“In India, Cummins Is Keen To Support Clean Energy Initiatives”

T Murrali
28 Sep 2021
04:48 PM
7 Min Read

Anjali Pandey, Vice President, Engine Business and Components Business, Cummins India says the company sees more export growth opportunities from India as aligning emission norms to global standards helps vendors develop capabilities to cater to global needs.

Cummins Anjali Pandey
Anjali Pandey

Anjali Pandey is responsible for driving the growth of the businesses at Cummins India and enhancing the market share for both, the on-highway as well as off-highway sectors. In addition to this, Anjali also leads the Powertrain and Electrification programmes for Cummins in India.

Can you tell us about the preparations for OBD 2 effective April 1, 2023? What are the initiatives you have planned to support your customers?

Cummins is gearing up for new product launches to comply with OBD-II norms, representing more stringent OBD and in-service compliance requirements than current norms. Development programmes for the same are already kicked off and are progressing well for timely launch. Our current BS-VI OBD-I products are highly capable and have robust emission adherence. Therefore, we would be able to transition to BS-VI OBD-II relatively easily. 

Cummins and its OEM partners are working towards further enhancing and improving upon the TCO for end users. We will provide appropriate technology in our engines and after-treatment architectures to enhance customer key attributes such as fuel economy, service intervals, and initial product cost. Multiple platforms are being worked upon to give our OEMs the right-sized product for the overall Indian environment, all with Cummins brand promise of dependability and innovation.

What will be driving Cummins in India regarding new development, as the regulatory obligations would have been fulfilled by April 2023? 

India signed the Paris accord in 2016 with a commitment for a 33-35% reduction in emission intensity of GDP by the year 2030 from the 2005 levels. To meet these stringent emissions reduction targets, all industries need to contribute. However, with BS-VI on highway emission norms, we have achieved only a part of this commitment, and there is a long way to go.

The industry is already in discussions with the government and regulatory bodies on the future roadmap of emissions to bring India on par with global on-highway emission norms. Along with emissions, it is equally important to have a clear road map for fuel policy. The Government of India has already expressed interest in moving towards biodiesel or alternate fuels like CNG, HCNG, LNG, hydrogen, etc.

New fuel policy and roadmap will bring their own set of challenges. While alternate fuels may help with reduction in Particulate Matter (PM) related emissions, it may result in penalties on gaseous emissions. Other alternative fuels being looked at will require upgrade of the engine and after-treatment systems to meet emission norms robustly – this may include but are not limited to moving to higher displacement engines or expanding the portfolio to spark-ignition engines.

Along with emissions reduction and fuel policy, the government is also mandating improvement in fuel economy through HDFE norms. This will require significant investment in the entire powertrain upgrades. The government has taken similar initiatives in the off-highway space and for gensets.

All these initiatives focused on improving air quality and living standards for our citizens, and the Make in India initiatives will ensure exciting times ahead for Cummins.

How do Connected Solutions help Cummins, its customers and the end-user? 

With the advent of technology and communication, new solutions evolve to improve product performance and create better value across the value chain, including fleets, drivers, mechanics, and customers. The launch of electronic engines has facilitated the change towards connected solutions in vehicles, with engines and vehicles generating more information in digital format.

BS-VI has seen a dramatic increase in engine and after-treatment technology and is required to meet stringent emission standards, increasing vehicle prices. The cost of vehicle downtime of these expensive BS-VI vehicles is also high. Along with repair costs, there is loss of business and customer dissatisfaction. One significant way the same can be addressed is through deploying telematics solutions. 

Our new BS-VI engines and vehicles are telematics equipped and are enabled with features that help us diagnose, repair and predict any failures and enhance engine performance. This will significantly improve vehicle uptime and thus help improve overall customer satisfaction.


Can you tell us about Cummins Guidanz? 

Cummins Guidanz is mobile technology for ultimate efficiency and uptime. The old way of dealing with an engine fault code was to limp into a repair shop, wait in line for an open bay, have the engine hooked up to a diagnostic computer and get a qualified technician to sort the issue. The actual timing and cost for the repair couldn't be accurately determined until the root cause was discovered. 

Today, we use advanced Guidanz algorithm-driven automation and data analytics to integrate and streamline every aspect of the Cummins service experience, accelerating the diagnostic and repair process, while giving customers the repair time estimates they need to make informed decisions.

Guidanz integrates web and mobile applications to enhance and improve the experience for anyone who needs to service or connect to a Cummins-powered product. 

In the future, Guidanz will combine everything from diagnostics, training, repair and warranty with enhanced performance metrics. Guidanz will offer benefits for everyone. Cummins-certified and authorised service centres will be able to take full advantage of Guidanz to make fleets run more efficiently. 

Independent repair facilities will also have access to Guidanz in the near future for a faster, more efficient diagnosis and repair process. End users will find value in the free features available in the Guidanz mobile app. Across the board, Cummins will make the service experience easier and more efficient for service facilities and their customers.

What is the update on Cummins Component Care Centers?

With the advent of BS-IV technology in the Indian on-highway segment, new electronic engine and components technology became a necessity, which was hitherto traditional mechanical engine. Unless suitable external infrastructure was built, such change would make it difficult for the end-users and the OEM customers to navigate through the same.

