Concrete equipment manufacturers are busy in introducing new products, backed by tailor made product support initiatives, amidst the mixed demand scenario. P.P. Basistha takes a look at the recent developments.
Concrete equipment manufacturers are expanding their products portfolio since early 2015 and the trend is well likely to continue across 2016. This is because, the overall market demand continues to show signs of mixed demand, resultantly making competition intense. However, there are certain signs of very positive indications for some companies. This is due to demand from upcoming concrete road projects, irrigation projects, modest pick up by new highrise construction and general infrastructure development projects. To take on new demand scenario, manufacturers are planning to deliver new solutions and services to reduce the operation costs and to increase productivity.
German concreting equipment major- Schwing Stetter India will strengthen product support for its very recently launched products- SLM 2200 self-loading concrete mixers, electric dozers for shortcrete concrete applications, M30Z 30 cum/hr batching plant, S43 localized truck mounted boom pumps, and SP 1807 concrete pumps-new designed stationery pumps for ease of maintenance. The company has also introduced Self loading Mixers SLM 2200, Concrete distributor RVH 18, 3-5 tonnes wheel loaders, 5-6 tonnes flat top tower cranes, and motor graders to be offered as package with the company's existing and new concrete equipment.
Mr. V.G. Sakthi Kumar, MD, Schwing Stetter Sales and Services Private Limited says, "The motive behind launching new solutions was, we found that there are lots of synergies between the new products and our mainstay offerings, involving concrete batching plants, truck mounted and trailer mounted concrete boom pumps, concrete mixers. With the new, highly reliable solutions, featuring extended product lifecycles, we will be in a better position to offer elaborate and valued package to our customers."
He elaborates, "To ensure that the new products find increased acceptance and deliver total lifecycle costs, we are in the process of creating brand awareness through protracted interactions with contractors, explaining them the utility of the new equipment. Further, in tandem, we are in the process of leveraging our product services support by hiring more number of service engineers and upgrading our nine service centers through expansion and adding of infrastructure. We have recently reconditioned our 100th concrete pump at our remanufacturing facility for one of our customers."
He adds, "We will continue to support the new products through our wide range of product support packages comprising Annual Maintenance Contracts (AMC), Operation Maintenance Contracts (OMC), machine upgradation, and buyback of machines." Schwing Stetter India has close to 50,000 operational units in India.
The Chinese construction equipment conglomerate Sany is expanding its concrete batching plants offering Indian market. It will introduce the 90, 120 & 180 cum/hr batching plants by April 2016. The company presently manufactures 30&60 cum/hr concrete batch mix plants of skid mounted origin at its Pune facility. Sany has sold four units, two each to Hyderabad and Bangalore based construction companies involved in real estate construction.
Mr. Deepak Garg, CEO, Sany India says, "The skid mounted plants are modular based and are easy for transportation and dismantling at short time. The plants come with Sany's own designed twin shaft mixers. This makes the concrete mix highly homogenous."
Sany India will also expand its transit mixers in the Indian market and will introduce 8-9-10 cum/hr power takeoff transit mixers by June 2016. "The new higher range of transit mixers will be offered on Volvo, Man or Tata Prima chassis." The company presently manufactures 6&7 cum transit mixers mounted on Ashok Leyland and AMW chassis and are powered by slave engines.
Mr. Garg mentions, "The design of the internal blades of our transit mixers are from Sany. This ensures perfect mix for the concrete and its smoother discharge. Further, for longevity, the drums are made up of high strength steel."
He says, "We are much positive on building up our sales as we have sizeable existing customer base. The customers are well aware of the products. We are looking to create further awareness of our concrete equipment by participating in major industry events. We displayed our 60 cum/hr concrete batching plant at Excon 2015." Sany will market the concrete products directly through its own network and will support the products through its own service engineers based in Hyderabad, Chennai, Bengaluru, Pune, MP, Chhattisgarh, and Kolkata."
Simem India is in the process of adding dealers to support its range of Concrete Batching plants available in India between 20-160 cum/hr. The company offers planetary mixers upto 30 cum/hr plant for ready mix concrete and twin shaft mixers for 60 cum/hr and above.
