Text: Anusha B
Pinnacle Industries, a leading automotive seating and interior systems manufacturing company, plans to raise its annual turnover to Rs 500 crore from the present Rs 200 crore. The company has a capacity to produce 10,00,000 seats annually at its plants at Pithampur, near Indore, Madhya Pradesh and in Pune, Maharashtra. About 90% of its products go to the domestic market and 10% is exported. The company has automated business centres and the capacity utilisation in those centres is 85-90%. Some facilities are man-machine interfaced and have 75-85% capacity utilisation.
In order to tap the increasing demand, the company is expanding its capacity in areas like press shop and fabrication shop by adopting robotic welding, vacuum forming and ABS parts trimming, and the tool rooms for making tools and dies. It is planning to set up a new manufacturing project also.
Pinnacle is involved from the product design and engineering stage and carries on with the manufacturing, testing and development, quality control, assembly and integration, service and support. The company takes inputs for designs from its global technology partner, the Netherland-based VDL, and its engineering centre is equipped with complete design facility.
Pinnacle’s growth and expansion plans are based on the new orders it has been able to bag recently. Sudhir Mehta, Managing Director, Pinnacle Industries, said, “We have received orders for staff, school, interstate and intercity buses from Eicher Motors. We have initiated business with Daimler to produce push back luxury seats for its buses. From Scania we have got order for the driver cabin interiors for its trucks. New orders have come for ABS parts for JBM, Daimler and Ashok Leyland vehicles. The orders we bagged pushes us to expand our capacity and set up a new plant. All these will surely pave way for us to realise our 2020 dream.”
With its technology partnership with VDL, the company provides greater versatility in vehicle conversions by offering 360 degree custom design solutions based on the client’s requirements. It also customises pre-owned vehicles and new vehicles. The company wants to be a leader in the special purpose vehicle segment including business vans, election campaign vans, ambulance, utility vans, stretcher vans and delivery vans.
There are good number of takers in India for the new and evolving seating technologies like the mechanically suspended driver seat, air suspended driver seats, semi luxury seats with calf support. Pinnacle has stepped into these technologies and cater mainly to the commercial vehicles like LCV, HCV and buses, he said. “We are an integrated set-up of a large engineering team comprising R&D, tool room, mould shop and production. Thus we are a one-stop solution to the customers from design to SOP for all vehicle interior products with multiple manufacturing processes,” Mehta said.
Pinnacle has started using aluminium in a big way in its products to reduce the weight of the seats. “We have achieved the weight of 30kg for a two-seater push back passenger seat and approximately 23kg for a driver seat with the use of aluminium and low thickness materials with high strength,” Mehta said.
“We have implanted a lot of technical inputs like pressure mapping, foam density, foam contour mapping and hardness to increase the ergonomics and comfort. We do have mainkin equipment with us to check the comfort and ergonomics in seat. Our designed seats are of light weight and they comply with the requirement of seat homologation as well as vehicle level test. This helps OEMs reduce the gross vehicle weight and the reduction aids fuel efficiency,” Mehta said.
Pinnacle supplies customised push back seats of different sizes and Poly Urethane (PU) profiles. It supplies seats with both fabric and rexin cover in multiple stitching patterns. It also had added certain features like 3-point and 2-point seat belts, gas spring operated calf support, flip down arm rests, 3 point adjustable foot rest, provision of mobile charger, magazine pouch and bottle holder.
“Our R&D set-up has 40 people engaged in design and development activities. We have a dedicated prototyping shop, and a tool room equipped with latest VMCs, EDMs and wire cut machines. For our Special Purpose Machine (SPM) requirement, we are providing concept design and inputs to our SPM suppliers and accordingly those are manufactured and validated for acceptance. We have recently inaugurated our new R&D centre in Pune and our presence is there in Pune and Pithampur,” Mehta said. ACI