With the installation of Electron Beam Cross Linking Machinery, Leoni will now manufacture in India superior cables for railway and solar applications.
wires, cables and wiring systems
Leoni, the global provider of cables and cable systems to the automotive sector and other industries, has expanded its manufacturing facility in India at Chakan, near Pune. The highlight of the expansion is the Electron Beam Accelerator, which allows production of high performance cables to customers from various industries such as railways or solar power. Established in 1917 in Germany, Leoni celebrates its 100 years anniversary this year.
“I am confident, that this major investment will contribute to the growth of our business in India. Thanks to the new technology, we are able to provide superior solutions for the country’s rising needs with regard to the ‘Make in India’ initiative,” stated Bruno Fankhauser, member of Leoni AG's Board of Directors with responsibility for the Wire & Cable Solutions Division. India is an important country for the realisation of Leoni’s globalisation strategy. The expansion at Chakan will strengthen its leading position in the country and enable it to support India’s economic development as well as generate employment opportunities both for the high skilled and well trained workforce in the Pune region.
Leoni has invested more than Euro 10 million into the expansion of the Chakan facility. Now, the combined production area has increased to more than 20,000 sq.mtr and a capacity to manufacture 80,000 km per year of electron beam cross linked cables, which ensure a higher degree of safety, superior performance and greater efficiency. In the e-beam process, cables are treated with extremely accelerated electrons, thus crosslinking their chemical structure. As a consequence, the cables obtain the properties of comparatively more expensive, usually more difficult to process high performance products. The e-beam process makes cables, for example, more dimensionally stable when subjected to heat, more resistant to chemicals, solvents and temperature fluctuation as well as harder and more resistant to abrasion.
Commenting on the expansion, Pushpendra Singh, Managing Director of Leoni Cable Solutions India Pvt Ltd, said: “This is the next phase of our evolution in India. We began to develop this market in 2010 with an engineering office and a manufacturing facility for automotive wiring systems. Since the opening of the Chakan cable plant in 2013, we also have a strong foundation in the country with regard to special cables for dynamic industries. Leoni’s new commitment will help us to further innovate and create beneficial solutions for India’s economy. The Chakan facility will drive synergies and economies of scale both for our domestic operations as well as exports.”
Later, Pushpendra Singh, Jerry Cummins, SVP – Projects and CEO WCS China, Leoni Kabel GmbH and Florian Hettich, CEO, Leoni Studer AG, Switzerland, addressed the members of the media present on the occasion.
“This expansion and the new equipment, which is used for the first time in this country, especially the design – gives excellent quality, high output and will help meet the demand for global standard products in India for infrastructure development. This also upgrades the skills of not just the employees internally, but also helps upgrade the skills of the vendors and suppliers, raising the entire ecosystem to a high quality level. At the same time customers get the benefit of improved products and efficiencies in terms of reduced power wastage. These feature rich products would help the requirements of modern transportation – the new trains, metro projects and the proposed high speed trains – in terms of safety requirements. These products also are highly durable and long lasting, matching the global quality standards, but also made to suit the local environmental conditions. All products are adapted to suit the local requirements, manufactured on the most modern machinery, said Pushpendra Singh.
Leoni cables manufactured in India are exported to the countries around the Indian Ocean rim – to Australia, Southeast Asia, Middle East and African countries. “We are very strategically placed in this respect and this happens to be one of the fastest growing regions of the world. We expect to leverage India’s skilled labour and educated manpower to leverage the opportunities made available by the government for boosting the manufacturing sector in the country,” he added. The company has exported over Euro 20 million of products from India over the last for years, mainly cables for the instrumentation and oil and gas segments.
“India is one of the major economies of the world and one of the fastest growing. The rail transportation and solar business within the alternate energies is also performing above the global average and we at Leoni are very excited about this among the fastest growing in the country. We are working at raising our share in the Asian markets and the Americas in proportion to our share in Europe and this expansion is the cornerstone of that strategy,” said Jerry Cummins. For the record, the Asian region presently accounts for 15-17% of the Leoni market globally which the company expects with increase to 25% over the next 8-10 years.
“We are trying to reach the complete Asian region and parts of Africa from our operations in India and China, and India is a hub for these markets apart from catering to the domestic market. Apart from rail and solar, we are also engaged in the oil and gas segment and later other strategic business units like medical and healthcare also could be part of this in course of time,” said Florian Hettich, who is responsible for the total industry business globally.
Having already supplied solar cables for approximately 2000 MW of generation capacity, Leoni is very upbeat on the solar segment in India and also the railways segment which is seeing a lot of new projects. In oil and gas, the proposed grassroots refinery project planned in Maharashtra also holds great potential. Leoni is active in India with own locations since 2010. Currently, the company is operating two plants in the Pune region. While the Chakan facility, established in 2013 and expanded now is producing cables for the solar, the railway and the oil & gas industry, the other facility manufactures wiring systems for the local automotive sector.
Leoni is a global supplier of wires, optical fibres, cables and cable systems as well as related services for the automotive sector and further industries. The company develops and produces technically sophisticated products from single-core automotive cables through to complete wiring systems. Leoni’s product range also comprises wires and strands, standardised cables, special cables and cable system assemblies for various industrial markets.
Pic1: (L-R) Florian Hettich, CEO, Leoni Studer AG, Switzerland; G K Pillai, MD & CEO, Walchandnagar Industries; Vinay Kumar, COO, Greenko Energies Pvt Ltd; Pushpendra Singh, MD, Leoni India; and Jerry Cummins, SVP – Projects and CEO WCS China, LEONI Kabel GmbH.
Pic2: (L-R) Jerry Cummins, G K Pillai, Vinay Kumar and Pushpendra Singh.