NGK Spark Plug to ig­nite CNG three-wheel­ers

Auto components India - - CONTENTS - Story by: Sricha­ran R

Haryana-based NGK Spark Plug In­dia Pvt. Ltd., a fully-owned sub­sidiary of NGK Spark Plug Co., Ltd, Ja­pan, has launched new spark plugs for CNG three-wheel­ers. They were de­vel­oped by NGK Ja­pan tak­ing into ac­count the var­i­ous per­for­mance pa­ram­e­ters. NGK In­dia was in­cor­po­rated in 2006 to pro­duce high qual­ity spark plugs for ve­hi­cle man­u­fac­tur­ers and the af­ter­mar­ket.

“We have in­cor­po­rated a long nose plug which will en­sure bet­ter com­bus­tion to CNG en­gine. We have kept the re­mov­able ter­mi­nal knot type. Some use ter­mi­nal knot and some don’t. This plug is com­pat­i­ble for both and is specif­i­cally de­vel­oped keep­ing in mind BS-3 and BS-4 en­gines,” Sudipto Sanyal, Se­nior Man­ager, Sales and Mar­ket­ing, NGK Spark Plugs In­dia, said.

He said that the prod­uct is ex­clu­sively for the In­dian mar­ket and as of now it is scal­able only up to BS-4. “When BS-VI en­gine comes into the mar­ket, we will make plugs for that too,” he said. The plugs are im­ported from Ja­pan and the com­pany has plans for lo­cal pro­duc­tion. “We are dis­cussing with NGK Ja­pan about mak­ing them in In­dia and in the near fu­ture we will do it,” he said.

About its tech­nol­ogy Sanyal said, “We have de­vel­oped a spe­cial metal plug for the CNG mar­ket. A CNG en­gine runs very hot. It is

hot­ter than the petrol or diesel en­gines. When the en­gine is hot, pres­sure in the spark plug is very high and it has to with­stand a very high tem­per­a­ture. Some­times, when the spark plug can­not with­stand the tem­per­a­ture, it will melt. Mis­fir­ing will hap­pen, and it will stop the en­gine. We have de­vel­oped this spark plug in such a way that it can with­stand the rough and tough con­di­tions of In­dia and give op­ti­mum per­for­mance. This is the key to our tech­nol­ogy.”

At present, the CNG plugs are made avail­able only for three-wheel­ers. The com­pany may bring plugs soon for CNG buses also. “In the seg­ment we were the first to start with four­wheel­ers. Our spark plug is very suc­cess­ful in those ar­eas. We have been a leader in CNG four-wheel­ers in Delhi, Mumbai, Gu­jarat and wher­ever there is CNG,” he said. “It is not about fuel ef­fi­ciency. The ba­sics of it is smooth drive. Jerk­ing and knock­ings in the ve­hi­cles are re­duced when they use our plugs.”

“Au­tos in Mumbai that were pre­vi­ously us­ing the con­ven­tional me­ter are chang­ing to elec­tronic me­ter. These new me­ters were not run­ning with other plugs avail­able in the mar­ket. They found no prob­lem when they used our plug. Even the elec­tronic me­ter firms which has tie-ups with CNG firms spec­ify that they need NGK spark plugs,” Sanyal said.

With no cus­tomer base avail­able in In­dia and mar­ket be­ing too scat­tered with lit­tle knowl­edge about spark plugs, NGK In­dia had worked in a dif­fer­ent man­ner to make its mark. Over the years, the com­pany has ed­u­cated end-cus­tomers, me­chan­ics, re­tail­ers, and dis­trib­u­tors about the im­por­tance of spark plug for a ve­hi­cle and how to select a right one. “Be­fore we en­tered the mar­ket, there was lit­tle in­for­ma­tion about how to choose a spark plug. A spark plug has to with­stand the 20,000 - 30,000 volt­age, 2,000-2,500 de­gree cel­sius tem­per­a­ture, around 50 kg/cm square pres­sure, cor­ro­sive ac­tiv­i­ties and cur­rent flash-over, apart from ig­nit­ing the fuel burn­ing process. This is the rea­son we started to ed­u­cate peo­ple about spark plugs and train me­chan­ics,” he said.

The com­pany has trained over 450 me­chan­ics through its Us­taad Me­chan­ics Club (UMC) un­der which the me­chan­ics are in­vited to the Bawal plant and are given ba­sic train­ing. It has also set up an Af­ter­mar­ket Tech­ni­cal Ser­vice (ATS) team to deal with dis­trib­u­tors, re­tail­ers and cus­tomer feed­back. To­day NGK In­dia is renowned for its strong sales poli­cies, dis­ci­pline in net­work and in­no­va­tive ways of cre­at­ing and man­ag­ing a net­work of over 130 dis­trib­u­tors, 300 sub­dis­trib­u­tors, reach­ing up to around 8,000 re­tail­ers all over In­dia.

The com­pany has an­nounced a plan to set up a new plant in In­dia at an in­vest­ment of around 1.7 bil­lion yen (Rs 98 crore), at the ex­ist­ing plant area to dou­ble the pro­duc­tion ca­pa­bil­ity of spark plugs by the end of this year and start pro­duc­tion of oxy­gen sen­sors. About the fu­ture plans, Sanyal said, “To meet large de­mand for spark plugs in the af­ter­mar­ket and also to meet the more strict emis­sion stan­dards for oxy­gen sen­sors for mo­tor­cy­cles un­der Bharat Stage VI, we de­cided to in­vest in the In­dian fa­cil­ity which will have a full sen­sor line. “Twowheeler sen­sors will come to the mar­ket by 2019-20. There­fore, we are mak­ing this in­vest­ment. We will start sup­ply­ing to OEMs and then grad­u­ally come to the af­ter­mar­ket,” Sanyal said.

Ac­cord­ing to its vi­sion 2020, NGK aims at 45% mar­ket share by in­creas­ing its cur­rent clien­tele com­pris­ing Maruti Suzuki, Yamaha In­dia, Suzuki, Hero Mo­toCorp, Honda Mo­tor­cy­cles and Scoot­ers In­dia and oth­ers.

Man­age­ment team of NGK Ja­pan vis­ited their stall at New Delhi Auto Expo in Fe­bru­ary 2018.

Cross sec­tion of a spark plug

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