LEONI serves local customers and drives globalisation in India
Published by : Industrial Automation
Sandesh Bhagwat, Managing Director, LEONI Cable Solutions (India) Private Limited
Leoni established its presence in India in 2010 and has two manufacturing facilities. An eventful journey? How important is this market?
LEONI pursues the aim of becoming a leading solutions provider of intelligent systems for the megatrends of energy transmission and data management. To achieve this, the Company's offering in the future will also include intelligent cables, cable systems and components – which
are gaining importance particularly in the wake of digitalisation and the development of fail-safe systems with a high level of connectivity. LEONI strengthened its global production network by stepping into new emerging markets. The Indian facility started its production in 2013. It has a state-of-the-art manufacturing facility with German machines. India factory delivers several LEONI brand names such as Betaflam Solar DC Cables, AC Cables, Betatrans INX/ENX, Rolling stock cables, Betatherm, ICON Base, ICON Pro, ICON Bus, Instrumentation and Control Cables, Silitherm, Fire Performance Cables, field assemblies and Single Core Building and infrastructure cables. LEONI India manufacturers advanced cables that succeed in combining a comprehensive commitment to quality with versatile customer benefits. In this endeavour the internal go-no go checks are even more stringent than limiting values of the standard. As a result every customer receives a product which not just fulfils the standards but has better performance in many ways. There are 2 plants of LEONI at Pune. The one at Chakan is for Industrial business under Business Group Wire & Cable Solutions Division. The other plant located at Pirangut is for Wiring harness production mainly aimed for Automotive wire harness OEMs.
The company has several business verticals – what are these and what is the leading vertical?
LEONI India has three main verticals which cater to the following markets – Process Industry, Solar & Wind Power and Transportation. It also caters to cables for FibreOptics, Data Communication & Networks and Automation & Drives. The India factory delivers several LEONI brand names mentioned earlier.
IIoT is adding many special requirements today, especially in plant and process automation. What are the special cables developed for these requirements?
Our products give customers access to the entire competence of a worldwide corporation, focused to meet the needs of industrial applications. We supply our products and solutions where everything depends on maximum reliability, quality and durability, such as in oil and gas extraction and processing as well as in the petrochemical and energy production industries. LEONI products are to be found in many other applications such as the pulp and paper, cement and pharmaceutical industries and in waste management, in which processes have to run in a controlled way via sensors and actuators. For LEONI, reliability does not just mean keeping the right product available for you as a standard product or developing a project solution for you – it also means supplying it at precisely the agreed time. Safety, availability and reliability are vital in industrial plant engineering and energy provision. This is because these are fields in which unexpected breakdowns are very expensive and have critical effects on the environment. Leoni products under business unit Automation & Drives are focused on Industry 4.0 and IIoT. Under BU Datacom, we manufacture Ethernet based products that are used in Datacentres and also used in Industrial environment. Leoni is a true pioneer in leading technology space.
Today cables are required to handle humongous amounts of data, yet the sizes also need to be compact. How is this balance achieved?
We supply our products and solutions wherever everything depends on maximum reliability, quality and durability, such as in oil and gas extraction and processing as well as in the petrochemical and energy production industries. LEONI has Single Pair Ethernet (SPE) products and the company offers a solution which is standardised according to IEC 61156-x for trailing, torsion and robotic applications as well as special solutions that combine Single Pair Ethernet with various other elements (hybrid cables). The product portfolio includes two basic types with 22 AWG and 26 AWG conductors. The 22 AWG variant is characterised by exceptionally good loss. The cable with 26 AWG is particularly suitable if less space is available for the cable
What is the total range of cables manufactured? Any exports?
We believe that every cable is a promise, hence our solutions for industrial projects fulfil a wide variety of functions: measurement, control, monitoring, energy provision or structured data transmission. All of our cables are optimally designed to provide quality, reliability and security for years. Under the Make in India policy, LEONI serves local customers and drives globalisation in India by indigenising the products to enhance the product portfolio and manufacturing capabilities. LEONI has made its strong market presence in Australia, South East Asia, Middle East, Russia and African countries. Currently 32% of business is in exports markets and LEONI lives its reputation of ‘The Quality Connection’.
