Sunday, September 29, 2013

Suzuki Swift/Dzire

sold 511,235 cars in 2012

The car first started selling in Japan in 2000. Prior to being called Swift, it was sold as Suzuki Cultus in many export markets.

Swift Dzire, launched in India in 2008, came in as a replacement of Maruti Esteem.

Worlds Best Selling cars 2012

Rediff Busienss slide show

Toyota Corolla  1,054,000
Ford Focus
Toyota Prius/Aqua
Hyundai Elantra
Toyota Camry
Ford F-Series
Chevrolet/Holden Cruze
Volkswagen Jetta
Ford Fiesta
Volkswagen Golf

Volkswagen Polo
Toyota Yaris/Vitz/Vios
Volkswagen Passat
Nissan Tiida/Versa
Hyundai Accent
Honda Civic

Toyota Hilux
18 Honda CR-V

19. Opel Astra/Buick Excelle
20. Suzuki Swift/Dzire 511,235
Opel chevrolet corsa classic

Hyundai Sona y a

23 Chevrolet silverado

24 Honda Fit

25 Hyu mm dai Ix35

26 Honda Accord

27 Kia Rio

28 Chevrolet Avio

29 Toyota Rav14

30 Renault Clio  439565

Friday, September 20, 2013

Frugal Engineering and Innovation - Research Papers


Open Global Innovation Networks as Enablers of Frugal Innovation: Propositions Based on Evidence from India
Rajnish Tiwari
Cornelius Herstatt
December 2012
Working Paper No. 72
Hamburg University of Technology
Schwarzenbergstr. 95, D-21073 Hamburg, Germany
Brief Summary of the Paper
Enablers of Frugal Innovation: Propositions - Rajnish Tiwari and Cornelius Herstatt - 2012 Working Paper

India: A Lead Market for Frugal Innovation: Extending the Lead Market Theory to Emerging Economies
Rajnish Tiwary and Cornelius Herstatt
January 2012, working paper

Disruptive Innovation in emerging Markets: Strategies Used in India and China
January 2012 NUS, Singapore Working Paper

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Frugal Engineering - Case Studies

Frugal Engineering Main Article - Frugal Engineering - Concept, Bibliography, Case Studies and Research Papers


Volvo-Eicher Commercial Vehicles (VECV) - India- Engine Plant - Five-year frugal engineering now goes global , August 2013.
Nearly 25 per cent cost reduction when compared to that in Europe.


Frugal Innovations by Social Entrepreneurs in India - Serco - 2012 Report

Frugal Engineering - Concept, Bibliography, Case Studies and Research Papers

Frugal Engineering - The Theme for Engineers' Day 2013 in India.

Frugal Engineering is the theme for Engineers' Day 2013 in India. The theme was declared by Institution of Engineers India. Hope Indian Engineers know about Frugal Engineering in course of the year and implement it in  economically efficient design of products and processes

Carlos Ghosn, Chairman and CEO of the Renault-Nissan Alliance, famously coined the term “frugal engineering” in 2006. He was impressed by Indian engineers’ ability to innovate cost-effectively and quickly under severe resource constraints. Any engineering methodology emerged out of this like value engineering that emerged from L.D. Miles?

And under Ghosn’s leadership , Renault-Nissan has proactively embraced frugal engineering and become one of the world’s leading producers of both electric cars as well as low-cost vehicles — two of the fastest growing and most promising market segments in the global automotive sector.

What is Frugal Engineering?

Frugal Engineering is the philosophy, approach and process of solving a deep-rooted problem in an innovative yet cost effective manner. The game changing aspect of Frugal Engineering is in the net cost impact for the customer. An optimally frugal engineered solution can be defined as:

Focused in solving the central problem with great effect

No frills and fancies

Based on and deriving from existing solutions

Solution attributes combining uniquely with a high degree of innovation

The primary critical success factor in Frugal Engineering is the uninhibited ability to define a seemingly impossible or even ridiculous target. This requires blanket support by top management. Another critical success factor  is the courage to question set processes, HR Automation norms and status quo.

India is fast becoming the global headquarters for Frugal Innovation and Frugal Engineering. Frugal Engineering is core to TenXLabs ethos and permeates across all disciplines.

