Sundaram-Clayton (SCL) is a member of the TVS group, one of the largest automotive components manufacturing groups in India, with total sales revenue of more than $ 2.5 billion. The group has been able to achieve this pre-eminence through its commitment to the cherished values of promoting trust, value and customer service. The TVS group, India's leading supplier of automotive components originated as a transport company in 1911. Today it has grown to more than thirty three companies and employs a workforce of over 25,000, grossing an annual aggregate sale in excess of $ 3 billion, with diverse range of operations that includes manufacturing and distribution.
Having a wide customer base, SCL is one of the largest suppliers of aluminium die castings in the country. The company exports its products to international Original Equipment Manufacturers having proven its credentials as a reliable supplier of world class products. SCL has a solid foundation in its domestic market leadership and pioneering R&D efforts. A comprehensive TQM (Total Quality Management) practice enables SCL in being a competitive world-class manufacturer in terms of quality, cost and timely delivery of products.
SCL makes its own alloy and has a full-fledged metallurgical laboratory that allows SCL to engineer its own alloy composition and maintain strict control of the alloying elements. With its state-of-the-art in house alloying plant, SCL makes a wide variety of alloys; ADC 12, LM25, LM27, SCM14, AlSi9CuMg, LM4, AC4C, AlSi10Mg to name a few.
SCL started its pressure die casting operations in the early eighties recognizing the advantages of the pressure die casting process. Since then, the company has grown in its scale of operations. Today SCL has an installed capacity of 14000 MT per annum with over 51 automatic PDC machines, making SCL a unique supplier with the widest range of pressure die casting machines in the sub-continent. SCL started its die casting division with gravity die casting process as early as in 1968.Today, it produces more than 250 different castings (ranging from 0.2 kg to 28 kg in weight) using this process. Most of the dies are semi-automatic and ergonomic by design. The company has total facilities for sand testing, sand corping and decoring. Riser cutting machines and impregnation supplement the die casting process. The company acquired tilt pouring GDC technology as early as in 1989 and has today advanced to the level of making its own tilt pouring machines.
SCL forayed into the area of LPDC as a part of its overall strategy of acquiring contemporary die casting technology. It has a state-of-art cylinder head casting facility at Hosur with a production capacity of 300 thousand units per annum, using twin cavity LPDC machines with bridge assisted core pull outs, out of which four are mounted on a bridge helping in a smooth positive withdrawal of castings from the gate. The LPDC facility is also equipped with sate-of-art-core making and de-coring facilities. The LPDC machine can accommodate dies upto 900 mm by 600 mm. Direct measurement spectrometers are used for instantaneous checking of chemistry of aluminium alloy used.
The plant is fully equipped to deliver completely machined, ready-to-assemble components. The state-of-art machining infrastructure, which is spread over a sprawling 20,000 sq.m of build-up area, includes 30 machining cells with nearly 200 state-of-the art machining centres, over 200 CNC machining centres, supplied by reputed manufacturers such as Chiron, Hardinge, Deckel, Makino etc: Special purpose machines and supporting facilities for leak testing (wet and dry), impregnation and surface treatment operations. In addition, there are about 20 assembly stations where the components are sub-assembled into the machined casting and dispatched to customers on a JIT basis, ready to use.
Journey of Sundaram-Clayton:
Introduction phase (1987 to 1990) - The change process was started with the aim of getting a “buy-in” from the employees. As a first step, “change seminars” were conducted for all employees, stressing the need for change. The visible barriers were broken with a common uniform and canteen for all employees, no cabins for managers and open offices to enable easy accessibility of employees to the heads of the departments. This contributed to a change in the mindset of employees, which began viewing the management as part of the same team.
Success factors leading to recognition - Another major initiative related to the restructuring of the manufacturing system. Process layout was changed to product based layouts. Manufacturing units (factories within factory) were formed, based on product groups. Workmen were trained to become multi-skilled, whereby they worked on many machines. The production managers were empowered and held accountable for quality, cost and delivery.
Promotion phase (1990 to 1994) - Policy management process, which commenced at SCL in 1990-91, helped create company-wide goal congruence. The annual targets of the company were deployed to various departments and individuals. Guidelines were provided, towards achieving company objectives, highlighting broad strategies that needed to be followed by all. Each department aligned its objectives and action plans towards achieving the company objectives.
