Chennai is home to some of the biggest and longest serving automakers in the country, with over 30 % automobile manufacturers and 35 % auto components manufacturers. The city will offer a business networking platform for the global and Indian auto components sector through the 7th Automotive Engineering Show in June 2013 (www.aes-show.com).
Amid volatile market conditions, the show will provide manufacturers with cost-effective solutions for the auto sector. The show will be organised by the Mumbai-based Focussed Events from 6 to 8 June, 2013 at the Chennai Trade Centre.
The show is supported by premium government bodies like National Automotive Testing and R&D Infrastructure Project (NATRiP), Automotive Research Association of India (ARAI) & International Centre for Automotive Technology (iCAT).
The show will help vehicle and auto component manufacturers to deploy appropriate technology and connect to providers of systems and processes in an effort to optimise efficiency, quality and costs. The event is largely targeted at mid-level functional executives and managers, who are responsible for the quality and quantity of production, especially those who look after or source materials, IT solutions in design, machines, tools, production efficiency, etc.
The expo will chart the course for future modernisation, cost-cutting and efficiency and hence has seen a record number of pre-event visitor registrations. The show is thus expected to attract over 8,000 high profile visitors from the auto industry not only from in and around Chennai but also from other automotive hubs like Bangalore, Coimbatore, Madurai, Pune and the National Capital Region.
The trade fair has participation from over 150 leading manufacturers from India and abroad displaying world class automotive technologies and products like IT solutions in design, development, planning and manufacturing, automation systems, factory control and sensors, assembly line system integrators and line builders, machining centres and metal cutting equipment, including laser cutting. In addition, the display will include latest concepts in tools, jigs and fixtures for enhancing productivity, specialised solutions in welding including laser welding, end-to-end in plant (material) handling systems, automotive painting equipment, paint shop integrators, robotics and metrology, quality inspection and vision system.
A unique feature about the present edition is the pavilion earmarked for Tier II & Tier III vendors offering components sourcing and manufacturing solutions. This would enable access to home-grown economical products and technologies to the business visitors, who largely comprise of OEMs and Tier I purchasing/ procurement managers/ directors, plant heads, and production personnel from planning, quality, design, capital purchase, procurement, maintenance, R&D etc.
The event will also conduct exhibitor seminars that would help the participants to expand the reach of their products/services among prospective customers.
Like every year, the show will also include the presentation of ‘Excellence Awards for Innovation & Creative Automation’ rewarding pioneers in the fields of flexible manufacturing, process improvement, energy efficiency & safety and environment. For further information and registration, please log on to www.aes-show.com or write to firstname.lastname@example.org.
(Auto Tech Review is a media partner of the AES Show, and this article is purely for promotional purpose)
Infotainment in the automotive industry has been witnessing a growing trend of late. And with more modern features adorning our cars today, the share of infotainment is only likely to grow. In an email interview with Auto Tech Review, Praveen K Ganapathy, Director – Business Development, Texas Instruments (TI) India shares his view on the industry, and its future. Excerpts:
ATR _ At what size does your company estimate the automotive infotainment market to be in India?
PKG _ According to ISA Frost & Sullivan report, the total available market in India for automotive electronics is estimated at $ 160 million in 2012, driven by safety and digitisation. Texas Instruments (TI) has an unparalleled range of products and solution catering to the Indian market. This combines leading automotive infotainment processors, wireless connectivity solutions, analogue solutions to enable feature-rich automotive applications such as automotive infotainment head units, rear-seat entertainment devices, radio, and navigation tools.
How many automotive electronics/ applications does an average car feature?
With each year cars seem to get more and more complicated. In today’s world, cars tend to have more than 50 microprocessors on them. Although these microprocessors increase the complexity and testing of electronic subsystems getting integrated into today’s cars, they actually make it easier and safer to drive and service.
With increasing levels of semiconductor integration and cost reduction, the features can be brought into mid level and entry level vehicles. Is Texas Instruments carrying out any production stage or development for such units in India?With increasing levels of semiconductor integration and cost reduction, the infotainment and safety features on yesterday’s high-end cars can be brought into mid and entry level vehicles. TI is working aggressively on high level of integration and cost reduction on its processors and analogue components for the automotive market. The production and development of infotainment sub-systems is the domain of TI’s customers, which include Tier 1 suppliers into the automotive OEMs. TI’s large network of sales and applications folks is enabling the adoption of these technologies and products at these customers in and outside India.
What are the opportunities for Texas Instruments in the Indian Automotive sector?
Texas Instruments offer a strong product portfolio and design tools to support the growing market of automotive infotainment. Customers of TI have access to a few key advantages that are unique to TI. These advantages help customers come up with cutting-edge applications and get to market faster. TI has a broad portfolio of products that cover all design requirements of customers. Also, TI is the only semiconductor company in India to have sales and applications offices across locations, including small cities like Nashik and Chandigarh. TI also has an efficient partner/ distributor channel eco-system in place to reach out to customers across the country.Applications-wise, the key focus markets for TI in India include:
o Automotive (power supplies, infotainment systems, clusters, safety/ driver assistance systems, etc)
o Industrial (UPS, inverters, metering applications, etc)o Consumer (audio, TVs, PCs, mobile phones, etc)
o Power/ Energy (renewable energy, solar power, energy harvesting)
o Wireless (wireless base stations, mobile phones esp. smart phones & PDAs)
What are the future emerging trends you see in the automotive infotainment sector, both in India and other emerging markets?
