Engines: New Wave of Co-engineering Galore

JCB Engine Plant

Engine manufacturers are increasingly planning to enter into technical alliance with OEM's, for the development of new solutions, to optimize equipment performance, and to deliver lower total lifecycle costs. P.P. Basistha takes a look.

Inevitable to say that partnership based on firm foundations ensures long-term business relationship. Engine manufacturers in India are leaving no stones unturned to enter into an association with OEM's through co-engineering, which is being undertaken for optimum equipment integration with the power packs to ensure higher levels of performance. The strategy is also being increasingly adapted to ensure better serviceability of the power packs generally working at adverse job site conditions.

Senthil Kumaran
"We have our dedicated research and development centre in Chennai to develop the engines. To completely ensure optimum integration of the engines with the equipment, as per the OEMs requirements, our application engineering team works with them to develop the peripherals for suitable integration. This involves development of the required radiators, mounting legs, silencers, pulley, support brackets etc. The integration is carried out based on our joint cooperation with the OEMs at every level of product development which includes noise and vibration test, Cooling system check and design for easy service. We are working on strategies for further better integration as various existing and newer OEMs develop their owbn equipment standards in the ever getting competitive construction equipment market," says Mr. Senthil Kumaran - Head Business Development, Mahindra Industrial Engines. He adds, "To ensure that our engines deliver better performance, the units are validated based on joint field trials with our OEMs between 1000 and 1200 hours on pilot basis followed by commencement of commercial production."

Mahindra is in the process of developing higher capacity engines of 320-500 hp. According to Mr. Kumaran, "The higher capacity engines will find their application for captive power generation, higher capacity compressors, drill rigs, wheel loaders, and back hoe loaders. The new range of engines will supplement our portfolio of present offerings 24-260 hp. These are presently being supplied to pavers, drill rigs, concrete transit mixers, concrete pumps, excavators and wheel loaders." Mahindra supplies engines to Atlas Copco India, Liugong, Axaj Fiori, Schwing Stetter, Voltas, Esab, among others.

Mr. Kumar says, "Appropriate on site service support to our engines is rendered though our 140 dealers, 2,500 technicians-turned engineers and 40 customer care managers working under six regional heads." To drive business on off highway engines, Mahindra is planning to have ten separate key accounts managers for promoting business in individual construction equipment's verticals.

JCB India is manufacturing its ecoMAX engine at its dedicated manufacturing facility at Ballabgarh in Haryana, producing 110 units for captive product applications. The engines being manufactured are of three variants–naturally aspirated, turbo charged and electronic in range comprising 56kW-129kW engines (all in 4-cylinder ratings in mobile) 56kW-121kW (all in 4-cylinder ratings in stationery) 97kW Common Rail engine is an electronic BSIII engine and 129kW mechanical engine is a BSII engine. JCB also manufactures 6-cylinder engines catering to the requirements of mobile applications in the power range up to 212kW and for stationary engines up to 200kVa.

The power packs being produced are for, JCB India's entire variants of 3DX and 4DX range of backhoe loaders, newly introduced 'Loadall' telehandler, JS120, JS 220 excavators, and 430ZX wheel loaders. The ecoMax engines also power VM115 and VMT860 Vibromax compactors. Apart for equipment working in India, the engines are also exported.

Jasmeet Singh
With population of 90,000 units fitted across its wide portfolio of working equipment in India, JCB India has recently entered into its first OEM supply agreement. According to Mr. Jasmeet Singh, Senior Corporate Communications Manager, JCB India, "Backed by our elaborate technical expertise towards manufacturing fuel-efficient, productive, and reliable engines, gained over a period of five years, we have recently made our debut annual engine supply agreement for 250 units of 56kw engines with M/s TPS Infrastructure, manufacturer of range of engineering products across the value chain. Featuring high level of integration, the engines are supplied as a fully built unit so that it fits in as single entity. This eliminates the need for modifications and changes during fitment. We will be open for entering into more supply agreements with OEM's based on our strong engine manufacturing capabilities."

