction Mining
Swedish Engine manufacturer Volvo Penta's presence has been marked by twenty years of its existence in the Indian market. The company aims to strengthen its presence in the power segment on account of India's growing power requirement from manufacturing and commercial sectors in face of spontaneous peak power outages. However, the engine manufacturing major also aims to leverage its presence in growing construction equipment business. Currently, the company derives 20% of its sales through marketing its engines in construction and mining sector in India to off highway mobile units. In a recent interaction with P.P. Basistha following the launch of TWD1653GE series engines for power generation, Mr. Bjorn Ingemanson, President & CEO, Mr. Giorgio Paris, President Region EM & APAC, Lars Ljungqvist, Sr. Vice President Product Planning, Development and Purchasing AB Volvo Penta and Mr. Prabhakaran S, Vice President, Industrial & Marine Power Systems, Volvo Penta India highlighted part of the strategies by the entity to enlarge its presence in construction equipment business Excerpts:

What are the Group's expansion strategy and potential segments in Indian construction equipment business?
With our high horse power engines, we are looking for construction equipment business segments in India that require faster duty cycles and commensurate higher uptime. This includes compressors, concrete pumps, and materials handling equipment, involving rough terrain, all terrain cranes and all other variants of mobile cranes. We are also looking for the earthmoving segments, and material handling equipment involved in mining sector. Globally, Volvo Penta has been supplying engines to OEMs of repute and has a strong credibility for the product line being offered. The credibility has been built on the highest level of performance delivered by our tier- 2 to 4 Final engines in terms of high fuel efficiency and lowest maintenance costs. We would like to introduce engines with similar footprint of high efficiency for the Indian construction equipment sector.

Based on requirements of Indian OEM's array of individual products and standards, how are the engines featured and designed to have complete equipment integration, especially with auxiliary systems such as radiators, transmissions, air intake and exhaust and common components? How is installation flexibility ensured?
Our engines are produced on the basis of application engineering and extensive feedback received from OEM's and end users of the products globally. Hence, the engines features and installation flexibility are well positioned to get themselves integrated with the transmission systems and other parts and components with ease. All our engines are electronically controlled by the Volvo Penta Engine management system. The electronic management system continuously monitors and collects data from a number of sensors in the engine and adjusts the fuel supply and injection timing at lightning speed. This maximizes fuel efficiency and engine output at any given workload and the response to throttle opening is improved. It also enables precise integration of the engine with the machine that it powers and provides enhanced engine protection. The engines have built-in flexibility to perform in different modes. Our engines are designed to ensure high power to weigh ratio. The cylinder block is manufactured in one piece of special cast iron alloy. The critical engines castings are made in our plant Skovde, Sweden using advanced processes. Volvo Penta engines are performance optmised and can be customized to suit each and every application need, including duty cycle requirements. On flexibility and integration, we would like to add that Volvo engines are lightweight, compact, and easy to integrate into machines and equipment where space is scarce. In underground load and haul equipment, mobile and stationary crushing and screening equipment, and drill rigs, these engines perform with least possible environmental impact due to minimal emission levels. Volvo Penta has more than a century of experience working with equipment manufacturers, supplying end users with off-road machinery and equipment. This has resulted in a unique application expertise and a broad range of practical applications.

Volvo Penta Engine

How is the combustion technology placed to suit in Indian requirements taking into consideration that the equipment work for extended duty cycles and adverse conditions in India?
Our advanced engines, featuring Volvo Advanced Combustion Technology, V-ACT is tailored for use in demanding off-road applications and designed to meet the specific needs of each and every application. They are featured to take on high sulphur content present in the fuel, not unnatural in emerging markets thus not making difference to performance of the engines. The advanced cooling systems are capable of operating in extreme conditions.. However, for operators looking for extended equipment uptime and maintenance intervals, it will be advisable for periodic Maintenance as per our protocol.

OEM support and cooperation for future product upgradations. How are aspects like prototype performance assessment in varied working conditions being addressed based on the emerging requirements of the Indian customers? What about affordability issues business expansion and retention?
Cooperation with the OEM's for their present and future requirements is Volvo Penta's major activity towards its product development process. Our central sales engineering department undertakes necessary cooperation with OEM's and develops suitable products, for trouble free operations. The sales engineering provides installation data and guidelines coupled with training. It also undertakes critical activities of prototype performance assessment. The underlying purpose of prototype performance assessment is to check the basic given performance parameters of the engines within demanded limits from Volvo Penta. Further, to ensure that the engine performs well overtime.

Affordability is a major area being continuously focused by Volvo Penta. Though, presently our 7-16 litres engines are imported for the Indian market. However, our sourcing group is carrying out investments and looking at areas for possible localization of the engines intended for industrial applications for the Indian market. We would like to utilize the Volvo Group's engine manufacturing plant at Pithampur for our future requirement. Sourcing of sheet metals for the engines and radiators is another major initiative. Volvo Penta has eight major vendors in India.

Customer support is another major area for business expansion and retention. End users of our engines are provided with the support of improved oil sampling programme and conditioning monitoring support. Support is also provided through engine installation and maintenance under our white silver and gold packages to provide flexibility to the manufacturers. We're planning to expand and retain our business banking through the support of our strong and dedicated 77 dealer network and service outlets across 34 locations across the country. We propose to expand further to 100 numbers. We will strive to garner extensive customer/ OEM feedback to carry out engineering modifications in the engines to make them further well integrated with the equipments.

Is there any plan to target the replacement market in the near future?
There aren't any considerations as of now.
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