Foundation Equipment Market Set for Growth

Enhanced knowledge on the utility of foundation equipment by contractors are enabling foundation equipment manufacturers to reap good business volumes. P. P. BASISTHA takes a look at how the foundation equipment market in India is set to grow backed by the growing demand for foundation sloutiuons.

Awareness on the benefits of using foundation techniques in construction was nascent, couple of years back in the country. However, business development through information dissemination on the product by foundation equipment manufacturers, over the years have led in developing the market potential for the products. This has been leading manufacturers presently register sizeable profits. Nonetheless, manufacturers share, that further percolation of knowledge have to take place among contractors to realize the full potential of the foundation equipment market in the country.

Foundation Equipment Market Set for Growth
As per Mr. Amitabh Kedia, Area Sales Manager, Indian Sub Continent of German foundation equipment major Bauer,“ foundation equipment being relatively new in India as compared to the west, hence greater knowledge spread is much vital for the promotion of the products.”

He says, “with a broader idea to pass knowledge among potential users, Bauer India on its part, have been organizing geotechnical conference across the country inviting contractors. It has also been approaching project consultants, involving Sterling Consultants, L&T Ramboll, Shrish Patel & Associates for larger information circulation on the products added with array of foundation solutions being provided.”

Foundation Equipment Market Set for Growth
Business development through information propagation has enabled Bauer reap dividends. The company, which sold 4 piling rig units, using hydraulic rotary piling technology during the fiscal 2005-06 has reportedly sold 12 units during 2006-07 fiscal. Bauer registered a turnover of 14 million Euros during 2007.

The company, which sold piling rigs to L&T 13 years ago, has found its product acceptance among major construction companies at their site over the years. Some of the projects include: Navayuga Engineers,' Krishna river bridge project at Vijayvada in Andhra Pradesh, Parbati hydroelectric power project in Himachal Pradesh, National Thermal Power Corporation’s ongoing coal fired power station at Barh in Bihar and also flyover at Nariana in Delhi by Navayuga’s. The equipment has also been used in DMRC projects.

Another German company which has operation set up in the country with its distribution tie up with Mumbai–based Nathani Industrial Service Private Limited, is ThyssenKrupp.

Foundation Equipment Market Set for Growth
As per Mr Zian Nathani, Director Nathani Steel, "The market potential has attracted global player ThyssenKrupp Bautechnik, Germany (TKB) in India. TKB is part of the Euro 50 Billion ThyssenKrupp Group. Nathani Industrial Service Private Limited, Mumbai (NISPL) which has been acting as Sole Agents of TKB in India has been selling TKB’s Mueller Vibrohammers and Sheet Piles as the company’s main products. Currently, the products are imported directly from Germany."

He added, the tie up of NISPL with TKB happened two years back and the products have been doing modest sales owing to the cost of the equipment. However, it has found its construction applications at major projects such as South Asian LPG project at Vizag and Videocon IT Park at Kolkata. The Vibrohammers owes its utility to the higher output it can deliver in a shorter time period. Shapoorji Pallonji, Larsen & Toubro, Essar Group have all purchased Vibrohammers and Sheet Piles in India, and so on.

Foundation Equipment Market Set for Growth
To sell the product, NISPL has been carrying on business development not only among the end-users but also among the construction project design consultants such as Sterling Consultants, Shrish Patel and Associates etc. In 2006, a seminar on Vibrohammers and Sheet Piles was held by TKB in Mumbai. It was attended by various sections of the Indian construction industry. All this has led to greater dissemination of knowledge of the products among the construction fraternity.

Market Overview

The demand for foundation equipment in India, has been growing at the rate of 25-30 percent year on year basis. The market size of the foundation equipment is estimated to be INR 150-170 crores.

Foundation Equipment Market Set for Growth
The size of the market is well–expected to grow up with number of port projects lined up for green field and brown field expansion. Growth would also be catered by underground metro railway projects added with overall development of core infrastructure and real estate projects lined up.

Majority of manufacturers having presence in the market comprises European companies. Sizeable market presence belongs to Soilmec, Mait and Bauer. The companies have their own marketing and service set up for their piling rigs.

