Hydraulic Pump
The key elements of the hydraulic pump include the housing, shaft and internal parts like the cam, rotor and blades. All these parts are machined to accuracy levels of less than five microns. It has two dedicated lines for housing – ferrous (for CVs) and aluminum (for passenger cars). Interestingly, cams of various sizes are machined in a single machine. Similarly, rotors of different sizes are machined in one piece of equipment, which has helped the company optimise its manufacturing efficiency.

The assembly section has four different streams, one each for CVs and passenger cars and the rest for utility vehicles, owing to the sheer volumes on hand. These are flexible lines with each one making up to six different models. Interestingly, the changeover time between models is minimised to less than 10 minutes due to its special fixtures, multiple sensors and supporting poke yokes.

Irrespective of the extent of customisation across the myriad variants calling for innumerable specialised parts, work proceeds smoothly due to the kits system backed by systematic planning. Each pallet has the required parts to make the number of units scheduled by the OEMs and – the ‘first in, first out,’ concept helps maintain consumption and replenishment sequentially.

Power rack & pinion

As the name indicates, the housing and rack are machined in this shop and later sent to the production line. The bought out parts like the rack tube, bellows, and inner and outer ball joint assembly reach the line from the stores after a thorough quality check.

The assembly line is fully automated with physical operations confined to loading and unloading of parts. The line has more than 1,000 poke yokes to ensure that non-conforming products do not move to the subsequent station for further value addition. Servo motors are deployed for these kinds of precision operations while the load cells help in continuous monitoring of the flow line. Totally, there are ten assembly lines in U-formation to make 30 variants of the rack & pinion.

Leak test
In the next stage, seals and components are thoroughly checked for leaks. High/ low pressure testing as also vacuum tests augments these processes. The error proof technique deployed here is in the machine itself that generates the serial number. It will not release a number and the related bar code if a particular part does not meet the minimum requirements of the performance test.

Rane_TRW_5Design and development
Several types of software including ProEngineer help the company in the design and development of new products. Finite Element Analysis (FEA) assesses the kinetics of fluid while CFD (Computational Fluid Dynamics) supports in evaluating the dynamics of the hydraulic fluid by simulating the flow of medium in the pump. Controlling noise is a huge challenge for present-day manufacturers since modern vehicles are much more quieter than what it used to be earlier.

The company also undertakes different types of stress /fatigue analyses with detailed mathematical simulation of functional characteristics. These initiatives have helped contain the number of prototypes significantly. At present only one or two prototypes are made in which several parameters are assessed enabling corrective actions to be taken when required. Minimum iterations in developing a new product and the respective prototypes help RTSSL to contain new product development time by up to 30 percent.

Currently, 75 models are in production at RTSSL with 39 for rack & pinion with pumps accounting for the rest. It caters to Ford, Tata Motors, Renault (Duster and Dacia), Mahindra, Force Motors, Ashok Leyland, Ashok Leyland-Nissan and Daimler. The plant makes 50,000 pumps a month and 70,000 rack & pinion sets. The present capacity utilisation is down to about 50 percent. Due to the slowdown it works only for two shifts now.



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