Precision Camshafts is entering into production of assembled camshafts with help from EMAG to arrive at a manufacturing process that is no less superior than what EMAG Automation has to currently offer, and is also cost effective.
Starting with an infrastructure to manufacture 7200 solid camshafts per year in 1994, Solapur-based Precision Camshafts is entering into production of assembled camshafts. Working towards investing between Rs 250 and Rs 300 crore over the next three years to acquire as well as double the manufacturing capacity to 30 million, over 150 varieties figure on the list of camshafts the Rs 500 crore company has to offer. These include profile and hollow cams. Catering to over 20 clients in the auto sector, from a modern manufacturing site spread over 40 acres at Solapur (450 km from Mumbai), close to 85 per cent of the camshafts are exported. If this makes Precision one of the biggest camshaft manufacturers in the world, by 2017, the exports business is expected to account for 93 per cent. A single source supplier to OEMs like Hyundai and Ford in India, the global client list includes premium automakers like Porsche, GM, Mercedes-Benz, BMW, Toyota and others. "We are working as a development partner with Ford," announced Yatin Shah, Managing Director, Precision Camshafts. Ford drew Precision Camshafts to China. A joint venture in China with Shenglong Automotive Powertrain Co and ZMM Technologies was set up in 2012 to bag business from Ford there. A machining facility is already operational. A forging unit is expected to go on stream by early next year. The entry into assembled camshafts is in association with EMAG Automation, a German company that is very well known and respected in the auto industry according to Dr Andreas Mootz, Managing Director, EMAG Automation, Germany. 'EMAG supplies the best manufacturing solutions for precision metal components', is how the company describes itself. Choosing to concentrate on cams for engines (read per bank in case of V6 and V8 engines) with a displacement capacity ranging between 1- and 2-litre, the company will be partnering with EMAG to arrive at a production process that rolls out assembled cams at a cost that is much less than what the others are incurring. Making a mark in Europe, helped by the acquisition of G Clancey of UK in 2006 - a company for which Precision started contract manufacturing camshafts for a few years ago, the association between Precision Camshafts and EMAG is purely technical in nature. Expected to mutually benefit both entities (EMAG and Precision) according to Mootz, EMAG will patent the process while Precision will enjoy exclusive usage rights the world over for the process for the next five years. Precision Camshafts will thus start buying machines from EMAG to manufacture assembled cams starting next month, a process that will stretch over the next five years. Assembled cams, according to Shah, eliminate the need for a foundry. Cam lobes are heat shrunk to fit on a pipe.
The first assembled cam is expected to roll out early next year. "These cams will help better address the 1- to 2-litre capacity engine market, pegged at 100 million," Shah averred. "We see a shift from chilled cast iron cams to assembled cams in Europe. We want to offer them at affordable prices, and see a huge potential since assembled cams for a similar engine half the revolving weight, lower fuel consumption and reduce emissions," he added. Coming from a company that recorded 40 per cent CAGR growth over the last few years, and at a time when the automotive industry the world over was battling a slowdown, Precision Camshafts is also looking at an acquisition in Europe over the next twelve months in the region of US $ 50 million. Making commercial vehicle cams and locomotive cams for the Indian market, though not entertaining new business, the company is expected to use the European acquisition as a facility to showcase its prowess to customers in the region - manufacture prototypes, etc. Keen to limit manufacturing to Solapur in India, and to Huzhou for the Chinese market, Precision Camshafts, apart from introducing assembled camshafts to the Asia-Pacific region (including markets like Japan where ductile iron cams are preferred), is also keen to enter niche products over the next two years.
Enjoying approximately 20 per cent of the market share with the 1- and 2-litre engine camshaft market pegged at 100 million units, Precision Camshafts has come to be a benchmark for chilled cast iron cams. With assembled camshafts and niche products on the company radar, Shah is quick to mention that assembled camshafts weigh around 700-800 grams over chilled cast iron cams, which weigh 2 kg. Stressing upon a 6 to 7 per cent reduction in fuel consumption with the use of assembled camshaft, Shah mentioned that he is keen to see his company become a leading camshaft manufacturer in the world. He concluded, "We want to be a US $ 250m company by 2017."