Traditionally, automotive ‘radios’ have been limited to the dual functions of a radio receiver and an audio player. Consumers today are demanding a smart phone like experience in terms of features and user interface from the vehicle’s centre console head-unit. The key functions of the head-unit are radio reception, audio playback, telephony, connectivity and navigation. Along with this, consumers expect to bring the living room experience into the rear seat.
Another trend is that digital radio transmission standards are being deployed across the world, enabling new categories of services. This includes satellite radio (XM/Sirius in USA) and terrestrial radio (HD Radio in USA, DAB in Europe, DMB in South Korea and China, and soon to be deployed DRM in India). New services include conditional access, traffic information, programme associated data and program guide. Special techniques have been employed for backward compatibility to make it easier for customers to migrate – DAB transmitters often simulcast audio services on FM, and HD Radio has a hybrid mode where the analogue and digital signals co-exist on a band.Digital audio has enabled a multitude of storage media options starting with the audio compact disc. During the initial days of compact discs, tapes were still the most reliable music source in automobiles due to insensitivity to vehicle motion. With the advent of electronic shock protection, compact discs and other optical storage formats replaced tapes.
The preferred media types today are SD Cards and USB Flash Drives – these remove the need for any moving electronic parts, further improving reliability. In addition, audio can be sourced from an external media player connected over USB, using an AUX cable, or over Bluetooth. Finally, with internet connectivity, Internet radio services such a Pandora can be used to stream audio into the head-unit.Car connectivity enables communication between the infotainment system and in-car user devices, as well as remote communication. Remote connectivity is enabled in high-end vehicles with an inbuilt 2G/ 3G SIM card to communicate over the cellular network. New technologies are being developed that will allow smart phones to be controlled from the vehicle’s in-built user interface. Mechanisms need to be defined that will allow smart phone “apps” to be used in moving vehicles without compromising driver safety.With this expanding set of features that need to be controlled by the driver and other co-passengers, the user interface is an important focus area.
The trend in consumer electronics is towards highly responsive, touch screen enabled graphical user interfaces, and the same is expected in the vehicle. This requires an advanced level of 2D and 3D graphics performance. In order to minimise the distraction to the driver, buttons and knobs need to be conveniently placed on the steering wheel or on the centre console.Further, gesture recognition, speech synthesis and voice recognition technologies have to be uniquely adapted for the automotive environment. These technologies require significant digital signal processing, and are active areas of research. There are also innovations in display technologies for automobiles. Dual-view displays will allow the driver to view the radio HMI, while the front-seat co-passenger watches a movie. Heads-up displays will allow the driver to interact with the system without taking their eyes off the road.
Safety is a key aspect of automotive design, and Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) are an independent set of systems that may interact with the infotainment unit. Some of the features that may be provided by the infotainment unit include back-up camera and surround-view. Back up cameras are used to avoid collision with pedestrians or other objects while reversing the vehicle. Surround view systems help with parking by simulating a top-view of the vehicle and its surroundings using multiple camera feeds from around the vehicle.Automotive navigation is another key feature being added to infotainment systems. These systems rely on GPS to acquire position data, and employ dead reckoning using local sensors for greater reliability. The map data is stored locally either limited to terrain information or with detailed information on three-dimensional objects such as buildings. Correspondingly, rendering can be in 2D/ 2.5D (top-vie/perspective view) or in 3D. Also, map rendering involves blending multiple layers of graphics (e.g. map layer, map overview layer, points-of-interest layer, route layer, HMI layer, etc) – this needs to be efficiently handled.
Other features of automotive navigation include overlaying of traffic information, and navigation prompts providing turn-by-turn directions.Finally, there are the infotainment features that are targeted at the passengers. These have been available in aftermarket systems for some time. More recently, OEMs have been providing consumers the choice of a Rear Seat Entertainment (RSE) system. These functions may also be available on the head-unit, but are enabled only when the vehicle is parked (this may change with the availability of dual-view displays). These systems today allow users to bring in multimedia content in multiple forms such as SD Card, USB Drive or DVD/ BluRay Discs. In addition, the content may be sourced from portable devices (e.g. iPhone or iPad), mobile television or other Internet enabled services (e.g. YouTube).
Internet connectivity will also enable general web browsing. Other functions such as gaming and video conferencing will further enhance the living room experience. In addition, these systems can include mobile office features such as e-mail integration. All-in-all, there are an enormous range of features that can be enabled by these complex systems at various price points for consumers.Texas Instruments has a broad and deep product portfolio across consumer and automotive electronics, enabling customers to implement the breadth of features described above. With this portfolio, Texas Instruments is able to bring scalable embedded processing platforms for automotive infotainment, from the entry level automotive optimised processors (Jacinto), to the leading edge multi-core applications processor derived from smart phone devices (OMAP).
