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Old 20th June 2013, 06:14   #1
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Default PICS: Tata Motors Factory! Detailed report on making of the Indica & Indigo eCS

NOTE :

Click here (PICS : Jaguar's Castle Bromwich (UK) Factory. Detailed report on the making of the XJ) (PICS : Jaguar's Castle Bromwich (UK) Factory. Detailed report on the making of the XJ) to read Khan Sultan's detailed report on the Jaguar Factory at Castle Bromwich.

Click here. (PICS : Ford's Chennai Factory. Detailed report on the making of Figos, Fiestas...) to read GTO's detailed report on Ford's Chennai manufacturing facility.

PICS: Tata Motors Factory! Detailed report on making of the Indica & Indigo eCS-factory-layout.jpg

This was my second factory visit. I have previously been to the Fiat manufacturing facility in Ranjangaon with FCCCI. However, that visit was a little random as there was hardly a guided tour of the facility. We could walk on the assembly line and see what we wanted to see.

Tata motors, as a part of their Horizonext program wanted to showcase their manufacturing facility for the Indigo eCS and the Indica with a view to demonstrate the technologies used by them to plan, engineer, develop and manufacture a Tata vehicle. A guided tour for us was planned meticulously and it included visit to the assembly line, the ERC units for various component development and testing. And a big surprise came our way: We were permitted to take pictures of some of the facilities that we were going to visit and that included the most important of all: The Assembly line.

The sections that we visited:

PICS: Tata Motors Factory! Detailed report on making of the Indica & Indigo eCS-layout2.jpg

High points:

- The Pune facility comprises of two units: Pimpri which is spread across 800 acres and Chinchwad occupying 130 acres.

- The facility was established in 1966 and now houses a state of the art R&D center.

- Tata motors has India's first full vehicle crash test facility, India's only pedestrian safety facilitiy capable of conducting all types of pedestrian tests, Asia's first semi-anechoic chamber, the biggest engine testing facility in India and the only full vehicle climate test facility to be able to carry out environmental tests from small cars to an intercity bus.

- Passenger car assembly lines are located in 'K' block.

- An extension of the facility in Pimpri was formerly used to assemble the Mercedes Benz W124 E-Class. The facility is now used by Jaguar and Land Rover Thread link (Jaguar-Land Rover Assembly Plant inaugurated in Pune, MH (Updated w/ Pictures)).

- Did you know: The only time Mercedes Benz permitted some other manufacturer to club it's logo as a part of their JV was with Tata.

Pic source: BSM - http://www.bsmotoring.com/storypage.php?autono=1801

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Old 20th June 2013, 06:14   #2
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Default Re: Pics: Visit to the Tata Motors Factory. Assembly of the Indica and Indigo eCS

We were taken around the facility in what was somewhat a reverse process. We first visited the trimline and then the press shop. However, in the interest of keeping this thread to convey the actual process of manufacturing, I'll align the posts to demonstrate the same. The typical process process of a vehicle assembly is: Press shop --> Weld shop --> Paint shop --> Trim line --> final assembly --> Testing.

Press shop:


PICS: Tata Motors Factory! Detailed report on making of the Indica & Indigo eCS-_dsc0334.jpg

Cold steel rolls enter this facility and are taken through an automated washing, blanking and stacking line from a manufacturer called "Heilbronn". Tata motors mainly use steel from Posco and Tata Steel for their vehicles. Five tandem press lines from Erfurt then press the flat pieces of steel into various panels that later form a part of the monocoque. The doors, roof, side panel, fenders, bonnet and boot panels are all produced under a header press with a capacity of 1200 to 2000 tonnes. At the rate of 34 stampings per minute various panels are output on this line. The presses are capable to stamp Zinc coated / high strength steel and tailor welded blanks.

PICS: Tata Motors Factory! Detailed report on making of the Indica & Indigo eCS-_dsc0337.jpg

The reason why manufacturers only focus on changing headlamps and taillamps for a facelift and do not bother altering body panels are that the dies used to manufacture the panels cost a bomb to produce. Therefore we continue to see the same Indica the age old Indigo eCS as it was since inception minus the plastic bits. 13 cranes capable of carrying 50 tonnes each are used for transportation of dies.


