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BUILDING SUPPLY CHAIN SYSTEM OF EVs Building a supply chain ecosystem for EVs

Oct 31, 2022

Electric vehicles are witnessing phenomenal growth in the industry today. The article explains how the automotive industry, & most importantly, suppliers can adapt to the EV environment, thereby, building a supply chain ecosystem for electric vehicles. - Pankaj Abhyankar, SVP & Head, Godrej Tooling (Godrej & Boyce)

It is undeniable that the die and mould industry is the cornerstone and backbone of mass manufacturing. India’s die and mould sector has developed over the years and now holds a prominent position in the world of the manufacturing.

India’s market for dies and moulds is anticipated to grow at a CAGR of 9% during the forecast period. The industry is booming with prospects since it can meet a variety of unique demands from many growing industries, namely automotive, construction, electronics and electrical, healthcare, and machine tools. Many OEMs have started manufacturing in India in line with the Make in India initiative. This will further drive the growth of the die and mould industry.

EV revolution in India

Amid growing concerns over fossil fuels and global warming, electric vehicles are gaining popularity. By 2030, the Indian government wants 30% of private cars, 70% of commercial vehicles and 80% of two and three-wheelers to be electric. Consumers are preferring electric vehicles over ICE as the former provides more advantages in terms of environment and finance. Moreover, there are many policies announced by the state government which will further escalate the growth and demand for EVs.

Policies like monetary subsidies on EV purchases, exemption from road tax, vehicle registration fees, & low loan interest rates on EV purchases will increase the demand among end consumers considering the benefits. The government liberalised the EV standards to establish a productive environment for EV charging. According to the new regulations, public charging stations (PCS) can be installed by any individual or organisation without a license.

Adapting the EV ecosystem

The automotive industry and suppliers must now adapt to the ecosystem because of the increasing focus of the private and governmental sectors on EVs. The rapid shift in the automotive sector toward the adoption of electric vehicles in India has necessitated the need to design new transmission and battery boxes, and very precise sheet metal components.

New engines must be developed because of changes in the fuel’s chemical makeup, which requires new dies. The goal for EV developers would be to use lightweight aluminium for the battery cases and allied components, which would require a special set of dies and sheet metal tools for greater strength. Manufacturers are assuring smooth execution from simulation and design to assembly and production to be geared for electric mobility and excel in design and consistency.

To keep up with the increased competition, die manufacturers must make sure that their designs are precise and meet consumer needs. Real shop floor testing should be used to properly validate the assembled die. Godrej Tooling has increased the investment by 10% YoY on R&D towards a portfolio of tools and dies with a special focus on the EV industry.

Growth opportunities

Adopting Industry 4.0 technologies will help manufacturers achieve sustainable manufacturing, save costs, and safeguard the environment. This approach is not only beneficial and cost-effective but also a necessity. The segment of dies and moulds is driven by emerging opportunities, product lightweighting, and safety-critical guidelines. With the aid of simulation technologies, production can be predicted, and designs can be improved before getting manufactured. Better thermal management of plastic moulds and die casting dies are also made possible by the advancement of 3D Printing.

Supply chain ecosystem for EVs

Programmes like Aatmanirbhar Bharat and Make in India have supported supply chain localisation, which could help the EV industry reduce its dependency on imports. By implementing end-to-end supply chain digital platforms, manufacturers can drastically shorten the time it takes to make strategic decisions. Through digitisation, every stakeholder will have access to supply chain visibility, real-time data, and greater quality control. The majority of completed electric vehicles are made of electronics, suggesting that great commoditisation of these elements is the way of the future even while traditional automobile components are still in demand.

By 2025, it is anticipated that sales of electric cars (EVs) would represent 30% of all vehicle sales. To achieve this goal, OEMs and their supply chain partners will need to create a manufacturing ecosystem that accelerates time to market (TTM), while also navigating regulatory constraints, part shortages, and other disruptions brought on by unanticipated events.

Addressing challenges with EVs

Calculating the lead times for die and mould becomes difficult because of the constantly evolving designs in the auto sector. One of the many difficulties facing the EV supply chain is a lack of R&D. Other problems include safety and quality issues. Only a few regions are home to the rare earth materials required in EVs, including lithium ion batteries, silicone, and the magnets in motors.

India needs a boost to its battery raw material self-sufficiency (lithium, for instance) through government discourse and import laws. Hardened steels need to be cut at a 55–60 HRC for sheet metal dies for high-strength components. These are difficult to cut accurately and effectively. An error in geometry makes toolmakers work harder to prove parts. Low or zero porosity is now expected as aluminium die casting is increasingly used in load-bearing components for reducing weight.

The road ahead

By introducing advanced equipment that can create/form/build in accordance with design objectives in a minimum number of setups and more quickly than current timescales, such as 3D Printing technologies, the die and mould business can further adapt to sophisticated technologies. The industry is moving toward IoT and digitisation for longer machine up times, and real-time data available for quicker and more informed decisions on machinery and part issues.

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  • Pankaj Abhyankar

    SVP & Head

    Godrej Tooling

    (Godrej & Boyce)

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