Six Underlying Principles of Pillars of Frugal Engineering

Nirmalya Kumar and Phanish Puranam

1. Robustness: For India, products have to be more robust because the environment is harsh and huge variations occur in operating conditions.
2. Portabilility: Transportation also occurs in harsh conditions and roads are poor especially in rural areas, so products have to designed and packaged to withstand harsh transportation conditions.
3. Defeaturing: Defeaturing is feature rationalization. The market cannot buy feature rich and costly products. Designers have to understand the price points at which the product would be sold in adequate numbers and design the product by questioning every feature that is present in product selling in developed countries. A cost-conscious design-to-cost philosophy has to be used.
4. Leapfrog Technology: Still India needs latest technology and companies should not think in terms of old and obsolete technologies. They have to use modern technology to create low cost products that work without the infrastructure present in developed countries.
5. Megascale Production:  Megascale production is possible in India provided the firms understand the scale economies properly and estimate costs. Many activities can be done at much lower costs in India due to one billion + consumers.
6. Service Eco-System: Create product differentiation using services also apart from the product. Financing is one such service. Find out the needs of potential buyers and arrange differentiated services for them.

Frugal Engineering - A Radical Rethinking of Product Development

From (Booz & Company)

Frugal engineering requires “clean sheet” approach to product development and it is simply not cost cutting from existing products made for the developed world. Cost discipline is an intrinsic part of the process, but rather than simply focusing on  cutting existing costs, frugal engineering has to avoid needless costs also in the redesign of the product.  It recognizes that merely removing features from existing products to sell them cheaper in emerging markets will be a losing strategy.  That’s because emerging-market customers have unique needs that usually aren’t addressed by mature-market products, and also because the cost base of developed world products, even when stripped down, remains too high to allow competitive prices and reasonable profits in the developing world. So stripped down products from developed markets are neither effective nor price-efficient for developing markets.

The target market for frugal engineering is the billions of consumers at the bottom of the pyramid who are quickly moving out of poverty in China, India, Brazil, and other emerging nations. They are shopping for the basics at prices they can pay . According to C.K. Prahalad, author of The Fortune at the Bottom of the Pyramid (Wharton School Publishing, 2005), this target market is “unserved or underserved by the large organized domestic private sector and multinational firms.” The size of market is  4 to 5 billion people of the 7 billion people on Earth.  Although the purchasing power of a consumer in this market is low,  in aggregate this  market is nearly as large as that of the developed world. Hence by not serving this market, the business sector  is ignoring a very big business opportunity.

The central tenet behind frugal engineering is maximizing value to the customer while minimizing nonessential costs. The term frugal engineering was coined in 2006 by Renault Chief Executive Carlos Ghosn to describe the competency of Indian engineers in developing products like Tata Motors’ Nano. There may be no better example of frugal engineering than the Nano, The Nano is not  a stripped-down version of a traditional, more expensive car design. It is based on a bottom-up approach to product development and totally a new product.

A successful approach to frugal engineering involves new ways of thinking about customers, innovation, and organization.

Initiatives in Frugal Engineering

Understanding the Customer

The ultimate goal of frugal engineering is to provide the essential functions people need at a price they can afford. Critical attention to low cost is always accompanied by a commitment to maximizing customer value. Assessment of the required  trade-offs requires close, careful observation on the part of marketers and designers if they are to arrive at a deep understanding of the ways a product fits (or doesn’t fit) into bottom of the pyramid customers’ lives.

Bottom-up Innovation

Bottom-up innovation is a  value engineering technique. Value engineering recommends that a function is selected and a low cost implementation of the function anywhere in any technical system is to be located. Then redesign of a component, feature or subassembly or even the product starts from that lowest cost solution.

When Tata Motors engineers began creating the Nano, they were inspired by the three-wheeled vehicles known in India as auto-rickshaws than by any existing car models in Tata Motors’ lineup. Building up from the bare minimum enabled the engineers to achieve their cost (and price) targets without compromising the essential functions of the car. Instead, if the Tata Nano had been designed on the platform of evem the cheapest Tata car, it would have been twice the price. Thus Tata Motors used the value engineering approach to desing Nano. In frugal engineering value engineering is an important component. Value engineering technique of blast, create and refine provide a great redesign opportunity to reduce cost without reducing performance. For example, if you asked designers to come up with a low-cost wiper system for cars, it’s unlikely they would challenge the fundamental architecture of two wiper blades. But it would be cheaper to place one blade in the center that sweeps from end to end. India’s auto-rickshaws have a single blade and using that idea, now, so does the Nano.

Organizational Agility

Frugal engineering requires certain changes or innovations in organizational structure and processes.

1. Cross functional team: Design has to be given to a cross-functional team.
2. Supply chain thinking: Frugal engineering has to treat the suppliers as an extension of the enterprise. Frugal engineering is based high levels of cost transparency right from the design stage. A frugal development team must look beyond the usual, approved list of suppliersand develop suppliers who meet the requirements for cost, quality, and timeliness of delivery. Suppliers have to  involved in development projects.  OEMs and suppliers team up to set cost targets and a cost structure for the entire product as well as components. They have focus on individual components as well as on the optimization of the entire system.
3. Top-down support: Every project looks like a failure in the middle. Top management has to take time, understand and approve a frugal engineering project. Once the project is in implementation, it must do its best to facilitate the design team to overcome obstacles and challenges and make the project a success.