As a part of TQM implementation, the company-wide quality assurance system was executed. The culture of quality by inspection was gradually changed to quality control and quality assurance (QA). Focus was placed on ownership of quality by the manufacturing units, supplier quality improvements and the genba audit concept.
Deployment phase (1994 to 1998) - During this phase, daily work management, viz, defining and monitoring key processes, ensuring that they met set targets, detecting abnormalities and preventing their recurrence, were strengthened. Continuous improvement in all aspects of work, using total employee involvement, became the norm.
• Crankcase, cylinder head, cylinder barrel and wheel hub castings for two wheelers
• Intake manifold, transmission case, clutch housing castings & brackets for cars and light commercial vehicles
• Flywheel housing & gear housing castings, fuel system shut-off valve bodies, fuel filter heads and filter housing bodies for heavy commercial vehicles
• Castings for brake equipment for commercial vehicles
1968 - Started as a captive unit with Gravity Die Casting (GDC)
1972 - Started supplies for other group companies
1983 - Started manufacturing Pressure Die Castings (PDC)
1985 - Elected member of the American Die Casting Institute & Die casting research Foundation
1987 - Awarded for best industrial relations by Government of TamilNadu
1989 - GDC with tilt pouring started
1993 - Started Die design using CAD
1994 - Started supplies for non captive customers
1996 - Installed 1000T PDC machine
1997 - Tool room facilities upgraded with Electro Discharge Machine (EDM)
1998 - Established second plant at Hosur. Started supplies to MNC's in India
1999 - Installed fully automated 1350T PDC with online computer controls. Started supplying castings in fully machined condition, Started metallurgical lab with state-of-the-art-facilities. TPM (Total Productive Maintenance) kick- off
2000 - Best supplier award from Hyundai Motor India Global supply commenced. Installed alloying plant. Certified for QS 9000
2001 - Certified for ISO 14001. Started collaborative Product Development with MNC customer. Started Low Pressure Die Casting (LPDC)
2002 - Deployed state-of-the art software for die design and simulation. Started own machine building. Lean Manufacturing kick-off
2003 - Started vacuum casting process. Started squeeze casting process
2004 - Installed fully automated 2700T pressure die casting machine (Largest in India). Certified for TS 16949Started regional office in USA
2005 - Established separate facility for brakes 2007 - Spun-off Brakes division as Wabco-TVS 2009 - Established plant at Mahindra World City (MWC) 2009 - TPM Excellence Award by JiPm 2010 - Established plant at Oragadam 2010 - Gold Certificate of Merit - The Economic Times manufacturing Excellence Awards 2011 - Platinum Certificate of Merit - The Economic Times Manufacturing Excellence Awards
• Brakes division - This division commenced its operations in 1962 at Chennai in southern India, in collaboration with Clayton Dewandre Holdings Limited, UK (now part of WABCO Automotive group). SCL-Brakes division is the pioneer in the manufacture of air and air-assisted braking actuation system products. A market leader since inception, SCL-Brakes division develops and manufactures products for a wide range of commercial and off-highway vehicles. The factory is situated at Padi, 11 km from Chennai.
• Die casting division - The die casting division established in 1968 in Chennai, began as a captive unit manufacturing high precision aluminium castings and has grown into a top-line industry vendor offering a wide range of pressure die castings, low pressure and gravity die castings. The division's two plants one at Chennai and other at Hosur are equipped with latest technology in Gravity, Low pressure and high Pressure Die Casting process with Vacuum and Squeeze casting capability for a capacity of 24,000 Metric Tonnes per annum.
Awards and achievements:
• SCL won the “Deming Application Prize” in 1998, becoming the first in India and only the fourth company outside Japan to claim this honour.
• SCL won the Japan Quality Medal for the year 2002, the first in India and the second company outside Japan to win this honour.
• Automotive Component Manufacturers Award (ACMA, India)
• ACMA Technology award in 2002
• ACMA Manufacturing Excellence Award in 2003
• Tamil Nadu State Government Award for good industrial relations for both management and the employees union (won 8 annual awards since inception of the award in 1988)