Concrete equipment manufacturers are carrying out new advancements in their products line apart from making new launches for emerging applications. P.P.Basistha
finds out the details.
All-round technical developments are taking place in concrete placing equipment across the verticals once again. Responding to the changing requirements of the contractors, manufacturers are incorporating technical modifications in the products line wherein some of the changes are stated to be quite refined in nature. The new advancements being carried out by the concrete equipment manufacturing industry are quite significant, keeping the major innovations in view done in the past; and whenever there was requirement of higher job volumes, the concrete mobile batching plants were produced. The mobile plants have been found to yield good results working at crammed job sites. The new technical modifications are being made in order to provide less operating costs considering higher pricing spirals in cement and other raw materials coupled with rising labor costs, amidst shrinking job volumes.
Major developments have been carried out by market heavy weight Schwing Stetter India Private Limited (SSIPL). The manufacturer has recently launched 42 metres, 4 section and 43 metres, 5 section concrete boom pumps. Mentioning about the product, Mr. V.G. Shakthi Kumar
, COO, said, "based on our expertise, the boom has been manufactured of fine grade of steel for extended boom life. The boom pumps have less hydraulics. This curtails consumption of hydraulic oil; thereby keeping maintenance costs of the pump less. The pump comes with stabilizers."
The new products from SSIPL's stable also include SP2880 and SP 8800 trailer mounted stationery concrete pumps for the Indian construction sector. Highlighting the application areas of the products, Mr. Kumar said, "the newly launched high capacity concrete pumps are able to pump concrete for 200500 metres highrise construction projects and much suitable for dam projects and highrise real estate projects as well. SP 8800 has a maximum theoretical output of 94/63 cum/hr while SP 2800 comes with a maximum theoretical output of 101/58 cum/hr."
As a part to provide enhanced customers support and to provide customized concrete solutions, Mr. Kumar said, "we will keep interacting closely with our customers in order to understand their requirements and to provide tailor made solutions. Prominent examples where we have provided tailor made concrete solutions include, Bandra-Worli sea link, Parbati Hydel power projects, and many others."
Wide range of concrete placement equipment is manufactured by Man Force Trucks. The company offers transit mixers from4 cum mixer on a 4X2 chassis to a 10 cum mixer on an 8X4 Chassis. The mixers are offered by Man Force under collaboration with Schwing Stetter India Pvt. Ltd. (SSIPL) and Liebherr India.
According to official sources from Man Force, "ourtransit concrete mixers are driven by power take off engine. This results in 30-40% lower maintenance and operating costs as compared to transit concrete mixers powered by a slave engine. Powerful 280 HP Man Force engine coupled with the 9 speed ZF gearbox enables the mixer to deliver higher productivity. Faster turn round time is ensured on account of higher torque & optimized drive line. Man Force mixers score high on per ton/per kilometer output and hence ensure higher returns on investment."
Boom pumps are the other category of concrete placement equipment offered by Man Force. Sources say, –"our boom pumps help deliver ready mix concrete to heights-up to 42m." They add, "the boom pumps are offered on 6x4 as well as 8x4 chassis configurations with flexible layout for easy mounting of different capacity boom pumps."
Man Force Trucks has recently launched mounted mobile concrete batching plant. Manufactured under collaboration with SSIPL, the plant is mounted onMan CLA 25.280 6x4 chassis. Driven by a power takeoff from engine, the truck mounted mobile batching plant comes with a capacity of 16 cum/hr. The machine has a concrete discharge height of 3.75 meters while aggregate storage filling volume is 12 cum. The machine comes with PLC based control systems, coupled with the electronic load cell type weighing system that ensures ingredients in the right quantity and desired quality of ready mix concrete. Sources point out, "the mobile batching plant is ideal for use in short duration road projects and canal projects where creating heavy foundation isa critical issue."
Man Force offers after sales and service through a network of more than 150 service outlets & 45 main dealers, all equipped with service vans and spread across the length and breadth of the country. The company's state-of-the-art advanced service training center at the Pithampur factory provides training to customers' drivers and technicians on free of charge basis.
Reduction in the cost of operation and maintenance for transit mixers is also being looked into by Greaves Cotton. The company makes available 5 models of transit mixers. According to Mr. Arun Savanur
, Vice President and Head - CED, Greaves Cotton Limited, "we are presently working on a prototype to launch new Transit mixers during coming fiscal year keeping in check cost of operation and maintenance to ensure lower O&O cost."
The boom pump can be considered as one of the vital components in entire concrete preparation and placing chain. Appropriate functioning of the pumps, resulting in smooth flow of concrete, can substantially curtail project time overruns. This is irrespective of how best possible batching and transit schedules are kept lean at project sites. According to Mr. Parminder Gabri
, National Sales Head, Putzmeister India, "the vital working parameter of boom pumps to yield desired results is based on its given concrete sucking features. In terms of homogeneity, the character of Indian concrete mix is yet to attain its smoothness levels. To offset the deficiency that can be present in the concrete character, Putzmeister's boom pumps, for the Indian construction sector, are being made available with bigger 230 mm diameter. The new boom pumps come with 'Z' folding systems as compared to roll folding few years ago. The 'Z' folding system allows the boom to open even in crammed job sites."
