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Home arrow News arrow Automotive arrow Fiat starts production of Linea at its Ranjangaon Plant
Fiat starts production of Linea at its Ranjangaon Plant Print E-mail
Written by Anand   
Monday, 24 November 2008
The body shop, assembly shop and the state-of-the-art powertrain plant have commenced operations

Ranjangaon: Fiat India Automobiles Ltd, one of country’s leading car makers, has commenced the production of Linea at its Ranjangaon plant located near Pune in Maharashtra. Linea, the much-awaited sedan from Fiat’s stable will grace the Indian roads shortly. The start of production of the flagship car also signifies the progress of Fiat’s facility which is an industrial Joint Venture with Tata Motors Ltd. The 200 acre facility now has a completely equipped body shop, assembly line, a paint shop which is to be commissioned shortly and the Powertrain Plant. 

Export of Palio also initiated
Linea is a C plus segment sedan which was launched internationally in May 2007 in Istanbul, after which it met with great success in all markets where it is present. An elegantly functional car, with a strong Italian imprint, it will be equipped with features found in higher segment cars. The launch of Linea will be followed by the Grande Punto, a successful hatchback from Fiat’s stable, which will also be manufactured from the Ranjangaon facility. The Grande Punto is a top seller in Europe and has an annual sales of about 3, 50,000.

Commercial launch for the mid-sized sedan slated for next month

The company, Fiat India Automobiles Ltd, recently signed a MoU with the Government of Maharashtra to enhance the capacities at the plant. Apart from manufacturing of Fiat and Tata cars, the facility will also produce powertrain engines. The plant, which falls in taluka Shirur, district Pune, in its full capacity will produce up to 2, 00,000 cars, 3, 00,000 engines and 3, 00,000 parts & accessories. 
Mr. Rajeev Kapoor, CEO, Fiat India Automobiles Ltd added, “The start of production of Linea is an important milestone for us and is a significant step in fulfilling the promise we had made to at the Auto Expo in New Delhi earlier this year. The plant has made progress as planned and all the facilities are set to move into top gear from hereon. We have also commenced export activity from the plant and would continue to do so to utilise the capacities at the plant.” Exports of the 1.2 Palio petrol both the AC and non-AC variants have commenced. The 1.2 Palio petrol is being exported to South Africa and the company will look at prospective right hand drive markets for export of other products. The products exported from the Ranjangaon plant will include versions of the Palio, Linea and Grande Punto. FIAL also supplies automobile components to other Fiat facilities.

Plant facilities Update

Body Shop: All variants of Linea and Grande Punto are planned to be manufactured from the body shop.  The facility uses roller skid mechanism for body transfer and has 19 robots in all. While two of these robots are Nachi make, the rest are ABB. 

The 19 robots are utilized for: Hemming- 6 robots, Spot welding- 10 robots, Tucker pin welding – 2 robots, Body handling- 1 robots

The plant is also equipped with a suspension shop adjoining to the body shop. Suspension shop has 18 robots, all of which are ABB make. 
These 18 robots are utilized for: Spot welding- 1 robot, Arc welding- 17 robots

The shop has a WBS (white body storage) with a capacity of 96 bodies. PLC (which uses Ethernet) is used in a master-slave arrangement for effective implementation of the manufacturing process. Engines and transmissions are coupled in the trimming plant, vehicle specific components are fitted and complete powertrains are delivered on JIT basis to the customers.

Assembly Shop: The assembly shop is designed to assemble Linea, Grande Punto and Tata X1 sedan. The assembly line is installed by Genix Automation from Korea. Painted bodies are received on Skid Conveyors from paint shop and assembled on slat and power & free conveyors. Front and rear suspensions are supplied through conveyor and marriage to car is done on the decking conveyor. Doors are dismantled and assembled on P&F conveyors. Sub-Assemblies like front suspension, rear suspension, dashboards, bumpers; etc are done separately and assembled on to the cars. Glass sealant application is by ABB robots. Seats and tyres are supplied to the main line on conveyors. Manipulators are used for assembling dashboard, seats, tyres and fuel tanks. End of line machines include BEP make Wheel alignment machine, Brake & roller machine and DSA make Electrical Diagnosis machine. The cars are also checked for water leakage. 
Powertrain Division: The powertrain division has the capacity to produce FPT – Fiat Powertrain Technologies products. The products from the plant will include engines SDE (Diesel 1248 cc 16 V), FIRE 8V (Petrol 1172 cc / 1368 cc), FIRE 16V (Petrol 1368 cc) and C510 transmission (5 speed 210 Nm)

The key features of powertrain plant are:

    * Flexibility in product and in volume. The deep usage of CNC machinery (~ 100%) and the specific design of the layout and building of the facility were focused to ensure possible future production increases.

    * Automation of all operations that have direct impact on quality and ergonomics.

Powertrain division includes engines, transmissions and trimming plants.

Engine quality is ensured by automatic in process verification stations, by leak test benches and final cold/hot test cells. The technology of cold test allows verifying in an environmentally friendly way (the engine is put in rotation by an electrical motor) the characteristics that influence engine performance as intake and exhaust pressure, timing and electrical connections, fuel pressure, frictions and many others.

Transmission plant has machining of shafts and gears with a facility for the heat treatment. Assembly line has in process controls with automatic stations and sophisticated noise test equipment. 

Fiat India Automobiles Limited (FIAL) is a 50-50 Industrial Joint Venture between Fiat Group Automobiles S. p. A., (Fiat) and Tata Motors Limited (Tata) originally incorporated on January 02, 1997.  The company employs about 1900 blue & white collar employees and is located at Ranjangaon in the Pune District of Maharashtra.  The definitive agreement of the Joint Venture was signed in October 11, 2007. The board of directors for this company comprises of five nominees each from Fiat and Tata.
The state-of-the-art facility at Ranjangaon, which is owned by FIAL is capable of producing 200,000 cars and 300,000 engines, besides 3,00,000 parts & accessories. Currently manufacturing the Palio Stile 1.1 and 1.6 models, premium Fiat cars such as the Linea and Grande Punto are expected to roll out soon in the C plus and B segment from the facility within 2008 and beginning of 2009 respectively. The facility also manufactures Fiat’s successful 1.3 litre Multijet diesel engines and 1.2 & 1.4 litre Fire gasoline engine.  Apart from Fiat cars, the facility will also produce Tata passenger and next generation cars. The plant is expected to provide direct and indirect employment to more than 4,000 people.

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