The enabling technologies include high performance Digital Signal Processing (DSP) cores, graphics acceleration using Imagination Technologies’ SGX GPU, advanced video acceleration IPs, leading edge Cortex cores from ARM, and a rich peripheral set adapted to automotive use cases. The programmable cores in these platforms are common, and software is reusable across the scale. This helps in maximising return on customers’ software investment, and minimising their time-to-market.
What specific challenges do you see in respect to the Indian market?
India is one the largest manufactures and consumers in the world of automobiles. With the growing environmental concerns, most of the manufacturers are now focused on building vehicles that are energy efficient and safer with advanced infotainment and driver assistance systems. However, local manufacturing of complex electronic sub-systems in a cost effective manner is still a big challenge. We hope this trend will change as the local ecosystems for electronics manufacturing develops and scales, both in terms of quality and cost.
Our February issue briefly talked about a few technologies displayed by the Anand Group. Within that story (Suppliers & Misc section) we asked you to visit our website for more details about the wide range of technologies displayed by Anand Group. As promised here’s a look at those technologies. Since Anand Group has Joint-Ventures and technical collaborations with various companies we will talk about products from their partners one by one.
Gabriel India Ltd
1) Load Adaptive Damping (LAD) for SUVs: Within this system the rear shock absorber is connected to the engine vacuum source through a vacuum actuator mounted on the shock absorber. Through a dashboard-mounted switch the driver can select the damping modes – soft/hard drive and comfort/sport cruise. The damping force applied is dependent on the load being carried by the vehicle.
2) All Disc Type Valving: Conventional shock absorbers use spring loaded valves, which tend to lose their firmness over a period of time resulting in lower performance. In order to overcome this disadvantage Gabriel introduced All Disc-Type Valving or Flapper Valves, wherein metallic discs replace the springs. These metallic discs bend with the pressure differentia between surfaces enabling oil to flow through the openings.
3) Tubular Piston Rods: Traditionally, the McPherson struts have been using solid rods, which on bad roads over a long period of time can lead to a failure. The Tubular Piston Rods offered by Gabriel offer enhanced reliability and over 30 % reduction in weight. This technology has been developed for front struts and is already being supplied to Volkswagen India.
Spicer India Ltd.
1) Off-Highway Wing Style Shafts: Spicer India launched Wing Style Shafts, which have been designed by Dana Europe for off-highway markets. In these shafts torque transfer takes place through a mechanical drive, more precisely through keys placed on the bearing blocks. These keys are matched with corresponding slots machined on the connecting fitting yokes.
Behr India Ltd.
1) Electronic Visco Clutch (EVC): EVC is a fan clutch drive directly controlled by the engine ECU. The control by ECU offers greater flexibility for fan speed controls and the operation take splace by controlling the amount of fluid released into the coupling. Benefits of the EVC include enhanced fuel-efficiency, better AC compressor reliability and lesser activations while idling.
2) Exhaust Gas Recirculation (EGR) Cooler: EGR is an important technology for meeting the Euro IV emission norms. It cools the exhaust gases through a cooling system and mixes it with fresh air to reduce the level of pollutants. This technology works well with existing diesel technology and in combination with other technologies even Euro V & VI emission norms can be met.
Mahle Filter Systems India
1) Air Intake System for Commercial Vehicle: The company showcased its recently launched ‘Pure Power’ series of air filters, which are claimed to offer high maintenance intervals owing to the filter material, which can cope with diverse environments. The filter is claimed to offer resistance against moisture and fine soot particle too.
2) Fuel Filter Module: Mahle fuel filters use a high-separation filter media along with an advanced functionality scope. This allows for the fuel pressure in the petrol filter to be adjusted by a pressure regulator integrated in the fuel-filter. The filter modules can be used for petrol and diesel applications with varying levels of technology usage. These filters feature higher particle holding and separation and can almost completely remove emulsified water too.
3) Plastic Air Intake Manifold: MAHLE showcased its newly-developed fully plastic intake manifolds. When coupled with intermediate flanges and tumble flaps on a direct-injection gasoline engine, the tumble flow provides for a better optimised fuel-air mixture and combustion process. This directly translates into higher fuel and emissions efficiency.
4) Plastic Oil Filter Module: Plastic oil filter modules are increasingly being favoured in the manufacturing process due to many other reasons than its lightness. In comparison with metallic oil modules, which requires drilling and flanges to be machined plastic injection moulding produces one complete module. The oil plan module includes the filtration and cooling functions, thereby reducing the number of individual parts required and bringing down logistics cost.
Haldex India Limited
1) Integrated Lift Axle System – Mechanical Suspension (ILAS-MS): This is a new introduction to the ILAS family for heavy commercial vehicles. The system does away with the traditional combination of six valves used for lifting the axle, translating into a claimed direct benefit cost of 40 % and indirect benefit of 15 % along with light-weighting advantages.