PICS: Tata Motors Factory! Detailed report on making of the Indica & Indigo eCS-_dsc0338.jpg

Once the panels are ready, they are stacked up on stands to be carried to the weld shop:

PICS: Tata Motors Factory! Detailed report on making of the Indica & Indigo eCS-_dsc0340.jpg
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Last edited by moralfibre : 4th July 2013 at 11:54.
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Old 20th June 2013, 06:14   #3
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Default Re: Pics: Visit to the Tata Motors Factory. Assembly of the Indica and Indigo eCS

The body panels are ready and stacked up, the next line they enter is the weld shop. Various sub components are put together by precise and state of the art welding machines. It's here that one realizes why our friendly neighborhood tinker can never get the fit, finish and quality that we get out of the factory assembly line. High quality machines from German builders like Kuka, HLS and Nothelfer are used in this facility. The weld shop is capable of being flexible to handle 8 models simultaneously.

It's quite a fascinating sight seeing multiple body parts coming together to form the car's monocoque. Majority of the line is robotized. Except for small component sub assemblies like welding the strut mounts together, most of the tasks are undertaken by robots. On a 3 shift basis and a cycle time of 54 to 90 seconds, the facility outputs a total of 1900 bodies.

Safety is strictly enforced all around the weld shop. Use of safety goggles is a must. Instructions on how to handle emergencies are pasted all around.

PICS: Tata Motors Factory! Detailed report on making of the Indica & Indigo eCS-_dsc0347.jpg


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At the end of the line, an automated sealant machine is used to fill in the gaps:

PICS: Tata Motors Factory! Detailed report on making of the Indica & Indigo eCS-_dsc0387.jpg

Last edited by moralfibre : 4th July 2013 at 12:08.
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Old 20th June 2013, 06:15   #4
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Default Re: Pics: Visit to the Tata Motors Factory. Assembly of the Indica and Indigo eCS

Paint shop:

The welded monocoque and other panels like the bonnet, doors and the boot lid leave enters the paint shop. Entry to the paint shop is restricted due to a risk of dust and other material settling in the high sensitivity zone. We could only pass by the shop.

Engine and transmission assembly:

Engine and transmission assembly in under another facility which we did not get a chance to visit.

Trim line 1:

The painted body with matched doors and other panels enters the trim line. This is the final assembly line where all trims, engine, transmission, wheels, doors, etc are fitted on the body.

Highlights:

- Cycle time of 67 seconds.

- The total production capacity of this line is 1000 vehicles per day on a 2 shift basis.

- Manufacturing process is based on TQM (Total quality management) philosophy.

PICS: Tata Motors Factory! Detailed report on making of the Indica & Indigo eCS-_dsc0223.jpg

MY 2013 cars (Model year) have a range of enhancements that have already been adopted on the assembly line. The upgrades include:
  • A high flow rate power steering pump.
  • Larger resonator box for the air filter to reduce noise levels.
  • New TA65 gearbox with new center console.
  • Contactless potentiometer for the accelerator.
  • Dual bowl fuel filter.
  • Dual path suspension for improved ride comfort.
PICS: Tata Motors Factory! Detailed report on making of the Indica & Indigo eCS-_dsc0225.jpg

The plant floor layout:

PICS: Tata Motors Factory! Detailed report on making of the Indica & Indigo eCS-_dsc0234.jpg

The entire assembly runs on two storeys. The moment a car comes to the end of a line, it is picked up to level 2 and dropped down to the next line. A freshly painted car comes in from the paint shop on the conveyor belt:

PICS: Tata Motors Factory! Detailed report on making of the Indica & Indigo eCS-_dsc0236.jpg

Immediately, all doors are taken out, they'll meet the same car at a later stage. The wiring harness goes in:

PICS: Tata Motors Factory! Detailed report on making of the Indica & Indigo eCS-_dsc0237.jpg

A machine is used to give the car it's identity: the VIN number is stamped. At this stage begins the birth of the car.