"We've added five more dealers in the last six months which has taken our dealership strength to seven in India, enabling us to service our existing 300 active units of Concrete Batching plants in the market and the new units. We will continue to increase our dealership along with adding more service engineers as the population of our equipment grow," says Mr. Rajesh Kawoor, Vice President, Sales & Marketing, Simem India.
The Italian origin company manufactures the concrete Batching plants at its facility in Vadodara. It can offer higher capacity of plants in the range of upto 720 cum/hr, which is also the biggest in the world from its Italian plant.
Mr. Kawoor says, "Our plants, being modular designed, come without foundation. This makes their prompt installation and commissioning within a period of three days. One of the vital attributes of our plants, as compared to other competitor's products is that, we deliver high productivity, exactly based on the given rated capacity of the plants. Accuracy of the plants cycle time is ensured through entirely computerized system." Simem's concrete batching plants are ERP enabled which enables the plant operators and owners to get operation related data of the plants. Mr. Kawoor adds, "Our plants are maintenance free and are almost 50% less in maintenance per cum. Further, they come assure 95% availability." Simem has supplied its concrete batching plants to Mumbai-Pune Expressway and Bandra-Worli Sea link project in Mumbai including Kurichu dam project in Bhutan.
Gujarat based KYB-Conmat has recently introduced its higher capacities 7 cum, MR-70 and 8 cubic meters, MR-80, transit mixers which were launched during EXCON 2015. MR-70 will be available with an option of mounting on any chassis equivalent Model 2518, while MR-80 will be available with an option of Bharat Benz or Man chassis. Both the models will be available to buyers with an option of power take-off driven or slave engine option. The new transit mixers models will supplement KYB Conmat's existing, MR-60, 6 cum transit mixers, available on Tata, Ashok Leyland, Eicher, Mahindra and AMW chassis.
According to Mr. Nagesh Kudva, Marketing Director, KYB-Conmat, "Compared to competitive higher capacity transit mixers available in the market, MR-70 and 80 transit mixers have low slump and high discharge performance and can be used for slip form concrete paving. The transit mixers come with higher safety during transit due to anti clockwise drum rotation for left side travel in India. Lower centre of gravity for better stability on rough roads." The added features are of high speed and discharge performance due to its unique blade design. High precision C-shaped spirals are formed by accurate forming dies, maintaining uniform low resistance flow, hence lower power consumption. C-shaped spirals enhance agitating performance so concrete could be worked during delays."
He mentions, "With our new transit mixers, ideal for low slump concrete like concrete road projects, concrete will be discharged at a much faster rate with uniform spread out. This will make the project quality much better and also reduce the operations cost." MR-70 and 80 have been developed for both the domestic and the international markets. The company has recently exported units to Africa, Indonesia, Thailand, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, and Nepal.
Along with newer products, KYB Conmat has carried advancements in its stationery and mobile concrete batch mix plants. "We have carried innovations in the plant software and made more customer-friendly. This will automatically generate SMS on the operation status of the unit. Further, we have also carried out advancements in the software of the plants to make them ERP integrated. This will enable transmitting inputs to the head office of the company owning and operating the plant on its present operational status. The advancement is highly beneficial towards carrying out preventive maintenance."
KYB Conmat produces mobile and stationery batch mix plants between capacity range of 20-240 cum/hr. It has recently supplied one 120 cum unit to Gujarat based road contractor and another 90 cum/hr plant to Madhya Pradesh based contractor involved in road project and many more in pipeline. KYB Conmat, which appointed dealers to promote sales in the recent past, has been gradually doing away with the strategy. Instead, the company is now marketing its products through its own regional marketing offices across India. To take on the upcoming projected rising demand, the company has carried out its capacity expansion. The present upgraded facility will be able to produce 100 transit mixers, sixty batch mix plants, fifty concrete paving units, and forty man and material elevated platforms monthly. Mr. Kudva says, "To support the growing population of our equipment, we have freshly recruited 75 service engineers across all regions."
Expanding its product offerings, Putzmeister India has come up with MT 1.0 and MT 0.5, concrete mobile batch mix plants in December 2015. The plants with rated capacity of 60 cum/hr. and 30 cum/hr. are of mobile origin (foundation less). Both the plants are being manufactured at Putzmeister's plant in Goa.
