TROY — A pound here, a pound there, and pretty soon you’re talking about making cars a whole lot lighter and more efficient — without compromising safety.

In Troy, a group of veteran mechanical engineers with decades of experience in making vehicles lighter is ready to help the auto industry take more weight out of cars.

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“We think we can take 50 or 60 pounds of weight out of the vehicle without adding too much cost,” said Dr. Mani Ayyakannu, who leads Indus Concepts & Engineering LLC. “Such weight reductions are a key part of the solution mix crucial to reaching the government-mandated 54 mpg fuel economy by 2025.”

Ayyakannu and his team offer plenty of evidence it can succeed at that effort, including more than half-a-dozen patents, including an all-aluminum knee bolster, a lightweight product that helps improve occupant protection in crashes.

The bolster can be built with multiple crumple cells, making it highly “tunable” for customization to individual vehicle designs and various size occupants. And that’s only one of the many Indus products.

“We have great ideas for taking the weight out of cars, backed up by advanced computer simulations,” Ayyakannu said. “For example, the auto industry has been focused on making ‘one-piece’ designs as opposed to a ‘multiple-piece assembly.’ What we are finding is that with the ‘multiple-piece assembly’ approach executed our way, we can actually take more weight out. We call it the LISA approach, where LISA stands for Lightweight Integral Structures for Automobiles.”

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Added Latha Subbiah, Indus’ business and marketing manager: “Also, we have business relationships with a network of manufacturers, mostly in the Midwest, who can make these innovative products at attractive prices. This is something very few engineering companies do.”

Founded in 1998, Indus has demonstrated expertise and a successful track record in providing product design, computer-aided engineering and validation support. Typical automotive applications developed include bumpers, knee bolsters, interior upper trim, instrument panel trim, instrument panel cross-car beams, body structures, door structures, vehicle frames, seating structures, consoles, steering columns, steering wheels, and load floors.

Indus engineers have also been involved in several advanced research efforts funded by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration in the areas of advanced integrated safety seats, pickup truck and SUV rollover crashworthiness, frontal crash dummy development and heavy truck to car force mitigation in frontal crashes.

For information on how Indus Concepts & Engineering can help you, visit or

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Note: This Spotlight was sponsored by Indus Concepts. To find out how you can sponsor content in the Spotlight, contact Martin Wilke at (248) 327-2761 or