Auto Tech Review recently spoke to Krishan Kohli, Head of Hydraulic Brake Systems & Vehicle Dynamics business units, India & Continental Automotive Brake Systems, India to understand more about the tech major’s approach while progressing towards future mobility.
Continental’s Gurugram plant is dedicated to the production of brake systems & technologies and rolls out hydraulic and electronic brake systems for the passenger car and two-wheeler segments. The facility also houses a R&D lab that caters to global and regional product development requirements for the company’s brake systems business. The R&D centre focusses heavily on hydraulic brake systems, while supporting both regional and global markets of the HBS business unit. The facility has recently been introduced with two new production lines to meet requirements of ABS and ESC. Additionally, the company also has test labs at Gurugram that bank heavily on simulation while servicing both hydraulic and electronic brake systems.
India is a cost-sensitive market; hence, localisation has been a key focus to expand footprint in India. Kohli said the company is also aiming for digitisation of manufacturing using IOT techniques and related technologies to transform the industrial processes to improve overall efficiency. Currently, Continental has 70 % localisation in manufacturing of actuation, drum brakes and calipers at its Gurugram plant catering to local market and customer needs. As a technology company, Continental has been implementing Industry 4.0 concepts that have resulted in overall cost optimisation, process optimisation and higher value creation. The company has implemented augmented reality (AR) for remote assistance & problem-solving, artificial intelligence (AI) for facial detection of quality inspectors, automated guided vehicle (AGV) for material movement on the shop floor and COBOTS (collaborative robots) to undertake the repetitive tasks, said Kohli.
Looking at a larger picture, Continental already has a full fledged in-house R&D centre in India at Bengaluru named Technical Centre India that already has over 4,000 engineers and contributes significantly towards various technologies, specifically in areas of camera, radar and lidar. The company claims the centre is matured enough to shoulder product responsibility for more products as well as assume global responsibilities for certain functions. The company is already on a matured path of computer aided engineering (CAE) and has a dedicated team that simulates stress tests even for strange situations that do not happen easily banking on petabytes of data available.