The rapid increase in electronics content in the automotive industry has opened up opportunities for many players. Japanese electronics component maker, Murata Manufacturing Co Ltd is one such manufacturer that is eyeing a good share of business from the Indian market. Auto Tech Review met up with Gary Han Wee Kwang, General Manager, Regional Product Marketing Department, ASEAN, India, Oceania Sales and Marketing, Murata Electronics Singapore Pvt Ltd (L), and Yongsuk Choi, Managing Director, Murata Electronics (India) Pvt Ltd (R) to understand the company’s focus on smart manufacturing, automotive industry, domestic needs & solutions, and importance of partnerships to elevate technologies.
MARKET DEMANDS, TRENDS
Kwang and Choi were participating at the Electronica India 2018, where the focus was on highlighting the company’s smart factory automation solution. However, Murata also displayed other solutions at the event, including wireless communication of the car. Choi said automotive has become one of the core markets for Murata in India with over 50 % of revenue coming from such automotive customers. The company not only works not only with Tier I and Tier II companies, but is also strengthening its relationship with local OEMs, he added.
Choi said there are short-term trends in the domestic market that are enabling the company to provide solutions and thereby grow its business. There short-terms trends come in the form of new regulations that are being put into place. The mandate of daytime running lights in two-wheelers, crash test and service tests for four-wheelers, seat belt-related requirements in terms of reminder buzzers are some market demands Murata addresses. Therefore, the new regulations are becoming necessary for passenger safety, which is gathering demand around electronic systems, Choi noted.
The Indian market will move towards the requirements of vehicle to everything (V2X) in the long term, Choi observed, and car-to-car communication will become essential. Another important trend would be the growth of electric vehicles (EV) by 2030, when at least 30 % of the vehicle sales is expected to be contributed by EVs, he noted. Murata develops passive safety and communication solutions for electromobility and is gearing up for future market demands, for which it is liaising with OEMs and Tier 1 companies.
Murata also offers core technologies for electrification, passive safety components and a range of sensor technologies. The company offers a gamut of products that act as building blocks to enable automotive manufacturers to achieve their final course of feature enhancements. For ADAS, Autonomous Driving and V2X, Murata provides with solutions for analysis of various data, such as driver behaviour as well as other information that covers infrastructure and the rest of the ecosystem. Murata wants to contribute its technologies as a baseline to enhance the features of V2X and ADAS.
CUSTOMISED INDIAN SOLUTIONS
Murata looks at India with a different viewpoint, said Choi, adding that its traditional form of business has been to approach manufacturers of modular systems and offer components for their applications. However, he noted that there are currently a number of new players, mostly start-ups, and there is also no guarantee that the current major market shareholder can continuously lead the market. In addition, a number of start-ups in the country are focussing on electrification and ride sharing solutions, which are the current market trends. He said Murata is watching out for different perspectives rising out of the market and addressing all their requirements.
Murata will continue to focus on the current core market for existing players, while focussing on areas hitherto unseen. The future direction of these new areas is still unclear, but it can be seen that some of the market will move towards these new trends, said Choi. There is no right or wrong, and both traditional as well as new-age requirements will be addressed in a market like India.
Kwang stopped short of saying that India is behind but asserted that it is different. This feature of being ‘different’ makes Murata look at the possibility of carrying out development processes such as reverse innovation. He said that innovation arising out of certain use cases specific to this market could be applicable in other countries, thus driving global innovations from local development.
Murata is not an IT company, but works around Internet of things (IoT) in the form of gathering data from various sources through sensing technologies. This collected data is then sent wirelessly to the server, and then comes the process of analysis of such data, before creating an automation to carry out the final decision, which is called Artificial Intelligence (AI). The company’s position is in using its competence of technologies in sensing, along with the fundamental building blocks in battery, power and wireless communication in order to get the required data directly to the cloud.
The company not only offers new solutions, but also helps customers in the manufacturing industry to update their existing tools and machines, and bring them up to speed with current-generation manufacturing set-ups. In terms of machine monitoring, Murata offers solutions to customers to keep track of their machinery and production lines through its product line-up of sensors and communication modules. These solutions, in turn, lead to increased manufacturing efficiency as well as sustainable and environment-friendly manufacturing practises.
TEXT: Naveen Arul