Cummins realised the need to create such infrastructure to care for the end customer needs, and Cummins Components Care Centre (CCC) resulted from this strategic vision. These centres have been established to support customers to seamlessly navigate through new technology and reduce their ownership cost.

What are the benefits to the customers? 

For instance, during the 'Infant Care' period, Cummins executives and Cummins Components Care Channel partners supported training of the customers to adopt the new technology and on the need for the use of right and genuine consumables and spare parts. Further, we introduced the 'Fit for Market' repair solution to the major aggregates that got introduced to control vehicular emissions norms to reduce ownership costs for the fleets. 

The 210-plus strong CCC infrastructure with Cummins trained technicians across India ensured easy and faster service availability and spare parts.

Do you see the need to increase the number of CCCs?

With emission norms changing in power-gen, tractor, and off-highway segments, we expect more such customer support centres. We plan to double the CCC footprint in the next three to four years, improving the reach and accessibility of CCC service within 25-30 km.

We will further augment these services by introducing a new service infrastructure to take care of few vital BS-VI specific high-value components like Diesel Particulate Filter, Doser and Exhaust Throttle Valve. We will continuously expand CCC services and product portfolio offering to help customers meet their service and spare parts needs under one roof.

How is Cummins' philosophy of 'Power of Choice' evolving with new mobility stepping in, such as EVs, HEVs, PHEVs and FCVs?

Cummins strongly believes in using its fundamental capabilities across applications, a century of powertrain innovations and global footprints as we look for opportunities into new mobility technologies. 

We believe that energy diversity will power our future, and our goal is to provide our customers with a portfolio of power solutions. We have globally launched the New Power Business Unit (NPBU), where we will remain flexible to rise to the challenge of disruptive trends and complex factors like technology limitations and regulations and continue to innovate. 

Today, we have a strategy for zero emission-based technologies and are committed to making sure any customer, who desires to put a zero-emission vehicle or equipment on the road has an option to choose among the right technologies among EVs, HEVs, PHEVs and fuel cell vehicles. This also comes with a range of enablers like telematics, controls and a range of power electronic components. 

In India, we are keen to expand our presence and actively pursue opportunities to support clean energy initiatives and have the right technical and business planning.

Can you tell us about global sourcing? 

Cummins is a global company with uniform standards and processes attuned to the local requirements. Also, given the significant development cost for a technologically advanced product like an engine, the designs and specifications are aligned globally. To meet these requirements, Cummins in India also follows the latest global standards of vendor development. 

Some of the key initiatives that Cummins is pursuing in India for vendor development include early supplier engagement for new programmes (with technology partners); closely work with suppliers for 'Total Cost of Ownership' optimisation; encouraging global suppliers to have a manufacturing facility in India and proactive capacity enhancement to cater to increasing demand. 

These vendors developed in India also undertake significant exports to global Cummins entities. Thus, sourcing by various global Cummins plants from India happens through two routes – directly through vendors and via Cummins India entity. 

Almost all parts going into the engine are today sourced from India, barring few electronic parts that India imports from countries, where the value chain for such parts are deeply established. 

Key countries where India exports products include the US, UK, Japan, Mexico, Brazil and Germany. We see more export growth opportunities from India as aligning emission norms in India to global standards helps vendors develop capabilities to cater to global needs. 

Cummins Components Care Centre

Going forward, which are the segments that Cummins India sees as the potential for future business opportunities?

The COVID-19 pandemic has led to significant disruption in global supply chains and a sharp decline in demand, leading to increased profitability pressure across the industry. Furthermore, fast-changing emission norms in India and a shift in energy mix have necessitated more investments in diversified areas. 

These emerging trends will lead to more collaboration between companies to optimise investments and reduce risks. With this, we see significant areas of future potential growth opportunities for Cummins to increase exports out of India. 

BS-VI has already opened the floodgates for India with emissions at par with advanced countries. This, coupled with diversification of supply chains, will allow Cummins in India to improve its exports from India. 

Some of the other areas I see growth potential include:

Changing supply chain structure post-COVID: Automobile manufacturers and Cummins global entities in advanced economies may continue to outsource (for cost reasons) but diversify their base beyond one low-cost country (LCC). However, with auto-component exports from India accounting for < 1% of global auto-component trade, India has a significant opportunity to improve that. 

Increase in diesel products demand:The successful launch of BS-VI products by Cummins has helped OEMs gain volumes. With that Cummins stands to grow its business. In addition, the availability of future technology and experience to meet the next emission norms would help us serve more customers as the next emission change brings more challenges.

Wide product portfolio offering:Cummins in India harnesses the global portfolio of powertrains meeting the latest emission norms. This helps OEMs to reduce investments and help them get the most suitable product for the application.

Introduction of alternate fuels:The government is looking at diversifying towards natural gas to reduce its dependence on crude oil imports. As a result, we see the growing adoption of natural gas (CNG/LNG) in heavy commercial vehicles in India. We already have proven natural gas technology and products in countries like the US, China, and Europe, where most OEMs rely on Cummins natural gas engines. The company is working to develop a suitable product for use in India using global technology experience. 

How does the R&D in India support the headquarters? 

Most of the support to headquarters are simulation-based analysis for global products and future technologies. Many advanced technologies are evaluated using advanced simulation tools and assessed for their performance, efficiencies, near-zero-emission capabilities, techno-economic analysis of various powertrain architectures, and CO2 reduction. 

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