Growing demand for safety technologies to benefit from company’s localisation strategy; Industry 4.0 practices enabling Continental to make factories smart
Continental today announced that it has achieved a milestone of producing one million Electronic Control Units (ECU) for passenger vehicle ABS and Electronic Stability Control (ESC), at its plant in Bengaluru. The company plans to ramp up its production capabilities in the next few years with a capacity of over two million units per year. This accomplishment further affirms the company’s global commitment towards vehicle safety, delivering technologies that aid its strategy of Vision Zero: Zero Fatalities, Zero Injuries, Zero Crashes, noted Continental.
The company said it is on track to support OEMs with safety products like ABS, ESC and speed sensors for both passenger cars and two-wheelers, in line with demand stimulated by recent safety legislations. Continental began localising ABS and ESC systems in 2016, with product assembly at its Gurgaon plant, where it has completed production of over two million units already. Production for ECUs at its Bengaluru plant was set up in January, 2018.
Localising is said to be at the core of the Continental’s strategy in India, creating a value chain beginning from marketing and R&D to production and sales. On the R&D front, the company’s engineering team at the Technical Centre India (TCI) designs, develops and validates products specific to the market and customer requirement. An example of this is in the development of the single-channel ABS solution for two-wheelers, which is serving both India and other Asian markets. TCI today supports end-to-end product development from requirement engineering to product build-up and testing in specific areas encompassing software, electronics and mechanics, the company said.
Krishan Kohli, Head, Vehicle Dynamics business unit, Continental Automotive India, said the company has continued with its strategy on localisation and has been substantially increasing production capacity at various plants in India. This makes Continental an ideal partner for OEMs to deliver vehicle safety technologies in a quick turnaround, he added. He further said that it is expected that ESC will be mandated in India by 2022-23 timeframe, and along with ABS, ESC will further enhance the vehicle safety and provide increased comfort to the driver.
The company been consistent in its production and delivery of ABS and ESC units to OEMs in India and other markets, noted Phanindra Karody, Plant Head, Bengaluru. He said that in India, there is a surge in adoption of the safety technologies because of the recent safety legislation and growing consumer awareness. “With our wide portfolio of safety technologies and standardized production process, we are supporting OEMs with quality products, thus, contributing to road safety value chain,” added Karody.
In addition to this milestone, Continental also said that it is making one of the world’s largest electronics production networks in the automotive industry fit for the future, with the help of Industry 4.0. It is on the path to establishing a smart factory, already using Big Data applications and cooperative robots. Production lines in all of the company’s manufacturing facilities are highly standardised, and all the machines are interconnected for the highest levels of traceability. In addition, Management Information Systems (MIS) are utilised for real-time process details. This helps in achieving robust production processes with a zero-defect strategy and high utilisation rates, Continental noted.