With the growing demand for mobility, the expansion of public transport in India has risen enormously since the 1990s. Since then, Voith has been part of this development with its drive technology for rail vehicles and opened its own production site at the location Hyderabad for Rail products in 2010. In order to comply with the increasing local market requirements, Voith inaugurated a new works hall for the production of gear units in Hyderabad on 16 December 2014.
“Four years ago we started our own coupler production at the location Hyderabad for Voith Turbo Rail. Since then, the market and the sales of our drive components for rail vehicles have developed positively in India,” states Debashis Basu, Managing Director of Voith Turbo in Hyderabad. During these four years, Voith produced complete semi-permanent couplers for Jaipur Metro and sub-assemblies for Bangalore Metro and an export project in Turkey. The production department is staffed exclusively with local employees and a lot of localized components of high quality standards are used.
The new production hall was opened at the location by Voith Turbo Rail CEO Dr. Frank Gropengießer. Invited customers were able to get a direct impression of the hall, in which about 20 employees will in future produce rail vehicle components for the local market on an area covering approximately 775 square meters.
Voith would like to strengthen its commitment to India in the long term; the decision for this plant was therefore strategically important. In spring this year, Voith received, for example, an order from Delhi Metro for Scharfenberg couplers and gear units, all of which will be exclusively manufactured in Hyderabad. The company has reached substantial localization, both for gear units and couplers. Production started in autumn 2014 and delivery to Delhi Metro is scheduled between 2015 to 2018. Voith Turbo India also received an excellent order from Bombardier Transport for the supply of gearboxes for the Queensland Metro project.
Voith is familiar with the Indian market: there have been intensive business relations since the 1950s. Alongside Delhi Metro, the large operators whose vehicles are fitted with Voith drive components also include Mumbai Metro, Bangalore Metro and for example Indian Railways. Customers for metro rail are BEML, Hyundai Rotem and Bombardier Transport whereas Voith did conventional Railway projects for San Engineering and Chittaranjan Locomotive Works.
Regarding the future, Basu declares: “The production of Scharfenberg couplers and gear units for the Indian market will indeed grow further. We aim, however, to also serve the Asian and Australian market, as demonstrated with our most recent order for Queensland.” The people in charge in India are also looking at an expansion of the production: “At the moment we manufacture semi-permanent couplers and gear units in Hyderabad. But we also plan to produce automatic couplers and complete wheelsets at the Indian Voith Turbo site in future,” says Basu. All Voith Turbo products are supported by a range of local services.
Overall, India is an important market for all divisions of Voith Turbo. At the location Hyderabad, the company already produces hydrodynamic variable-speed and geared variable-speed couplings for the thermal power sector as well as start-up couplings of various types and sizes for the mining and engineering industry. In addition, the site also manufactures hydrodynamic retarders for commercial vehicles. Voith Turbo also has an Aluminium alloy foundry within the premises to produce high quality components for their power transmission products.