ERO MOTOCORP HAS taken the wraps off its sprawling new research and development facility on the outskirts on Jaipur. The Centre of Innovation and Technology is located on nearly 250 acres and boasts of multiple test tracks to help with their product development. Hero have created this 850 crore facility to bring all their R&D facilities under one consolidated roof, and is a huge leap forward from the three acre R&D facility in Dharuhera.
Dr. Markus Braunsperger, Chief Technology Officer at Hero who will be heading operations at the CIT said, "The CIT is the new home of our R&D team and the commencement of operations here is a major milestone in our endeavour to ramp up the product development competency to global standards. Within this facility we will be establishing new work processes and enhancing our technical skills to global benchmarks."
Creating a new bike from the ground up begins with customer analysis. Once what the customer wants is finalised, new products can be conceptualised and put on to a drawing board. The facility has dedicated studios in the main tower for designing products, right from design software to the technology required to create 1:1 clay models of the digital design. The next step is to take an artist’s design and make it into a working one, which can withstand real-world conditions. Simulation softwares show engineers how the parts would fare in the real world and modify designs as required. The facility has the provision to fabricate both metal and plastic parts, which allows them to build their protoypes in-house.
An essential part of the development process is testing. Both individual parts and the completely assembled prototypes have to be put through rigourous stress and vibration tests to see how durable they are. The Hero CIT facility has all the machinery required to conduct performance, durability and NVH tests. The facility also has an Electromagnetic Compatibility Lab, something not many facilities around the world can boast of, to test how the bike reacts to electromagnetic surges around it and what sort of electromagnetic field it creates itself. This is crucial to make sure electronics won’t fail in the real world and is also a requirement while vehicles are being homologated.
Of the 247 acres, 100 acres are dedicated to their new test tracks. The tracks cover around 16km with 45 different surfaces so bikes can be tested thoroughly. Right from high speed tracks, cornering tracks to bumpy roads and rain tracks.
The CIT also tries to do its part for the environment. Around 3 acres of rooftop area is utilised for growing vegetables. There are 22 ponds scattered across the property to harvest rainwater. A cooling system that utilises the water in these ponds has been developed to reduce the airconditioning load.
The CIT currently has around 500 engineers working together, and this number would increase to 600 by the end of the next year. New products take about three to four years to develop from scratch and it will take at least so long to see a product completely developed at this new facility. However, many existing R&D projects have been transferred from the old facility to the new one and will continue to be developed here now.
Above: The main building is designed to allow maximum natural light into the building. Below: The test tracks cover a 100 acres of the 247 acre property