Fiem develops nextgen lamps for upcoming vehicle models: S Narayanan
Fiem Industries Ltd, a leading manufacturer of automotive lighting, signalling equipment and rear-view mirrors, is present in all types of automotive lightings. “As the industry is looking for innovative, performance-oriented lamps, we concentrate on global benchmarking of products to get the highest level of technology and features with lowest cost possible. Our R&D Centre is working with latest innovative products like OLED & High Power Blue Diode Laser. We are supplying LED lamps to our two-wheeler OEMs in India. We are developing many new generation lamps for some of the forthcoming models of renowned OEMs,” S Narayanan, Head, (Commercial & International Operations), FIEM Industries Ltd. told Bhargav TS. The excerpts: Q: What are the current trends in the Indian automotive lighting industry and what is the expectation of the two and four-wheeler OEMs when it comes to lighting solutions?
Narayanan: Lighting is an important factor of the vehicle and like eyes it helps safe driving. It has also very important aesthetic value. Therefore, the industry is looking for innovative, performanceoriented new generation lamps. The current trends show that the industry is going in for LED-based lighting because of its several advantages. The two wheeler OEMs in India are trying to adopt LED technology in their forthcoming New Models.
Q: OEMs are looking at LEDs and many light manufacturers are also gearing up to develop them. What is your view on it and are you developing new products?
Narayanan: Yes, OEMs are now looking for adopting LEDs in all their new models. Some of them have already introduced LED-based automotive lights in their existing models as well. We are equipped with updated technology and modern manufacturing facility and are fully competent to meet the requirements of our customers in this area. In fact, we are one of the first manufacturers in India to develop LED-based lights, which we had exported to our customers in Europe since 2002. We are already supplying LED tail lamps, blinker lamps, head lamps, DRL, projector lamp etc. to our 2 and 4-wheeler OEM customers in India. Besides, many new generation lamps are under development for some of the forthcoming models of renowned OEMs.
Q: Even now most vehicles use halogen lamps; what is your analysis of the evolution in the automotive lighting technologies?
Narayanan: At present many vehicles use halogen lamps since the changeover to LED on the existing and low-model vehicle is not viable because of huge increase in cost. Similarly, for 2-wheelers some of the new models are adopting LED-based head lamps, but here again for the existing and old models it is not feasible due to the cost factor. However, LED-based tail lamps, and blinker lamps are widely being incorporated in 2 wheeler vehicles. Halogen lamp has been in use for ages and it will diminish slowly. We can say it will take longer time for the full change-over to LEDs from halogen lamps.
Q: What are the ways to optimise the cost of lighting driven with latest technologies in the mass market?
Narayanan: In the initial stage it will be difficult to optimise the cost but by way of high volume & usage on more and more vehicles, it will be also feasible to make cost- effective solution to some extent. Further it may be possible by way of efficiently using advanced manufacturing tools such as value engineering, automation and technology upgradation besides applying QCDDM etc.
Q: What are the new products and technologies from Fiem?
Narayanan: Fiem has developed many new products such as Led Head Lamp, Led Based Projector Lamp, Plough Lamp besides Tail Lamp & Blinker Lamp for various OEMs in India and abroad. Some of the products created to meet the emerging technologies are already in use in many new model vehicles. Fiem has signed JV Agreement with Aisan Industry Co., Limited, Japan, for manufacturing of fuel pump module and IC connector assembly, for two and threewheelers. Fuel pump module will become mandatory for two and three-wheelers
under Bharat Stage VI (BS VI). This is an advanced emission control system expected to have huge market potential under BS VI norms.
Fiem has entered into an agreement with Kyowa Co., Limited, Japan, and formed a 50:50 JV company in Hong Kong under the name and style of Fiem Kyowa (HK) Mould Company Ltd. This JV company primarily will engage in the business of high-class moulds/ tooling for automotive and other applications. This new venture will have added advantage since it will increase selfreliance of the company to manufacture high-end products in this area.
We have also signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Toyo Denso Co., Ltd., Japan, for a Joint Venture proposal in India to manufacture automotive switch assemblies. Besides this we will also manufacture Bank Angle Sensor in India, which is a critical safety product to help the driver minimise accident impact, which is going to be mandatory in the near future.
Q: What according to you are the USPs of Fiem?
Narayanan: We offer best products at competitive price with shortest development time. Apart from our own R&D
capability with 4 decades of experience, we concentrate on global benchmarking of products to get the highest level of technology and features with lowest cost possible.
Q: How big is your R&D centre? Please update on your engineering centre.
Narayanan: Our R&D Centre in RAI, Sonepat is recognised by the Union Ministry of Science and Technology and also our R&D Division has been assessed and accredited by NABL in the discipline of Photometry Testing. Fiem also has its design centre in Italy for design and development of innovative automotive lighting products. We have nearly 80 people, who are highly experienced and specialised in design and development, working in these offices.
Q: Can you detail a few examples of the recent innovations developed by FIEM Engineers?
Narayanan: There are many new products developed by Fiem. They include LED head lamp, Led based Projector Lamp, Plough Lamp & Mirrors developed and homologated for the first time in India; products for Harley Davidson with coulometer (Optical filter technology) for global business; products developed for Suzuki, Indonesia, and for Yamaha, Brazil.
Q: Can you detail some products you have developed and are used on running vehicles?
Narayanan: Head lamp and tail lamp for Yamaha R 15, FZ 250, position lamp for FZ 250. We have also supplied head lamp for Honda scooter Activa 4G and Dio. For Suzuki two-wheelers we have supplied head lamp for Intruder and scooter BURGMAN; tail lamp for Gixxer 150, GS-150. As a quality player we have been awarded with Harley Davidson order to supply head lamp, tail lamp, winker lamp and licence plate lamp.
Q: What do you expect from FY 201718 in terms of business growth from OEMs in new investments, technology developments and other areas?
Narayanan: We had a prosperous year in terms of business. We had nearly 22% growth in the overall annual turnover. We are already making substantial investment for big expansion in our Tapukara plant besides on some new projects. This year we are planning to invest more than 80 Crores INR for further expansion.
Q: What are the new projects the company is working on?
Narayanan: We have already started our activities in our new joint venture with Aisan Industry Co., Limited, Japan and Toyota Tsusho Corporation, Japan. This new project is to manufacture fuel pump module and IC connector assembly for two and three-wheelers. The factory of the joint venture is in Rajasthan in the ELCINA Electronic Manufacturing Cluster which is mandatory with effect from 2020 as per BS-VI. We are also going to manufacture Bank Angle Sensor under the Technical Collaboration with Toyo Denso of Japan which comes under safety terms.
Q: How is your Gujarat plant progressing?
Narayanan: We have set up an ultramodern manufacturing facility in Gujarat, which is already in full-fledged operation. We are already supplying to Honda for all their requirements. It is a state-of-theart manufacturing facility with complete infrastructure, which is capable of meeting all our new customers’ requirements now and in future as well.
Q: How is your export business flaring?
Narayanan: We have our presence in the export markets and are supplying to our customers in Japan, Germany, Italy, Austria, Indonesia, Thailand, Sri Lanka, Columbia etc. We are already supplying our products to the global OEMs and are also developing many new products for them.
This will give us a lead in expanding our export business continuously in the future.
Q: By 2020 where will you be in terms of revenue?
Narayanan: We expect the industry to grow steadily with signs of tremendous growth by 2020. The Indian automotive component Industry will reach on equal platform in the global market. We are taking necessary initiatives to gear up ourselves to take full advantage and to become a dominant player in the player in the industry to achieve substantial growth in terms of revenue.