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Pithampur-based Pinnacle Industries is targeting an annual turnover of Rs.500 crore on the basis of orders it has bagged.

Story by:

Anusha B

Pinnacle Industries was established in 1996 at Pithampur on the outskirts of Indore. Specialising in the manufacture of automotive seating and interior systems, the company is targeting an annual turnover of Rs.500 crore by FY2019-20, marking a growth of 150 per cent approximately as compared to the turnover of Rs.200 crore recorded in FY2015-16. To fuel growth, the company is banking on new orders that it has bagged. Continuously investing in, and expanding its technology partnerships, the company, claiming to be India’s largest commercial vehicle, bus seating and interiors company, has a capacity to produce 10,00,000 seats annually at the Pithampur plant. The company has an engineering centre at Pune since 2012.

Technology and capacity infusion

Over the last several years the company has not only invested in, and has expanded its technology partnerships, it has also upgraded its manufacturing systems, product range to emerge as an entity that provides the best solutions. Over 90 per cent of the products that the company manufactures find application in the domestic market. The rest are exported to Europe and Africa. In order to address the needs of the clients, the manufacturing capacity of the plant is being expanded in areas like press shop, fabrication shop, etc. With the current capacity utilisation claimed be as high as 85-90 per cent, the company has been investing in robotic welding, vacuum forming, ABS parts trimming and a tool room to make complex tools and dies. Catering to CV manufacturers like Force Motors, Ashok Leyland, Mahindra, Volvo Eicher Commercial Vehicles, SML Isuzu among others, Pinnacle Industries is also planning to set up a new manufacturing project. Sudhir Mehta, Managing Director, Pinnacle Industries, did not reveal more about the new project. Instead, he stressed upon them increasing their involvement in product design and engineering among others. Focusing on manufacturing, testing and development, quality control, assembly and integration, and service and support, the company calls for design inputs from its global technology partner, Netherland-based VDL. The engineering centre of Pinnacle Industries is claimed to be equipped with a complete design capability.

Orders

Driving growth at Pinnacle Industries are new clients. Apart from retaining existing clients, the company has been successful in attracting new clients like Daimler and Scania. Stated Mehta, “We have received orders for staff, school, inter-state and inter-city bus products from Eicher Motors. We have initiated business with Daimler to produce push back luxury seats for its buses. From Scania we have bagged an order for truck cabin interiors.” “New orders have come for ABS parts for JBM, Daimler and Ashok Leyland vehicles. These developments have pushed us to expand our capacity and set up a new plant. We expect them to help us realise our dream to reach a turnover of Rs.500 crore by FY2019-20.”

The technology partnership with VDL has been helping the company to provide greater versatility in vehicle conversions by offering 360-degree custom design solutions based on client requirements. Pinnacle Industries also customises pre-owned vehicles and new vehicles. It is known to cater to the requirements of DC Design among others. Keen to become the leader in the special purpose vehicle segment that includes business vans, election campaign vans, ambulances, utility vans, stretcher vans and delivery vans, Pinnacle Industries is banking on the fact that the acceptance for new and evolving seating and interior technologies is growing.

New and evolving technologies

Pinnacle Industries is paying a good deal of attention to new and evolving seating technologies in the wake of rising demand. It is looking at mechanically suspended driver seats, air suspended driver seats, semi luxury seats with calf support and others. The company is leveraging these technologies to offer enhanced seating solutions to the commercial vehicle industry. “We are providing a one-stop solution to our clients. From design to SOP, we are providing them a most comprehensive set of vehicle interior products,” explained Mehta. If this would explain the investments Pinnacle Industries is indulging in, and in an effort to enhance its manufacturing prowess, increasing attention is also paid towards light weighting. This is in-line with the requirement of the clients. The company has began using aluminium in its products to reduce weight. Said Mehta, that they have achieved considerable weight reduction in seats with the use of aluminium. “A two-seater push-back seat now weighs 30 kg less. A driver seat weighs approximately 23 kg less. Apart from aluminium, we are looking at low thickness materials of high strength,” he added.

The company has employed technical inputs like pressure mapping, foam density, foam contour mapping and hardness to increase the ergonomics and comfort. Said Mehta, “We have invested in equipment to check seat comfort and ergonomics. The seats we design are light in weight and comply with the requirement of seat homologation as well as vehicle level test. The light weight construction of seats helps to reduce gross vehicle weight and elevate fuel efficiency.”

Customised solutions to aid growth

Customised seating solutions is one area that Pinnacle Industries is keen to tap. The company supplies customised push back seats of different sizes and Poly-Urethane (PU) profiles. Seats with fabric and rexin cover are offered. They could be had in multiple stitching patterns. Certain features have been added. three-point and two-point seat belts for example; gas spring operated calf support, flip down arm rests, three-point adjustable foot rest, provision of mobile charger, magazine pouch and bottle holder. “Our R&D set up includes 40 engineers engaged in the design and development of seating and interior solutions. We have a dedicated prototyping shop and a tool room equipped with VMCs, EDMs and wire cutting machines. For our Special Purpose Machine (SPM) requirement, we are providing concept design and inputs to our SPM suppliers. We recently inaugurated our R&D centre at Pune,” informed Mehta.

Competition in the space that Pinnacle Industries operates in, is growing. It is attracting global players that are keen to leverage their relations with global manufacturers. In such a scenario, the aggressive plans charted by Pinnacle Industries should see them in good

stead.

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