The signal timer is off to its last 10 seconds, the light is set to turn green from red and you can finally zip away. The engine on the overpowering BEST bus comes to life on your right, the SUV behind you also lets out a roar and all the throttles to your left are pumping harder than ever. The light turns green and they’re off, except for you, the vehicles behind are coming too close for comfort, the ones you’re blocking are incessantly honking away. All this, while you’re stuck with a cranking engine that just won’t budge.
Be it a rickety autorickshaw or a humble two-wheeler, we’ve all witnessed this scene at a traffic signal. There’s one Indian company that is busy perfecting what it calls an integrator starter generator (ISG) that would eliminate such cold start-up issues for two and three-wheelers. Pune-based Sedemac Mechatronics that specialises in developing power train controls for engines has deployed a few of these units at leading Indian OEMs on a trial basis.
Set up in July 2007, this automotive company was founded in an IIT-Bombay lab by a visionary professor and three motivated mechanical engineering students who wanted to build a company with a distinct technology position. Shashikant Suryanarayanan, associate professor at IIT-Bombay’s mechanical engineering department and the chairman at Sedemac simplifies their product focus for the benefit of a layman, “Power train refers to the parts between the point of production of power and its consumption. Thus, in a vehicle, a power train is anything that goes from an engine to its wheels and we build controls for such power trains.” The company derives its name from the initial syllables from each word of the operating principles of mechatronics – separating decision-making from actuation.
Having secured a PhD from University of California, Berkeley and worked in the United States for six years including a stint at General Electric, Suryanarayanan, was beckoned to his homeland by the sheer feeling of what he calls “idealism” and the intention to build a strong controls labs at one of the IITs. And that is exactly what attracted his three potential co-founders – Amit Dixit, Manish Sharma and Pushkaraj Panse who found their