Global mar­ket ac­cess ser­vice is our main growth area: He­mant De­sai

TUV Rhein­land In­dia, a sub­sidiary of Ger­many-head­quar­tered TUV Rhein­land Group, is mainly into tech­ni­cal in­spec­tion to en­sure safety, qual­ity and pro­tec­tion of the en­vi­ron­ment. Its ser­vices in­clude test­ing, in­spec­tion and cer­ti­fi­ca­tion, train­ing and consu

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Q: Which are the ver­ti­cals that TUV Rhein­land In­dia op­er­ates in?

De­sai: TUV Rhein­land In­dia is a 100% sub­sidiary of Ger­many- head­quar­tered TUV Rhein­land Group. The name it­self re­veals the na­ture of the busi­ness which is mainly into tech­ni­cal surveil­lance or tech­ni­cal in­spec­tion. We are here to en­sure safety, qual­ity and pro­tec­tion of the en­vi­ron­ment which are the 3 foun­da­tion pil­lars of our ser­vices. Our ser­vices in­clude test­ing, in­spec­tion and cer­ti­fi­ca­tion, train­ing and con­sul­ta­tion. We have sev­eral di­vi­sions cater­ing to dif­fer­ent in­dus­trial sec­tors like in­dus­trial ser­vices per­tain­ing to in­fras­truc­tural de­vel­op­ment etc, pres­sure equip­ment cer­ti­fi­ca­tion, en­ergy and en­vi­ron­ment tech­nol­ogy, ma­te­rial test­ing, and non­de­struc­tive test­ing among oth­ers. In mo­bil­ity, we deal with rail­ways, au­to­mo­tive and the avi­a­tion sec­tors. For prod­uct test­ing, we cater to di­verse range of prod­ucts, from a leather shoe to a nu­clear in­stal­la­tion, from machines to IT equip­ment, and ap­pli­ances. For academy and life­care, the erst­while train­ing and con­sult­ing di­vi­sion, we deal with pro­fes­sional and vo­ca­tional train­ing. Through our sis­ter com­pany, TUV Rhein­land NIFE, we do fire safety train­ing. Un­der ICT that deals with com­mu­ni­ca­tion tech­nol­ogy we are look­ing at ex­pan­sion in In­dia. For sys­tems, we take part in ISO stan­dards, Gov­ern­ment cer­ti­fi­ca­tions etc.

In In­dia we em­pha­sis on train­ing, cer­ti­fi­ca­tion, test­ing and train­ing in the au­to­mo­tive space. We are the world’s largest tech­ni­cal ser­vices com­pany per­tain­ing to ho­molo­ga­tion and type ap­proval which is our forte. Through our global di­vi­sions, we cater to the dif­fer­ent needs of ve­hi­cle and com­po­nent man­u­fac­tur­ers in their en­deav­our to ex­port from In­dia which en­tails dif­fer­ent ap­provals from dif­fer­ent coun­tries. We are a Euro­pean des­ig­nated ser­vice com­pany pop­u­larly called as E-mark ser­vice which is very pop­u­lar across Europe etc. Like­wise, we also sup­port global man­u­fac­tur­ers to com­ply with In­dian ap­provals, what in In­dia is called Cen­tral Mo­tor Ve­hi­cle Rule (CMVR) or type ap­proval ap­pli­ca­tion. We have our own labs like the state-of-the art Elec­tro Mag­netic Com­pat­i­bil­ity (EMC). We are one of the first pri­vately set-up bod­ies to possess such cer­ti­fi­ca­tion in In­dia. This lab caters to au­to­mo­tive EMC test­ing, and in par­tic­u­lar the ‘make in In­dia’ cam­paign. Elec­tronic sub-assem­blies, ve­hi­cle con­trol sys­tems, in­fo­tain­ment sys­tems, driver as­sis­tance sys­tems which are mak­ing their way to In­dia, not lim­ited to the do­mes­tic mar­ket alone.

Q: In your opin­ion, how have the of­fer­ings in the test­ing and ho­molo­ga­tion evolved?

De­sai: Ho­molo­ga­tion in In­dia started in 1989. It is not a re­cent phe­nom­e­non. It is a very ma­tured sys­tem con­trary to pop­u­lar opin­ion, and is at par with mar­kets like that of Europe and Ja­pan. With more global man­u­fac­tur­ers mak­ing their way to In­dia, ex­ports got a boost. The mar­ket evolved from cater­ing to just the do­mes­tic re­quire­ments to be­com­ing a global provider. Reg­u­la­tory ap­provals be­came more and more im­por­tant. Be it the In­dian Orig­i­nal Equip­ment Man­u­fac­tur­ers (OEMs) or the Global OEMs, to­day they need tremen­dous sup­port in the space that we op­er­ate in. In the type ap­proval do­main, un­for­tu­nately, we don’t have our own big lab­o­ra­to­ries in In­dia. Given our ac­cred­i­ta­tions, our ex­perts are qual­i­fied by Euro­pean min­istries of trans­port. So, it’s pos­si­ble that we wit­ness the tests here in In­dia, across pri­vate or na­tional labs or be it the OEM labs such that we as­sess the lab and fa­cil­i­ties be­fore is­su­ing the type ap­provals. In­dia as a coun­try has al­ready an­nounced that it will align most of its reg­u­la­tions with United Na­tions CC reg­u­la­tions. To­day it’s be­com­ing eas­ier for the OEMs in the sense that you do a test once, ir­re­spec­tive of whether it’s

for the do­mes­tic or global mar­kets. The in­dus­try has moved in the di­rec­tion of test and many cer­tifi­cates. Since In­dia is fast evolv­ing as an ex­port na­tion, many fa­cil­i­ties at par with in­ter­na­tional stan­dards are mak­ing their way here.