JCB Ecomax T4 2
Mr. Singh continues, "Taking cognizance that equipment in India goes through extremely arduous applications and extended duty cycles, we have designed our engines for adaptability to strenuous applications. While the base design remains the same as what is offered internationally, it is suitably enhanced in the areas of filtration both air and fuel. JCB "ecoMAX" engine is fitted with enhanced filtration systems as part of the basic design. This enables them to operate effectively in tough Indian conditions. Our engines are fitted with water separators and air drain facility to ensure that JCB engines perform better for many years."

Onsite product support to the engines is rendered through JCB India's 60 dealers, 600 outlets and over 6000 trained professionals. Mr. Singh informs, "Taking the customer service experience one step further, our dealers have "Workshop on Wheels" facility wherein we run fully equipped mobile vans to handle most service and repair jobs on JCB machines. Our machines are now also fitted with the JCB Livelink - an advanced telematics system which enables the customer to remotely monitor the machines. The information is available in real time regarding the health of the machine including engines. This data is stored over a period of time which gives vital information in terms of no. of hours, service intervals, fuel, and malfunctions if any. Apart from a central command centre at our Ballabgarh facility, Livelink command centers are also setup at our dealerships to monitor these machines in real time."

Catering to captive application requirements for the new range of Volvo Eicher range of trucks, VECV, claims to manufacture electronic engines between ratings of, 180-210-220-250-280-330 hp at its power train facility at Pithampur, featuring high levels of integration and appropriate power to weight ratio. Mr. Ravishankar, Executive Vice President, Sales & Marketing & After Sales, Volvo Eicher Trucks, Volvo Eicher Trucks says, "the engines manufactured at our facility are being used in varied range of loading from 16T gvw to 31T gvw tippers. All engines are fully validated considering overload conditions in India. With increasing modernization of commercial vehicles in India, it is expected that engine power to weight ratio will continue to increase. Large range of engine power ratings from 180HP to 330 HP on our 4 and six cylinder engines ensures that we have right power to weight ratio for each segment."

VE Powertrain
He elaborates, "To ensure the power packs are capable to deliver extended duty cycles and work in adverse conditions, our engines are validated for more than 4 million km in Indian conditions before introduction in India and all features like power train performance, fuel economy, durability and reliability are verified in lab as well as field conditions. These engines use best in class common rail system controlled by EMS 3.0 with FG waste gate turbochargers. With 4 valve per cylinder, engines have high volumetric efficiency leading to best combustion performance. Fuel systems are tested with mix of diesel and kerosene to simulate Indian fuel condition and poor maintenance practices."

Support at sites to the VECV tipper trucks is rendered along with the engines as entire package. Mr. Ravishankar mentions, "our services covers entire vehicle where in all the preventive and running repairs are carried out at sites itself if we have min number of 10 vehicles in one location. Driver training is ensured that customers get optimum performance from vehicles and altogether the engines."

VECV offers remanufactured engines and transmissions for VE series trucks in HD and LMD range. For EMDEP engines the company plans to offer this in due course. The joint venture entity does not plan to manufacture engines for other OEM's apart from its own captive use.

Jonas Nilsson
According to Mr. Jonas Nilsson, Head India Operations, Volvo Penta, "We are exploring possibilities for entering into engineering alliance with Indian mineral processing OEM's, looking for reliable, fuel efficient and low lifecycle costs power packs. We are present in this segment in India through, Metso Minerals and Sandvik mineral processing."

He adds, "Based on our long global experience, working jointly with OEM's for designing the right solutions, we can play an important similar role with Indian OEM's as being technology partners, to address technology gaps and produce reliable and fuel efficient solutions based on their required applications and extended duty cycles." Volvo Penta offers engines, rated 105-565 kW and is present in India through Putzmeister, Atlas Copco, and Kone Cranes.

