Navneet Saraf
Navneet Saraf, Director, Technocraft Industries
Scaffolding and Formwork is a multi-billion-dollar industry globally and has wide ranging applications, be it building construction, infrastructure projects, industrial construction and even commercial events. Scaffolding is a temporary access structure erected to access all types of construction sites, be it for a building’s repair or painting, and in industrial plants like boilers, refineries, power plants, etc. for accessing important equipment parts and pipelines for works like coating, painting, insulation, etc. Formwork is a temporary structure erected for enabling concrete construction in building walls, columns, slabs, and in infrastructure projects like bridge piers, tunnels, box culverts, etc. Scaffolding and formwork are generally made of steel or aluminium with a mix of high quality plywood.

In developed countries, it is mandatory to use only high-quality scaffolding or formwork for any type of construction project, with very strict health and safety guidelines, compelling the contractor to use only certified material and trained and certified workforce. In developing countries like India, there have not been any standards in place for use of scaffolding or formwork. However, the market has evolved from traditional bamboo scaffolding to better quality materials necessitated by the large number of upcoming infrastructure and building construction projects and shortage of skilled labour.

In developed countries, scaffolding and formwork are largely rented by the end-user for a project, or by the contractor responsible for the overall construction. There are specialized scaffolding and formwork contractors who are tasked with the job of designing, renting and erecting the scaffolding and formwork. These contractors typically maintain a large rental inventory, which is rotated across multiple projects.

Technocraft Scaffolding & Formwork
The advantage of a rental for a contracting company is that it minimizes upfront capital investment, allows it to budget the scaffolding and formwork costs within the overall project budget, and it gets to use the highest quality material with less labour. Repetitive uses of the scaffolding and formwork, and faster execution of the project are other advantages, given that the selection and designing of the scaffolding lies with the contractor renting the material. For the supplier renting out the scaffolding and formwork, the advantage is that the supplier can more efficiently deploy its inventory across multiple projects. Since most of the latest scaffolding and formwork systems are modular in nature, and can be used across multiple projects, the contractor is able to get a better realization rate out of the inventory. Overall, for all projects that are multi-purpose and generic in format like commercial buildings, residential buildings, malls, hotels, etc, the rental model is preferred.

For projects that must be custom-made like special bridge piers, or specially shaped concrete structures, customized formwork is needed. But it can be used only for that project, and it has to be purchased, the cost of which has to be absorbed in the project it has been bought for.

Technocraft has introduced its unique Mach Deck formwork system, the first of its kind modular panel-based system, which enables fast construction of concrete slabs with a superior finish, and with minimal amount of unskilled labour. Mach Deck is available on rent as well as sales. The product is very affordable and can be used by building contractors involved in a variety of projects across India.

Technocraft, a leading supplier of formwork for all major metro and highway projects across India, also offers a range of scaffolding and custom formwork systems for the infrastructure sector on design-to-manufacture (customized) basis.

NBM&CW July 2017