ASHOK LEYLAND was established in Madras as a subsidiary of British Leyland around 1950 for assembling Austin motor cars. From this beginning it grew to become one of the pioneers in truck manufacturing. In the mid seventies it expanded its manufacturing and set up factories in Hosur, Bhandara and Alwar in the late 1970's and '80's. Our firm was first selected to design their engine plant at Hosur in 1986, an association which continued for two decades during which all plant expansions and up-gradation work at all three manufacturing centres were carried out by us.
During this period we designed and managed the construction of a wide variety of buildings like machine shops, assembly shops, press shops, engine test facilities, R&D centres and other related social facilities aggregating to 205,000m2. The machine and assembly buildings were designed on a standard 20m x 20m grid and had concrete columns and a lattice and north light roofing system The external spaces were also planned on a 20m module to make expansions systematic and easy to plan.
At Ennore, their first plant in the fifties, entire shop superstructures were dismantled and rebuilt to new standards and design with only minimal disruption to production facilities. The new facilities included a large air conditioned engine assembly shop and major CNC machining facilities.
At Hosur the facilities included a chassis assembly line, an engine assembly and engine test facility consisting of thirty five cells, The cells were acoustically designed to reduce the noise level of around 110db inside the cell to around 60db in the control room. A tunnel connected all the test cells to the energy centre from which all utilities were fed to the test cells. The cells were also ventilated through this tunnel. A smaller group of test cells were designed for research and development where the utilities were mounted on the roof top of the test cells.
A cab panel press shop was established at Hosur phase II in 2002. This was designed to hold a line of eleven presses which would ultimately become an automated system. There is a 9m wide and 9m deep basement fitted with a conveyor that carries all the trimmed waste from the presses to a silo located in the scarp disposal area for further transportation. Since the first phase included only for presses – two of 1000T capacity and two of 850T, the remaining area of the tunnel was covered by pre-cast and post tensioned reinforced concrete 'T' sections to facilitate easy removal for the additions of presses in future. The building itself consists of two 35m wide bays-one being the press bay and the other a material stack area, and is 210m long. The super structure is a steel portal frame made up of castellated sections spanning 35m. The press bay is 16m high at the eaves and accommodates a 50T and a 15T crane. The presses were mounted on steel beams fabricated from steel plates 75mm to 100mm thick supported by the end walls of the basement. The support points of these beams were machined and the whole assembly after erection had a tolerance level less than 0.5mm.
AL's Technology Development Centre at Vellivoyalchavadi is the main R&D facility of Ashok Leyland. It was established at a site further north from their Ennore plant and comprises a test track, prototype development workshop, a vibration test facility and design offices. The design office is a two-storey building where the office areas are designed to be flexible spaces allowing for re-grouping of design teams to suit the ever changing requirements of research and development projects. To facilitate this all data and communications cables are run overhead above the false ceiling with drops to groups of tables that could easily be shifted or modified. The work area has several discussion tables in open format assigned to groups for quick access and also closed discussion rooms for more formal uses. There are two video conferencing facilities with data links to all the manufacturing centres and a state of the art auditorium to seat two hundred persons. The building is entered through a high central lobby with two design wings on each floor overlooking this space. The reception area leads directly to the auditorium via a split level passage with discussion spaces on either side. Two landscaped courtyards separate the design wings from the auditorium.
Client : Ashok Leyland Ltd.
Area : 205,000 sq m
Location : Hosur, Ennore, Alwar, Bhandara
Role : Design and Project Management