Q: How ad­vanced or unique is your EMC lab?

De­sai: We do not limit our­selves to test­ing for the do­mes­tic mar­ket as you know. We even as­sist the OEMs in engi­neer­ing tests, for ex­am­ple. When we started the EMC lab, we set it up such that it was not ex­clu­sive to the au­to­mo­tive in­dus­try. We ex­panded the fa­cil­ity to in­clude the au­to­mo­tive in­dus­try. To­day be­sides com­ply­ing with Gov­ern­ment reg­u­la­tions, one has to com­ply with OEM spec­i­fi­ca­tions which are far more strin­gent. As a re­sult, we are gear­ing up to in­crease the ca­pa­bil­ity of our test cen­tres be­sides look­ing at ex­pan­sion. Be­yond elec­tro­mo­bil­ity, we are also look­ing at ho­molo­ga­tion ca­pa­bil­i­ties, com­po­nent ho­molo­ga­tion, test­ing of en­ergy stor­age sys­tem that in­cludes the bat­ter­ies. Our bat­tery test­ing lab to­day caters to non-au­to­mo­tive space in In­dia but else­where we have full ca­pa­bil­i­ties in the space. We look to ex­pand our ac­tiv­i­ties in In­dia on that front. Our wire­less com­mu­ni­ca­tion pro­to­cols cater to ad­vanced Ad­vanced Driver As­sis­tance Sys­tems (ADAS) wherein col­li­sion avoid­ance, lane de­par­ture warn­ing etc en­tails com­mu­ni­ca­tion in a wire­less man­ner. It might be pre­ma­ture for the In­dian mar­ket but we are con­fi­dent that there is a big need in the en­tire elec­tro­mo­bil­ity value chain. Since we have our safety lab­o­ra­tory we can test charg­ers, con­nec­tors, ca­bles, and in­spect the whole charg­ing in­fra­struc­ture. We have pre­pared train­ing mod­ules for han­dling high volt­age elec­tric sys­tem for peo­ple who will han­dle them like the tech­ni­cians etc.

Q: How evolved are these ca­pa­bil­i­ties from a CV per­spec­tive and when, ac­cord­ing to you, was the turn­ing point?

De­sai: The cur­rent ex­port of com­mer­cial ve­hi­cles from In­dia is not to the

ad­vanced coun­tries. We cater to the ma­jor OEMs in In­dia whose mar­kets are ma­jorly in Africa, Asia, Latin Amer­ica and the Gulf. There is no in­her­ent de­mand for ad­vanced safety fea­tures as yet. For the In­dian mar­ket, these are ex­cep­tions, ex­cept Anti-skid Brak­ing Sys­tem (ABS) and ad­her­ence to ad­vanced emis­sion norms. From 2010 on­wards we have been get­ting a sig­nif­i­cant num­ber of queries for com­mer­cial ve­hi­cle test­ing.

Q: What is your say on the OEMs in­creas­ingly of­fer­ing fully-built ve­hi­cles, and more re­cently of­fer­ing an ex­tended war­ranty on their trucks?

De­sai: Yes, of course, I see a sig­nif­i­cant shift, and for that, we should thank the In­dian gov­ern­ment at first. One could pre­vi­ously see only a chas­sis be­ing driven in an un­safe man­ner. It was the CMVR rule that man­dated a min­i­mum safety ad­di­tion to such ve­hi­cles. Even to­day we do not have a full-fledged pow­er­train man­u­fac­turer with a ma­jor chunk of com­po­nents still be­ing im­ported. Of course, there are many peo­ple com­ing up in the pow­er­train in­dus­try. With In­dia’s prow­ess in sheet metal and forg­ing etc, we are al­ready reck­oned as be­ing among the top na­tions. On global OEMs en­ter­ing the In­dian mar­ket with their qual­ity stan­dards, In­dian OEMs too had to up the ante to at least come up to ac­cept­able lev­els. Pricewise there is a big dif­fer­ence but OEMs are forced to think of the cus­tomers too. As far as mea­sures like ex­tended war­ranty are con­cerned, it is an ex­er­cise lead­ing to brand loy­alty. It is an ef­fort in the right di­rec­tion to tie the cus­tomer to them­selves but more from the perks and ben­e­fits per­spec­tive be­ing passed on to the cus­tomer than purely a tech­no­log­i­cal ad­vance­ment.

Q: What is the foot­print in In­dia for TUV Rhein­land?

De­sai: We have a ded­i­cated au­to­mo­tive lab in Ben­galuru.

