- Vikram Khanna, COO - Consumer Glass
Asahi India Glass Ltd (AIS) is a pioneer in automotive glass industry in India, with about 3 decades of proven leadership in technology. Excerpts from an interview with Mr Vikram Khanna, COO - Consumer Glass, COO - Architectural Business, CMO, CIO, Asahi India Glass Ltd (AIS)...
What are the types of automotive glass manufactured by AIS?
As India's leading integrated glass company, AIS delivers its top-of-the-line products and solutions through the 4 Strategic Business Units of Automotive Glass, Architectural Glass, Consumer Glass and Solar Glass. AIS is a pioneer in automotive glass industry in India, with about 3 decades of proven leadership in technology, scale and QCDDM. AIS is the only automotive glass company in the country to have received the prestigious Deming Application Prize in 2007.
Today, AIS Auto has four plants located at Bawal - Haryana, Roorkee - Uttarakhand (North), Chennai - Tamil Nadu (South) and Taloja - Maharashtra (West) and three sub-assembly units/warehouses at Halol - Gujarat, Pune - Maharashtra (West) and Bangalore - Karnataka (South). The plants and sub - assemblies are strategically located in proximity of India's automotive manufacturing hubs and produce a complete range of automotive safety glass, engineered to the highest global quality standards.
The widest range of glass products available in automotive sector in India today is from AIS and includes not just laminated windshields and tempered Glass for sidelites and backlites but also host of sub-assembly and value added products like defogger glass, acoustic glass, encapsulated glass, etc., and innovative products like plug-in windows, water-repellent glass and rain-sensor windscreen, to name a few.
AIS is a dominant brand covering the entire spectrum of the auto industry, which includes market leaders like Maruti Suzuki, Hyundai Motors, Tata Motors, Mahindra & Mahindra, Toyota Kirloskar, Honda Cars India, Volkswagen India, Ford India, Skoda Auto and Fiat India.
What are the types of glass used in Commercial Vehicles - trucks & buses - as well as off highway/earthmoving equipment? Is this different from passenger cars?
Commercial vehicles also use laminated and tempered range of glasses albeit in larger sizes and higher glass thicknesses. Off-highway/earthmoving equipment, on the other hand, use relatively complex glass profiles.
Do Solar Control Glass and/or Infra-Cut Windshield Glass form an OEM option? Or are these for after-market?
Increased iron content in Solar Control Glass and infrared absorbent material in plastic interlayer in Infrared Cut Glass absorbs IR rays and reduces:
Our value added products have been introduced in both the OEM as well as the replacement market segments. OEMs are aggressively evaluating value added options such as Solar glasses, IR cut windscreens, acoustic windscreens for introduction in their new product offerings and SUVs, etc.
AIS also manufactures toughened glass - what is the speciality? Does the company also manufacture bullet proof glass?
The primary objective of automotive glasses is to provide clear view of the road and the surroundings. However achieving this very difficult and requires high level of technology. Expanding city horizons, smoother and wider roads, busier lifestyles and the accelerating desire for better looking cars have encouraged a continual improvement in automotive technology and design, and have given rise to a new breed of sleek and fast vehicles. But, with greater speed, comes the need for greater safety. International quality automotive glass products are strong and safe.
Tempered or toughened glass is used primarily for surrounding windows of the car (side window glass - also called sidelites) and back door glass (backlites).
This is made by subjecting float glass to temperatures equal to softening point of glass, approximately 680Ã‚Â°C, and then rapidly cooling it. Sheets of float glass are cut, and heated in a specialized furnace where they are shaped either by pressing or naturally, by gravity. These heated glass sheets are 'quenched' the moment they emerge from the furnace by strong blasts of cool air. This instant cooling creates stress points in the glass, which makes it four to five times stronger than float glass. Presently we are not manufacturing bullet proof glasses for automotive applications.
What is the market-share? Ratio of OEM vs after-market? And Exports?
AIS continues to have highest trust of its customers resulting a market share of about 74 per cent in the PV segment. OEM sales account for close to 80 per cent of our sales followed by 9 per cent contriÃ‚Âbution from the After-market segment and around 4 per cent from Exports.
What will be the future trends of glass use in automotive segment?
For future, focus is on value added products, which offer thermal comfort, noise reduction, reduction in fuel consumption, and design/visibility enhancement along with functional displays. Across all OEMs, reduction in car weight is also of prime importance and hence ultra-thin windshield glasses with tougher specs of quality are expected to be used in future car models.
We may also see introduction of other value added products like Solar Glass, Acoustic Windscreen, IR Cut PVB Windshield, IR cut Acoustic PVB Windshield, UV Cut glasses, in entry level Indian passenger car models. Currently these high-end technology products are available only in the niche segments.
Asahi India Glass Ltd showcases high performance uPVC Doors & Windows
AIS is not just about automotive glasses. Participating at a trade show, ET Acetech, in December 2014, at Pragati Maidan, New Delhi, AIS showcased a complete range of AIS VUE uPVC door and window solutions, including EcoVUE, SilentVUE, SafeVUE, GuardVUE and CustomVUE.
The perfect mix of style and safety, the right balance between elegance and efficiency, the ultimate combination of form and function, AIS VUE gives customers the best of all worlds in one comprehensive offering. Designed to meet every contemporary lifestyle need, AIS VUE uPVC door and window profiles feature state-of-the-art manufacturing technology and international quality standards.
"Participation in Acetech helped us in creating awareness about AIS VUE - high performance range of uPVC doors and windows brand from AIS. It also helped us to meet and network with visitors and secure some good project leads for the coming months." said Mr Vikram Khanna, COO - Consumer Glass, COO - Architectural Institutional Business, CMO, CIO, speaking at the event. Asahi India Glass Ltd (AIS) is India's leading integrated glass Solutions Company and a dominant player both in the car and building glass segment. It commands over 70% share in the Indian passenger car glass market. Established in 1986, AIS' footprint today spans the entire spectrum of the automotive and architectural glass value chains.