S-CCI India to take DEF route for growth
S-CCI India Private Limited, a specialist in the manufacture of engine coolants, is getting into the manufacture of Diesel Exhaust Fluid (DEF) to increase its reach in the Indian CV market. Keen to increase its exposure in the CV sector by manufacturing DEF at its Chopanki plant in Bhiwadi, the company is eyeing a pie of the market that is estimated to be 4576000 kilo litre and growing.
As part of an initial investment in DEF, S-CCI will invest Rs 5 crore in a phased manner. With the number of SCR-equipped CVs expected to grow rapidly as BS-VI emission standards are to be implemented in 2020, S-CCI India is looking at a rapid growth in the segment. Keen to leverage its existing network as well as those that come in as part of the expansion, it wants to achieve a higher market reach for DEF. Established in 1985 in technical collaboration with CCI Corporation, Japan, to manufacture engine coolants, S-CCI India is closely following the consumption pattern of DEF in India. Typically consumed at the rate of 3-5% of the fuel quantity, one fill of AdBlue in a separate tank of 40 litre capacity is said to be sufficient for one fill of fuel tank, which is usually 800 litre in a CV. Catering to CV manufacturers like Tata Motors, Force Motors, SML Isuzu, and tractor and off-highway equipment manufacturers like TAFE, Escorts, ITL, Eicher and Komatsu, the company, according to S. K. Singh, Director, S-CCI India, is intrigued by the travel of CVs across the length and breadth of the vast country.
Confident of the growth potential of DEF, S-CCI India is also looking at increasing its reach of coolants for CVs. While both the initiatives are expected to further strengthen the company’s bottomline, S-CCI India is closely observing the changes in engine technology dictated by the tightening emission regulations. “Unlike earlier, OEMs have begun asking for coolants of specific
nature. This is linked with the change in engine metallurgy and the need for CVs to spend more time on the road,” Singh said. Demand for coolants that best suit the job is rising. Reducing the tendency to boil over with the use of Mono Ethylene Glycol (MEG), and reducing corrosion, coolants in CVs are subjected to more stress. MEG cannot be used in its concentrated form since CVs have higher operating temperatures.
MEG is used with 30-50% water since it has a better heat transfer property. Changing expectations regarding coolants have reached a level where they are expected to last the lifecycle of the vehicle. Earlier, a coolant had to be changed at an interval of 10,000 km. S-CCI has won the approval of Daimler for a coolant (L415) developed for MAN Trucks India that has a life span of 5 lakh km, Singh said. boosters, stress is laid on achieving a balance where the coolant is neither acidic nor alkaline. It is essential to achieve validation, which could take up to 2 years. “Certain lab tests can measure and prevent chemical depletion. This helps to gauge the life of the coolant,” he said. Singh drew attention to restrictions imposed by automakers on the use of chemicals. This is claimed to be in the interest of complying with regulations. Because of the blanket ban on carcinogenic chemicals, mercury and cadmium, the automakers give the coolant manufacturers freedom to develop better products. “Competition is fierce, and it is important to be aware of what the competitors are up to,” Singh said.
Working on to build a plant in Gujarat, S-CCI India is moving ahead as per the plan to invest Rs.15-20 crore in a phased manner. Once operational, the Gujarat facility will complement the company’s 2 existing facilities at Chopanki and Sitarganj. The Chopanki facility has a capacity to manufacture 15-kilo litre of coolants, and 9000 kilo litre of brake fluid. The plant employs 125 people.
The Sitarganj plant has a capacity to manufacture 3000 kilo litre of coolant, and 2000 kilo litre of brake fluid. The Chopanki plant is operating at 65% capacity according to Singh. Capacity, he said, could be increased as per demand. About 60% of the CV business is moving on a small fleet size of even 2 trucks. “The way the segment is stagnating is not a healthy sign for a growing economy,” he said.
Spending up to 2% of its revenue on R&D activities, S-CCI India is dependent on CCI for broader technological updates. The test lab within the Chopanki plant can conduct tests for Ph value, conductivity, tendency to foam, and more. The lab is equipped with test equipment like conductivity meter, foaming tendency tester, reserve alkalinity tester, gas chromatography, melting point analyzer, brake fluid rubber swelling tester and corrosion tester for brake fluids.
S-CCI India recently launched a long life anti-freeze coolant called Extreme. It can sustain temperatures of up to -36 degree Celsius. “A litre of coolant when mixed with 3 litre of water leads to a mixture that performs up to -7 degree Celsius. Addition of water over a period of time reduces the change interval from 3 years to 2 years as the anti-corrosive properties of the coolant decrease,” Singh said. Stressing upon companies changing their preferences quickly, he said, “Over cobranded products, OEMs are opting for coolants that flaunt their brand names. These are built to their specifications.” With a rise in awareness for high quality products, Singh mentioned that OEMs are demanding high life coolants. When it comes to MNCs, S-CCI India is leveraging CCI’s relations. The company is thus looking at clinching a deal with Yanmar Tractors, which is entering India, by leveraging CCI’s relation with the tractor manufacturer. The aftermarket accounts for 15% of the company’s
volumes. The challenge, according to Singh, is the counterfeit products. To overcome the challenge, S-CCI India has placed sales teams that regularly communicate with the mechanics. The company has 150 distributors that network with 20,000 retailers across the country. Work is on to increase the
presence in the North East markets according to Singh. Looking up to GST as one of the biggest reforms, Singh expressed that there is a need for an efficient redressing mechanism. “If it is efficient and fast, GST will succeed. If there is harassment, it will create unhappiness,” Singh said.
A leading supplier of coolants and brake fluids, S-CCI’s Chopanki facility will house DEF manufacturing setup as well.
S. K. Singh, Director, S-CCI India, is keen to increase his company’s participation in the CV sector.