Article by: Rajesh Rajgor
MIRA-Caepro offers its engineering design, testing and validation to the Indian automotive market, and CVs in particular.Engineering innovations and testing solutions provider MIRA-Caepro is looking at its Indian operations with renewed interest. A joint venture (JV) between two UK-based companies, Motor Industry Research Association (MIRA) Ltd. and Caepro Technologies, MIRA-Caepro offers complete vehicle engineering solutions to OEMs, which include design, development and testing for a wide range of vehicles including defence and commercial vehicles. Present in the Indian market from 2012, the company, based at Pune, has attracted the attention of many OEMs, including Ashok Leyland. The Indian arm supplied complete engineering solutions for the cabin of Ashok Leyland Captain. “In India, we have the ability to deliver projects in ride and handling, safety, durability as well as thermofluids and design. We are looking at delivering complete vehicle engineering solutions including, testing and homologation, controls and electronics, electric and hybrid vehicle engineering, intelligent transport systems, functional safety and unmanned ground vehicles,” said John Roebuck, Managing Director, MIRA-Caepro India Pvt. Ltd. “We are also providing ride and handling support to an Indian commercial vehicle OEM,” he added.

Design, testing and the works

Despite being in India for just four-years, the operations of the company according to Roebuck are well tuned to understand the needs of the Indian automotive clients. Stated Roebuck, “Despite being price sensitive, Indian customers (OEMs and Tier 1 suppliers) demand the best when it comes to performance, ride, handling and efficiency of the vehicle.” The company, understanding the price consciousness of its Indian clients, tailored the Indian operations accordingly. They have thus come to offer world class engineering at a competitive price. At the Pune headquarters, an engineering design team handles BIW (Body-in-White engineering), trim and chassis design, among others. Stating that MIRA-Caepro’s strength is its combination of technology and people, which helps the company to amalgamate software and design, Terry Spall, Vice President, International Operations and President of MIRA Shanghai said that his team in India has extensive experience in electronic systems integration of modules such as ABS (Anti-lock braking system), ECU (Electronic Control Unit), HVAC (Heating Ventilation and Cooling) units, and the use of CAN based architecture for automotive platforms. “Tuning and finding errors in complex automotive electronics systems is a challenge which MIRA-Caepro is used to solving. We are technology partners to major automotive manufacturers, as well Tier 1 suppliers,” he added. 

MIRA-Caepro’s design solutions are engineered to begin from scratch, and may take anywhere between two-to-three years to complete. The company discusses every design specification including light weighting, NVH (Noise, Vibration and Harshness), torque, hp and fuel efficiency, before taking up a project. “We have to work with the specifications given. While we do not design the base engine, we know what specifications will work around it and what will lead to the desired results,” averred Spall. He said that vehicle needs and applications may change, based on the demand. Their fundamental role remains the same – something that the company does not lose focus of. Citing the example of defence vehicles Spall expressed, “Although defence vehicles have specific needs, their fundamental role remains unchanged – they should be able to supply or carry weapons, and persons with appropriate ease.” With over 35 major test facilities, the JV has extensive experience in providing test and engineering services to the global defence and automotive industries. Spall does not forget to mention that the employees of the Indian operations spend an amount of time at UK where they get an opportunity to work with experienced engineers and gain knowledge about global vehicles.

Technical collaboration

As part of the services in India, MIRA-Caepro offers setting up of a technical centre. This particular proposition aims at OEMs and Tier 1 suppliers, and is modelled on the lines of similar endeavours that the company has executed in Europe. While this service is yet to find takers in India, Roebuck is bullish. He reasoned that it is but natural for OEMs and Tier 1 suppliers to develop their own engineering capacities at some stage. However, to develop world class expertise in every domain will be costly. He added, “An OEM typically decides on its core activities and sets them up in-house. The rest he decides to outsource. Companies may not want a lot of additional engineering resource when the business cycle inevitably would swing downward. MIRA-Caepro can support OEMs to deliver projects when their own resources are stretched,” he concluded. 

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