What are the special cables for Wind & Solar power segments?
With legacy of being an early starter in European markets, LEONI enjoys a good brand recall in the solar PV sphere. This combined along with periodic updates on the products to comply with the latest standards helps LEONI to support the customers following different range of products. Incidentally LEONI pioneered 1500 V product as per the EN 50618, back in 2014 and since then it has been distributing these products worldwide. LEONI India is one of such plants, which makes Ebeam cables. The factory in India started in 2016 and commissioned in 2018 has followed these standards and is able to meet the domestic and exports market in south Eastern part of the world. The major markets addressed by Leoni India are India, South East Asia and Australia.
LEONI products are based on globally accepted standards. BETAflam RV Flex 1500V EN50618 is the current product for the ground mount installations, as the old TUV 1000 V standard has ceased to exist. LEONI also offers products for applications such as rooftop and floating solar applications. LEONI BETAflam Solar cables are manufactured with the state-of-the-art electron beam process in Pune facility. All these products are tested and certified by TUV for EN 50618 with 25 years of life expectancy. LEONI products carry legacy of 25 plus years in operation globally. Customers and end users can expect safe and efficient operation of their solar plants with increased generation maximising the benefits with LEONI DC connectivity. LEONI offers complete range of products for solar plants including connector, DC string cables, DC main cables and AC cables. DC string cables are as per EN50618 connectors as per TUV & UL approval, for DC main and AC cables are as per IS 694, IS 7098 and EN 50618. A floating solar system is exposed to extreme weather conditions for life. Scorching heat in summer (high UV radiation) and frost temperatures in winter add to the material. Cables are particularly exposed to these weather influences. They often hang between modules, with a high chance of water contamination or are buried directly in the underground. These products are UV, ozone and hydrolysis resistant high temperature resistance, the materials do not melt or flow and has very long service life and good cold flexibility.
You have extensive experience of the industry – how do you see the transformation on Indian industry in this digital era?
Every year LEONI participates in customer specific events and provides training and seminars to give product brief to our customers and partners. LEONI is the market leader and has a good brand recall. The company celebrated 100 years of its existing in 2017 and is still carrying this label in all its MARCOM activities. Apart from the India specific website, LEONI India is now active in social media platforms such as LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter. LEONI works in BU concept and collectivity, and has a pillar in its strategy to build LEONI brand which is known for sustainability, reliability and innovation. LEONI believes in quality that can be seen and experienced. Translating the meaning of quality in appreciable terms can be made possible by way of demonstration. The Pune facility hosts a world class laboratory to test cables and offers the first-hand experience of quality to customers.
LEONI firmly believes that Customer service has to be world class and it is the only sustainable advantage. LEONI has a carefully crafted customer acquisition, retention and development strategy in place. We place high importance on systems and processes in order to manage customers. Worldwide LEONI operates on Sales Force Dot Com CRM platform. LEONI India uses CRM to ensure that customer acquisition, retention and development cycle is well managed. Customer life cycle management is an integral part of our success and to service customer demand we measure order to delivery performance. With use of SAP ERP customer demand management, forecasting, planning and resources are handled carefully in order to deliver a purchasing experience. LEONI has more than 80% customer retention rate due to these resources and the use of systems has helped it to grow over the years. We will shortly move into a digital platform to ease our customer order handling process which will provide digital interface.
How do you see the future plans for the company in India as the infrastructure segment is witnessing good growth?
LEONI is working on the infrastructure in Railway and Metro projects along with all Industrial Infrastructural projects in Steel, mining, Food processing, Pharmaceuticals and Automotive sector. The core of LEONI is to be at the cutting technological edge and to provide leading solutions to meet the increasing demand of connectivity faster, better and at lower cost of ownership. We believe that India is a longer term investment and this investment will support to bring sustainable, application based and environmentally-optimised solutions.