By launching two 16-litre CPCB Stage II diesel engines for gensets, Volvo Penta wants to utilise local strengths, reports Bhushan Mhapralkar.
Generators find use in the auto industry. With power deficit in India pegged at 30,000 mega-watt, life without gensets is unthinkable. It is to address this need that Volvo Penta has launched two new 16-litre CPCB Stage II compliant diesel engines (with two-stage turbocharging) for gensets in the 600 kVA and 650 kVA range. The engines, TWD1652GE and TWD 1653GE, are made at Volvo's Skovde engine plant in Sweden, and share the block with Volvo Group's 16-litre diesel engine that powers the Volvo FH16 Globetrotter. Enjoying the technology that goes into the making of engines for the group's truck brands like Volvo, Renault, UD, Eicher and Mack, Volvo Penta, a premium player in gensets, also has a 7-litre, 250kVA CPCB Stage II compliant diesel engine to offer. If the three CPCB Stage II compliant engines stress upon the company's commitment for the Indian market, 70 per cent of the business for Volvo Penta in India comes from gensets.
Structured across two verticals - marine and industrial - Volvo Penta contributed 30 per cent to the group's sales at US $ 1.2 billion. The Asia-Pacific region, of which India is a part, contributed 27 per cent. The biggest contributor was Europe at 49 per cent. Also catering to commercial craft manufacturers and off-highway segments such as mining and material handling. Volvo Penta is keen to increase its competitiveness by local sourcing and local manufacture. Said Bjorn Ingemanson, President, Volvo Penta, "The need to increase competitiveness could be best achieved by increasing local sourcing, and local manufacture." Ingemanson visited the group's new engine plant at Pithampur near Indore. It builds 5-litre and 8-litre engines for commercial vehicles in India as well as other Volvo destinations. To turn them into engines oriented for gensets (MD5 and MD 8), it will take time. When it does, it will make for cost effective manufacture. Explained Ingemanson, "The Pithampur operations are very cost effective, and we will utilise them."
Committed to build engines with clean combustion and fewer emissions (also common to commercial vehicle engines of Volvo Group), Volvo Penta already sources components from India. It started sourcing aluminium castings in 2011, much later than the sourcing efforts exerted by the Group's commercial vehicle business. The inclusion of Eicher may have provided the needed impetus. Volvo Penta's sourcing efforts are riding piggyback to the group's other sourcing efforts. Highly integrated according to Ingemanson, the sourcing initiative of Volvo Penta in India would soon include heat exchangers (radiators), harnesses, sheet metal components and turbochargers. Of the opinion that Indian suppliers offer global quality components, Lars Ljungqvist, Senior Vice President - Planning, Product Development & Purchasing, averred, "Starting with aluminium castings, we are looking at sourcing heat exchangers (radiators) and turbochargers from India." Expecting growth to come from new products for off-highway segment, Volvo Penta's focus, at least at the moment, is to address the issue of availability of power - to diverse industrial sectors like mining, industries, automotive, equipment, etc.
Focusing on alternate fuels apart from enhancing the fuel efficiency and lowering emissions of the existing engine range, Volvo Penta is keen to do all that it takes to stay competitive; leverage opportunities like local sourcing and offer what the market needs. Making smart use of electronics (Volvo Group has a captive electronics company, Cepac) to ensure market leading fuel efficiency and emissions (through technologies like SCR), the introduction of two 16-litre CPCB Stage II compliant engines is indicative of Volvo Penta's future course of journey in the country. It is also indicative of the Volvo Group's journey in India.