Kistler plans to ac­quire in­no­va­tive com­pa­nies in In­dia

Auto components India - - COVER STORY - Story by: Ramya Srini­vasan

Switzer­land-based Kistler Group is a lead­ing man­u­fac­turer of sen­sors and sys­tems for mea­sur­ing forces and torques, for analysing force-dis­place­ment and force­time char­ac­ter­is­tics, and for doc­u­ment­ing data dur­ing as­sem­bly and prod­uct test­ing. The com­pany sup­plies as­sem­bly and test­ing tech­nol­ogy and spe­cific sen­sors and mon­i­tor­ing sys­tems for com­bus­tion en­gines, au­to­mo­tive en­gi­neer­ing, plas­tics pro­cess­ing and bio-me­chan­i­cal en­gi­neer­ing.

The In­dian op­er­a­tion of the com­pany is look­ing for ac­qui­si­tion. “We are op­er­at­ing in dif­fer­ent prod­uct lines and so ac­qui­si­tion pro­vides ben­e­fits to the com­pany,” Anil Anand, Gen­eral Man­ager, Kistler In­stru­ments In­dia Pvt Ltd, said. As the prod­ucts are hi-tech, its pro­duc­tion and tech­no­log­i­cal cen­tres are in Switzer­land, Ger­many and the US. The com­pany has 26 sales cen­tres, 9 pro­duc­tion cen­tres and 4 tech cen­tres glob­ally.

Kistler is a global leader in dy­namic mea­sure­ment tech­nol­ogy for mea­sur­ing pres­sure, force, torque and ac­cel­er­a­tion. Cut­ting-edge tech­nolo­gies pro­vide the ba­sis for Kistler’s mod­u­lar so­lu­tions. The com­pany’s sen­sors make it eas­ier to search for generic force sen­sors that can be used for gen­eral mea­sure­ments in re­search and de­vel­op­ment or in test lab­o­ra­to­ries. The com­pany also of­fers a vast range of cus­tomised force mea­sure­ment so­lu­tions in spe­cific ap­pli­ca­tions.

Cus­tomers in in­dus­try and sci­ence ben­e­fit from Kistler’s ex­pe­ri­ence as a de­vel­op­ment part­ner, en­abling them to op­ti­mise their prod­ucts and pro­cesses to se­cure a sus­tain­able com­pet­i­tive edge. The own­er­man­aged Swiss com­pany’s unique sen­sor tech­nol­ogy plays a key role in the evo­lu­tion of au­to­mo­bile de­vel­op­ment and in­dus­trial au­to­ma­tion, as well as in numer­ous emerg­ing sec­tors. With a broad knowl­edge of ap­pli­ca­tions and an ab­so­lute com­mit­ment to qual­ity, Kistler is mak­ing an im­por­tant con­tri­bu­tion to the fur­ther de­vel­op­ment of cur­rent mega­trends. This in­cludes top­ics such as elec­tri­fied drive tech­nol­ogy, au­to­mated and con­nected driv­ing, emis­sion re­duc­tion and In­dus­try 4.0. “We man­u­fac­ture our prod­ucts in Switzer­land, Ger­many and the US. Our In­dian op­er­a­tion is ded­i­cated for mar­ket­ing and af­ter-sales ser­vices. Lo­cated in Farid­abad, Pune and Chen­nai, we sell a range of prod­ucts. Kistler has 3 main di­vi­sions: ART (caters to au­to­mo­tive sec­tor: en­gine R&D and Ve­hi­cle test­ing ar­eas); IPC (In­dus­trial process con­trols: man­u­fac­tures process mon­i­tor­ing sen­sors like piezo elec­tric, piezo re­sis­tive and turbo spin­dles and dig­i­tal in­dus­trial charge am­pli­fier used in ma­chin­ing chain and as­sem­bly line); and Tech­nol­ogy (caters to space in­dus­try and de­fense labs). We make spe­cial en­gines which are used for en­gine de­vel­op­ment. Kistler sup­port auto-mak­ers in In­dia to en­hance the ef­fi­ciency of en­gine. From our In­dian op­er­a­tion we sup­ply our prod­ucts to all the ma­jor auto play­ers such as Mahindra & Mahindra, Tata, Maruti, Volk­swa­gen, Hyundai, and ex­port to Sri Lanka and Bangladesh,” Anand said.

Kistler which started as a sen­sor man­u­fac­tur­ing com­pany, is now de­vis­ing ex­cep­tional sen­sors for mea­sure­ment of pres­sure, force, torque and vi­bra­tion. The com­pany’s pres­sure sen­sors for mea­sure­ment are used in au­to­mo­tive sec­tor, R&D ac­tiv­i­ties, de­vel­op­ing dif­fer­ent types of en­gines and IT in­dus­try. The force mea­sure­ment sen­sor is ba­si­cally used in road sec­tors, de­fense, test labs etc. Vi­bra­tion mea­sure­ment sen­sors cater to ISRO and space in­dusty. Torque mea­sure­ment sen­sors are used for elec­tri­cal and me­chan­i­cal in­dus­tries.

