Bonfiglioli has always been investing in innovation and new technologies for power transmission solutions. Kennady Kaippally, Country Manager - Mobile & Wind Solutions, Bonfiglioli Transmissions, elaborates more on the market trends and news solutions from the company for Indian market.
How would you describe your next-gen transmissions, for heavy equipment, on-off highway trucks and dumpers?
Bonfiglioli has always been investing in innovation and new technologies for power transmission solutions. We are developing new solutions for off-highway market, material handling, transportation and mining applications. The new products provide enhanced efficiencies with more power and less losses, hybridisation of the products and offering futuristic solutions with electrifications on our drive train solutions provides us a competitive edge in the market and these solutions help OEMs for delivering optimal vehicle performances. Bonfiglioli´s model for innovation is based on an enormous capacity for technological innovation accompanied by production and management processes that are designed to satisfy the needs of our customers and markets.
What are new developments in the pipeline and will be introduced to Indian markets during 2017?
Bonfiglioli is extremely focused on Indian markets. We are developing new solutions in 700C platform of track drives for various application in construction equipment´s like excavators, mini excavators and skid steer loaders. We have developed innovative solutions for wheel drives with 600C product family for backhoe loader and many wheeled machines in construction and agricultural applications. We are leaders in the concrete mixer market and will launch new range of products in this segment by mid-2017. We are also working for hybrid and electric solutions for material handling market and will launch India-specific products in these markets.
What is your take on electronic sensing for incorporating on line diagnostics, operator assistance, connectivity, safety and fuel economy capabilities in modern transmissions?
Electronic sensing or online feedback mechanism to system/equipment operators is very important. The feedback mechanism should provide all the necessary parameters which supports the operators to have the equipment working in the most optimum mode for fuel economy, efficiency and safety of equipment. Bonfiglioli has many unique solutions where electronic and hydraulic features are integrated in mechanical transmission systems to provide the right online feedback mechanism to equipment operators for various applications. For example, a patented solution where the integration of load cell in gearbox quickly and precisely measures torque and enables torque monitoring in real time. Connected via an external cable connection, the system provides an automatic engine shut down to protect the drive or reduce the capacity of the frequency converter and provides information to the PLC. In addition, the system also has an ant seize function which prevents blockages. The evaluation of its data also facilitates the predictive maintenance. The new integrated load bearing system allows Bonfiglioli ¡ for the first time in the market ¡ to deploy a mechanically elegant, technically excellent and low maintenance solution in any environment.
What are the deliverables your OEMs are seeking from your transmissions?
OEMs in India operate in a uniquely Indian environment and as such their expectations on deliverables for their transmission are guided by this specific environment. Bonfiglioli with its local engineering centre in India is well placed to understand this environment and design transmissions that are tailor made for it. Since our inception in India, we have produced a whole range of transmissions, that are rugged, efficient, easy to maintain and optimised to operate in difficult working environment. These deliverables are highly prized by OEMs in India and this has resulted in our transmissions becoming the benchmark for the industry.
How would you describe the current market dynamics for your products? Are there any risks? If yes, how are you planning to mitigate the same?
Bonfiglioli has various product portfolios and has diversified into various markets. We cater to off-highway, on-highway, construction equipment and material handling markets with numerous solutions. All the markets we cater to have very dynamic behaviour with ups and downs. Although we see a positive growth in these segments, there are always effects of global markets on India and they may have adverse effect on Indian markets. Apart from the market research reports from various bodies, we have our own estimates for market, we have strong connect to the Indian markets through our sales and marketing offices across India. We are well connected to end customers and markets which helps for our strategies. Very importantly, we have extremely optimised supply chain with state-of-the-art lean manufacturing set up, this helps us to support our customers with growing demands.
Where do you visualise your company´s position in 2018?
We are by far the major player in our business and in future we do foresee us consolidating our position. This makes it imperative for us to work closely with our customers to design transmissions for their upcoming product lines. Going forward we visualise ourselves at the forefront of technological development of next generation of innovative transmissions, catering to requirements that are specific to India, thereby adding value for our customers.
What are your estimates of the business volumes for different categories of transmissions, over the next five years in terms of units and value?
Indian market for infrastructure and mining equipment is still in its infancy, so though the market will continue to grow for the coming five years, the growth across different equipment segments will not be secular. The growth in the market will be in tandem with change in its composition, with specialised, high productivity equipment gaining ground over general purpose machines. Most of these specialised, high productivity equipment will come with new generation of hydrostatic and electric transmissions, where Bonfiglioli is a dominant PLC player. So, though the infrastructure and mining equipment are expected to double in the next five years from the current levels of 60,000 units per annum, we expect growth for our transmissions to outpace the market growth.