Accepting No Limits

Posted by Mahindra Remembers with On 28-May 2015

Great teamwork can overcome even the most intricate and complicated task. Behind every success story you will find numerous helping hands, which work cohesively to achieve the work targeted. Hence, it goes without saying, that every hardworking team requires an equally involved and experienced leader.

MES was working on a mammoth long-term project on ‘Circuit Diagrams’. This involved the preparation of circuit manuals for all models of Navistar. Navistar had introduced SCR technology for its models, which required circuit diagram manuals for all models to be created within a restricted time period and with a limited amount of resources.

To accomplish this Circuit diagram, a team of 12 people was formed, with Swapnali Kawte as the lead engineer. Swapnali has been working with MES, since August 2008. She has profound knowledge about systems and is equipped with remarkable leadership skills.

This task was certainly a tall order. Undoubtedly, it had to be delivered on time with quality, but with 80% team having no prior experience, this was definitely no mean feat. Basic knowledge of electrical system was imperative as well as exhaustive study and data preparation.

Since all resources were new to this project, it was initially tough to get the ball rolling. After putting a plan in place, the team was assigned different subtasks. They were introduced to the circuit diagram process and standards to be followed while preparing the manual. An understanding of automotive systems was imparted on them.

Swapnali constantly provided on-the- job training to her team. They worked simultaneously on 4 manuals. Typically, one manual would have taken months to complete, but her team completed four manuals within three months.

By having patience and continuous interaction with the team, Swapnali helped them to grasp things rapidly. Not only were they able to deliver all the manuals on time, but they also received outstanding feedback from Navistar for the good work. Swapnali and her team also initiated the ‘Circuit Diagram Productivity Improvement’ activity. The aim of this activity was to improve the quality, timeline and quick turnover.

Due to her capability of ‘Accepting No Limits,’ Swapnali managed to triumph. A good leader and an amazing team are indisputably, the prerequisite to great success.


Posted by Mahindra Remembers with On 28-May 2015

ahindra CIE Automotive Ltd., Chakan has always been a preferred supplier in crankshafts and knuckles. They possess state of the art technology, with a variety of machining operations that are critical in crankshaft grinding operations.

Mr. Jyotiram Deshmukh, has been a part of Mahindra CIE since 2011, working in the MCD maintenance department. In MCD, the process of material handling is very unique, as each machine has an independent hoist and girder system capacity of 125 to 250kgs. These hoists were used to load and unload components on to the machine, and also for gauging purposes. These hoists were used on a 24hrs basis, daily for 26 days- hence underlining their importance.


The hoists worked on control card technology, specially designed for heavy duty purposes. There was a disadvantage to this technology as due to frequent power fluctuations, these cards were getting damaged. They couldn’t be repaired and their replacement would affect the hoists. The maintenance cost rose as a result, as these cards were unique and specially designed.

Mr. Deshmukh took up this issue, and decided to use his skills, knowledge and experience to the test. He used ‘Alternative Thinking’ and revisited the basic concepts of electronics, implemented it on a typical application.

He tested contactor technology on the hoists by making a circuit. This circuit was designed in such a manner, so as to handle power fluctuations without damaging the hoist’s internal parts. The test proved to sustain the rigorous use of its application. This circuit could support the application on a twenty four basis resulting into lower maintenance cost and downtime.

This achievement resulted in a cost saving of rupees 24000/- per card and bringing maintenance to an all-time low. Hence, Mr. Deshmukh exhibited ‘Alternative Thinking’ by finding a valuable solution to the problem. Kudos to the Mahindra CIE team!

Posted by V V RAGHAVAN with V V RAGHAVAN , On 5-Jan 2015

I joined M&M as a graduate engineer trainee on 14th September 1964 & was in machine shop till 1986. I was transferred to materials department as General Manager in that year. The materials team was simply superb & I was so eager to learn the nuances of the commercial aspects of transactions such as excise duty, sales tax etc. to make good savings for the company. After a year or two later, there came an announcement in papers that the truckers were going on strike as Government wanted the drivers to have some educational qualifications compulsory to handle perhaps documents properly. Most of the drivers employed by transporters never had any schooling at all.  So truckers were up in arms as talks with government failed. So a big Damocles Sword was hanging over our head on how to carry on production as in this strike, both sides were determined to “teach the other a lesson”.

