It’s the electronics that ‘drives’ success

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A view of the shop floor at Napino’s Manesar Plant

Napino Auto & Electronics has set up five SMT lines using Asys machines to manufacture regulators/rectifiers and capacitor discharge ignitors for the Indian automotive industry

India’s automotive industry has been witnessing growth over the years, owing to a steady demand across segments and the customers’ willingness to opt for technologically advanced products that enhance the ownership experience. Though the recent months have seen a slight dip in sales, experts feel this is a temporary trend and will end soon.
This growth has a lot to do with international technology finding its way faster to Indian buyers. Earlier, products launched in global markets took months to reach the Indian market. This has changed, due to growing awareness among manufacturers and a surge in the demand for world-class quality.
Aiding this growth path are technology partners and component manufacturers who have complemented the OEMs well, and have kept pace with the rising demand for higher standards of automation and ease of usage.
One company that has been at the forefront in bringing state-of-the-art technology to Indian automobile manufacturers is Napino Auto & Electronics. It is one of the largest manufacturers of regulators/rectifiers and capacitor discharge ignitors (CDI) in India, and is a key supplier to major two-wheeler and four-wheeler manufacturers. It is also one of the early adopters of the ‘Clean Room’ manufacturing concept. Elaborating on this, Md. Imtiazuddin, senior manager-electronics division, Napino Auto & Electronics, says, “This concept is aimed at increasing the quality and reliability of the product, and is intended to maintain near-zero dust levels within the production facility. Globally, this technique is being used in all large-scale factories and assembly lines. Many four-wheeler manufacturers have even made this concept mandatory across their plants. If you want to remain competitive in the market, ‘Clean Room’ is a must.”

Adhering to the highest quality standards
The company initially set up a single SMT line at Manesar in Haryana where it manufactured regulators and rectifiers. Over the years, the capacity has been increased to five SMT lines, two of which are used for regulators\rectifiers and the remaining three for CDI production. For all major SMT requirements, Napino has opted for Asys as its partner since 2011. Speaking on the decision to go with Asys, Imtiazuddin says, “The machine is easy to use, the controls are easily accessible and the interface is comprehendible, which is an essential requirement across the production line. It is also easy to maintain.”
Employees operating on the shop floor have found the Asys machine to be easily programmable, with job shift times being among the lowest according to industry standards. This, coupled with the high accuracy levels required to meet the long cycle time required by the products, renders this machine an appropriate choice for the company. Napino has also installed two Asys Cerio 4000 SMT machines at its Haridwar plant, with a cycle time of nine seconds.

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The Asys machine in operation

A promising future ahead…
While the automobile industry might be going through mixed times, both globally and domestically, the components manufacturing sector is witnessing a boom in demand. This is particularly due to the high expectations of consumers. “If we take any aspect of safety, comfort or luxury demanded and offered in the market today, electronics is at the forefront. From safety devices like airbags, electronic brake distribution and anti-lock braking systems to luxury features like sun roofs, infotainment systems and graphic user interface, electronics has revolutionised our present by aligning it to a future that has much more to offer,” says Imtiazuddin.

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Challenges that need immediate attention
Competition amongst manufacturers might be a great boon for customers, as they get the best quality at an affordable price, but from the manufacturers’ perspective, it does put stress on existing capacity. “People from all economic sections purchase automobiles—be it a two-wheeler or a four-wheeler. While this increases the ambit of electronic applications in the products, a diverse market like India does throw a few challenges at components manufacturers. We have to develop products which are not only of high quality, but are also low on cost. This stretches our margins and with stiffer competition, things get worse. However, this is a factor which exists across segments and verticals,” says Imtiazuddin.

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The revolutionary “Clean Room” concept ensures minimal dust levels and high hygiene standards

The road ahead
The dynamic automotive industry relies heavily on the electronics sector to deliver a perfect product which blends software and hardware seamlessly, and offers an unforgettable experience to the person sitting behind the steering wheel. This can only be achieved through constant technology upgradation, customer-centric product orientation and an eye for what electronics can offer beyond the conventional.

 

 

By Anwesh Koley

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