press releases

Tata AutoComp Systems powers Tata Nano

24 March 2009

Tata AutoComp Systems Limited (Tata AutoComp), one of India's leading auto component conglomerates, today announced significant contribution of the company in engineering, design and supplying of components to the Tata Nano.

Tata AutoComp has contributed the following components for Tata Nano:

Company / Joint Venture

Components

Tata AutoComp Systems Limited - Interiors and Plastics Division

Bumpers, dashboard, cockpit (front console), door handles, door and pillar trims, air vents and several powertrain plastic components such as cylinder head cover, timing gear cover, etc.

Tata Johnson Controls Automotive

Seating systems

Tata Toyo Radiator

Radiator fan module

Tata Yazaki Autocomp

EMS harness body, wiring harness body and battery cable

Tata Visteon Automotive

Air intake manifold

Tata Ficosa Automotive

Gear shifters, rear view mirror sets andwasher systems

Tata AutoComp GY Batteries (TGY)

Automotive batteries

Speaking on the occasion Mr R S Thakur, Executive Director and Chief Operating Officer – Tata AutoComp Systems Limited said, "Our teams have been working closely with Tata Motors right since the inception of the project, to design and engineer various components, keeping the cost, superior quality and performance parameters in mind which required design and process optimisation. We are proud to be associated with the Tata Nano, an engineering marvel, which is both, pioneering and path-breaking for the automotive industry worldwide. Tata AutoComp has a head-start in this emerging market."

Engineering achievements
Tata AutoComp has demonstrated high design and engineering skills while designing the components for the Tata Nano. Besides cost, the other challenge the team at Tata AutoComp faced was trying to lower the weight of each component. This brought about development of specially designed and engineered components and systems.

In most cases, Tata AutoComp was developing the various components for the first time. From day one, the Nano was conceived as a small car with space at a premium. To get the components to fit into a small space, without compromising on functionality, safety or aesthetics was a challenge. It was this challenge that led to a lot of innovation.

Components from company / joint venture:

Engine cooling systems (Tata Toyo Radiator)
It was the first time in India, that a car was being developed with the engine at the rear. This meant that airflow would be hampered and space would be a constraint yet the solution was expected to be scalable to meet the cooling needs of the scaled-up versions. The team at Tata Toyo Radiator came up with many innovations — the styling of the rear doors to facilitate air intake, the fan motor which drives the fan as well as the fan blades were redesigned to increase efficiency as well as air directors were developed to direct air on to the radiator core.

Engine induction system (Tata Visteon Automotive)
This is the first time in India that an engine induction system was made in plastic. While this has helped reduce the weight of the component substantially, its major benefit came in terms of far superior performance. Compared to the traditional aluminium EIS, this one delivers consistent air to the engine, thereby ensuring superior performance.

Automotive batteries (Tata Green Batteries)
The battery developed for Nano by Tata Green Batteries is based on its existing and superior calcium-calcium (Ca-Ca) technology. To begin with, the battery is being fitted under the driver’s seat. The first attempt was to ensure that there are no emissions that affect the health of the driver and the co-passengers. The superior Ca-Ca technology ensured a benefit of no top till 1lakh kilometres. Second, the battery had to be light yet offer superior performance. Special small-sized plates were designed with envelop type separators to ensure that there are no short-circuits which are common in such batteries. Besides this, various safety features like individual cell ventilation and flame arrestors have been provided, making the batteries absolutely safe.

Wiring harness (Tata Yazaki Automotive)
Nano is designed with the engine at the rear, but the battery in the front. This meant that the wiring harness and the battery cable had to be developed that would work even in the upgraded versions of Nano. The most crucial part in the entire circuit is the fuse box. The team at Tata Yazaki designed a new fuse box based on the bus bar technology with FF terminals. This helped in reducing 21 circuits without compromising on the functionality.

Seating systems (Tata Johnson Controls Automotive)
The seating system had very challenging cost targets. The seats had to be light in weight, offer good seating comfort as well as good overall body support and meet all safety requirements. Certain functionalities like the driver seat (as well as the co-driver seat in the higher models) being able to recline along with forward and backward movements had to be incorporated. The rear seats had to be designed to be foldable to enhance the rear cabin space. With such tall specifications, the design team at Tata Johnson Controls came up with innovative solutions that enhanced the aesthetics in a cost effective manner. The front seats are based on a single brace structure instead of individual rails, a frame and the right amount of foam to ensure that the overall seating comfort was taken care of.

Interior and exterior plastic parts (Tata AutoComp – IPD)
The interior and exterior plastic parts include bumpers (in body colour for the higher models), instrument panel, air vents, cockpit (central cluster assembly), door handles, door trims, pillar trims and various engine and powertrain plastic parts. These were innovatively designed and engineered to achieve weight reduction, without compromise on functionality, aesthetics, regulatory and quality parameters. For instance, the air vents in Nano needed a protective grille to avoid small objects (like coins) falling into the HVAC circuit. This was achieved by integrating a Honeycomb grille into the Bezel, thus reducing the total number of parts. The recess in the front dash board is an intelligent design to provide space to the occupants to keep small items while travelling.

Windshield washing system (Tata Ficosa Automotive)
The windshield washing system faced severe space and packaging challenges. After much iteration, a relatively very small yet complete (with all the functionality that most cars offer), was developed. A sleek washer tank was developed which is fitted in the front of the car (under the hood).

Gear shifter (Tata Ficosa Automotive)
It is for the first time in India, that such a small car will have a cable type gear shifter (as opposed to rod type). This helps in two ways; firstly it reduces the weight of the overall gear shifter system and secondly, makes shifting of gears very smooth and effortless — a great boon for the driver.

Inner and outer rear view mirrors (Tata Ficosa Automotive)
The inner rear view mirror was redesigned to incorporate the cabin lighting system, thereby reducing the total number of components required. The outer rear view mirrors in body colour were designed to enhance the style quotient of the car.

About Tata AutoComp Systems Limited
Tata AutoComp Systems Limited (Tata AutoComp), promoted by the Tata Group, provides products and services to the Indian and Global automotive OEM’s as well as Tier 1 suppliers. Its clients include Ashok Leyland, Audi, BMW, Fiat, Force Motors, Ford Motors, General Motors, Honda, John Deer, Mahindra & Mahindra, Mahindra-Navistar, Man, Mercedes-Benz, Nissan, Piaggio, Renault, Tata Motors, Toyota, Volkswagen and Volvo-Eicher. Tata AutoComp has own capabilities in Automotive Interior & Exterior Plastics, PV Suspension Systems, Engineering, Vehicle Tracking Systems and Supply Chain Management. Tata AutoComp has 14 joint ventures in partnership with leading companies from the Global Auto Component Industry and has manufacturing facilities spread across India, Germany and China.

With over 30 manufacturing facilities and five engineering centres, Tata AutoComp is rapidly growing its business. For more information, please visit www.tacogroup.com

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