Mr. Nilsson mentions, "Our strategy to promote the Volvo Penta engines is based not on outright sales, but complete technological partnership with customers based on their requirements. Our engines are produced based on application engineering and extensive feedback received from OEM's and end users of the products globally. Hence, the engines features installation flexibility are well positioned to get themselves integrated with the transmission systems and other parts and components with ease. Our engines are lightweight, compact, and easy to fit into machines and equipment with space scarcity."

Ashwath Ram
Catering to the application requirements of excavators, wheel loaders, compactors, compressors, backhoe loaders, cranes and other off highway applications, Cummins India will be displaying it's 6.7 liter (QSB6.7), 3.3 liter (B3.3) engines at Excon 2015. According to Mr. Ashwath Ram, V.P, Engines Business, Cummins India, "Indian construction equipment industry is witnessing a technological revolution in the form of cleaner, productive and higher capacity equipments. The introduction of these electronically controlled and emissions compliant engines with higher levels of efficiency, productivity, durability and uptime will reinforce our mission to be the first to introduce best products that completely integrates with the equipments to provide performance reliability to our customers." help our customers succeed."

RO63 Cummins
The engines will be supported by the pan-India network of dealerships of Cummins Sales & Service (CSS) along with the sales and service arm of Cummins India Limited. Mr. Ram mentioned, "with a large team of highly skilled technicians, our network is positioned to handle service events with utmost responsiveness. CSS also fulfills customized requirements like maintenance and repair contracts on availability guarantees and engine uptime. This is accomplished by ensuring availability of spare parts and consumables at sites closest to customer locations." Cummins India has an active population of 20,000 units catering to application requirements of varied construction equipment verticals.

Steve Niehaus
Strengthening its offerings for captive power support to construction sites, Caterpillar brand, FG Wilson, has recently introduced its new range of diesel generator sets with output ratings between 10-200 kva. According to Mr. Steve Niehaus, Caterpillar Electric Power Division, Vice President Caterpillar, "designed exclusively for the Indian market, the new generator sets features high levels of fuel efficiency, product life and optimized running life. The new range of diesel generator sets greatly expands the FG Wilson range of products available in India, providing reliable power for all applications including construction sites, telecommunication networks, factories, healthcare, hospitals, commercial premises and residential properties."

He said, "manufactured locally through a carefully selected, key strategic supplier, the range is fully backed by the FG Wilson warranty programme and local FG Wilson Dealer Network. Providing customers with a one-stop-shop for technical advice, FG Wilson genuine parts and ongoing maintenance support, the FG Wilson dealer network are there to support customers when and wherever they are needed." He added, "A long service interval of 500 hours lowers the generator set's operating costs and FG Wilson genuine parts for the range are readily available through its wide dealer network throughout India."

According to Mr. R. Senthil Kumar, GM, Marketing, Simpson & Co. "We are looking to increase our share of business in industrial segment by offering a cost effective customized solution to OEMs by adding newer products in higher hp from our present range of 50-100 hp."

He says, "there is an emerging application from earthmoving equipments. Skid steer loader is a fast new emerging segment in the category of earthmoving equipments. We have customized 3.6 Litre TSJ436 engine featuring simple design, compact packaging, less operating costs and ready to fit solutions for skid steer loaders.

According to Mr. Senthil Kumar, "Simpsons has supplied close to 1000 units to M/s. Terex, India and proto units are under validation with M/s. ACE, India. We are in active discussion with many more OEMs. Products suiting to their applications are expected to be introduced in next year."

Simpsons currently supplies power packs to to TAFE, Eicher, Sonalika, New Holland, ACE, ECEL, Godrej, KION, Cummins, Terex, JCB, Speedcraft, Schwing Stetter and others.

The South India based engine manufacturer with an annual capacity to produce 160,000 engines has 200 parts dealers and 30 service centres to support its engines across the country.

Based on fast emerging need for higher equipment performance in India at par with worksite requirements across the global market, engine makers are developing products based on close engineering cooperation with OEM's. The trend will require to be sustained to have higher equipment availability.

NBMCW November 2015

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