Q: The world safety stan­dards body, Global New Car As­sess­ment Pro­gramme (GNCAP) is mo­ti­vat­ing In­dian car man­u­fac­tur­ers to achieve 5-star rat­ing through a spe­cial recog­ni­tion award. Have we come far off from the days of zero-star cars ply­ing on In­dian roads?

De­sai:

The Bharat Na­tional Car As­sess­ment Pro­gramme (NCAP) and sim­i­lar oth­ers are not reg­u­la­tions but bod­ies or in­sti­tu­tions which are not di­rectly

re­lated to a reg­u­la­tor. So these stan­dards are much higher than man­dated reg­u­la­tions. When we talk about reg­u­la­tions and cer­ti­fi­ca­tions, we are only talk­ing about min­i­mum re­quire­ments. These are above the min­i­mum re­quire­ments, more on the per­for­mance re­quire­ments. When we cer­tify, we don’t cer­tify per­for­mance, we cer­tify safety to a min­i­mum level. These, in my opin­ion, are more con­sumeror­i­ented. Cer­ti­fi­ca­tions and reg­u­la­tions have seen a spike in stan­dard­i­s­a­tion across OEMs.

Q: Does TUV Rhein­land in In­dia work in tan­dem with nodal agen­cies like ARAI and CIRT?

De­sai: We had signed a MoU with ARAI a cou­ple of years ago. We have agreed to sup­port each other on all fronts of in­dus­try re­quire­ments. If a man­u­fac­turer wants to ex­port or needs an in­ter­na­tional cer­ti­fi­ca­tion, ARAI will ap­proach us with the re­quire­ment and we will sup­port it in which­ever way we can. Sim­i­larly, we take help from ARAI when an In­dian cer­ti­fi­ca­tion is re­quired on the test­ing front. We are al­ways in touch with these or­gan­i­sa­tions wherein a lot of stan­dard­i­s­a­tion is hap­pen­ing. We are asked for global in­ter­pre­ta­tions when they are pre­par­ing the In­dian stan­dards where in­puts from ad­vanced coun­tries are re­quired. We con­duct joint train­ing pro­grammes for the in­dus­try. So we are work­ing quite closely with In­dian bod­ies.

Q: Which are the key fo­cus ar­eas for TUV Rhein­land in In­dia given the new reg­u­la­tions and amend­ments com­ing in?

De­sai: Def­i­nitely, our fo­cus growth area is the global mar­ket ac­cess ser­vices. It deals with in­for­ma­tion from ex­porters and man­u­fac­tur­ers on dif­fer­ent reg­u­la­tions across coun­tries. What is the reg­u­la­tory risk? Sup­port­ing the OEMs through the process of test­ing and cer­ti­fi­ca­tion. We also an­tic­i­pate mar­ket an­a­lyt­ics to pick up in due course of time to help man­u­fac­tur­ers think glob­ally and act lo­cally. Other ar­eas of growth in­clude train­ing and con­sul­ta­tion. Many of our cen­tres are NSDC- ac­cred­ited. In elec­tri­fi­ca­tion, test­ing across EMC, wire­less or en­ergy stor­age sys­tems hold good po­ten­tial for us. We would ad­di­tion­ally like to sup­port Gov­ern­ment of In­dia in de­vis­ing charg­ing in­fra­struc­ture stan­dards. Our vast global ex­pe­ri­ence in in­spec­tion and set­ting up of safety stan­dards for charg­ing in­fra is ex­pected to hold us in good stead there. With the Gov­ern­ment agen­cies lack­ing ca­pac­i­ties, we are open to ex­tend­ing sup­port to the gov­ern­ment ini­tia­tives to help re­alise the dream of elec­tri­fi­ca­tion.

Q: Any global trends in ho­molo­ga­tion that could make way to In­dia soon?

De­sai: We are wait­ing for the Gov­ern­ment to open up be­fore we think of bring­ing test­ing tech­nol­ogy in In­dia. We do not see that hap­pen­ing as yet. Glob­ally, a lot of self-test­ing by man­u­fac­tur­ers is be­ing al­lowed. The re­sults then have to be ver­i­fied by an in­de­pen­dent nodal body.

Q: With ev­ery pass­ing day bring­ing out an emis­sion scan­dal by an auto ma­jor, are you play­ing a cat­a­lyst to bridge the gap be­tween lab re­sults and on-road per­for­mance met­rics?

De­sai: It is a very sen­si­tive is­sue in­deed. There have been new reg­u­la­tions that have now been no­ti­fied par­tic­u­larly in the emis­sion do­main. It is called Real Driv­ing Emis­sions (RDE) test which is a man­date in Europe. So the cy­cle has started. We ex­pect In­dian reg­u­la­tions to be aligned sim­i­larly by 2020. The need is to have a very ro­bust in­spec­tion net­work known in In­dia on the lines of In­spec­tion, Test­ing, and Main­te­nance (INM), which is a pe­ri­od­i­cal ex­er­cise. The Gov­ern­ment of In­dia has asked the States to set up sim­i­lar fa­cil­i­ties. It could take an­other 6 to 8 years be­fore on-road test­ing be­comes a norm.

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