Gehring plans to execute CKD strategy for passenger cars
The Germany-based machine tool company Gehring Technologies offers honing solutions for the automotive industry. With over 90 years of experience, the company manufactures machine tools in varying dimensions from diameter 0.8mm to 1000mm. In automotive industry, engine takes the lion’s share of the honing applications. The surface finishing is very much tagged with the performance of the engine. Cylindrical blocks of two-wheelers, three-wheelers, passenger cars, commercial vehicles and trucks are the major drivers of performancerelated attributes. Honing gives the finishing touch, the required specification and ensures the performance of the engine. The Indian automotive industry is marching towards the BS IV norms. The carbondioxide foot print is getting monitored widely and steps are taken to ratify the standards. Honing helps in achieving these targets.
Jean Christophe Fincato, Managing Director of Gehring Technologies India Pvt. Ltd said, “Indian market has already tasted the CKD assembling of our honing machines. We started our operations in India in 2011 and set up a facility in Bengaluru in 2012 and then on the CKD strategy is being followed. We are assembling the machines by importing the base machine from Germany. The jigs and fixtures are manufactured here and with the German base and the process, we integrate the machine in the line. This CKD is well addressing the farm equipment industry. We are planning to implement the same strategy for the passenger cars and the modules for the same are in place.”
The company has market for passenger cars in India. But this CKD strategy adds value to that. India is no more a market for which the solutions are customised based on the investment. But it has started adhering to the global standards and the same quality machines sets off in the Indian market. With this CKD strategy critical components are imported from Germany localising the regular tool needs. By doing in this way, the cost is strategically optimised. In India, the technical
parameters and solutions are coded similar to Germany, and China-based machines at a little lower cost with this CKD strategy.
The company also stated that the market it serves is niche. High technology machines are its strengths and these machines do not have high demands. Though the volumes are low, the quality cannot be compromised. As these are the sources of performance of the engine, the surface finishing and geometries should be well adhered to the standards of the OEMs and tier suppliers. The machines are run by electromechanical systems as hydraulics has become obsolete. This adds to its performance with less cycle time. The machine hardly breaks down and the production target, quality everything is achieved through a smooth sail.
The machines are coming with 2 spindles and that determines the volume. With 1 spindle running, the volume is less and vice versa. Similarly the machines can be connected with the robot for loading and unloading. The machine ensures proper diameter and shape. It can be customised with post gauge solutions which could validate the measures depending on the customer needs.
The machine tools are standalone occupying less floor space. The design itself is compact and the machines act as a honing centre for them. The robust design aid, tools and honing sticks determine the specification standards and customers are rendered with the desired dimensions. Firm honing contributes creation of special shape which helps in reducing the friction and in turn increases the performance. For instance, the piston ring in the cylinder wall may induce frictional losses and this honing helps in mitigating the same. The process like nano honing redefines the technology nuances in the honing segment and unleash tomorrow’s path ahead for honing. In a nutshell, the technology evolution in honing is complementing the BS VI norms.
Though cylindrical blocks in engine consume the lion’s share in the honing process, gears and pump components are also subjected to the honing process. “We are endto-end honing solution provider for OEMS, Tier-1s and Tier-2s. There are 3 and 4 cylinder engines in the market. We have to keep in mind the pitch distance while we hone 4 cylinder engines. Only 2 cylinder is possible at a time where the concept remains the same with 2 cylinders and 1 honing station,” highlighted Fincato.
Commenting on coolant-less machines, Fincato said, coolantless machines are not possible. As the honing machines live through abrasive process, coolants are essential, therefore water-based coolants are used. The company’s current facility in Bengaluru could be ramped up for increase in demand. The company has a work force of 20. Refurbishing activities are also carried out in the facility. “We are planning to do a machine for passenger car which could serve 3 and 4 cylinder engines. We are in the process of executing CKD strategy to strengthen our local market. With everything in place, by 2020 we are able to double our turnover,” Fincato said.
Jean Christophe Fincato, Managing Director of Gehring Technologies India Pvt. Ltd