Anand said, “We are in ag­gres­sive growth not only in de­vel­op­ing new prod­ucts but also look­ing for op­por­tu­ni­ties to ac­quire new com­pa­nies. Last year, Kistler ac­quired 3 com­pa­nies in Europe. We ex­pect to ac­quire some new com­pa­nies in In­dia to at­tain or­ganic growth as we have good fore­cast for GDP and in­dus­trial growth. In In­dia, there is an ap­petite for hi-tech prod­ucts and Kistler wants to be up to the mark with right so­lu­tions for the right cus­tomers.”

The ad­di­tion of KT Au­to­mo­tive and MSC Au­to­mo­tive makes Kistler a lead­ing provider of crash mea­sure­ment sys­tems. Kistler of­fers a one-stop shop for com­plete ve­hi­cle-re­lated com­po­nent crash test sys­tems, thereby mak­ing an im­por­tant con­tri­bu­tion to on­go­ing safety en­hance­ment. Sen­sors, data ac­qui­si­tion sys­tems and ap­pli­ca­tion soft­ware from one source pro­vide the user with all the links of the crash mea­sure­ment chain. This seam­less in­te­gra­tion greatly fa­cil­i­tates straight­for­ward plug and play crash test­ing.

By com­bin­ing piezo­elec­tric sen­sors with pow­er­ful data ac­qui­si­tion sys­tems Kistler adds value to its cus­tomers. As a re­li­able part­ner of the Kistler Group, KT Au­to­mo­tive GmbH has been de­vel­op­ing, man­u­fac­tur­ing and mar­ket­ing crash test data ac­qui­si­tion sys­tems for many years. A mar­ket share of about 70 % in this prod­uct seg­ment makes this long-es­tab­lished crash mea­sure­ment spe­cial­ist the world’s lead­ing provider. MSC Au­to­mo­tive GmbH, which was orig­i­nally based in Sch­wieberdin­gen near Stuttgart, was fully in­te­grated into the Kistler Group by be­ing merged with Kistler-IGeL GmbH in Schö­naich. MSC is a lead­ing provider of sys­tems for crash dummy in­stru­men­ta­tion, and de­vel­ops and pro­duces the as­so­ci­ated force sen­sors and ac­celerom­e­ters.

The com­pany makes ve­hi­cle test­ing equip­ment which in­cludes check­ing and test­ing of wheel ar­eas and the whole struc­tural vi­bra­tion of the body. It also pro­vides bet­ter test­ing equip­ment to ICAT, Mane­sar, ARAI, Pune, and GARC, Chen­nai, to ex­am­ine the safety of the ve­hi­cle.

“This con­tract is in line with our con­stant en­deav­our in up­grad­ing our prod­uct lines, find­ing tech­no­ef­fi­cient so­lu­tions and pro­vid­ing high-per­for­mance through our prod­ucts. We are eas­ily avail­able to sup­port all the ma­jor in­dus­tries in the mar­ket. Our sales rev­enue in In­dia is Rs 6 mil­lion MCHF which comes from au­to­mo­tive in­dus­try. Over 60% of our rev­enue comes from au­to­mo­tive sec­tor. We ex­pect to grow to dou­ble digit of sales rev­enue next year as we have plans for ac­qui­si­tion.

In 2016 our in­vest­ments in R&D (as per­cent­age of sales rev­enue) was 10%. We an­tic­i­pate grow­ing at 20% as we are look­ing for di­verse in­dus­tries port­fo­lio, dif­fer­ent prod­uct lines and tar­get mar­kets. Pri­mar­ily, we are look­ing for merg­ing and ac­qui­si­tion as the growth af­ter that will be ex­po­nen­tial. The Kistler Group is on a growth course- last year rev­enue rose by 9 % to around CHF 358 mil­lion. Aim­ing to stay abreast of this dy­namic growth, Kistler seeks in­no­va­tive and di­verse com­pa­nies who feel at ease in a dy­namic, fast-chang­ing in­ter­na­tional en­vi­ron­ment. Its av­er­age growth in sales rev­enue for the last 3 years was 8%,” he said. Find­ing new so­lu­tions and tech­nolo­gies is a con­stant ac­tiv­ity for Kistler. As a pol­icy, 20% of its profit is ded­i­cated for R&D upgra­da­tion and new prod­uct de­vel­op­ment. Cur­rently, the next gen­er­a­tion of prod­ucts are un­der de­vel­op­ment so that the brand could have a di­verse range of prod­ucts to of­fer their cus­tomers. Some 1850 em­ploy­ees at 61 lo­ca­tions world­wide are ded­i­cated to de­vel­op­ing new so­lu­tions and of­fer cus­tomised ser­vice for in­di­vid­ual ap­pli­ca­tions.

Since in­cep­tion in 1959, the Kistler Group has grown along with its cus­tomers. In 2016, Kistler posted a rev­enue of USD 364 mil­lion, about 20% of which was rein­vested in re­search and tech­nol­ogy. It has bagged a new order from The Na­tional High­ways Au­thor­ity of In­dia (NHAI) where Kistler will in­stall sen­sors on the road to mea­sure the weight of the mov­ing ve­hi­cle which is the lat­est con­cept that the road in­dus­try is work­ing on to en­sure that the ex­ces­sive weight of the ve­hi­cle would not af­fect road safety. The com­pany wanted to be the best in ev­ery pro­duct­line in terms of tech­nol­ogy and it is work­ing to­wards reach­ing its goal.

Anil Anand, Gen­eral Man­ager, Kistler In­stru­ments In­dia

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