Jignesh Raval is the Managing Director of Sintercom India. Sintercom established in 2007, went public by listing on the NSE - Emerge (National Stock Exchange) in February 2018. The company is one of the leading auto component manufacturers with a manufacturing capacity of 3600 tonnes per annum. Its customers include Maruti Suzuki, Mahindra, Bajaj, Fiat, Hyundai, TATA Motors, Tenneco, Eaton, to name a few.
Q) What auto components does Sintercom India make with Powder Metallurgy?
A) Sintercom’s product portfolio can be broadly classified into- Engine, Transmission, Body/Chassis and Stainless Steel parts.
The engine product portfolio includes engine drive gears, chain sprockets, belt pulleys, cam to cam gears and engine shaft bearing caps for engines ranging from 800cc to 2000cc.
Sintercom manufactures a broad range of components for transmission hubs from 60 N/M to 400 N/M for both petrol and diesel vehicles. We also specialize in the manufacture of stainless steel sintered parts for use in manifolds exhausts.
Q) What are the major opportunities you foresee for Indian PM auto component manufacturers in your scale of operations?
A) The OEM’s are demanding more energy efficient products. The BS VI norms that need to be followed by 2020 require significant engine technology changes including improvement in engine combustion, calibration and reduced Nox levels. To achieve these stricter emission norms new technologies need to be adopted for making fuel efficient engines and lightweight powertrains. Significant weight reduction is required for all systems of a vehicle. This can be achieved by reduction of weight of all components by design optimization and use of superior material.
In addition to reduction in polluting emissions, BS VI implementation will require reduction in NVH (noise, vibration and harshness) generated from vehicles. The PM process can produce components with porosity which has the ability to dampen noise & vibration better than forged components.
These voids can also be filled with lubricating oils which helps reduce friction. Furthermore, modern global engines use noise-reduction systems such as mass balanced and anti-backlash gear drives all of which are produced by the powder metallurgy process.
Finally the electrification of vehicles will also open up avenues for development of various PM parts.
Q) What opportunities do you foresee for PM part manufacturers operating at a smaller scale?
A) As OEMs demand more energy efficient products, the bigger PM players will become focused on research and development of complex PM parts. This would generate new opportunities for smaller players to take up less complex and lower density part manufacturing. There also lies an opportunity for smaller firms to partner with bigger players for the supply of lower tonnage components required by the OEMs.
Q) What is the biggest benefit your customers see in switching from a traditionally forged or cast component to a PM sintered component?
A) Sintering is considered a green technology, while conventional metal-forming processes such as forging and casting are considered polluting processes. That’s because the PM sintering process -
The biggest advantage our customers get by using PM parts is net shape, lower density products with higher yield strength and repeatability.
Q) In your opinion, what is the biggest obstacle facing Indian component manufacturers adopting PM and thereby catering to a wider global market?
A) In my opinion, the biggest obstacle is consistency in volumes. The automotive sector accounts for 80% of PM sales in the country. Historically the Indian auto sector hasn’t shown consistent growth. With overall volumes remaining the same, while variants and new platforms increase, it sometimes becomes unprofitable to use PM as PM dies are more expensive than traditional dies. The cost of the die has to be amortised within the part cost. This can restrict profitability and growth for the components manufacturer and their competitiveness in the wider global market.
Q) Why is it important for PMAI to bring an event like APMA 2019 to India?
A) We are very excited about APMA 2019! This is the first time an APMA conference is happening in India. It’s a great opportunity for all manufacturers from the PM community as well as outside to understand global opportunities and technical developments in the field. Sintercom India has sponsored previous PMAI events and we plan on being at the APMA 2019 in India as well. Events like APMA 2019 have helped us in marketing our brand to a global audience. Asia is one of the largest markets for PM products and APMA sees all the major Asian countries come together.
I would recommend it to anyone who is looking to build knowledge or skills, as well as to those who would like to understand the benefits PM can offer them.
The Asian Powder Metallurgy Association’s 5th International Conference on Powder Metallurgy in Asia- APMA 2019 is happening at the JW Marriott Hotel Pune, India from Feb 19- 21, 2019. To register, visit www.apma2019.com