He mentions, "Putzmeister's core focus has been in manufacturing concrete pumps and placers ever since its inception, we have developed requisite engineering expertise which are incorporated in our concrete boom pumps. The features have been put in place depending on worksite requirements, not to mention to cut down concrete placement costs. In accordance with this, our pumps can provide variable concrete output by slow pumping when there is an extension in feed schedules. Reliability of the machines is ensured through components procured from globally reputed brands, involving hydraulic pumps from Rexroth. While extended life of the boom pumps are ensured through high grade steel, chrome plated cylinders among others." Putzmeister's pumps come with s-valve technology.
Putzmeister, which indigenously manufactures its boom pumps and trailer mounted concrete pumps at its manufacturing set up in Goa, procures non-core components like Hoods, frame etc. from domestic sources and engines from Kirloskar, so as to keep the cost of the product competitive.
According to Mr. Gabri, "with wide range of concrete boom pumps offering from our stable, we are well positioned to meet various requirements of the Indian construction sector ranging from applications in power, LNG plants and real estate highrise construction."
Putzmesiter's concrete boom pumps for Indian market are made available in 20-32-36-38-42-46 metres and on AMW, MAN, Leyland and Volvo chassis based on customer's choice. Putzmeister's higher reach boom pump is available in 70 metres of height.
Taking into consideration, the existing high demand potential of the market, given the large scale of infrastructure development across sectors, concrete placers manufacturers are positioning their products accordingly.
According to Mr. Sandeep Nirmal
, GM, Business Development and Sales, Sany Heavy Industry India, "based on the varied nature of demands in India, we make boom pumps/ Placer booms available in range of 18-28-32-37-40-43 metres to the Indian market.Sany recentlyentered into Guiness Book of World Records by launching 86 meters Truck mounted Boom Pump. Among the boom pumps made available, 37 metres is assembled at our Pune plant whereas others are imported from China."
The truck mounted boom pumps are fitted on Ashok Leyland, AMW and Tata chassis. It also provides higher capacity boom pumps with power take off chassis. One of Sany's 37 metre truck mounted boom pump, mounted on Volvo chassis is working at upcoming LNG Petronet's plant at Kochi. Mr. Nirmal said, "an important operating feature of our boom pumps is that they can be operated through radio remote control from distant locations. The pumps come with Sany's own patented SYMC control systems which indicates the level offuel,oilconsumed during the project cycle. Auto controls are added features to regulate the engine RPM depending on the rate of concrete consumption. To withstand the impact of uses and abuses in Indian job sites, our truck mounted pumps come with loads of Safety features likeantitilting, audio visual warning signals, self levelling outriggers to name a few."
Sany also makes available transit mixers with capacity of 6 cum/hr fitted on Ashok Leyland and AMW chassis. It will shortly launch 8-10 cum/hr capacity transit mixers on Man Force and AMW chassis equipped with power take off engines.
The equipment manufacturing major provides service support to its concrete equipment through its 21 dealers and 6 own regional officeswith warehouses and service centres located across the country. Component support is provided from its mother warehouse at Panvel in Maharashtra.
The existing and emerging potential in concrete placing segment is also being counted by Revathi Equipment Limited (REL). REL presently manufactures Trailer mounted Concrete Pumps and concrete boom placers of 1736 metres in technical collaboration with Waitzinger Gmbh of Germany.
According to Mr. M. Sunil
, Associate VP (Marketing) Construction Equipment Division, "there is emerging potential in smaller capacity boom placers, due to the extensive Road construction work undertaken in the country and Budget Housing projects. Our 17 meter concrete boom placers mounted on a compact 2 Axle chassis is one of the most cost effective solutions in this category of small Boom Placers." The 120 bar, high pressure pumping unit can handle most type of Mix designs and ensures smooth pumping and high equipment utilization. REL's concrete equipment, which include the complete range of Batching Plants, Concrete Mixers and Pumps, are serviced through its 6 offices and 15 trained dealers across the country.
While continual improvements are being carried out in existing products line to suit present job requirements, newer equipment are also being launched in view of emerging application areas in construction sector. Conmat Systems is planning to launch its new concrete slip form paver for irrigation sector. Mr. Nagesh Kudva
, Director, said, "the new slip form concrete paver will find its application for canal construction and machine can be used for c c lining of entire canal cross section (bed & both side slopes simultaneously) of distributory and minor canals and comes with a feature of adjustable moulds, grove cutter/ water stop attachment, needle vibrators and optional features of charging conveyor, fine grade trimming attachments for quality work."
He informed, "the market potential of the equipment is quite immense, given the fact that there are around 33,000 km and 15,000 km minor irrigation channels in Gujarat and Maharashtra to be concretized."
Trials on the machines are being planned inNarmada Project -Gujarat in certain canal projects being constructed in the state. Following the trials, Conmat plans to launch the product in April 2012.
