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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.

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