Eaton, a global power management technology leader for over 100 years, helps its customers manage electrical, hydraulic and mechanical power more reliably, efficiently, safely and sustainably with its energy-efficient products and services. With over 98,000 employees, it is doing business in more than 175 countries.

India is a major market for Eaton and forms a key part of its overall business strategy. With over 5500 employees, 7 manufacturing sites, presence in 18 key locations, 2 decades of proven capabilities and customer engagements, Eaton is uniquely positioned to play a distinct part in India’s new growth story. “Our India Professional Services Center’s spectrum of capabilities from a single integrated facility in Pune is enabling Eaton globally to innovate, continuously to improve processes, make effective decisions, strengthen customer focus and create value and competitive advantage by engaging diverse skill-sets of over 2000 employees. The Eaton India Innovation Center, located at Magarpatta City in Pune, with its 1500-strong engineering workforce, is driving cutting-edge R&D projects for all of Eaton’s global businesses,” Shandar Alam, Managing Director, Vehicle and Hydraulics, India, Eaton. told Auto Components India. The excerpts:

Q: What are the diverse areas and prospects of Eaton’s vehicle business in India?

Alam: Eaton’s Vehicle business in India is fast emerging as a reliable partner of all major OEMs in the country. Our Vehicle business has 3 state-of-the-art manufacturing facilities. The Ranjangaon facility manufactures transmissions and parts for commercial vehicles; and the plants at Ahmednagar and Nashik produce automotive engine valves and valve actuation products. With our wide range of vehicle technologies and solutions, which include medium and heavy duty transmissions, valve and valve actuation products, torque control products and Superchargers, and an expanding aftermarket and service network, Eaton is well positioned to provide safe, sustainable, efficient and reliable solutions to its customers in India. Eaton’s leadership in this highly competitive market scenario is attributed to its in-depth understanding customer needs and offering localized and customized solutions to its diverse customer and end-user base spreading across the country. 

Q: How important is the India market for Eaton’s vehicle business?

Alam: For Eaton, India is a very strategic market. Eaton’s Vehicle business has been providing leading-edge technologies and components that enhance power and fuel efficiency and make transportation safer and more reliable. Eaton’s Vehicle business in India is about a decade old. Ranjangaon, Pune is our first greenfield plant from where we started our transmissions business in the country with many leading OEMs – with whom we are engaged even today. At our Ranjangaon plant we make medium and heavy duty transmissions and its components. Business in India has seen significant customer engagement in last 10 years. Today we can proudly say that Eaton has more than 100,000 transmissions present on Indian roads made at our Ranjangaon plant.

Over the last few years Eaton’s share has gone up significantly and the reason is rather simple, we understand the market needs. With new regulations you need more reliable, robust and efficient products and that is where Eaton plays a very important role. With so much of action happening in India around axle load, increasing horsepower; the power requirements gain tremendous focus and that is where we offer value to our customers and end-users. Similarly on the passenger car side, through our 2 manufacturing plants for engine air management products, we are actively engaging with auto manufacturers – supplying valves and valves actuation products that are fully compliant with the current norms and help OEMs design their BS VI complied engines as well.

Q: What are the priorities for Eaton’s vehicle business in India?

Alam: In the past 2 decades, the vehicle component industry in India has demonstrated consistent global competitiveness. The country’s vehicle ecosystem has also shown steady advances in the recent times with respect to quality, range, agility towards changes in regulatory framework, technology adoption and manpower development at a competitive price, and flexibility. The changing market realities in the western and other key regions are presenting a tangible opportunity for the component manufacturers in India to build a new identity with greater strategic emphasis on innovation, localization, diversification and supply chain development.

Eaton’s Vehicle business in India continues to focus on addressing the end-market needs and providing tailor-made solutions for some of the most demanding Indian applications. Our products for the commercial vehicle industry in focus include manual transmissions, AMT and clutches. We are committed to providing robust, reliable and efficient transmissions to our customers and end-users in India and the plan is to have deeper market penetration by portfolio expansion, targeting additional applications and OEMs.

We also continue to expand our automotive offerings like engine valves, valve actuations, engine brakes, fuel emission solutions, torque controls and superchargers for various applications for the Indian automotive industry. With the growing customer base of Eaton’s transmissions in India, we also see exciting opportunities in further improving our end-user connect. We are focused on consistently expanding our aftermarket business and service network across the country.

Eaton Authorized Service Centers (EASCs) have been set up at strategic locations to service transport and logistics service-providers as well as OEMs. Today, we have 13 completely functional EASCs across India and are continuously strengthening our aftermarket channels with the addition of more EASCs and field technicians. Eaton is also investing substantially in field training. As on date, more than 5,000 technicians at OEMs and dealerships across the country have been trained by Eaton.

Q: How relevant is Eaton’s innovative industry-leading transmission technologies for India? What are the new offerings?

Alam: Eaton has a varied range of offerings to suit the precise and unique needs of customers and end-users and address colossal changes in the regulatory environment. Our UltraShift PLUS AMT has been designed with the driver comfort in mind and it offers the performance and versatility of a manual transmission with the simplicity of automatic designs. They reduce wear and tear on the driveline, prevent drivetrain damage, and enhance vehicle performance and maneuverability. UltraShift PLUS PV transmission makes buses easier to drive by providing a simplified driver interface and unmatched low-speed control and stability even on the most extreme duty cycles. It offers these performance benefits while offering significant value to end users, including reduced maintenance costs, simplified service requirements and up to 19% fuel economy improvements vs. conventional automatics and 3-8% over Manual transmission. Eaton’s Advanced Controls enable intelligent shift selection using grade, weight and throttle information to calculate the most efficient and effective shift points. Additional features include, hill start aid, skip shifts and faster shifts with smooth engagement resulting in least torque interrupt, providing an exceptionally comfortable ride to the passengers and drivers.

Eaton AMT with a parallel hybrid system incorporates an electric motor/generator located between an automated clutch and input of the transmission. Using Eaton’s patented hybrid system controls, the system recovers and stores energy normally lost during braking into batteries. When electric torque is blended with engine torque, the stored energy is used to improve fuel economy.

The SmartAdvantage Powertrain has proven to be the most fuel-efficient powertrain in the trucking industry. In this deeply integrated powertrain the engine and transmission share critical data, determining the torque required to deliver the power level that drivers need and optimizes shifting based on grade, vehicle weight, engine torque and throttle position. The result is error-free, guess-proof shifting, making every driver in your fleet as efficient as your best driver. Error-free, guess-proof shifting makes every driver in the fleet as efficient as the best driver.

With the Indian government’s decision to increase the maximum axle load of heavy vehicles by 20-25%, equipping commercial vehicles with a robust transmission has become the need of the hour. With the use of the right heavy duty transmission with more load bearing capacity, this move can turn out to be a big boost to the logistics and trucking industry. Eaton’s ES-9306 6-speed has all the capabilities to meet demanding application requirements such as these. It has been specially designed to deliver optimal performance for businesses in emerging markets such as India that use applications involving heavy overloading and underpowered engines.

Our ES-11309 9-speed manual transmission is a light weight manual range transmission specially designed for heavy-duty applications like 6X4 tractor trailers and deep mining tippers. Its high overall ratio ensures better start ability and maneuverability. It has Eaton patented synchronizers for easy shifting and longer life. The ES-11309 has needle roller bearings in clutch housing for smoother clutch actuation in dusty ‘off-road’ applications.

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