Frugal Engineering - Sources for This Article

Frugal engineering - six pillars - Nirmalya Kumar and Phanish Puranam

Frugal Engineering - Bibliography

The Irrestible rise of frugal engineering - KPMG E Book
Chapter 1: Frugal engineering: Introduction
Chapter 2: The threat comes with a familiar face
Chapter 3: Addressing the ideological challenge
Chapter 4: Education and the Indian red herring
Chapter 5: The scale of the threat laid bare
Chapter 6: So what happens next?

Frugal Engineering in Embedded Systems and Chips

Akash - The Frugally engineered tablet in India

Frugal Reengineering - AT Kearney paper

Frugal engineering explained - 2010 Business Line article

More Frugal Engineering - Articles and White Papers by Global Consultants and Media

Frugal Engineering - Case Studies

In product terms, the darlings of the frugal engineering scene are: the Tata Nano, Unilever’s Pureit water purifier, GE’s MAC400 handheld electro-cardiogram, Godrej Appliances’ Chotukool mini-fridge, Nokia’s 1100 mobile phone.

Frugal engineering is being championed by some of the world’s leading brand names. They have got themselves ahead of the game by building up R&D capability in emerging markets and developing products for the bottom of the pyramid.

Frugal Engineering - Case Study Collection

Frugal Engineering and Innovation - Research Papers

Frugal Engineering and Innovation - Research Papers

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Frugal Engineering - Articles and White Papers by Global Consultants and Media




The Best Way To Innovation? - An Important Lesson from India




Think regionally, act locally: Four steps to reaching the Asian consumer

Local design is all the more important in Asia because customers in many of its markets expect a very wide variety of offerings and short innovation cycles.
sophisticated consumer companies like P&G and Hindustan Lever have repeatedly found that compelling entry-level products and brands are essential for attracting consumers to higher-priced ones, often by “de-engineering” premium products to focus on the features and attributes that Asian customers value most. P&G, for example, cut the price of Crest toothpaste more than 50 percent in China by reducing the cost of packaging, which is less important to consumers than being able to choose from a variety of flavors.




Sunday, September 15, 2013

MS Turanor Planet Solar - World's Largest Solar Powered Boat - 2013

The Turanor uses energy harnessed from more than 500 sq m of solar panels to drive two, 60kW electric engines, each in turn driving a standard propeller. They are capable of pushing the 35m catamaran to a top speed of 14 knots (26km/h, 16mph).

But, on its journey around the world, the boat averaged just five knots only  as she took a course around the equator to maximise exposure to the sun. The boat was at sea for 585 days as a result - compared to the record 45 days for sailing round the world.

To boost power when the sun is weak or hiding, the boat holds eight tonnes of lithium ion batteries, capable of powering the vessel for three days when dark clouds shade the ocean skies.

The boat reached London on 9 September 2013

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Automobile Engineering and Technology Developments - Information Board 2013

September 2013

Toyota Extends Hybrid Reach with Brash Lexus LF-NX Concept

GM Demos New Self-Steering System, Hopes to Release Semi-Autonomous Vehicle by 2020

Toyota Readies Fourth Generation Prius, Will Reportedly Achieve 60 MPG

Japanese Maglev Train

Japanese Maglev Train Begins Full Speed Testing at 310 mph (500+ kmph)

29 August 2013

Testing on Japan's super-fast Maglev train has resumed after several years of building an extension to its track.

Japan JR Tokai has been creating a superconducting magnetically levitated (SCMaglev) train design (a type of electrodynamic suspension Maglev), which travels along a U-shaped track at speeds of up 505 km/hr (311 mph).

The fundamental idea behind a magnetically levitated vehicle was first devised and patented in the U.S. in 1905.  Magnetic levitation is appealing in some ways -- with no moving parts, it has low maintenance costs, and some kinds of Maglev designs (such as JR Tokai's) self-stabilizing reducing the chance of the kind of crashes that plague high-speed rail-based trains.

By 1979 JR Tokai  had completed an unmanned test platform, capable of reach speeds of 517 km/hr (321 mph).  But it took a decade to develop sufficient safety controls and aerodynamics to start construction on a test track.  Construction of the The Yamanashi Maglev Test Line began in 1990 in the town of Aichi, near the city of Nagoya.

