TKAP expands market base
Toyota Kirloskar Auto Parts (TKAP), a joint venture among Toyota Motor Corporation (TMC), Toyota Industries Corporation (TICO) and Kirloskar Systems Ltd (KSL), is planning to supply transmissions to other vehicle manufactures also. Since 2002, the company has been manufacturing and supplying axles and shafts, transmissions, and engines only to Toyota companies in India and other countries. As part of its expansion, it is exploring opportunities to supply manual transmissions beyond Toyota vehicles. TKAP has plans to offer the 6-speed manual transmissions, which will be ready by 2018, for the export and domestic markets.
“We are exploring opportunities in the domestic markets for supplying transmission to other vehicle manufacturers. In India most of the OEMs have only 5-speed manual transmission, but we can offer them 6-speed manual transmission, which has many benefits. With the emission norms getting tighter in India, 6-speed transmission will be more advantageous. Since TMC has 6-speed transmission globally, we have the technology. For the Indian market the transmissions will undergo a design change to meet the customer demand. We will be working on re-engineering the transmission as the fitment on the engine and gear ratio will be different,” K G Mohan Kumar, Joint Managing Director, TKAP, told Auto Components India.
TKAP was set up to supply powertrain solutions to Toyota Kirloskar Motors (TKM) and Toyota globally. The transmissions were exported to Indonesia, Thailand and Brazil. Since January 2016, the company has stopped exports to
Brazil as the government of Brazil has mandated the OEMs to make the engines and transmissions locally.
TKAP manufactures C-type and R-type transmissions. The C-type is for the front wheel drive, which will have a torque ranging between 180 and 200 Nm. Recently the company started manufacturing another transmission which can go up to 240-260 Nm. Bulk of the requirement is for 160 Nm to 240 Nm torque levels. The R-type transmission is for rear wheel drive, and it ranges up to 360 Nm. It supplies these range of transmissions to Toyota Innova Crysta.
From 2002 to 2010 TKAP was manufacturing FR-type transmission. Later it began to manufacture FF type transmission and engine assembly. For the R-150 manual transmission production, a separate facility was built and production started in 2004 with an initial capacity of 160,000 units. It was raised to170,000 units in 2005. The entire production is exported. Though TKAP was formed originally for the production of manual transmissions for Toyota’s IMV project globally, the plant continues to make front and rear axles and propeller shafts for Innova in India. Currently the company manufactures 18 variants of manual transmissions for both front and rear wheel drive vehicles, and petrol engines for Etios.
For the manual transmissions, TKAP sources forging and turning components from Bharat Forge and die-cast parts like case and clutch housing from Toyota Industries Engine India. The rest of the components and operations like gear cutting, heat treatment and assembly are done in-house. For the R-type transmission the current localisation is around 90% and the company has set a target of 96% in the next 2 years.
Replying to a query on quality of the Indian suppliers, Mohan said, “The suppliers have dramatically changed over the last 5 years. Earlier we were talking in terms of percentage rejection and today we are talking in terms of ppm. More than 90% of the products from our
43 suppliers are ‘zero’ ppm and ready for the assembly line. There is no doubt about quality and that is one of the reasons to increase localisation. Now we are also in a phase of true localisation, where the entire component, including the raw materials, is localised.”
The TKAP plant has deployed low-cost automation system. It makes better use of gravity and very small motors that consume less power. In order to reduce the man-movement, the company has deployed automatic guided vehicles (AGV) for material movement. The company has also benchmarked itself with most of the affiliates in the Asia-Pacific, Europe and other areas. TKAP has also set a target of reducing 5% in-house manufacturing cost YoY. In the last 4 years it could reduce 21%. Now its challenge is to spread the lean management techniques across the supply chain.
For efficient manufacturing, TKAP has a 3-pillar concept for daily management. Mohan explained that the concept has 3 main elements, the first one is the standard way of doing the work, the next is on the processpoint management, and the third is ownership maintenance. “By following these 3 pillars we were able to achieve higher level of quality, productivity, safety and human resource development. We are also working on to achieve global excellence, where we have crossed the milestone of receiving bronze in 2012 and silver in 2013. Currently close to 60% of our lines are gold certified, which means they are near global levels and our challenge is to convert 100% of our lines to gold by the end of next year. If we achieve that we will be the first plant globally to have 100% gold,” Mohan said.
TKAP has so far invested Rs 1050 crore to manufacture 110,000 propeller shafts, 215,000 R-150 type transmission, 240,000 C-550 transmission and has capacity to manufacture 108,000 petrol engines. It also exports 60% of R-type transmissions to Toyota Motor Thailand (TMT) and 10% of C-type transmissions to Toyota Motor Manufacturing Indonesia (TMMI). The company is looking at new avenues and planning to utilise fully its Bidadi plant capacity.
The R-type transmission line manufactures transmission for Toyota Innova Crysta
AGVs are used for material movement inside the plant
TKAP’s Bidadi plant manufactures petrol engines, transmissions and axles for Toyota
TKAP has capacity to manufacture 215,000 R-type transmission
Mohan Kumar K G, JMD, TKAP