All cables for the accelerator and transmission, etc are put in:

PICS: Tata Motors Factory! Detailed report on making of the Indica & Indigo eCS-_dsc0246.jpg

Monograms are stuck on the boot:

PICS: Tata Motors Factory! Detailed report on making of the Indica & Indigo eCS-_dsc0247.jpg

Sound damping material is stuck and inserted in various parts of the car:

PICS: Tata Motors Factory! Detailed report on making of the Indica & Indigo eCS-_dsc0248.jpg

The carpet is laid out:

PICS: Tata Motors Factory! Detailed report on making of the Indica & Indigo eCS-_dsc0252.jpg

Various items that sit behind the dash are fitted:

PICS: Tata Motors Factory! Detailed report on making of the Indica & Indigo eCS-_dsc0253.jpg

Some more trims go in:

PICS: Tata Motors Factory! Detailed report on making of the Indica & Indigo eCS-_dsc0254.jpg

The steering assembly is mounted:

PICS: Tata Motors Factory! Detailed report on making of the Indica & Indigo eCS-_dsc0259.jpg

A digital board displays status of the trim line:

PICS: Tata Motors Factory! Detailed report on making of the Indica & Indigo eCS-_dsc0264.jpg

A newly adopted mantra by Tata motors is put up on boards all around the assembly line:

PICS: Tata Motors Factory! Detailed report on making of the Indica & Indigo eCS-_dsc0265.jpg

The dashboard goes in after the items like the AC coil, etc are put in. Various rubber fittings are then added:

PICS: Tata Motors Factory! Detailed report on making of the Indica & Indigo eCS-_dsc0270.jpg

Except for the seats and the roof lining, most of the items on the inside are already put in. The head lights are added, the struts and rear shock absorbers are mounted. This trim line is basically a conveyor belt where the cars keep moving as various items get added in. Observe carefully and you'll notice Yellow posts on which the car sits. These posts later become the jacking points of the car:

PICS: Tata Motors Factory! Detailed report on making of the Indica & Indigo eCS-_dsc0271.jpg

Some more rubber fittings are added on the car:

PICS: Tata Motors Factory! Detailed report on making of the Indica & Indigo eCS-_dsc0273.jpg

PICS: Tata Motors Factory! Detailed report on making of the Indica & Indigo eCS-_dsc0275.jpg

Steering wheels ready to be mounted are stacked up:

PICS: Tata Motors Factory! Detailed report on making of the Indica & Indigo eCS-_dsc0279.jpg

Here's the guy fitting it in:

PICS: Tata Motors Factory! Detailed report on making of the Indica & Indigo eCS-_dsc0280.jpg

And now testing it by turning it lock to lock:

PICS: Tata Motors Factory! Detailed report on making of the Indica & Indigo eCS-_dsc0281.jpg

Front and rear glasses are stuck. There's a machine that is used to achieve perfection in mounting the glass so that it is aligned correctly:

PICS: Tata Motors Factory! Detailed report on making of the Indica & Indigo eCS-_dsc0282.jpg

Wiper blades!

PICS: Tata Motors Factory! Detailed report on making of the Indica & Indigo eCS-_dsc0283.jpg

End of trim line 1 where the car will be picked up and dropped off to trim line 2:

PICS: Tata Motors Factory! Detailed report on making of the Indica & Indigo eCS-_dsc0284.jpg

Last edited by moralfibre : 4th July 2013 at 12:16.
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Old 20th June 2013, 06:15   #5
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Default Re: Pics: Visit to the Tata Motors Factory. Assembly of the Indica and Indigo eCS

We were onboard a fleet of Tata Wingers minus the side panels. There was no way that some sections of the trim line could be photographed being seated in a moving vehicle. Also, some of the trims were on the other side of the line and made it difficult to be photographed. Strict instructions were issued against stopping any vehicle for any purpose of photography.

While driving the other way round, I did manage to click a few more pictures of trim line 1 where struts and steering assemblies were fitted. Here they are:

PICS: Tata Motors Factory! Detailed report on making of the Indica & Indigo eCS-_dsc0239.jpg

PICS: Tata Motors Factory! Detailed report on making of the Indica & Indigo eCS-_dsc0240.jpg

PICS: Tata Motors Factory! Detailed report on making of the Indica & Indigo eCS-_dsc0241.jpg

PICS: Tata Motors Factory! Detailed report on making of the Indica & Indigo eCS-_dsc0255.jpg

Need to troubleshoot a wiring issue while adding it? No problem! here's how it sits in the Indica Vista:

PICS: Tata Motors Factory! Detailed report on making of the Indica & Indigo eCS-_dsc0257.jpg

And the steering box assembly from trim line 1:

PICS: Tata Motors Factory! Detailed report on making of the Indica & Indigo eCS-_dsc0258.jpg

Trim line 2:

In this line, the vehicle is lifted 2.5 meters above the floor area and is moved forward using an overhead lift. The reason being all underbody fitments are done on this line.

