This article originally appeared in Auto Parts Asia Vol. 3 Issue 12.
Leading technical service provider TÜV Rheinland India is enhancing its capabilities to tap into the growing opportunities in the mobility electronic components testing space. “Currently, we are seeing an increase in testing of electronic products. We have already set up our laboratories to cater to that demand, and we are also gearing up for new regulations and technologies,” shares Hemant Desai, Vice President of Mobility at TÜV Rheinland India.
The company has invested Rs150 crore in developing its testing infrastructure over the last five years, and is investing a further Rs100 crore for expansion. Its laboratories are currently capable of carrying out environmental testing such as simulation, vibration, material testing, and more, and will focus more on electronic sub-assemblies. “We will be focusing more on e-mobility systems,” Desai elaborates.
The company will also be aggressive with regard to wireless testing in advanced driving assistant systems and connected transportation systems such as V2V and V2I communications. “Though these technologies will only pick up in India in the future, they are currently being developed here for export markets. It will be a big market for us,” says Desai.
TÜV Rheinland India, which set up its business in the country in 1996 and started automotive testing in 2011, today conducts tests on around 80 components. The company has been growing at 15 percent year-on-year. “We overcome challenges with our philosophy of ensuring safety and quality within the environment, man, and technology,” Desai says.
TÜV Rheinland India has six business streams, 35 business fields, and over 2,500 services, catering to various industries. “We have diversified services. In some areas we are the market leaders and in others we are doing well,” Desai said.
TÜV Rheinland Group has already announced plans to invest 40 million Euros in the field of wireless over the next three years. The investment will be used to develop testing facilities for future technologies such as eCall and NB-IoT, and increase wireless laboratory capacities as a whole. TÜV Rheinland experts operate laboratories for wireless communication technologies and IoT products in Europe, USA, Japan, China, South Korea, Taiwan, and India. With this investment programme, TÜV Rheinland is strengthening its position as a rapidly growing global IoT market leader.
Almost all the OEs and component maker are at the nascent stage in developing EVs, and TÜV Rheinland India is able to support the Indian EV initiatives in the space of laying out specifications; testing of batteries, connectors, and cables; and assisting in certification of EV components and vehicles.
“Most of the Indian regulations are now aligned with global regulations. Vehicle or component manufacturers can get both Indian and international certificates from us. This will allow them to reduce the turnaround time and money spent on developing and marketing their products,” Desai says.
In China, TÜV Rheinland helped Beijing Electric Vehicle Co., Ltd become the first Chinese EV manufacturer to get the Functional Safety Certification. Though India is advancing towards e-mobility by 2030, energy storage systems are still the issue that makes everyone skeptical about e-mobility adoption. To tap on this opportunity, TÜV Rheinland India is focusing on energy storage systems.
The company has vast experience in testing and inspection of the entire e-mobility infrastructure, including charing systems, connectors, and training. “In India, there are no established modules that will guide technicians and engineers on the hgih voltage systems in the industry. We have expertise to impart trainings to the industry. This is one area in our portfolio that will drive us ahead,” says Desai.
When it comes to Indian certifications such as CMVR compliance certificates or similar types of approval certifications, the company supports manufacturers by doing facilitation work on account of its technical expertise and a good relationship with Indian authorities. The company also finds opportunities in pre-compliance for the component manufacturers who want to sell in India. “We support them for validation or pre-compliance testing before offering the certification body,” Desai says.
In India, motor vehicle regulations are highly regulated, and there is no provision that allows a third party to issue certifications. For non-automotive products, the company’s test laboratories are recognised by the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS). Based on TÜV’s test reports, BIS grants licenses to the manufacturers. “If the government deregulates, we will be happy to be a certification issuer for the automotive industry,” he continues.
TÜV Rheinland India also finds opportunities for after-type approval certification work, particularly in market surveillance and conformity of production schemes. “Local agencies would not have enough capabilities and capacities to handle these schemes, and that is where the government can appoint reputed bodies like us. That’s what I see will happen in the near future,” say Desai.
Apart from the domestic market, the Indian automotive players have been increasing their presence in exports markets, meeting respective markets’ regulatory requirements. “Most of the Indian regulations are aligned with international standards. We get the customers’ product tested for the Indian markets, and parallelly get the international certifications.”
The company has started Global Market Access Services to help components players export to other markets, and support them with regulatory research, testing, and getting the required approvals for those markets. Though the company gets most of its business from automotive products that come under regulatory frames, tightening specifications of OEMs also bring in business opportunities. In India, specifications of a few OEMs are more stringent that regulatory needs. “Apart from regulatory testing, we are also tapping the growing need of specifications for OEs. For instance, in the area of material testing, where OEMs have started being more specific. This is another market in which we are growing,” explains Desai.
On the materials front, the company does material testing such as metallographic analysis, chemical analysis, remnant life cycle analysis, and failure analysis. It is also expanding its polymer testing services, as well as the testing, inspection, and certification in EMC and electrical safety labs. There are also plans to set up testing infrastructure in the western region of the country.
The company has over 150 years of experience in homologation, and will take on the role of supporting manufacturers, not only in testing and certification but in helping them set up labs as well. TÜV Rheinland India also carries out assessments for existing labs to ensure that they are up to standard.
TÜV Rheinland’s global network of testing laboratories provide training platforms for India’s next generation of engineers; engineers from all over the country are sent to the company’s global labs to receive training on the latest test standards and testing equipment.
Training is another one of the key areas that the company is focusing on. According to Desai, both mid- and large-sized companies in the auto industry are approaching TÜV Rheinland India for training in regulations and standardisation. TÜV Rheinland’s Academy and Life Care Division helps provide high quality training to professionals and students. The academy is also into vocational, professional, and personnel training, and offers automobile training courses where people are trained based on a dual education system model, which involves theoretical and practical hands-on training. After certification, many of the students are recruited into reputed automobile companies. In the domain of E-Mobility, the TÜV Academy offers training in handling of High Voltage Systems, Functional Safety, Product Testing, and many more.
The number of traditional components being manufactured is expected to drop in light of electric vehicles, but Desai does not see this as too significant a challenge. “Requirements for testing of electric vehicles will remain high, only the focus will shift. We also expect good volumes from EV.”
Need an expert in e-mobility testing and certification? Or looking to upskill your own engineers? Speak to our experts at TÜV Rheinland today: