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Old 2nd October 2004, 17:58   #1
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Our special thanks to Team-BHPian Stratos and his father Mr. Deshpande who made this possible. For those of us present, it was a dream come true. Thanks pal!

This morning, Team-BHP visited the Mahindra Jeep manufacturing facility at Kandivali. It has been a longtime desire of mine to carefully understand what goes through a car manufacturing facility, what with so many people, machinery and parts having to come together for one automobile. *

Me, Stratos, Rtech, Aditya, Dippy and F50 met outside the Mahindra plant at sharp 9 a.m. Immediately on entry, we saw these army jeeps on display with massive off-road and sand tyres in the perfect shade of army green. Drool, drool and more drool. Very rarely does a vehicle look as purposeful as this machine.

Mahindra have implemented a new strategy and subsequent department called the IDAM : Integrated Design and Manufacturing. It is basically a wise effort to get the design team work hand in hand with the manufacturing, and together aim at cost and time efficiencies as well as better designs. In the IDAM facility, we saw a Mahindra Scorpio pick up truck, a Range rover, a Toyota Kijang (1 generation newer than our Qualis) and a Suzuki Vitara (old gen). These cars are used in the R&D activities.

The Mahindra Plant was put up almost 5 decades back, and spreads over 62 acres of property in Kandivali (a North Bombay suburb). Among other things, it plays host to the Jeep manufacturing facility and a tractor manufacturing unit. Every Mahindra Jeep, except for the Bolero and Scorpio which are put together in Igatpuri - Nasik, are made out here in Kandivali. That includes various army Jeeps, Campers, Invaders, pickups et all.

Obviously there are numerous sections spread all over the property in a logical and flowing manner. We first visit the plant where the engine blocks are made, and it was surely an eye-opener. From the formation of engine blocks to metal casting units to modern sand blasting techniques, we were shown and explained everything in the minutest of details. We saw numerous engines in the manfacturing stage, and its just a wonder as to how much of an effort goes into just one component of the car. We then went on to the engine assembly line where atleast 15 engines were present on the production line...each one stage ahead of the previous. It helped us understand the manner in which engines are put together

From there on, we proceeded to the gearbox section where the gears and rods were arranged in an almost jewellery like manner. They looked so beautiful and smelt even better. A chap from the gearbox department was explaining to the six of us, on the various intracacies and working relationships between the kazillion parts. Also present was a cut-section of a working gearbox, and the assembly line.

Team-BHP also visited the body shop today and were carefully shown through the entire process of converting regular sheets of metal into body parts. 100 ton pressure capacity stamping machines, which require the floor to be strengthened!! Body panels were lying all over the place in various shapes and colours! Welding technologies, fitment of different body sections, dyes etc. were all witnessed by us firsthand. Anyone would have been amazed at the number of coats that can be applied to a body before painting.

A majority of all the chassis are outsourced by the mahindras. C sections, box frames....they were stacked up like pencils in your stationery cupboard. Seriously. Another one on the list was an axle section, which we saw in a hurry cos no one could wait before walking along the....

Final assembly line!!! All of us were actually walking ON the assembly line...touching and feeling all the Jeeps as we progressed from stage to stage. The first thing that goes on to the mahindra jeeps is the fuel tank, then the suspension, axles, brakes, engine, transmission, body, electrical fittings and misc - In that order.

One thing that surprised us most was that every process was carried out with manual labour. The paint shop, assembly (body, gearbox, engine etc.), fitments...just about everything that a human is capable of. The only automated processes were the body stamping ones.

We started our factory tour at 9 a.m. and were done a little after noon. A full 3 hours plus of automotive nirvana. Our special thanks to Stratos' father who answered all our questions and enthusiatically (with pride) took us around the entire facility.

Sorry guys, strictly no photographs allowed.

GTO



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Old 2nd October 2004, 18:59   #2
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Hey GTo this visit must have helped u a lot u owning a mahindra classic man did u guys see any new ones
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Old 2nd October 2004, 19:55   #3
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Brings back memories, I was one of the team that did the manufacturing redesign for the tractor plant - lived in mumbai for six months. they were thinking of IDAM at the time but there was a lot to do in the manufacturing area.
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Old 2nd October 2004, 20:25   #4
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Hey GTO...no thanking business! Infact i am very happy, u people had a good time!!
PS: I have fallen in love with those Army BSF jeeps..!!!! oooooohhhlalala!!!
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Old 2nd October 2004, 20:32   #5
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GTO, I missed it only because of you. Who told you to give me so much of jobs for the weekend?
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Old 2nd October 2004, 20:35   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by [b
Quote[/b] (Rudra Sen @ Oct. 02 2004,19:02)]GTO, I missed it only because of you. Who told you to give me so much of jobs for the weekend?
hahah!!... i asked GTO abt u Rudra, he said the same thing!!!!
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Old 2nd October 2004, 22:17   #7
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Cool......that must`ve been a memorable visit for u guyz.
Nice detailing on the stuff too.
5 decades is a damn long time.
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Old 2nd October 2004, 22:22   #8
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Its serious fun guys.Cause when i had undergone a training with mahindra's at their nashik plant, even we were guided through the entire process of the making of the vehicles.Infact we had been to the R&D section and we also spotted the Scorpio then in complete disguise....Its serious learning and fun.
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Old 3rd October 2004, 00:14   #9
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Great report, looks like you surely enjoyed. Irony, I have been living 5 mins away from the plant for so many years, and haven't as much as set foot inside the gates.
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Old 3rd October 2004, 01:40   #10
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someones jealous of someone.
wow that was great.

satya
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Old 3rd October 2004, 03:43   #11
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ya surely you guys must have had a real good time! hey do they still make the classic? i didnt know that! i had seen them getting some of those army jeeps out and taking them for a test drive i guess. they looked super especially with those lights that point downwards(perpendicular to the road) i like that feature and that green colour.
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Old 3rd October 2004, 12:07   #12
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Guys ,

maan u had so much fun and came back loaded with lotsa stuff and knowledge abt the jeeps !!

maan , i had to miss it only becoz we dint have a holiday on the 2nd of october !!

but , i know that with u guys , i can also understand the process rite here !!

cheers
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Old 3rd October 2004, 13:53   #13
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id agree with ported head. stay 5 mins away from the factory myself. ive only had the privilege of checking out the whole tractor division, but that too about 8 years back. i know i missed out on something really special.
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Old 4th October 2004, 00:57   #14
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Well well well, some people really had loads of fun!

Gr8 stuff. So the question of the hour is to mr. administrator. Did they see your classic? What did they have to say about your beast?

Revv



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Old 4th October 2004, 01:48   #15
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had a chance to go to the merc factory but could not
but am trying now again
hopefully this time
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