FIEM Industries sets new trends in automotive lighting
FIEM Industries Ltd, one of the leading manufacturers of automotive lighting & signaling equipment and rear view mirrors, is present in all type of automotive lightings. The lighting technology has slowly and steadily made a big leap in the recent years. The automotive OEMS are keen on upgraded and new generation lamps. Now LEDbased automotive lamps are in high demand.
“Vehicle manufacturers want to adopt LED-based applications because of the advantages like energy-saving, eco-friendly, long life, uniform and appropriate light spread etc. For an example, for two-wheelers a 35W halogen bulb is being used as headlamp. It can be replaced with an 8W LED lamp. We are already supplying LED headlamp, tail lamp, winker lamp, DRL and Bi-function LED Projector Lamps to our various customers, ” S Narayanan, Head, (Commercial & International Operations), FIEM Industries Limited, told Auto Components India.
Automotive lighting comes under the category of `Safety critical components’ and hence require strict adherence to the Central Motor Vehicle Rules 1989 (CMVR). “In order to give best products to our customers, our R&D teams based out of Sonepat (India), Japan and Italy are constantly working for further improvement in the quality and technology keeping in mind the main objective of safety. The products we manufacture conform to international regulations as per the requirement of our customers. We supply mainly to domestic OEMs and we also export to OEMs in Japan, Indonesia, Thailand, the UK, and Italy. Our export is to the tune of 4-5% of our turnover and hope to enhance it in the near future,” he said.
Halogen lamps have been in use for ages and they continue to be in use. However LED lamps are slowly replacing them. It will take much longer time for full replacement as LED lamps are costlier. The Indian market is much cost sensitive and hence high cost of LED has become a hindrance. Still LED technology is already on fast track, foreseeing the positive effects in the automotive lighting industry. The conventional automotive lighting causes pollution and the green energy available for this problem is LED technology as it consumes only one tenth of power in comparison to conventional lighting resulting in less use of fuel and consequently less carbon emission, he said.
The two-wheeler segment is moving towards LEDs. “Most of the two-wheeler manufacturers have converted to LED lighting and the two-wheeler industry has witnessed tremendous growth. We had started manufacturing LED lights more than a decade ago and we are the first one to develop LED headlamp for two-wheelers, which is not only meeting Indian AIS Standard but also meeting ECE norms. We are also the first one to introduce LED tail lamps for two-wheelers
in India. Now we are supplying all types of LED lamps to many two-wheeler manufacturers in India. We are also exporting to some of the two-wheeler manufacturers in Japan, the US, Italy etc. In this way we have a very strong presence in the twowheeler industry and our share of business here is remarkably high,” Narayanan said.
The presence of FIEM in the passenger car segment at the moment is negligible. “We are working on some projects. We are already supplying LED lighting to REVA Electric Car,” he said.
FIEM is working on adaptive front lighting system (AFS) for the passenger vehicles, where the lamp beams moves with differing characteristics for automatic adaptation to varying conditions with the help of a system control. In this way blind spots are automatically illuminated. For two-wheelers such sensitive system is not required because in most of the two-wheelers the headlamp is mounted on the front suspension fork (handle bar).
Organic-LED and laser lights will be the next evolving technology but the effects are not yet ascertained. Automation on moulding shop, metalizing, assembly lines, and childparts management system are the requirement of the day and evolving technology for the shopfloor. Simulation techniques are available for cost effective solution by way of proper utilisation of plant, machinery, and manpower. FIEM has been taking such initiatives by implementing automation in some of its upcoming high volume projects.
“We are working on several new projects. Some of them are for global launch. We have a state of the art R&D Centre, located in our Rai, Sonepat Unit, which is recognised by the Ministry of Science & Technology (DSIR), Government of India. We also have our JV Company for design in Italy and a design office in Japan. More than 120 people are working on the company’s R&D activities. We are the lighting specialists with more than 4 decades of experience. We take up a project at the conceptual stage and work with our customers closely in every stage and offer complete solution including development of tooling, proto sample, testing etc. Our Investment in R&D is to the tune of 5% of our turnover,” Narayanan said.
FIEM has a joint venture with an Italian company for R&D of automotive lighting. Many such new JVs are also in the pipeline and they are expected to be operational very soon. The company is making new investments for upgrading technology, infrastructure and capacity expansion.
“At present we are investing more than Rs 60 crore in our Tapukara Plant and also making investment in our Ahmedabad plant for LED automotive lighting, particularly for LED headlamps. We expect the industry to grow steadily and by 2020 the Indian automotive component industry will reach an equal platform in the global market and we are prepared to gear ourselves to take full advantage of this and to become a dominant player in the industry,” Narayanan said.
LED tail lamp manufacturing at FIEM’s Sonepat plant
S Narayanan, Head, (Commercial & International Operations), FIEM Industries Limited