To arrest cost and time overruns for project delivery to end-customers as per the new regulations in the real estate sector, and faced with a paucity of funds by developers, contracting companies are striving to meet their construction schedules on time, using the best equipment available. This is prompting construction equipment manufacturers to integrate advanced technologies and features in their products for faster project completion.
With the real estate sector witnessing a modest revival, manufacturers of concrete pumps, tower cranes, scaffolding and hoists used in high-rise projects, are gearing up to offer products for faster construction, along with customized solutions and timely service and support, to developers and contractors.
Concrete Pumps & Mixing
Concreting solutions providers are taking a lead in making their products better indexed for high-rise construction. KYB-Conmat’s intelligent pumps, powered by 6-cylinder engines with s-valve technology, have been designed as per the company’s high-quality standards for optimum function, even in extreme jobsite conditions. Peak utilization of its trailer-mounted concrete pump SCP 5000, helps deliver pumping at 48 cum/hr, and the SCP 7500 has a concrete pumping capability of 75 cum/hr.
Safety of the pumps is ensured by a grill interlocking mechanism that stalls the pump’s functioning if the grill is opened by the operator. Operators are trained on the complete hydraulic circuit of the pumps at the company’s training centre in Vadodara and at project sites. Says Sailaj Verma, Senior VP-Marketing, KYB-Conmat, “We take our operators to our production facility to acquaint them on the assembly of the machines, so that they can detect and rectify any fault in the machine. This ensures uninterrupted operation and timely maintenance. Critical training is also imparted to them on pipe laying for smooth discharge of concrete, and we also provide them 15 days of training on the characteristics of concrete, for ease of pumping.”
Wilfried Theissen, Managing Director, Putzmeister India, informs, “Our concrete pumps keep attaining new records in high-rise and long distance conveying in India. Our BSA 2110 HPD, BSA 1410 D and BSA 1408HD are reliable all-around concrete pumps for high performance ranges. They are well suited for tunnel concreting as well as pumping concrete into the structures as high as 250 meters.”
Theissen adds “Our high pressure BSA stationary pumps are equipped with Putzmeister’s exclusive Free Flow Hydraulics (FFH) which is designed to provide powerful performance across multiple applications.”
Moving away from the high-rise and long distance pumps, Putzmeister also offers the robust eSmart series stationary pumps with concrete pressure ranging from 70 to 100 bar. These pumps are equipped with the Human Machine Interface (HMI) control panel featuring Ergonic Graphic Display (EGD), which helps determine the real time operating status of the machine and diagnoses faults. The EGD displays performance parameters like pumping hours, concrete output, hydraulic oil temperature and stroke counter.
"These features makes it convenient for the operator to monitor the pumping. Some of the stationary pumps are equipped with the new open pumping system (OPS) which can help reduce hydraulic oil usage by 70 liters, which is almost 50-70% lesser than the oil needed for similar machines in the market,” avers Theissen.
The eSmart series pumps' safety features include emergency switch on the control panel, which stops the entire operation of the machine in case of an emergency, and RSA grill safety switch that stops the pumps and agitator from functioning if the hopper grill is open, thereby preventing any accident. A plunger cylinder guard and engine fan belt guard prevent human interference with the machine while pumping.
Putzmeister has recently supplied its pumps for construction of Omkar Towers, in Worli, Mumbai. The project consists of 3 towers scaling as high as 81 and 76-storeys and having a central tower of around 325 meter high, and adjacent towers of around 300 meters each.
New Generation truck-mounted concrete pumps are Putzmeister’s other concrete solutions for the Indian market. Theissen says, “The great reserves of power of our truck-mounted boom pumps makes them suitable for the most extreme conditions, with reduced mechanical wear and tear, and ensure operational reliability. Our boom pump BSF 36-4 has been built using aluminum and high-grade lightweight steel that reduces its weight by more than two tons. The pump has ‘big mouth’ delivery cylinders of 230 mm diameter; and is 32% more efficient in filling the pipeline than smaller pumps. The ‘big mouth’ reduces running costs, diesel consumption, and maintenance cost on wear and tear parts for every cubic meter pumped. With its Z-fold boom, the BSF 36-4 combines an optimum reach on a 3-axle chassis with added features and versatility. The great flexibility of the Z-fold system and narrow cross-section of the arm assembly, enhance the machine’s maneuverability and reach to enable jobs to be completed promptly.”