Talking about the new products, Mr. Parminder Gabri, (Sales Director) Putzmeister India says, "Being modular, the new batching plants do not require any concrete foundation for installation. This allows the customer to set up and dismantle the plants quickly; also the plants can easily be transported in open conventional truck trailers as well. The batch mix plants come with automatic calibration system and auto greasing. Overall the unit comes with rugged structures, making them suitable for Indian work site conditions. The plants are fitted with localized software which ensures ease of maintenance.
The German origin company has also carried modifications in its mainstay products, concrete boom placers. "We have worked to increase life of the wear parts, which come in contact with concrete so that users do not need to change these parts frequently and can use their pumps for longer uninterrupted durations, says Mr Gabri. Putzmeister offers concrete boom placers of 80 cum/hr. -100 cum/hr. The placers are available in 20-42 meters height. The company offers complete product support through its team of service engineers based across the country. For expanding product support, it has recently begun reconditioning of the boom placers at its Goa facility.
"We are regularly introducing newer concreting solutions, to suit requirements of upcoming bigger sized projects. The trend is likely to be there as project size continues to become large. Our recent introduction of 112 and 120 cum/hr, 'MAC' series concrete batching/mixing plants, especially for concrete road projects is an initiative towards this direction," says Mr. Dharmesh Surelia, CMD, Macons adding, "With the new products, we now have an expanded portfolio of concrete batching/mixing plants between 12 cum/hr-120 cum/hr."
According to Mr. Surelia, "Our advanced designed 'MAC' series of plants has been introduced in India for the first time. It is a very compact Plant with the entire structure requiring very minimum civil foundations (only four footprints) in comparison to any of the conventional plants. The plant is also available with skid. The plant is supplied in a ready-to use condition in completely pre-wired and pre-piped condition and hence, no erection time is lost. It also allows the clients to save time and money through easy transportation and lighter assembling works it entails while shifting plant from one site to another. This series of plants provided with the latest Batching software.
The MAC model especially designed for the production of concrete at sites where the quality, flexibility and performance are the key features. The plant is made up in welded construction of steel profiles. The complete structure is shot blasted before the primary coat of paint being implemented. Two coats of paint are applied on elements such as stairs, balconies, pavements, discharge mouths of the aggregates bins to resist corrosion.
The most important advantage of MAC is that it requires less maintenance and it provides more than 100% production which in turn leads to decrease in cost of production.
MACONS has been in the forefront of designing equipment keeping its eyes on the changing pulses of customers. To get an edge over others in the industry, the group is also introducing innovative products in technical collaboration with global firm. For instance, MACONS has entered into collaboration with Ms. DUMEC S.R.L Italy for manufacturing of latest Self- loading Transit Mixers in India which are ideal equipment for being used at road, canal, and remote site projects.
Lots of features are incorporated in this equipment including Slewing arrangement for drum which facilitates the concrete discharge in a 240 degree radius, latest print out facilities, four wheel drives, individual weighing of aggregates, etc.
"We have been able to make the products cost competitive as we have indigenized technology. Further, we have localized critical structural of the mixers based on the Indian job site requirements. We have also modified the loading bucket and cabin to make the equipment more productive," explained Mr. Surelia.
The company is looking for new joint venture tie-ups to expand its product line.
Mr. Surelia says, "Macons has almost three thousand equipment installations and the company as a brand has a vision and set a goal to expand and create a global presence with this in mind, we are now increasing our presence for Sales, after sales and Spares to all the major cities in India and overseas. We almost cover 31 dealership network in 31 locations and genuine spare stock available in 17 locations & both coming soon in 4 more locations. Apart from that, we are also associating with new channel partners to increase our presence and to be more closer to our customers. Within a short span of time, we will have our presence in all the major cities across pan India. The company is in the process of appointing more number of dealers. Our focus is on enhanced product support for our existing customers, rather than outright business expansion."
Reorientation of business operations, through introduction of newer products, modification of existing products, concept selling characterizes the growing maturity of the Indian concrete equipment industry led by the large scale growth of the construction sector over the years. However, for the business innovation to sustain, it will be vital for the manufacturers to offer appropriate product support to the existing and new products.