Asphalt batch mix plant manufacturers are witnessing rising enquiries and orders for their equipment. P.P. Basistha takes a look that how the producers are looking to leverage sales through offering products with competitive technical attributes.
There is a rising trend in the demand of asphalt batch mix plants in India. The spurt in demand is being driven according to the stipulations of National Highway Authority of India based on its ambitious 50,000 km of road development programme. Insistence of public works departs for usage of asphalt plants is also behind the rising demand.
Manufacturers of asphalt batch mix plants are looking to tap the growing demand. This is being done through placement of products with competitive technical properties. This primarily involves plants with lesser fuel consumption, ease of movement & emissions, and usage of recycled materials. Interestingly, plant manufacturers are incorporating the advancements through introduction of plants of varied capacities to cater the needs of varied road contractors segments in the road construction sector, predominantly being characterised by mass demand segment of lower capacity plants of 120-160 tph. This is typically for two lane EPC projects.
He continues, "We provide the plant on steel foundations wherein very strong concrete foundations are not needed. The plants are of modular construction and each module is dimensioned for easy transportation. We offer efficient, low pressure burner that can handle some deviations in fuel quality and our efficient bag house helps in controlling the emission."
Support to the asphalt batch mix plants of Ammann Apollo is provided through its pan India offices with trained service personnel and adequate stock of parts to offer support on demand. Intensive training to the customers' operators is rendered through the service personnel. Ammann has entered into a joint venture with Indian road construction equipment major, Apollo in 2013 to manufacture the entire range of road construction equipment-asphalt batching plants, continuous plants, wet mix plants, entire range of pavers, soil & tandem rollers, walk behind rollers, kerb laying machines and bitumen distributors.
"To take on the growing demand, we are in the process of ramping our four manufacturing facilities in Ahmedabad, to produce plants of 90-300 tph based on the customer needs. We are looking to strengthen our presence in the domestic and also Latin American and Eastern European markets. Presently, our products are being exported to South Asian, African and Middle East countries," says Mr. Shah. Kaushik manufactures asphalt batch mix plants with the capacity range of 120-160-200-240-300tph.
Besides, the company manufactures stationery and mobile asphalt batch mix plants, asphalt drum mix plants, wet mix macadam plants, concrete batching plants, bitumen pressure distributor, thermo plastic road making machines, and other ancillary products.
Growing Orders & Capacity ExpansionsCapacity expansion is also being undertaken by Ahmedabad based Capious Roadtech Pvt. Ltd. in its three plants. The capacity addition will enable Capious to expand its production capacity to 24 units per annum up from 12 at present. The capacity addition is being undertaken based on rising enquiries.
The company offers 20 tons inline storage silo, which it claims, allows uninterrupted operation of the plant. Mr. Pandya says, "Our plants are fuel efficient as they use 4 litre/ton of furnace oil as compared to 5-6 litre/ton in other plants. They also score on ease of transportation as the components of the plants are modular. This enables transportation of individual components comprising the burners and dryers in conventional open truck trailers. Being prewired, and skid mounted, our plants can be erected in minimal time and commissioned within ten days."
He explains, "In our single drum counter flow system, aggregates are superheated as the air moves in opposite directions. Aggregates enter on the feed entry of the drum and travels towards the burner as it dries. All materials are mixed in the final drum section and then are discharged and conveyed to the storage silo. The mix material which comes out is almost equivalent to that of the batch mix one."
Solmec's main product line comprises asphalt drum mix plant, wet mix macadam plant, and bitumen sprayers is relatively a new entrant in asphalt batch mix plant. The company manufactures plants of 30 to 240 tph. Thirty percent of the present production ratio of Solmec, comprises asphalt batch mix plants while the remaining are asphalt drum mix plants. The company has delivered three units one of DM 50 and two of DM 60 to road contractors of Tamil Nadu, Odisha, and Maharashtra, last month.
He mentions, "Initially, we have developed more dynamic design of flights & improvisation in design at our own end in dryer which can save more heat in dryer for better temperature and control of heat loss."
The company offers dryer drums made on heavy duty structural steel which offers minimal vibration. It offers burners and bitumen storage tanks based on requirements of the customers. Solmec offers direct and hot oil heated bitumen storage tanks with capacity ranging between 15-50 tons. "The direct heating tanks are supplied with automatic imported pressure burner. The indirect tanks are supplied with a thermic oil heater. All our bitumen tanks are fully insulated. Being modular in design, parts of our plants are easily transported and installed. Our counter flow design drying drum is designed for their high efficiency and low maintenance. The drums deliver highest heat transfer by radiation of flights," informs Mr. Dodia. To promote sales, Solmec has recently appointed dealers in Andhra Pradesh, Telangana State and Maharashtra.
He mentions, "Our plants are also cost-competitive to own and operate, as because, most of the fabrication jobs and other critical components are made in-house. This makes our plants, easy to service." Ahmedabad based Fab India, which began production of asphalt batch mix plants in October 2015, manufactures plants between capacity range of 100-120-160 tph.
Newer AdvancementsWhen asphalt batch mix plant manufacturers introduce new technologies based on the present requirements, newer advancements may have to be incorporated in the plants for usage of recycled asphalt pavement materials (RAP). Although the usage of RAP is in its nascent stage in India, however, there are positive indications, based on contractor's feedback that usage may grow, as road project developers look to bring asphalt batching and laying costs down.
Usage of higher volumes of RAP allows the plant to gain heat through overheating of other aggregates.This can generate high levels of fumes along with reducing the quality of bitumen due to oxidization. This requires special technology in the asphalt batch mix plants those are suited to use feed of overheated aggregates and RAP allowing sufficient time to expel the vapour while new bitumen is injected along with keeping the temperature homogenous throughout the mix.
He adds, "Ammann Apollo's RAP drum lifters in high temperature zones are made from special grade steel. This allows them to withstand the high temperature associated with usage of RAP. Our high recycling technology plants are proven in Europe and Australia where there are stringent regulations for pollution and quality of mix."
Other manufacturers like Kaushik and Capious claim, since the demand of usage of RAP is in initial stages in India. However, they have in place the requisite expertise to produce plants with the specialised technology.