Adds Theissen, “Putzmeister BSF 42-5 on a 4-axle truck offers optimum flexibility. The 5-arm boom in the RZ-fold system has an impressive action radius of 41.6 m vertical reach to meet all requirements in building construction, and 30.7m reach in depth, which is considerably more than the comparable 4-arm version. The mobile 5-arm boom provides the machine operator with more maneuverability under difficult conditions such as low buildings, tight inner-city areas, or in the event of obstacles between the truck and the site.”
Yogesh Salvi, Manager- Export & Special Application, AQUARIUS ENGINEERS PVT. LTD, informs that the company's 1400 series concrete trailer mounted pumps, with both electrical motor and diesel-engine as prime mover, are highly suitable for high rise construction pumping needs. The 1400 HPD+ high pressure pump is capable of delivering concrete at a good rate of 60 cum/hr and with a capacity to deliver high pressures of 172 bar for 300-meter vertical constructions. The 1410D is capable of pumping concrete at 100cum/hr at 106 bar pressure for 140-150 meter heights, taking on richer grade of concrete against higher pumping resistance. The higher pumping height achieved is due to the advanced hydraulics that generate high support pressure levels.”
He adds, “We find that in Indian working conditions, pumps driven with Programme Logic Controller and with heavy reliance on electronics governing pump operation are more susceptible to failures and difficult to maintain at site. Hence, we have designed our pumps to make them more apt for Indian working conditions with more emphasis on hydraulics and electro-mechanical interlocks, and more rugged for all weather conditions. The company adhers to OHAS 18001 safety norms with utmost importance to product’s working safety. The pumps have reduced decibel level in operation, which makes them suitable for use in close proximity to urban areas. With uniformity in the core pump design across several series, the pumps pose a lower O&M cost with respect to spares & maintenance requirements.”
The company has a team of dedicated service engineers based in 14 locations across India. Regular training is imparted to equipment operators; onsite as well as in class rooms on maintenance and operation and in critical aspects like pipe fitting and laying for concrete discharge, which are a prerequisite in high rise construction. AQUARIUS manufactures 16 different models of concrete pumps across three series of trailer mounted concrete pumps: 700-1000 and the 1400 Series.
Apollo Carmix’s self-loading concrete mixer 25 FX and 4TT have advanced features that ensure reliable performance. 25 FX – a 2.5 cum/hr batch transit mixer – has a bigger drum capacity for higher volumes of mixing in a single batch. Both the models are fitted with a larger loader shovel for loading bulk quantities of raw material at a time, thereby reducing cycle time.
A hydraulic shutter gate in the units prevents spillage of materials during loading; which ensures the correct volume of materials to be taken in the drum for the desired volume and quality of concrete, as per the mixed design and reduces wastage. A bigger 550-liter water tank with a high 320 liter/minute pressure allows 25 FX to store huge volumes of water to produce multiple batches without refilling and for machine cleaning. A 100-liter diesel tank allows the machine to maximize its operation without idling time for refilling. The 4TT has a 800-liter water tank with a high pressure water pump of 400 liters/min, and its 115-liter diesel tank ensures less idling/refilling time.
Both 25 FX and 4TT come with a 2500-mm turning radius for working in constricted urban areas. ROPS and FOPS prevent cabin deformation in the event of a rollover situation or accident. The joystick gives smooth operation of all the functions of the loader and shovel such as loader up and down, tilt, shovel shutter gate open and close in 4TT. Faster road speed of 24 km/hr in both 25 FX and 4TT ensures faster reach and travel time between job sites.
Demand for tower cranes by 2017-end was between 20-25% due to a slump in the real estate sector. But with the sector showing signs of revival, developers and contractors are looking for products that will ensure higher productivity and less owning and operating cost.
Says Sorab Agarwal, Executive Director, ACE – Action Construction Equipment Limited, “In view of the changing real estate scenario, we have been making our self-erecting, fixed and flat top tower cranes more robust, safe and reliable so that there is minimal downtime. We have adopted the best and proven technologies so that our cranes deliver 20-25% better cycle time and hoist in speeds than other competing products. For smooth and jerk-free operation, we have made Variable Frequency Drive (VFD) as a standard feature in all our cranes. For our higher capacity, hammer head 10-12-16-ton tower cranes, there is VFD even in the hoisting mechanism.”
