Pankaj Jha_Product Development_ProjectsMonitorPankaj Jha,
South Asia Marketing Manager,
Perkins

UK-based Perkins is a group company of Caterpillar, Inc. Perkins has been in India for close to 30 years now and has been supplying engines for generators and power backup. Pankaj Jha tells Venugopal Pillai more on how Perkins has been faring in India and what its future plans are. Jha is upbeat on the prospects for his company after the under-construction Aurangabad manufacturing facility is set to bring Perkins even closer to the growing Indian market.

Tell us about the current status of your upcoming manufacturing facility at Aurangabad in Maharashtra. Do you also intend to use the facility for exports?
The manufacturing facility is located in the Shendra Industrial Area in Aurangabad; one of the fastest growing cities in the world. Construction work is currently underway at the 120,000 sq. m site to create a 40,000sqm manufacturing facility which will produce our largest and most powerful range of engines, the Perkins® 4000 Series.

The facility will initially have the capacity to produce around 3,000 4000 Series engines per year, with the capability to increase to 5,000 units in the future.

In addition to ongoing work at the facility, we have continued to focus on our people. Our key appointments have already been made, as we work to establish a strong team in India to meet our customer requirements.

The Aurangabad facility will also serve our electric power customers in China and the wider Asian region with a range of dependable, quality engines which deliver a lifetime of low cost. It will enable us to better meet the demand for the 4000 Series from the Indian and Asian markets by shortening lead times and helping us forge even closer ties with our valued customers.

What is your take on the current industrial slowdown in India? Has it resulted in depressed demand for engines, especially from the industrial and construction sector?
In conjunction with our distribution partners in India, GMMCO Power and Powerparts Pvt. Ltd, we at Perkins have been working closely with many businesses and generator set manufacturers, to provide the best and most appropriate power solutions for a rapidly changing marketplace that is contributing significantly to a positive future for India. Peak power shortages across the country and the business development that is being seen, is driving the continued demand for generator sets as a source of prime and backup power.

At Perkins our main focus is the electric power sector in India, specifically the less than 750 kVA market, which is supported by our range of electric power engines from the 400 Series up to the most powerful 4000 Series offering. In this power range the market for generator sets has remained stable.

With fuel (diesel prices) slowly moving out of government subsidy, what impact do you see on use of diesel generators for power backup? How would you (or do you) ensure cost efficiency of your engines?
We continue to focus on product development across our range, with our latest engines delivering improved power density and load acceptance, meaning the customer can often downsize while still achieving outputs normally associated with much bigger displacement engines. This leads to reduced operating costs while offering a space saving opportunity during installation.

Designed with our customers’ requirements in mind, our 4000 Series engines have common components to reduce inventory and benefit from digital governing to control fuel consumption and improved load acceptance. To ensure our customers benefit from cost effective solutions, our engines have good service access, a one-year warranty and 500 hour service intervals, coupled with an unrivalled level of support from the Perkins product support network.

Perkins_Product Developement_ProjectsMonitorIn this context, we learn that you have worked on creating cost efficiency in the Perkins 4016 model. Tell us more.
The largest and most powerful engine range offered by Perkins is the 4000 Series, which delivers both prime and standby power, coupled with the performance, durability and low operating costs our customers’ require.

We work closely with our customers, focusing on the best way to integrate our engines into their applications to deliver the best solution for the OEM and end user. A good example is our 4016 range, where we listened to our customers and delivered 10 percent more power from the engine, compared to its predecessor. This was achieved while maintaining the same package size, thereby increasing the power density (kVA/litre).

The existing cooling pack was also maintained as we moved to an air to water charge cooled system which itself, offers greater flexibility as it can be located remotely — ideal if the installation is in a compact environment. Also, given the often onerous conditions in which generator sets operate, one of Perkins objectives was to ensure that peak performance was maintained. These are the criteria which appeal to generator set packagers as they seek to sell their products to customers who are looking for maximum performance with minimum outlay.

In addition to the customer benefits delivered by the 4000 Series, customers can rest assured that the engine is supported by our global product support network of 100 distributors operating in 180 countries.

Do you feel that diesel might be replaced by gas or even perhaps renewable energy sources in generators?
To date, India has traditionally relied on fossil fuels to generate much of its power and while this is still the case, bio fuels and other forms of natural gas are also growing in importance.

At Perkins our main focus is the less than 750kVA market, which is supported by our range of electric power diesel engines from the 400 Series up to the most powerful 4000 Series offering. In this power range the market for generator sets has remained stable.

As a global business, we do offer our customers access to a range of dependable diesel and gas engines, tailored to meet their specific power requirements depending on country and application.

We have already appointed six 4000 Series Gas Centres of Excellence covering Europe, the Middle East, China and North America, to ensure we are fully supporting our customers with their gas requirements, in territory. To support our gas customers in India we have two existing Perkins Gas Partners, namely Power Engineering and Sterling. A Gas Partner is a direct OEM customer of Perkins, approved to package and support our large gas-based engines.

What is your take on Perkins engines ensuring compliance with emission norms?
As a global business with immense expertise operating in different markets, we offer a broad range of engines for the global electric power sector, from Tier 0 to Tier 4 Interim, to support our customers wherever they are operating in the world, to meet the local emissions standards.

From April 1, 2014, the Indian diesel generator market will see the introduction of stricter emissions standards for engines below 800kW, after the Central Pollution Control Board defined a new set of limits for these engines. We have already taken progressive steps to meet the future emission standards for our engine platforms below 800kW.

We continue to focus on product development across our range, with our latest engines delivering improved power density and load acceptance, meaning the customer can often downsize while still achieving outputs normally associated with much bigger displacement engines. This leads to reduced operating costs while offering a space saving opportunity during installation.

Tell us about your “servicing” partners GMMCO and Power Parts.
Perkins has two distribution partners in India – GMMCO Power based in Chennai and Powerparts Pvt. Ltd, located in New Delhi, which provide excellent product support to Perkins Indian customers including parts, fault diagnosis, servicing and warranty work.

Our distributors have already established sub offices in Hyderabad, Pune, Punjab and Kolkata, while regional engineers have been located in multiple locations in support of the current engine population. Investment in the service network and its expansion will continue to be an important focus for Perkins.

We work very closely with our global distribution partners, who play a vital role in our business and customer offering. For many of our customers, the Perkins global product support network of 100 distributors operating in 180 countries through more than 3,500 outlets is a key reason for selecting Perkins power solutions for their equipment.

Can you summarise your business outlook for India over the next five-seven years?
At Perkins we have the right products available for customers to meet their differing needs, ensuring that together, we can continue to grow our business. Our strategy for growth in India builds on the good work that we are already undertaking in partnership with our valued customers to provide a range of high quality engines, which deliver dependable and cost effective power solutions, backed by our aftermarket network. We are also continuing to work closely with our customers to help them grow their business and support their long-term export ambitions.


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