Manufacturers also have their presence through marketing collaboration tie ups. This comprises International Construction Equipment (ICE) of Netherlands through its distribution tie up with Mumbai–based Aurtech Global, Casagrande’s with Kolkata–based Sugam Infra and that of Thysenkrupp’s with Nathani Industries.

New to enter the market through distribution collaboration includes, Delhi–based, PVS-Impex Pvt. Ltd. with Sinovo of China for selling its hydraulic drilling rigs in India. The distributors sell the products imported from their parent companies.

With the potential of the market unfolding itself owing to plethora of construction opportunities, companies are placing themselves through the product offerings from their domain.

Competitive Positioning

Foundation Equipment Market Set for Growth
According to Sunil Newatia, M.D, Aurtech Global, “with the foundation equipment market getting gradually matured, demanded by customized foundation solution contractors, it would be pertinent for manufacturers to be competitively positioned with their products for the adds, time to come.” He “to remain competitive, companies have to identify potential areas of products usage and address the requirements much effectively.” Aurtech Global sells ICE vibrohammers.

Mr. Newatia declosed that Aurtech Global would be forming a new business strategy for selling ICE products in the country. In accordance with the same, a new marketing and business plan has been drawn up by Aurtech which would be shortly approved by the parent company.

Foundation Equipment Market Set for Growth
Mr. Newatia pointed out that Aurtech, sold 3-4 vibrohammers during 2001–06 where as it has sold 45 vibrohammers during 2006-07 alone. He added, enhanced business volumes, have enabled it to provide products at a competitive price to customers.

Mr. Newatia said, vibrohammers, which undertake boring of the soil through liquafication is much ideal in places where SPT value of the soil is less than 50. He said, that the equipment scores over rotary piling rigs which can be ideally used where the SPT value is 100 or 200 plus. He claimed with lot of projects coming up in coastal areas the product has got a much potential.

ICE’s vibrohammers are presently being used at Karaikal Port project, Reliance Gas project at Surat, and also in DMRC projects. The equipment have also found applications in the construction of Inland Container Transhipment Terminal of Cochin Port.

To forge a stronger relationship with the parent company, Aurtech, would be ramping up its engineering skills and lay stronger focus on service support. Aurtech has been regularly sending its engineering personnel for training in the Netherlands. Mr. Newatia said his company would be setting up hydraulic and engine maintenance workshop for ICE products during the third quarter of 2008 at Navi Mumbai.

Foundation Equipment Market Set for Growth
Manufacturers looking for higher sales based on their products positioning is Soilmec. As per Mr. Sanjoy Chakravarty, M.D, Soilmec, “our piling rigs offer value for money.” He added, “the features of the machines are much refined with an added advantage of minimal fuel consumption.” Soilmec, which has got a sizeable market presence has sold 100 units in past three years. The company has made a sales target of 150 machines in the coming years. Soilmec’s machines have been finding applications at the their construction of NTPC’s Simadhri thermal power project and also at Barh thermal power project.

Foundation Equipment Market Set for Growth
The claim on product offering value for money is equally put in place by Mr. D.V. Bhrame, Deputy Manager, Mait, Far East Pte Limited, He says, “Mait machines have low maintenance and operation costs, and altogether the pricing of the machine is competitive.” He mentions further, “the machines are performance proven, they can perform optimally to their potential and provide a good resale value to the contractor wiling to sell the equipment post it’ usage.” Mr. Bhrame, informed about a Mait piling rig, which worked for more than 25,000 hours in Mumbai was sold off reasonably good price after its job by the contractor.

Foundation Equipment Market Set for Growth
Sales of Mait rigs been going North, the company used to sell 4-5 units couple of years before, sold 90 rigs in 2007. The Italian equipment major has made a target to sell 100 rigs in 2008 in the country.

Prestigious upcoming projects, where Mait rigs are being used includes: DMRC project, ICTT Cochin Port project and also Dahej LNG terminal project, and at NTPC’s Barh thermal power project construction.

Mait which started its operation eight years ago in the country, has its own service set up and warehouse. The company has captive customer base, consisting prominent fleet owner, Valecha Engineering Limited. Mait has sold around 20 rigs to Valecha and it has also prime customers i.e, Navayuga and Simplex infrastructure, to whom it has sold 25 and 20 rigs respectively, over the years.

