Royal Enfield, one of the oldest of allmotorcycle manufacturers, has started commercial production of two wheelers from their new plant in Oragadam, Tamil Nadu. Covering an area of 50 acres, Oragadam is the second manufacturing facility for the company in India. In the first phase, the plant will have an installed production capacity of 150,000 units. The company has invested Rs. 150 crore to produce the entire range of Royal Enfield motorcycles at this plant.
After the first motorcycle rolled out from the new Oragadam plant, Siddhartha Lal, Managing Director (MD) and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Eicher Motors Ltd. said, “At Royal Enfield we have recorded a major milestone today with this plant at Oragadam becoming operational. Royal Enfield has witnessed a huge surge in demand in the recent past, recording a growth of over 50% for each of the last two years. We have been extremely successful in stretching the capacity of our existing 60 year old plant to record levels – achieving production of over 12,000 motorcycles in the month of March 2013. Yet the demand for our motorcycles has continued to outpace the supply. Therefore we have conceived of this new facility on a much larger tract of land and created a master-plan that can take the eventual production here to over 500,000 per year. With the speedy execution of the first phase of the plan, we have revised our production target upwards in 2013 – to 175,000 motorcycles from both plants. However, even as we start commercial production today, we have already begun working on the second phase of expansion at Oragadam, which will further increase the production capacity to 250,000 motorcycles in 2014. With this new facility, we now have the ability to scale our production quantity quickly in response to market demand.”
“This new plant has been benchmarked to achieve the highest level of quality and productivity. We have re-tooled many of the parts that make up our motorcycles – so that they are of exacting accuracy and finish”, he further added.
With respect to the Royal Enfield’s future plans, Siddhartha explained that the expansion was an important step to ensure that the company is able to meet the domestic and international demand. New models and dealerships are being added all across the country. Investment in branding and distribution are also being increased. Royal Enfield aims to be a major player in the international arena as well, by designing new products, especially for the global market. With this, the company will be on track to get to the top of the mid-size motorcycle segment.
Construction of the Oragadam plant was completed within a record time of 44 months. Apart from increasing the production capacity, this new plant will also help in cutting down the total cost of production, as greater levels of automation technologies are being used here. At the same time, the human craftsmanship that has been the pillar of success for Enfield motorcycles will be adequately used.
In terms of automation, a new CED paint shop, which can paint 600 motorcycles in a day, has been fitted in the plant. For improving consistency and to reduce wastage levels, a robotic painting system and powder coating system have been added. Once again, the human craftsmanship continues with the employment of craftsmen for doing pin-striping.
At the vehicle assembly line, installations such as ergonomic assembly work stations and torque controlled tools with feedback device have been made, This high quality assembly line has the capability of handling one motorcycle per minute. Control on usage of materials and on review mechanisms has been enhanced. Apart from the various state-of-the-art equipment, many chassis dynamometers and a 1.4 km test track allows the vehicles to b extensively tested before being despatched for their affectionate owners.
Environment sustainability was an important factor for Royal Enfield, for the establishment of this plant. Reduction of effluent generation at source and zero liquid discharge system of treatment are some of the initiatives. Conservation of electricity, water and fuel has been given a lot of importance. During construction of the building, ideal quantities of steel, concrete and cement have been used.
Such detailing to the use of technology will definitely ensure that the legacy of Royal Enfield continues in the country for many years to come. In addition, through its expansion plans, the company will also make its presence felt in the international motorcycle market.