                    We used to have a weekly session of sharing each one’s best practices & that helped executives to learn from each other on to do continuous improvements. Those days were such that vendors like MICO used to dictate what supply will be effected & when. One can at the most request them to make small changes [small change as perceived by us] like our need for 444 tractor pumps instead of 275 tractor pumps because of sudden demand etc. They will give what they wanted to give. Our officer in charge of MICO, Mr. Deshpande, used to know all the officers in the forward supply chain including the junior officers at the dispatch section of MICO, that with a phone call, he managed the changes to the schedule well. He understood the dynamics of the above team & manage their inter personal equations to get what he wanted. During our weekly meetings, such things were shared so that others can use these effectively wherever applicable.

                     During our meeting, I urged all of them that come what may, our production line should not come to a stand-still.  Immediately Mr. Sakhalkar, who was our best man at the computer dug out the shortages executive wise & we discussed what can be done. Quite a few were clear that they will get by train. Some vendors were in MIDC or other industrial areas in & around Mumbai city  & the transporters were guarding this area so as not to allow finished goods to be taken out thus to make their strike successful.  So some executives went at odd hours taking our company jeeps late in the evening when the strikers’ vigilance comes down & collected the material. Some other vendors from Vasai & nearer places brought material by bullock cart & we had to tell security to allow them as “they allow only trucks “. Another day, a bus turned up at the gate- full of crankshafts from Netalkar industries, Belgaum as sending by bus was faster. This bus after dropping all passengers was directed by one of our executive on how to come to Kandivli plant. Such was the team spirit that not one tractor was made less & even Mr. Devasia was wondering how we were managing to get material even as Auto division had come to a standstill quite a few days before.

                      It was such a pleasure working against the odds mainly because of noble intentions combined with fine team spirit of sharing knowledge & skills which continues to guide all executives even today. There are many more interesting ones & I will add them one by one.

Posted by Mahindra Remembers with On 10-Jun 2014

What do Alexander Graham Bell, Thomas Edison and other great innovators have in common? The answer is simple; their inventions offered people products even before they knew that they needed them. A team of enterprising individuals from the Aftermarket sector at Mahindra’s were blessed with the vision to forecast trends and gauge what the public really needs. The team consisted of Karthick Babu, B. Ganesh Kumar and G. Praveen Kumar.

Used car trade in India has immense potential however it is highly fragmented and unorganized. There is no standardized used car vehicle pricing index available. This complicates the entire process as there is ambiguity in arriving at the final vehicle price thus affecting transactions between the buyers and sellers of used cars. The lack of uniformity in this process proved to be an inspiration to the team and served as a catalyst to ignite the passion within them to come up with something innovative.

The idea was to bring all this scattered data together on a single platform to make it easily accessible and available for the customer. Thus the Indian Blue Book was conceived in the year 2009. The team put in a lot of effort and hard work into gathering used car transaction data from several reliable sources. Their hard work paid off and the website was launched in January 2012 which featured an amalgamation of all the required information.

Thus by foraying into an untouched terrain the team ‘Accepted No Limits’ and managed to bring about a change in the way customers, dealers, financiers and manufacturers can view the latest price development.

Posted by Mahindra Remembers with On 10-Jun 2014

This story is of transformation of a small satellite unit of the farm division at Rudrapur, which rolled out its first tractor on March 28, 2000.

Though the initial journey consisted of small opportunities which came with a production schedule of 5 tractors per shift per day, the young team faced their real challenge in 2005.

The challenge was to ramp up the production with a “Lean & Frugal mindset” with land availability of just 8 acres along with poor availability of skilled manpower and infrastructure . The team took the challenge as an opportunity and set up facilities for engine and transmission assembly, raising the production from 5 tractors per shift per day to 60 tractors per shift per day which resulted in an increased overhead of ` 27,000/-per tractor. The paint shop was set up inside the plant through a “Way of Collaboration”.

When demand increased, the 3rd shift was started in March 2007, and today it is the first Automobile Company in both India and abroad to operate the assembly process in this manner.

Rudrapur is the only plant in the world to challenge the industry benchmark of 3.5 to 5 mph and improve the pace of work which resulted in a man-day’s saving of INR 16700 and an overall cost saving of INR 70 lacs.

With a TQM way of working, the plant collaboratively worked together with other plants in FES and won the JQM Award, Platinum award of India for Manufacturing Excellence, for proving its excellence through TPM.

Over the years, Rudrapur plant has not only set industry benchmarks and ensured profitability but also generated more employment opportunities and contributed to the infrastructure development of the town.

Rudrapur is an example of creating a way out when all routes are blocked!

Posted by Mahindra Remembers with On 10-Jun 2014

Driven by an identified market need in the US, the integrated cabin tractor was developed in collaboration with suppliers and customers.