Start of the line:

PICS: Tata Motors Factory! Detailed report on making of the Indica & Indigo eCS-_dsc0272.jpg

Front balance bar:

PICS: Tata Motors Factory! Detailed report on making of the Indica & Indigo eCS-_dsc0274.jpg

Assorted underbody nuts and bolts are added:

PICS: Tata Motors Factory! Detailed report on making of the Indica & Indigo eCS-_dsc0287.jpg

PICS: Tata Motors Factory! Detailed report on making of the Indica & Indigo eCS-_dsc0288.jpg

Fuel and brake lines are added:

PICS: Tata Motors Factory! Detailed report on making of the Indica & Indigo eCS-_dsc0289.jpg

Fuel tank goes in:

PICS: Tata Motors Factory! Detailed report on making of the Indica & Indigo eCS-_dsc0290.jpg

On one far end, the engines are lined up for fitment

PICS: Tata Motors Factory! Detailed report on making of the Indica & Indigo eCS-_dsc0292.jpg

The interesting bit here is that the rear axle, exhaust and the engine is lifted and fitted using an automated vehicle guided system for suspension and engine assembly. This machine require little or no human intervention when in action:

PICS: Tata Motors Factory! Detailed report on making of the Indica & Indigo eCS-_dsc0293.jpg

Once it is lifted and mount by the guided system, engineers tighten crucial bolts to secure the assemblies in place:

PICS: Tata Motors Factory! Detailed report on making of the Indica & Indigo eCS-_dsc0296.jpg

And done!

PICS: Tata Motors Factory! Detailed report on making of the Indica & Indigo eCS-_dsc0297.jpg

But not without a final assesment and check by another set of engineers to ensure everything is in place:

PICS: Tata Motors Factory! Detailed report on making of the Indica & Indigo eCS-_dsc0300.jpg

PICS: Tata Motors Factory! Detailed report on making of the Indica & Indigo eCS-_dsc0301.jpg

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PICS: Tata Motors Factory! Detailed report on making of the Indica & Indigo eCS-_dsc0277.jpg

Bumper is added once the engine assembly is finalized:

Tyres as per spec of the car entering the bay are automatically rolled down:

PICS: Tata Motors Factory! Detailed report on making of the Indica & Indigo eCS-_dsc0267.jpg

And fitted.

PICS: Tata Motors Factory! Detailed report on making of the Indica & Indigo eCS-_dsc0266.jpg

The doors that were originally detached at start of trim line 1 are then bolted up.

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Old 20th June 2013, 06:15   #6
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Default Re: Pics: Visit to the Tata Motors Factory. Assembly of the Indica and Indigo eCS

Taking some time-out from the assembly line, let's visit some other sections which we were taken to for an insight on what goes around building a Tata motors product, be it a bus or a Nano. Since these are restricted sections, photography was not permitted.

PICS: Tata Motors Factory! Detailed report on making of the Indica & Indigo eCS-_dsc0388.jpg

Crash test facility:

- This is India's first full vehicle crash test facility and has been accredited by TUV for conducting tests as per European standards.

- A vehicle is driven down an alley equipped with shockproof data acquisition systems, crash test dummies and child dummies into a front obstruction. Front, side and rear impact tests at speeds ranging from 15 km/h to 64 km/h are conducted.

- High speed cameras then acquire images at over 1000 frames per second from the sides, undersides and top. These results are used to rectify or modify impact beams and other structural components of the car.

- A programmable deceleration device is also used to achieve different types of crash pulse for simulating various load conditions.

- This facility is also the only pedestrian test facility capable of conducting all types of pedestrian tests at speeds upto 40 km/h. Individual organ forms like child and adult headform, lower legform and body blocks are used to conduct tests and simulate possible scenarios impacting an occupant of the car or a pedestrian.