The Maglev trains must first reach a certain speed using retractable wheels before the magnetic forces become powerful enough to drive the train once the train reaches around 30 km/h (19 mph).  The retractable wheel launching and landing process  bear some similarities to an airplane takeoff/landing.

Between 1990 and 2008 the 18.4 km (11.4 mi) track saw test runs by MLU002N and MLX01 test engines.  To test the designs JR Tokai gave away free rides on the track.  An estimated 200,000 passengers were carried on these free rides.

In June of this year (2013), the test track was expanded to a length of 42.8 km (26.6 mi) and also incorporates new features such as tunnels. 

Boeing 787 - Engineering Achievement 2013

787 - 9

Similar to the standard 787, the new “9” variant also uses composite materials in its construction. Because of these composite materials the 787 line is said to be 20 percent more fuel efficient.

The new Dreamliner series can also keep cabins under higher pressure with lower humidity, and give passengers a greater view on their travels with its larger electrochromic windows. Additionally, the 787s sport dual engines that can power the craft to Mach .85 (913km/h; 567mph).

The 787-9  differs from from 787-8 in some key ways. First, the new 9 is 6 meters (20ft) longer, with a total length of 63 meters (206ft). With that additional space Boeing has made room for 40 more passengers, upping the total number to 290.

Given its fuel efficiency, the 787-9 has also boosted its range by 555 km (345 miles) giving the plane an effective range of 15,844 km (9,845 miles). With that range the 787-9 could fly from New York to Hong Kong (12,962 km; 8,054 miles) without getting to fumes.

Boeing 787 Design Change Process

Boeing 787 Design Details

The Boeing 787 program has consciously designed in new, state-of-the-art features and performance that reduce cost and increase airplane availability. These features include extensive use of composites in the airframe and primary structure, an electric systems architecture, a reliable and maintainable design, and an improved maintenance program. Taken together, these features  will offer customers a guaranteed reduction in maintenance costs.

Traditionally, the value of a given design solution for an air plane has been measured using factors such as:

Noise (cabin and community)
Schedule reliability
Development cost
Build cost
Using these measures to compare design options helps determine the optimum choice.

With the 787, Boeing has expanded the life-cycle design approach by adding two unique performance measures: maintenance cost and airplane availability.

Material Use
Advanced Composites: 50%
Aluminium: 20%
Titanium: 15%
Steel: 10%
Others: 5%

The 787 has replaced virtually all cabin, flight deck and exterior lighting with HID and LED lighting technologies.  Overall, 787 lights will last ten to twenty times longer than their in-service counterparts.

BMW i3 - Latest Commercialised Engineering Achievement - 2013

The all-electric BMW i3.

Everything about the BMW i3 with eDrive, every detail and every feature, is designed for life in the city. Driven by a locally emission-free electric motor, the BMW i3 guarantees mobility wherever you need it. It’s at home anywhere, from the edge of town to the city centre. Not surprisingly, the BMW i3 also qualifies for a full 100% discount in the London Congestion Zone. Aside from the ecological considerations, the BMW i3 makes a strong impression with its breathtaking acceleration at low speeds or from a standstill. And it boasts an impressive real-world range of 80-100 miles thanks to the high-voltage lithium ion battery. If you want even more flexibility, the BMW i3 Range Extender adds to the achievable range.

Typical BMW i streamflow design features are apparent in the way the window surfaces in the tailgate merge to offer an excellent all-around view. Large 19 inch alloy wheels reduce rolling resistance, which, combined with numerous aerodynamic details, create the most efficient drive.

With a base price of $41k, it's about $20k less than a Tesla Model S. The smaller battery and lower passenger capacity probably account for the difference in price.

Comparison Between Concept Car and Production Car

The transparent doors move to the side and conventional doors made of CFRP are taking their place. The lower part of the tailgate has also moved away from a transparent design towards one that blocks the view of any contents inside the trunk.

The production version of the BMW i3 is narrower than the concept car: 1775 mm vs 2011 mm width of the production i3. In addition, the BMW i3 is slightly higher and slightly longer than when it was announced in 2011.

Inside changes:  The built-in LCD is now replaced by the floating high-def screen seen on new BMWs. The dashboard controls and iDrive knobs are also similar to the other production models in the BMW lineup.

The curb weight of the BMW i3 is 1195 kg or 55 kg lighter than announced in 2011. Due to the lower weight, the sprint is faster than initially announced: 7.2 seconds from 0 to 62 mph, versus 7.9 seconds in the concept.

The luggage capacity has however increased: 260 cubic meters to 1,100 cubic meters, versus 200 to 1,100 before.


Standard Specifications of the Car