FIEM In­dus­tries sets new trends in au­to­mo­tive light­ing

Auto components India - - COVER STORY - Anusha B

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).

Evolv­ing tech­nolo­gies

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

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