Advanced Features

For foundation equipment manufacturers, having advanced product features remain the key for maintaining a strong market presence. In accordance with this, Casagrande has placed its products through Sugam Infra. The company has been able to maintain a well established presence in the Indian construction market. Casagrande piling rigs boast of self–propelled and self–erecting features. The rigs are mobile hydraulically operated with easy operation features and lower maintenance. The machines have minimal erection and commissioning time and are adaptable to various jobs of foundations of bridges, flyovers, jetties, ports and so on.

Casagrande piling rigs have found applications in many construction projects across the country. Prime among this includes, construction of underpass section in New Delhi by Valecha Engineering. The company is using a Casagrande B125 with a KRC1 Diaphragm Wall Kelly Bar. The piling rigs have been finding usage in construction of DMRC projects.


Foundation Equipment Market Set for Growth
The thrust of the majority of companies have been to place their products on advanced features, for newer entrants like PVS-Impex the emphasis has been to position the products based on competitive pricing blended with advanced technical features and product reliability.

According to Mr. S.K. Bhan, M.D, PVS–Impex,“ the Sinovo piling rigs have an edge on their European counterparts, especially in terms of pricing.” He added, “these machines will be more economical, if you consider their initial investment costs as well as operating costs. This would add up to the margins of companies.”

He informed, that PVS, would be looking at the metro rail projects in Delhi, Bangalore and the upcoming Mumbai metro project. It would also look into the real estate sector as a potential market for the rigs.

Foundation Equipment Market Set for Growth
Elaborating on the advanced feature of Sinovo rigs, Mr. Rakesh Raina, General Manager, Sales, PVS-Impex mentioned, “the piling rigs have Rexoth brand hydraulic parts, oil pump intelligent controls and load sensor controls. This enables the machine to achieve the power matching with loads for the drilling rigs, minimize fuel consumption and guarantee reliable performance. Further, the latest Caterpillar engines of these rigs meet exhaust classification 3rdemission standard and with auto acceleration and deacceleration functions, result in 5-10 percent fuel cost reduction.”

He added, “the heavy duty Kelly bar has extreme rigidity that meets the requirement of drilling into complex hard soil and rocks.”


Foundation Equipment Market Set for Growth
Since the unearthing potential has led to the development of the foundation equipment market, enabling achieve growing sales holistically both for manufacturers enjoying a premium market space and for those at the non premium end. However, understanding the required foundation solutions would be much essential prerequisite for the manufacturers to further business development.

Understanding the desired foundation solutions would help manufacturers enhance their knowledge pool for the benefit of the Indian construction companies, which has got assorted foundations solutions requirement. This would bring in overall awareness on the utility of the product among the contractors fraternity and in turn ringing cash registers.

Mait Foundation Equipment

Foundation Equipment Market Set for Growth
MAIT is a world leader in the manufacturing of hydraulic boring rigs and other foundation equipment, tools and accessories with more than 50 years of experience.

MAIT manufactures an extensive range of hydraulic rigs for bored piles, CFA, Diaphragm walls, jet-grouting, Casing oscillators etc. They are the only Italian manufacturer of piling rigs for bored piles and also manufactures Hydraulic Hammers for driven piles.

MAIT Rigs are multipurpose rigs which can be used for DIAPHRAGM WALLS with a simple change of kit. It is very fast and easy. Changing from bored piling version to Diaphragm Wall version takes only few hours.

In India, the company has already supplied several Rigs with Diaphragm Wall kits. They have already established our presence on the market for more than 8 years with a sizeable number of bored piling rigs (more than 130 Units) supplied to major Indian contractors like Gammon India, Valecha Engineering, Simplex Concrete Piles, Navayuga Engineering Co., Meher Foundation, IIEL (Quipo), J.Kumar & Co., Essar Constructions, Nagarjuna Const., Soma Ent., Maytas infra, B.Seenaiah & Co. etc. And many more are under shipment.

MAIT has a well established brand office at Mumbai carrying out the after-sales service of products in the Indian Sub-Continent. Have fully trained service persons and a stock of spare parts are also available with us.
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