Oerlikon’s drive systems segment has opened its third Indian plant at Sanand in Gujarat state. This is the 10th factory for the segment globally.

“This inauguration marks an important milestone for the further development of the drive systems segment in India. With the additional production capacity, we continue our growth in India and further upgrade our capabilities in high-tech driven products”, said Bernd Matthes, CEO of the segment.

The business has been in India since 1999, with production sites of both its brands Oerlikon Graziano and Oerlikon Fairfield at Greater Noida and Belgaum respectively. With the region acquiring increasing significance for Oerlikon, both as a market and as a manufacturing base, this production site will further boost the ambition of the company to be a trusted partner for OEMs in emerging markets as it already is in developed markets.

“In less than two years after the ground breaking ceremony, we have commenced production at Sanand. With this new capacity we will continue our journey in India and upgrade our capabilities in high-tech driven products strongly supporting our customers in developing new innovative solutions for the domestic as well as international markets,” said Matthes.

Oerlikon’s drive systems serves domestic as well as export markets, covering agricultural and construction equipment, commercial and utility vehicles and industrial applications.

The new plant is spread across 35 acres, and will employ more than 1000 people when in full production. The plant is testimony to Oerlikon’s commitment to being a responsible corporate citizen.

“More than a third of the site has been planned to be ‘green’. We have an energy efficient building resulting in 30% reduction in energy requirements, plus zero discharge of water and 100% rain water harvesting and waste water management. We have built the plant to comply with LEED Gold Standard criteria and will be applying for certification shortly. We aspire to be sustainable in all aspects and emerge as the trendsetter amongst our peers in the region,”said Vivek Prakash, business unit head, India.

Sanand is an established hub for automobile companies and is a key area for good engineers specialising in assembling products and prototyping. The new plant is close to the port and will enable cost competitive production by leveraging India’s strength as a best cost labour market. The supplier has numerous existing and potential customers in the region.

The next phase of construction of the Sanand plant will commence soon. While the plant in Noida is more specialised in manufacturing high-precision gears and synchronisers under the Oerlikon Graziano brand, the Belgaum plant focuses on assembly drive units for industrial applications under the Oerlikon Fairfield brand.

At the Sanand plant, the range of products will be from transmission synchronisers, for which India is already recognised as an international competence centre, to assemblies for full and final transmissions as CVT transmission for agricultural tractors, transaxles for leisure vehicles, and axles for wheeled loader and other on/off-road applications.