Seminar on German Plastics Technology for Automotive Industry

Excerpt: THE 9th edition of the Joint VDMA – OPPI International Seminar was held on 6th and 7th February 2019 at Feathers Hotel, Chennai.

THE 9th edition of the Joint VDMA – OPPI International Seminar was held on 6th and 7th February 2019 at Feathers Hotel, Chennai. The theme of the Seminar was – “German Plastics Technology for Automotive Industry”.

The guests of honour at the inauguration ceremony were – H.E. Karin Stoll, Consul General for Germany in Chennai; Mr. Ralf Mungenast, Vice President , Supplier Management and Logistics, Daimler Commercial Vehicles Pvt. Ltd. and SM Kumar, Head – R & D, Sundaram Auto Components Limited.

Mr. Dharmendra Gandhi, President, OPPI in his welcome address extended a warm welcome to the guests and delegates from the nook and corner of India, who attended the 9th edition of Indo- German International Seminar organized by Organization of Plastics Processors of India and The German Plastics And Rubber Machinery Association within VDMA.

While introducing H.E. Karin Stoll, Consul General for Germany in Chennai, Mr. Dharmendra Gandhi said Her Excellency joined German Federal Foreign Office in 1990. She was posted in the German Embassies in Pretoria, Kampala, New Delhi and Rome. She also served as Head of Division, Department for International Order, United Nations and Arms Control.

“Mr. Ralf Mungenast, vice president, Supplier Management & Logistics, Daimler India Commercial Vehicles Pvt. Ltd. has 39 years of experience at the Daimler AG in the Plants – Gaggenau, Woerth, Germersheim, Stuttgart, Sindelfingen, South Africa, Indonesia & India. Started his career at Daimler at the Gaggenau plant in 1979. Since 2002, he has held various top management positions in Mercedes Benz Cars Global Supply Chain. In 2017 Mr. Mungenast joined DICV as Vice President, “Supplier Management & Logistics”. said Mr. Dharmendra Gandhi while introducing Mr. Ralf Mungenast.

He also introduced Mr. S. M. Kumar, Head – Research and Development, Sundaram Auto Components Limited.

Complimenting VDMA, Mr. Dharmendra Gandhi said – “I must admit that these Eight Seminars were highly successful because of excellent co-ordination, practical and pragmatic approach of VDMA. We will constantly endeavor to improve the quality and level of the seminars we conduct jointly with VDMA”.

Mrs. Ina Vettkötter, Project Manager – Communication, VDMA Frankfurt, Germany stated “Many millions of tons of plastics are processed into useful products worldwide every year.

After their use, however, many plastic products are often not disposed of properly but simply thrown into the countryside, damaging the environment and the image of the material. The consequences are quite obvious: bans, restrictions, quotas demanded for the use of recycled materials. This is what you can see in many countries worldwide. That might not only have a strong impact on the packaging industry but on all customer branches where plastics parts or products play a major role. So, we are all called upon to make the plastics industry fit for the future!”

Mrs. Ina Vettkötter further stated – “The concept of the circular economy shows how plastic waste can be sensibly recycled. Plastic waste is collected and recycled and has a second – or even third –life in new products. How it works, we will see at our VDMA Circular Economy Pavilion at K 2019 in October. All of you are cordially invited to join us and our member companies in Düsseldorf, Germany”.

Mr. S. M. Kumar, Head R & D, Sundaram Auto Components Limited in his address stated – “We are in an ever changing market. Market – customers are constantly evolving and will evolve – agility is key for success. With all these – there is great buzz in the industry that of entry of Electric vechicle. We all know that fossil fuel is not sustainable and we need to come out of it. We need to find ways of reducing emission. In a recent study published by VDMA Germany gave some statistics on emission”.

So the key inference is that –'source matters and not the form of energy'

Mr. S. M. Kumar summarized the Marketing requirements as given below:-

  • Don't wait for the Change to happen – but be the change (Create the change and make it happen).
  • Look for game changers – be agile.
  • Don't work against technology – be the part of it.
  • Implement transformative technologies and concepts to make our sector 'stay'.

Mr. Ralf Mungenast made a powerpoint presentation covering the following topics:-

  • Daimler – Milestones; Established CV manufacturer that covers the entire automotive value chain.
  • Made in India – For India, For the World.
  • Green Production efforts at DICV.
  • Production Portfolio – Bharat Benz; Bharat Benz Sales and Service Network.
  • Exports to 50 Countries – More than 20,000 units delivered since 2013.
  • Start of Vehicle KD kit exports in 2016 to Kenya, followed by South Africa and Indonesia in 2017; Exports of parts to Daimler Units Worldwide.
  • Quality – Rigorous testing of products around the globe under real – world conditions.
  • What is the future of Sustainable Mobility; A road map of Mobility – 2015 – 2030; Sustainable Mobility – synergy of technology and economics:-

o Plastic in the Media.

o Benefits in Automotive Applications.

H.E. Karin Stoll, Consul General for Germany in Chennai talked about perspective and the Indo German context in broader sense. She said – “The bilateral relations between India and Germany are very densely knit. Germany is the biggest trade partner of India in the European Union and the sixth most important trading partner of India worldwide. 1.700 German companies are operating in India and the numbers are still rising. in the last 3 years alone, some 120 German companies have started operations in India. The Indo – German Chamber of Commerce brings together more than 7,000 German and Indian companies. In Tamilnadu alone over 130 companies create some 25,000 jobs. Still, we want to make our partnership even more fruitful and have set up a Joint Working Committee last year between the Government of Tamilnadu, the Consulate General of Germany and the Indo – German Chamber of Commerce. making business easier and shorten the time to start operations will attract further investment. This complements our efforts on the Union ministry level where we had the Indo German Automobile Working group, established in 2009”.

Speaking about the Indian Automotive Industry, Ms. Karin Stoll said - The Indian Automobile industry has had a long history of collaboration with Germany; the commanding position Germany enjoys in the automotive sector is all well known to leaders of Indian Industry. Even today the automotive sector is still the backbone industry in Germany. We are recognized worldwide for our high tech products and the excellence in engineering. German cars embody highly cherished values of innovation, reliability, safety and design. The country's world–class R & D infrastructure – one third of global automotive R & D spending is incurred by German OEMs – complete industry value chain integration, and highly qualified workforce create an Internationally peerless automotive environment.

In the 5 Technical Sessions that followed 12 presentations were given by experts. While proposing vote of thanks Mr. Deepak Lawale, Secretary General, Organization of Plastics Processors of India thanked sponsors, delegates and the speakers.