Indian automobile sector all set for a makeover


For, two industry representative bodies –– Coregroup for Automotive Research (CAR) and Automotive Components Manufacturers Association (Acma) are in talks with one of Germany’s top research firms Fraunhofer –— for joint projects that will help achieve these technological changes.

“CAR and Acma have held talks with Fraunhofer for joint programmes/projects, wherein the German firm will add value through its research expertise to manufacturing components as also to post production strategies,” sources said. It is understood that the Centre will bear the costs of these projects partly.
Fraunhofer (Institute for Non-Destructive Testing) Business Unit Manager Eckhardt Schneider told Deccan Herald that the firm has met the two Indian associations and representatives from the Centre like Principal Scientific Advisor R Chidambaram and discussed  joint projects.
“India has expressed aspiration to jump into future of automobile designing and that it is ready to explore newer areas and methods to do the same,” Schneider said adding that Fraunhofer has been talks for several such programmes/projects with India.

Projects in pipeline
In total there are three projects that are in advanced level of discussions. Firstly, for a sector vying to become small car hub of the world, it comes as no surprise that it wants to move towards lighter bodies to make cars. To achieve the same, Fraunhofer will help execute a joint project in creating composites using plastic, aluminum and steel and eventually move out from using only steel for body parts like done presently. “We plan to make three different composites ––– steel-aluminum, steel-plastic and aluminum-plastic,” Schneider said.

Further, Fraunhofer will work towards creating a software that will help visualise auto parts in 3D, thereby, helping engineers to identify minutiae details and produce more reliable parts and also common design for all electric circuits in the car, in two separate projects. When these projects materialise the sector can move closer to more cost efficient ways of production.

For instance, the project to create common design for all electric circuits will lead to higher level of standardisation allowing mass production and thereby, reduced cost. Light weighted body parts, a global trend, will allow Indian manufacturers to produce for global clients forcing them to go in for a higher level of localisation and so on. Overall, sources believe that this is the right way forward and hope for more of such initiatives to help provide a boost to the sector.
DH News Service

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