- Tests on individual components like the dashboard, the seats, etc are carried out for individual component R&D before it is finalized for design in a vehicle.

- Closed loop servo-hydraulic test facility with 9 actuators is used for conducting seat belts and anchorage tests.

- The facility is capable of handling vehicles ranging from world trucks to a Nano.

- Additional test rigs like a roof crush and side door intrusion are also a part of the equipment under the same roof.

Semi Anechoic chamber:

- The facility was built way back in 1995-1996 and was Asia's first such chamber used to conduct NVH tests on vehicles.

- The beauty of the facility having experienced it first hand is the sheer silence that one can experience once inside the chamber. A pin drop can be heard very precisely and how!

- You are standing inside a four layered shell. The innermost shell has 18800 acoustic wedges made of glasswool and covered with jute. A rubber block runs under the floor of the entire chamber to for additional shielding.

- The car is bolted on the floor and a rolling dyno is used to set it in motion, NVH levels at idle and in motion are captured using sensitive microphones.

- Another array of microphones is used to record sound clips from operations like shutting of doors, noise sources from other moving parts of the car.

- The readings are then analyzed using advanced software for acoustics and graphed to identify "Red" spots which are labelled as the source of noise that needs to be rectified.


PICS: Tata Motors Factory! Detailed report on making of the Indica & Indigo eCS-_dsc0392.jpg

Environmental Test facility:

- A full vehicle environment test facility is also a part of Tata motors R&D department. A year around capability of conducting humidity, solar, wind speed and road load simulation tests can be carried out under this roof.

- Tests to simulate environments from -40 degress to + 55 degrees can be carried out in two separate chambers.

- The facility was built by Tata motors with equipment from German and American vendors in a record 12 months and was commissioned on 27Apr'09.

- A demo of a thermal camera was given out to show how crucial spots affected by temperature conditions is identified.

- Both chambers have a dyno on which the vehicle is started and rolled to test functionality under various weather conditions.

- The hot chamber is used to test air conditioning system, the cooling circuit, impact of heat on electronics, body, paint, plastics, fabrics, foams and material ageing is carried out.

- Engine cranking at very low ambient temperatures, compliance of windscreen demister, defrost and cabin heating systems with domestic and export homologation requirements, oil and coolant performance, windscreen wiper performance, effectiveness of door seals, cold ageing or rubber and plastic parts is undertaken in the cold chamber.

We did pass by the very interesting "Torture track" used to rattle the drivers and more importantly the car's internals:

PICS: Tata Motors Factory! Detailed report on making of the Indica & Indigo eCS-_dsc0391.jpg

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Old 20th June 2013, 07:58   #7
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Default Re: Pics: Visit to the Tata Motors Factory. Assembly of the Indica and Indigo eCS

The car is just about to roll off the assembly line and fired to life for the first time but not before an automated filling system carries out filling of coolant, brakes & PS oil, engine oil, AC gas, etc.

The vehicle will now be let go by the overhead lift that had been carrying it around all this while. It enters the end of line testing and diagnostics system:


Headlamp focus is adjusted:

PICS: Tata Motors Factory! Detailed report on making of the Indica & Indigo eCS-_dsc0243.jpg

Suspension operation check:


PICS: Tata Motors Factory! Detailed report on making of the Indica & Indigo eCS-_dsc0245.jpg

PICS: Tata Motors Factory! Detailed report on making of the Indica & Indigo eCS-_dsc0323.jpg

Alighnment done:

PICS: Tata Motors Factory! Detailed report on making of the Indica & Indigo eCS-_dsc0324.jpg

A dyno used to ensure the car is built to spec on the roll and brake tester:

PICS: Tata Motors Factory! Detailed report on making of the Indica & Indigo eCS-_dsc0325.jpg

Paint quality check under lights:

PICS: Tata Motors Factory! Detailed report on making of the Indica & Indigo eCS-_dsc0327.jpg

The car is then run through a shower test from all side to ensure the cabin is leak proof.