He adds, “To minimize erection time and cut down transportation costs, our masts and jib sections have been kept as a single piece welded units, unlike competing products where the masts come in 2 or 4 pieces and are assembled at site before erection. Safety is being accorded highest priority. We are providing anemometers to measure wind speeds as a standard feature in the tower cranes working in high rise projects. Also, our service engineers are giving the necessary training to the crane operators for right weathervaning of the jib when the crane is in a stationary position.”
ACE manufactures 8-10-12-16-ton hammer head tower cranes and its flat top range is between 5-6 tons. One of the highest crane supplied by ACE is presently working on a 250-meter high project in Mumbai, which is being executed by Capacite.
SANY Heavy Industry India is leveraging its business presence in the real estate sector by offering more advanced solutions. Informs Sanjay Saxena, VP and BU Head, Heavy Equipment Business, SANY India, “We have sold five units of our 5-ton tower cranes (manufactured at our Pune facility) with the advanced features, as part of a pilot project, and the results have been extremely encouraging. Targeting the growing vertical construction in India and precast projects, we will shortly commence production of 8-10-12-ton cranes.”
He adds, “Our tower cranes have safe load indicators that are at par with our mobile or crawler cranes, and anemometers for wind speed calculation. Superior quality of the electrical motors curtails voltage drop in the cranes, which results in faster hoisting and slewing speed. Our cranes are most suitable for high rise construction jobs and our team of dedicated engineers provide the necessary service and support.”
Liebherr which has set up a complete localized facility in Pune for manufacturing tower cranes, is now focusing on enabling higher productivity to meet the requirements of high-rise construction. The company manufactures the 5-ton 85 ECB-5-i, the 6-ton NCB 6-62, and the 9-ton NCB 9-62 in India. Krishna Kumar, Divisional Head-Tower Cranes Sales at Liebherr India, says, “Our tower cranes, with a high working radius of upto 62.5 meters, hoisting height upto 240m and 500 meters, freestanding height of up to 53.2 meters, are extremely suitable for high-rise projects”
He adds, “For optimum and economical use of our tower cranes in projects, we enter an association with the contractors through our dedicated ‘Tower Cranes Solutions’ wing, from the planning of construction till its completion. We assist the contractors to select the most suitable crane for the job, and lend them support for project planning with project proposals & erection and disassembly. We also give training to P&M staff and operators by our competent engineers for proper and safe operation of cranes at site.”
For high-rise projects with their paucity of space and constraints, Liebherr India is promoting its luffing tower cranes, three of which it has supplied to the 300-meterhigh-rise Prestige project 1973 in Mumbai, being executed by L&T.
Zoomlion ElectroMech India Pvt. Ltd. is ensuring higher productivity and reliable performance of its tower cranes through superior welding of the mast and jib sections during manufacturing.
Says Arun Bishnoi, Director-Sales, Zoomlion ElectroMech India Pvt. Ltd. “We have made improvisations in the design of our tower cranes that are manufactured in India and in the imported ones as well, to enhance ease of transportation, erection and dismantling. Our new flat top tower cranes now come with Split type masts, which make transportation easier and economical. We have made improvisations in the hoisting mechanisms through high-powered motors and use of world's best electrical components from renowned global brands. This makes our tower cranes most suitable for high-rise construction jobs as the cranes demonstrate reliable performance.”
The company is also strengthening its product support initiatives for tower cranes. Informs Bishnoi, “Our services include dismantling of the tower cranes with internal climbing features for all types of tower cranes including Luffing cranes. We are bringing in specialized vendors, who, under the supervision of our service engineers, will ensure that the dismantling job is done safely and efficiently. We also provide onsite training to operators on safety aspects to avoid collision of cranes working in construction clusters.”
Zoomlion ElectroMech manufactures 5013-5, 5-ton and 5610-6, 6-ton Hammer Head Tower Cranes at its Pune facility. The Joint Venture entity also offers higher capacity Zoomlion tower cranes in India ranging between 10 to 80 tons. Its clients include L&T, NCC, Gammon, JMC Projects, Sobha Developers, Simplex and Omkar, among others.