The procurement of product parts is based on a global sourcing model for cost competitiveness. In order to ensure that customers get the best quality, we have developed our own Cabin Electrical Test Rig. It is installed at the supplier's premises, and it ensures the highest quality and safety standards in the cabin's products.

We also used the Cold Chamber testing to check the performance of our vehicles, and they passed the test. During transport, the tractors are fitted with steel wheels so that the space in shipping containers could be economized.

Customer feedback has been very encouraging---the product offers superior comfort, great cabin visibility, operating ease, good fuel efficiency, and great power.

The roads into the US market have been smooth, and we have established credibility for our products and brand. It's not every day that an Indian company makes a manufacturing giant like John Deere sit up and notice.

Posted by Mahindra Remembers with On 10-Jun 2014

“You see things; and you say, 'Why?' But I dream things that never were; and I say, 'Why not?” - George Bernard Shaw

The World Advanced Vehicle Expedition (WAVE) is a rally, from Paris to Prague, organized by Mr. Louis Palmer. It ranges across eight countries, covering a distance of 2963km over 30 cities within 15 days.

Under the leadership of Mr. Vinay Kumar T from the CCC Department, the WAVE electric vehicle was created for this rally by Mr. Nagendra Babu, a specialist in iEMS and CAN protocol development, from R&D and Mr. Deepak Bondaday, a support engineer, from CCC.

Determined as they were and ‘Accepting No Limits’, they took up the challenge at hand and went on to develop an EV that could run longer distances, typically in the 180km range, while accommodating two people and their luggage. It possessed the power required to overcome different roads at the speed of 104kmph in motorways and on highways in Europe and in India whilst overtaking at higher speeds with a charge time of just 2.7hrs.

A competent team in place, the Wave vehicle started off at Paris on 11th September and without encountering any failures during driving or charging, it crossed the finish line at Prague on 25th September. The WAVE EV was, undoubtedly, on the road to Rise, being ranked 2nd in Usability, 3rd in Efficiency and Easy Parking, and 4th in Range, Acceleration and Charging, a victory of sorts. Team WAVE has made us proud!

Posted by Mahindra Remembers with On 10-Jun 2014

The journey of Bolero, that started four years ago, seemed unachievable at the onset. It started off with an idea of making the highest selling UV, in a 3-wheeler plant, with a team that had an average experience of 2.5 years and no experience in four-wheeler automobile manufacturing. This unanticipated challenge, faced back in 2008, was turned into an opportunity by the Bolero team as they possessed a unique trait of ‘Accepting No Limits’.

The team started from scratch by learning assembly intricacies, engineering competencies, and building up required resources and systems. The existing infrastructure of Champion Line was modified to accommodate the Bolero.

In a month, all hurdles were overcome to build the first Bolero. It took another month to shift the whole assembly process to the conveyor, without disrupting the Champion production. They used concurrent engineering to manufacture the target of 500 Boleros. One model -Bolero DI, was increased to a mix of 4 different models -DI, SLX, SLE and Longer.

Every quarter, higher volumes were targeted to reach 4000 Boleros per month, adhering to all norms while maintaining low costs. So impactful was the performance, that the AFS President quoted this achievement as one of the biggest success stories in the History of M&M.

Swift decision making, trust, and support from the top management have kept fuelling the fire of ambition, making way for the impossible. Says the team, "No, we are not done yet…we are dreaming of 5000 a month! We are not only a success story of the past; we are hungry for more..."

Posted by Mahindra Remembers with On 10-Jun 2014

The Mahindra Centuro captivated the attention and interest of many, since it’s launch. While Centuro became the star overnight and generated an instantaneous buzz, there were also few roadblocks along the way. With high demand and low supply, unwillingly, this situation gave rise to a few irate customers. However, the Two-Wheelers team pulled a rabbit out of the hat when they managed to deliver 25 Mahindra Centuro’s.

Since there was a delay in delivering the bikes to the owners by 15 days, the team wanted to go the extra mile. They chose to organize a small event in order to make it a memorable day for all. With only three days from the day they received the consignment till the date of the event, this was no mean feat. Teamwork, meticulous planning and timely action helped them to plan the course of action.

The 25 customers were invited to Standard Automotive (the dealer). They ensured pre-delivery inspection for all bikes, before they were handed over. A small set-up was created to display and deliver the newly-launched Mahindra Centuro. All the customers were called on stage and personally handed over their Centuro-keys in front of a cheering audience. As camera flashes set-off, the customers were asked to speak a few words about the bike, on the joyous occasion. A few customers spoke about regretting the fact that they didn’t own this bike before. The key reason for this revelation was the advantage of having a ‘Theft Key,’ that the Centuro boasted. This would have prevented losing bikes.