And here's a car that has just rolled out of the assembly line:


PICS: Tata Motors Factory! Detailed report on making of the Indica & Indigo eCS-_dsc0228.jpg

Last edited by moralfibre : 4th July 2013 at 11:36.
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Old 4th July 2013, 12:50   #8
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Default Re: Pics: Tata Motors Factory. Detailed report on making of the Indica and Indigo eCS

Thread moved from the Assembly Line (The "Assembly Line" Forum section) (The "Assembly Line" Forum section) to the Indian car scene section.
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Old 4th July 2013, 13:13   #9
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Default Re: Pics: Tata Motors Factory. Detailed report on making of the Indica and Indigo eCS

Thanks for the detailed write-up moralfibre. I am sure this is the maximum you could have done in most plants, with all the restrictions on photography. I had gone on a similar tour of the Tata plant back in 2007. I remember seeing beautiful Marinas and Xenons (export version) which had just rolled off the assembly line.

Having worked at MSIL for a few years, I know the MSIL plants like the back of my hand. But it is always a good experience to see a new plant!
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Old 4th July 2013, 13:37   #10
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Smile Re: Pics: Tata Motors Factory. Detailed report on making of the Indica and Indigo eCS

@Moralfiber,

Thanks a lot for the pics. I particularly find it very exciting to understand the intricacies what go into a the vehicle being manufactured. So where do the variants get their special features, in the same manufacturing line up?

I can see Tata's dont have the stringent safety standards being maintained like use of hard hats, safety shoes/gloves/glasses etc since there are some heavy equipments on the top. Some of these areas must also be high noise prone too.
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Old 4th July 2013, 14:02   #11
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Default Re: Pics: Tata Motors Factory. Detailed report on making of the Indica and Indigo eCS

Quote:
Originally Posted by ghodlur View Post
@Moralfiber,

Thanks a lot for the pics. I particularly find it very exciting to understand the intricacies what go into a the vehicle being manufactured. So where do the variants get their special features, in the same manufacturing line up?

I can see Tata's dont have the stringent safety standards being maintained like use of hard hats, safety shoes/gloves/glasses etc since there are some heavy equipments on the top. Some of these areas must also be high noise prone too.
The use of Safety hats depends on the area. If you are in the trim line for example, except in specific areas you do not need to wear a helmet. I have been to many car manufacturing plants and this is not Specific to Tata
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Old 4th July 2013, 14:18   #12
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Arrow Re: Pics: Tata Motors Factory. Detailed report on making of the Indica and Indigo eCS

Nice report! Is it possible for a layman to get permission to visit the facility, by writing to someone from Tata motors? Or is it on an invitation basis? We would surely like to visit manufacturer facilites for seeing what goes on behind the scenes while building cars. I liked the way the facility has been kept clean and clear. Also about the crash test facility - Did you actually see a crash test happen? Noob question - Is this their private facility, or do they give it out to other manufacturers/govt. agencies for crash testing vehicles?
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Old 4th July 2013, 15:31   #13
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Default Re: PICS: Tata Motors Factory! Detailed report on making of the Indica & Indigo eCS

Great report Moralfibre. Amazed at the level of depth you have gone in to explain most stages at the assembly line. And not to mention the most pics that have been labelled for clear understanding. Thanks for all the time you devoted doing this for us!

Thanks for sharing this wonderful thread with us.

Regards,
Saket
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Old 4th July 2013, 16:31   #14
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Default Re: PICS: Tata Motors Factory! Detailed report on making of the Indica & Indigo eCS

Thanks. That's a very detailed picture of what's going on inside the factory. The new Indigo CS with new grille looks cool. Have they enhanced the paint job? I'm sure TATA will be back on track in couple of years.
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Old 4th July 2013, 17:37   #15
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Default Re: Pics: Tata Motors Factory. Detailed report on making of the Indica and Indigo eCS

Quote:
Originally Posted by chennai-indian View Post
The use of Safety hats depends on the area. If you are in the trim line for example, except in specific areas you do not need to wear a helmet. I have been to many car manufacturing plants and this is not Specific to Tata
Well, at least in MSIL, the moment you enter the shop, you need to have your cap on. And if you go close to the assembly line, you need to wear a helmet.

The idea of wearing a cap is not only for protection from something falling from above. Usually "P" caps are worn because if you bend down / move and you are about to hit your head on something, the P basically hits first and you realize the danger.

Cheers!
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