The company which has standard Cylinder Paver Finishers for construction of main irrigation chanals have carried out technical modifications in the same by replacing hydraulic gear motors with new electrical gear motors. Mr. Kudva said, "the spillage of hydraulic oil when topping-up or bursting of hoses due to extreme heat severely affects quality and the strength of the concrete. The electrical gear motor comes with pre-concealed form arresting chances of oil spill. Besides, they are much less prone to maintenance." The motors are being imported from Bonfig of Italy and SEW of Germany. The new modification has enhanced the concrete output of the pavers from earlier 12-15 cum/hr rated output to 25 - 30 cum/hr at present.
Conmat's recent launch of fully Automatic Mobile Concrete Batching Plant with Twin Shaft Mixer has been well appreciated & acknowledged by construction companies especially Real Estate/ Building construction sector. CONMAT is planning to launch support equipment for CANAL lining like soil compactors, trimming & side discharge conveyors very soon.
Products modifications are also being carried out by Allen Buildwell Pvt. Ltd. According to Mr. P.Arunagiri
, COO, Allen Buildwell Pvt. Ltd "in our concrete batching plants with an output of 30-60 cum/hr, we have designed more compact plants with more advanced features, in order to provide accurate output. This new design is more compact to perform in worksite having space constraints."
Also the compact version of slipform paver Power Paver SF-1700 is the one which is to be noted for the features and competitive price at which allen buildwell offers.
He said, "apart from carrying out modifications in products for their better performance,assistance to the customers for enhanced equipment uptime is being looked into by us through better products support. In accordance with this, we have put up a toll free number which is connected to our technical division through the internet to address mechanical disorders that may have surfaced in the equipment. Besides, we are fully providing operation support to equipment working in remote areas at our own cost. The components support is provided from our mother warehouse in Mumbai besides support provided at site through local stocking."
Allen Buildwell manufactures concrete batching plant in India. It represents US company Guntert and Zimmermann for slip form pavers in India apart from representing Power Paver and Power Curber, Allen Engineering for concrete pavers of US. It also has a marketing collaboration with Dici of Italy to market its low bed dumpers and self-loading truck mixers for construction of tunnels in India.
At par with carrying products improvement by original manufacturers in concrete equipment placers to reduce production costs, component suppliers to OEM's are also looking for providing better products and customers support.
According to Mr. Neelesh Desai
, National Sales Manager, BHS Sonthofen India, "to provide better products support to the OEM's in terms of parts availability, we are setting up our new 7,000 sqft warehouse at Indirakaran on Mumbai-Hyderabad road. The location of the new warehouse is 40 kilometres away from Hyderabad.
The warehouse, houses the entire range of components for twin-shaft batch mixers, vertical shaft impactors and others. Mr. Desai says, "we are contemplating to launch new models of vertical shaft impactors during later stage of the current year in the country. We rule out any immediate possibility of undertaking any indigenous manufacturing of the products in India. The company's plan to market electronic waste recycling for municipal applications is on stream.BHS has recently supplied 2 units of vertical shaft impactors to a contractor in Rajasthan. We have recently got good number of enquiries. With growing population of our equipment, we expect our component business to grow by at least 30% during 2012."
Products support is being provided by Sicoma Mixers India through cost-competitive product offerings. The company has recently started its plant in Bangalore to manufacture planetary mixers. SMIPL has supplied more than 100 units of mixers. According to Mr. Vinayak Gajendragad
, Director–Indian operations, "the planetary mixers made in the new plant have wear liners for better wear resistance. We are planning to provide further localized components in the equipment by raising its ratio from 20% at present to 50%. As of now, structural, fabrication liners are being sourced locally and are being assembled at the new plant."
To provide customers support to the OEMs, to whom we supply the equipment; we have set up a new service team which imparts training to the OEMs through scientific methods. Mr. Gajendragad said that Sicoma would continue to undertake marketing of the products through its own marketing network. Sicoma offers concrete planetary mixers and twin shaft mixers. Sicoma's customers include, Apollo Infratech, Macons, Aquarius Engineers, Allen Buildwell, Akona Engineering, etc.
Customers support is being provided by Cosmos Construction Machineries & Equipment by carrying out technical advancements in its concrete equipment for desired quality output for end users. According to Mr. Mehul
Shah, Director, "we have made improvements in our 6-20 cum/hr reversible mixers for providing homogenous concrete mix. To analyze concrete consumption patterns, we have provided the mixers with printout systems. Further, for our 60 cum batching plant, we have changed the mixing system from planetary to twin shaft system. The new system will deliver concrete output of 1500 litres per batch."
Cosmos manufactures inline batching plant, fully automatic reversible drum batching plant, twin shaft in line batching plant, boom scrapper batching plant, tower crane, suspended rope platform, transport platforms, tough rider articulated type etc.
The technical modifications and new launches of concrete equipment augur well for the construction sector passing through mechanization for achieving timely project completion. It also sounds well to keep in check cost of concrete production and placement in the present scenario when inflationary pressures are impacting the sector. The progress needs to be sustained for good.