A Mahindra Centuro was placed outside the showroom, for display. Taking advantage of the event, a presentation and a free test ride of the Centuro was arranged for. The location of the event was of prime importance too. It was located in a high traffic zone, thus arresting peoples’ attention as soon as the traffic lights turned red. This guaranteed many fleeting glances towards the Centuro!

On the same day, the team received four new bookings! The team comprising Rajiv Gurnani- ZBM, Nitin Asthana- ZMM, Rakshit Ra- CBM, Awadhesh Singh- ASM, Anil Parmar- SE, Shobhit Jaiswal- Sales Offices, Navneet Gupta- RE and the entire team of Dealer Standard Automotive left no stone unturned. They ‘Accepted No Limits’ when it came to ‘customer satisfaction.’

Posted by Mahindra Remembers with On 10-Jun 2014

In 2005, the capacity of Mahindra Rudrapur plant was five tractors per day per shift. The team decided to maximize the production first to ensure adequate opportunities. The small size of the land, poor infrastructure, and non-availability of trained employees were a few challenges.

The team set up facilities of engine and transmission assembly and raised the capacity to 60 tractors per day per shift. This resulted in savings of Rs. 27000 per tractor. Next, they planned a machine shop where the challenge was to fit machines into a small plant. They also set up the paint shop inside the plant. Demand was rising, and it was time to consider the 3rd shift. Today, we are the first manufacturing company in India and abroad to operate assembly in the 3rd shift.

The improved production process has increased efficiency from 3.5 mph to 5 mph, which again made us the only manufacturing plant in the world to move at such a pace.

The capacity of the plant rose from 60 to 183 tractors per day (3 shifts). With regard to quality, the plant is both Deming and JQM certified. The Rudrapur plant has set industry benchmarks and ensured profitability too.

Posted by Mahindra Remembers with On 10-Jun 2014

The R & D engine, CDMA and STA team faced the challenge of developing low-cost BS3 and BS4 emissions for the high-volume Motor Development International (MDI) technology engines. Their target was to reduce cost and increase efficiency.

The conventional approach of adding another Common Rail platform would be ineffective for the BS4 emission engines, would involve a huge cost, and would limit the sales of MDI to only non-metro cities.

The team came up with a novel approach - the Unit Pump Common Rail (UPCR) that had a low-cost fuel injection system, could be adjusted externally, and had all features of the common rail. For the first time, the common rail could be used for all four cylinder engines such as the Bolero, the Scorpio, the BMT, and the LCV. The different approach pursued by the team for fitting the Cam Box with the Power Factor pump was a time and cost saver.

The results were outstanding. The Cam Box, a unique drive for the UPCR pump, was patented in India as ‘Unit Pump Drive Mechanism for Common Rail Diesel Engine: 2703/MUM/2010.’ There were huge savings in the manufacturing costs, and the new solution opened up sales avenues in A Category metros - a big potential for the organisation.

These new innovations provided the customers a better fuel efficiency, NVH (Noise Vibration Harness), a solid MDI base that was recognised and applauded around the world, and overall, a better drive.
The team deserves applause for innovation and thinking out of the box!

Posted by Mahindra Remembers with On 10-Jun 2014

In 2008, the Fine Blanking shop faced severe capacity constraints. The production was 2000 pieces per shift on an average, with the highest production of 3,50,436 per month; whereas the requirement was for 4,15,000 per month. The team was unable to complete the schedule and until 2007 new orders were not being accepted.

The shop had two fine blanking machines but they could not be utilized to increase production and meet spiralling customer orders as the output was not consistent.

Initially, they thought of purchasing a new fine blanking machine but, decided to initiate various improvements by using DMAIC cycle.

Complete fine blanking tools were upgraded by standardizing tool materials, improving alignment of dies and punches, standardizing pillar sets, H.T cycles modifications and keeping standby tools. Fine blanking machine breakdown was reduced by providing auto lubrication, rectification of feeder and pressure variation problems, and by improving the efficiency of the chiller.

With these improvements, the average productivity improved from 2,000 pieces to 3,000 pieces per shift. The highest ever production of 5, 00,057 pieces was achieved in July 2009, which sufficiently met customer demand.

The team worked collaboratively and found out of the box solutions to solve the problem. They met the customer demand and also avoided the Rs.8 crore expenditure of a new fine blanking machine.