Layher’s scaffolding system called Allround, which is a ring lock system, is the latest development in the field of scaffolding with extended possibilities, says Mithilesh Kumar, Director, Layher Scaffolding Systems Pvt. Ltd., “Allround scaffolding comes with unmatched advantages such as unbeatably fast assembly, persuasive economic arguments, and an extensive range of series-produced accessories. Connections in this quick-to-assemble and spanner-less scaffolding system make a unique combination; providing structural strength immediately upon assembly, and subsequent ultimate force transmission, while offering a choice of automatically right angled or splayed connections with unrivalled safety, right from the start.”
Layher Allround Event Deck for Mahamastakabhisheka-2018, (Approx. 3000 Sq. Mtr Area for in Shravanabelagola, Karnataka)
All the steel components of Layher scaffolding systems are hot-dip galvanized with a longer life-cycle than painted scaffolding. Other factors are yield stress (up to 460 N/mm2), number of standards, spacing of standards and capacity of platforms (decks) that determine the load bearing capacity of a complete structure. Usually, the requirements for the live load of scaffolding starting from load requirements that Layher designs as a suitable construction, using the parts from the All-round Scaffolding systems.
With reference to the Indian Standard Code of practice, it has been clearly mentioned that higher grade of tube (Grade Yst 460 N/mm2) gave higher axial stress in tension, bending stress, minimum shear stress and minimum bearing stress. The loadings on the scaffoldings shall comply with the appropriate requirements of relevant Indian standards/EN/BS regarding loading on temporary structures and scaffoldings (as per IS 2750-1964). All scaffoldings have been adequately stiffened; both longitudinally and transversely to take up horizontal loading.
Says Kumar, “With the growing safety considerations, our lightweight scaffolding with higher yield stress enables our structures to take on both live and dynamic loads, and remain free from bending stress. This makes the scaffolding more suitable for Indian working conditions, where often due to variation in project schedules, the scaffolding could be subjected to varied load conditions, and our scaffolding’s bolt-free technology makes it easier to erect and dismantle.”
According to Mudit Raniwala, Vice President, Technocraft, the company exports its scaffolding to USA and European markets, and follows the highest quality assurance standards for longevity, durability and safety of the products. He says, “We offer galvanized scaffolding, which makes the scaffolding corrosion-free and more economical in the long run since repainting is not required. To make the scaffolding tubes bear higher levels of stress, we source special micro alloy steel from primary manufacturers like JSW, Tata and Essar. The steel also ensures a better finish to the products. As a fully backward integrated production entity, we make the tubes in-house so that we can maintain their highest quality during production.”
He informs that welding is done as per the EN 1090 German standard, with Germany-trained, certified welders, and machinery audited by German authorities. “To ensure that the welding is done right for the scaffolding to take on dynamic loads during construction, we carry out compression tests to check for cracks, and tests for flaring and conduct impact tests so that the scaffolding is capable of working in -40 degree temperatures.”
“We follow all the safety norms as per European standards, which includes ensuring that the fitment of the locks is tight. As part of our technical support, our scaffolding experts coordinate with the contractors for studying their requirements and suggest the right materials to be used, and provide them training on the erection and disassembly,” he adds.
Technocraft has delivered their products to Lodha World One Tower being executed by Simplex, Rohan Life Scapes projects, and to the Prestige 1973 project being executed by L&T.
Elevators & Platforms
Manufacturers are incorporating advanced features and offering customization to meet demand for faster and safer vertical transportation solutions. They have been making advancements as per the evolving construction methodologies, necessitated by faster completion schedules.
KYB-Conmat offers 1,1.5 and 2-ton rack and pinion construction elevators for passenger movement and to carry construction materials. These are completely automatic PLC-based with HMI systems. Avers Sailaj Verma, Senior VP-Marketing, KYB-Conmat, “The elevators have numerous safety features such as a safety device that ensures that even in complete failure of the drive, the cage will not fall down. A mechanical, spring loaded safety brake is a standard feature in all KYB-Conmat elevator models. It ensures the safety and reliability of the elevator in everyday use, and the brake is protected from dirt and dust, and is almost maintenance free.”
