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Hyundai Motor India: We have sufficient capacity: Ganesh Mani, Hyundai, Auto News, ET Auto

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We have sufficient capacity: Ganesh Mani, Hyundai Q1. Despite the challenge of slowdown, how do you see the production going in 2020?

As far as Hyundai is concerned, even in 2019 as well, we were doing very well. We started the year 2020 with Aura, which has been well accepted by the market. Now we are going to launch the ultimate SUV Creta, and we are extremely hopeful that industry’s and our production going to be in full swing.

Q. How do you meet the export and domestic demand?

Our investment comes in two parts. One is to make more number of products, and the other one is how to make the system flexible. It always works in two tandem in hand-in-hand. To manage these things, we have ensured the flexibility so, both the plants can go hand in hand.

Our 20-25 per cent of production volume is always going to be exported.~

We have two different plants and make 13 different models. So, any kind of model mixtures, we are able to do it seamlessly. This is a huge amount of advantage with which we continue to manage our production volume up and down very easily.

Q. From two plants, you have been manufacturing 7.5 lakh cars per annum. Going ahead, do you see the need of another plant to meet the demand of domestic and export markets?

Currently, we have enough capacity to cater to the needs of this year and next year as well. Having said that our 20-25 per cent of production volume is always going to be exported. As the Indian market keeps growing, we will be able to readjust the same.

As our investment is largely on flexibility, we can always augment it as required. In the recent past, we have increased our production capacity by 50,000 units with minimal investment and a few changes on the line. We always keep that in mind when we keep expanding our basics.

So, speaking about our decision of expanding to the next plant, we can always afford to wait, because our capability of the introduction of a decision and execution is always shorter. So we have a luxury to wait.

Q: In terms of manufacturing and production what are the innovative ways you have incorporated?

As you know, Hyundai Venue came with 33 connected features under the BlueLink technology, now we are going to come with over 50 connected features in the Creta SUV.

So, one aspect is how we are going to incorporate the technologies in our line and how you are going to ensure that all these functions working. This is one area, where we always had to work upon. Secondly, the enablers of these products when it comes to manufacturability. These two are the major challenges we always envisage and we are able to manage it through various activities of pre-empting through digital mopping, digital assemblies, and also through a whole lot of checks.

Our automation is based on three important principles, which are ‘Dirty job, Difficult job and Dangerous job’.~

We have got a lot of varieties of checks called safe scan, which is very new in India. Usage of that will be able to pre-empt of all those facilities in a time of fewer than 60 seconds. So, we are able to ensure all the time. Therefore we have no problem in adapting to these kinds of new technologies and techniques.

If we talk about the fuel lines, in terms of diesel and petrol, we already have flexible lines for both. We have already incorporated so much of fool-proofing systems, such as vision sensors and vision cameras. Apart from that, we have also started using an extensive level of industry 4.0 technologies like artificial intelligence, machine learning, virtual reality. That helps us in a bigger way in maintaining the flexibility and adaptability to new technologies.

Q. What is the level of automation and how it has gone up over the past few years?

As you know, the auto industry has various shopping processes. Our automation is based on three important principles, which are ‘Dirty job, Difficult job and Dangerous job’. Our body shop has got 100 per cent automation, as far as the welding process is concerned.

In the assembly shop, a whole lot of artistic jobs have to go in tandem with the product. There we have the least amount of automation. The exterior paint job in the paint shop is completely automated, just to give the best glossiness and best painting quality.

Q. How manufacturing has taken up the challenge of making safer cars?

One thing is about standard and regulation. Secondly, in terms of manufacturing, traceability is a very crucial aspect. We are very happy to inform that for the last two models, Aura and Creta, we have integrated 100 per cent traceability, when it comes to components, right from the inception itself.

These things give an enabling activity in terms of vehicle chassis number. When you blow it up across, it can go off to component level easily. This is a major advantage through which we can always find out who has made it, which vendor has supplied it, what kind of supply it was, what is the batch code – everything is highly retraceable with the kind of IT system we have in our company.

Q: How you have been using high tensile steel in your cars? What sense of safety the customers get with the Hyundai models?

First, these things are always done to make cars much safer. Secondly, to give the vehicle an enormous amount of strength and to reduce the overall weight of the vehicle as well. But the most important part is how we are using them for welding.

When you blend the normal sheets together, there is always a challenge in terms of maintaining the strength. In order to cater the same we have got 695 robots, called as intelligent welding mechanism.

Before the application, every part of that goes in measures, deciding the level of current, pressure and other parameters needed to be applied to that welding. This is called intelligent welding automation system and it a self-learning technology.

This ensures the product that is coming out with high tensile steel is highly capable and safe.

Q. What are the advantages of having the largest integrated manufacturing facility?

First, we are able to produce 13 different models and 350 different variants, not only to India but to export markets as well. When you have a common integrated model, it gives a distinct advantage.

We have two different manufacturing plants, and both of them are interconnected. The shops are interlinked so that in case any change required, that can be done easily. This is one of the biggest advantages.

Whenever certain flexibility is needed in the models, we can very easily move the skilled people who can go and help on the other side. Whenever there is one plant, where a new model is coming up, we will be able to manoeuvre resources accordingly.

Since we manufacture the gears and entire powertrain in our own plant, this gives a huge advantage in terms of manoeuvrability to product lines internally. Apart from petrol and diesel together, we also have two more engine plant that can cater to the wider needs of petrol or diesel engines.

We can always adjust our volumes according to the requirement. The case is the same for the transmission plant as well. Since we have two plants, we are always able to manage things together. We also have a captive aluminium foundry when helps us in the value chain with cost-effective and qualitative products.

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