Ashutosh Vaidya, Chief Delivery Officer, Tata Technologies
In this interaction with Huned Contractor, Tata Technologies’ Chief Delivery Officer Ashutosh Vaidya elaborates about their Axia-VAVE Centre of Excellence has contributed to providing innovative engineering solutions, particularly so in the automotive sector
From the era of Henry Ford, the automotive industry has been at the forefront of technological progress. In a world which witnesses phenomenal breakthroughs and disruptions every day, the automotive industry has been leading the charge. Today, concepts which were unheard of even a few years back have captured mind space. From connected cars to electric vehicles, mobility to telematics, these emerging technologies are dominating the automotive industry. The ferocious speed of disruption in the automotive sector has created opportunities for automakers to provide integrated, technologically advanced solutions.
Tata Technologies, a leader in the engineering and design space with transformative IT capabilities, has ensured that it positions itself in the best place to ride this revolution. In a multi-dimensional world, our presence is everywhere: on road, off road, in flight. Our automotive engineering expertise makes us the strategic partners for next-gen automakers who want to make a mark with fleets of digitally advanced, greener and lighter vehicles. At the heart of Tata Technologies’ capabilities lies the key vision which encompasses whatever we do: Engineering a Better World. Inherent in this vision is the desire to act as a transformative agent for good – for people, for society and for the planet – through a cycle of continuous improvement.
In the spirit of furthering the ethos of our vision, Tata Technologies puts a great deal of emphasis on research and innovation and thanks to this, we have launched a state-of-the-art research and development centre, the Axia-VAVE Centre of Excellence at our Hinjawadi campus in Pune. The value of research and development cannot be underestimated. India’s engineering research and development market grew at 13% in 2017-18, according to NASSCOM. The country has moved to the 60th rank in the 10th edition of the Global Innovation Index (GII) and will likely enter the list of the top 25 nations by 2020.
Keeping in mind the importance of research and development in today’s fast-changing world, Tata Technologies’ Teardown and Benchmarking Lab (TDBM), the Axia-VAVE Centre of Excellence, is our response to the growing global demand for frugal engineering services and our will to push the boundaries of innovation. It offers clients end-to-end product development capabilities, including product innovation, value engineering, cost engineering, and teardown and benchmarking services with the help of contextual in-depth knowledge and experience we have attained over the years in manufacturing.
In the words of Warren Harris, our Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director, the centre provides the first step towards a company that enables perfect balance between the physical and the virtual world. The TDBM lab provides prototype testing and validation capabilities, enabling us to take responsibility for innovation and development from concept to launch by providing global benchmarking solutions. Tata Technologies has partnered with some of the world’s most successful automotive manufacturers to deploy effective vehicle programs, deliver discrete work packages and provide end-to-end design and development solutions, reiterating our commitment to supporting full machine vehicle and development programs.
The TDBM lab’s application is not limited to just the automotive industry, but covers a vast range of verticals. The range of projects assigned to the lab has varied from agricultural equipment to construction equipment to automotive and industrial machines. The Axia-VAVE Centre of Excellence has delivered various benefits to clients that have helped them in their product development programs through over 25+ projects and counting. This lab has been instrumental for achieving cost and weight targets for most of our automotive and industrial heavy machinery clients.
A key value engineering project was with a leading Indian multinational automotive manufacturing company for their medium and heavy commercial vehicle trucks (MHCV). The weight and the cost challenges of the client were addressed by using our teardown-benchmarking, costing and value engineering services. We developed new design proposals for chassis and suspension systems and created a competitive analysis report highlighting engineering and cost advantages along with limitations. The result was a cost and weight reduction by USD 1,095 and 800 kg per vehicle respectively.
The Axia-VAVE Centre of Excellence has also helped us leverage and pioneer upcoming technologies through IPs and other methodologies, enabling Tata Technologies to be the preferred partner of choice to the world’s largest automotive and other OEMs. Our own intrinsic 5R Rightweighting Methodology is a great example of helping automotive OEMs achieve their product development dreams. This methodology proved imperative in surpassing international standards of light-weighting, with the help of next-gen technology, by using a multi-material production approach and advanced joining techniques.
Tata Technologies extensively used the 5R Rightweighting Methodology in close partnership with NIO China, a leading new-generation electric car company. The association between the two companies commenced with collaborative engineering for NIO’s first electric all-aluminium vehicle, the ES8 SUV, which NIO intends to be their first product positioned in the Chinese electric vehicles’ mass market. Tata Technologies engaged with NIO to drive major engineering aspects related to the development of the ES8 such as body structures, closures and exteriors, advanced manufacturing engineering, Product Lifecycle Management (PLM), and off-car connectivity. Tata Technologies, in this strategic association with NIO, utilised its globally distributed execution model and extended its proven expertise in out-of-the-box engineering processes.
The two companies also worked on a range of concepts on weight optimisation using advanced materials in the pursuit of creating a process that would pioneer the way for more advanced material-based vehicles in China. As a result of implementing this expertise, the ES8 is currently achieving body weight efficiency targets better than the best proposed by the EuroCarBody Conference. The association also achieved significant technological milestones in the PLM domain. The team successfully led and implemented the 3DEXPERIENCE® 2016x (Dassault Systèmes) solution. It was delivered by Tata Technologies’ global talent and is another first in the next-gen EV original equipment manufacturer (OEM) landscape, enabling engineers to accelerate the product development lifecycle through concurrent engineering.
At its heart, Tata Technologies is an engineering company which tries to identify world-class technologies and inventions that can be applied to some of the global challenges we face. The global leadership position in the engineering and design space that the company has attained while catering to the needs of the manufacturing industry has been built on inspiration and ingenuity. Innovation will always remain the constant driving force behind the elevation of the manufacturing industry. With our transformative facilities, Tata Technologies is well-set on its goal to engineer a world where innovation knows no bounds.
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