Spartan has expanded its portfolio and introduced advanced features in its products to meet the requirements in high-rise construction jobs. The company’s man and material hoists now range between 800 kg,1.2,1.5, 2, 2.5 and 3 tons. Elaborates Dr. Vikram Mehta, Managing Director, Spartan, “We are the first to introduce a 3-ton, twin cage, man and material elevator with PLC-enabled floor selection mechanism. It is suitable for up to 350-meter high-rise construction. In our hoists, we are also providing a high-speed travelling option of 60 meters/minute for a 2-ton and above hoist. We ensure 94% enhanced productivity compared to the 57% of other brands of hoists, through our Helibeval mechanism, which also reduces power consumption. For enhanced safety, we have added separate safety brakes in addition to the existing electromagnetic brakes.”
Spartan’s portfolio of suspended platforms includes 250 kg, 500kg, 800 kg and 1-ton capacity platform up to 300-m height. The company has introduced rope suspended platforms for working in the lift shaft and duct areas. “Now, with our two new lift shaft SRP models, contractors can easily undertake jobs such as plastering, painting, preparing the wall surface, pipe laying etc in constricted areas, and even for 250-meter high jobs,” informs Mehta.
He adds, “For further optimization, our suspended work platforms now come with front and side folding extensions, which enables them to work under shades and on building corners. They have been provided with an elaborate, customized option of parapet wall, roof top, high beam mounting systems. The platforms have the standard anti-tilting and anti-swinging mechanism, and an additional anti-skidding feature.”
Universal Axis Lifting Solutions manufactures a range of vertical man and material handling equipment, including single and twin cage rack and pinion construction hoists, that range between 400 to 2000 kg capacity for use in structure heights of 10 to 300 meters.
Appasaheb Bhosale, Vice President, Universal, informs that the company has recently introduced a new Programme Logic Control (PLC)-based, floor selection mechanism in its man and material elevators. This ensures ease of operation. To further enhance safety during operations, it has incorporated a centrifugal brake system to bring down the hoist at a constant speed to the nearest floor, in case of an emergency. In addition, the company has ensured dual safety in its products. Overload cut-off mechanism controls the excess loading at site, and added safety is ensured through CE certified hoists.
He adds, “We carry out regular audits and certifications of the safety devices at our manufacturing facility in Satara. Universal Axis is the only Indian company to manufacture 10 to 25-meter wide mast climber platforms of 1-ton, 2-ton and 4-ton capacities. For greater safety, we have introduced a self-balancing and anti-tiling mechanism in our mast climbers. To acquaint our operators with the advancements being made, we give them regular safety and product upgradation training as well.”
According to him, Universal Axis wire rope suspended platforms are popular because of their additional safety features like digital load system, anti-sway and anti-tilt mechanism. Since the length of the platforms is modular, it helps to accommodate them in tight spaces, while hot dip galvanized steel gives the platforms a long life.
Santosh Chaurasia, GM – Sales & Marketing, New Age Construction EEC, informs that the company’s suspended platforms can be fully utilized by civil, façade or painting contractors for external finishing jobs, and their customized solutions enable contractors to undertake jobs for difficult structures as well. “This has been made possible through our custom built L-type, W-type, 10m length platforms, front extensions and multiple modifications in suspension mechanism,” he says. “With square shaped customized platforms, work can be easily carried out in the ducts and lift shaft areas as the platforms can access the four wall areas. For safety during operation, our platforms are fitted with digital load cells, which prevent overloading. They also have an anti-tilting cut off to ensure uniform loading across the platforms and anti sway restriction device to avoid swaying of the RSP in the horizontal plane.” New Age has delivered its suspended platforms to BG Shirke, Lodha Group, Marathon Group and L&T for their high-rise projects.
Arun Bishnoi, Director-Sales, Zoomlion Electromech, informs “With the growing trend of high-rise construction in India, safe transportation of men and materials is necessitating demand for high quality, reliable hoists. We are now marketing our products more confidently and have installed a good number of our hoists at several real estate projects in Mumbai.”
The company’s 2-ton hoists, which are available in single and twin shaft cages, can move at 63 meters/minute, and are best suited for 100 to 300-meter high construction projects. The hoists come with dual levels of safety to prevent a fall in case of motor failure. While the hoists are being imported from Zoomlion, the company is considering manufacturing them at its Pune plant in the near future as the volumes increase, informs Bishnoi.