Manufacturers of concrete equipment, namely, Schwing Stetter, KYB Conmat, Ajax and Vibrant share with Zainab Faridi the initiatives being taken by them to design and develop machines that can handle complex infra development projects with greater efficiency. They are also investing in R&D to come up with more advanced products, including customized solutions, and are framing comprehensive after-sales service packages to retain customer trust and loyalty in their brand.

Global Manufacturing Center (Ltd.)

The country is seeing the construction of numerous infrastructure projects like metro rails, high-speed rails, expressways etc. This increase in construction activity has led to a high demand for concrete, and thereby for concrete equipment, which include batching plants, transit mixers, concrete pumps, and concrete pavers. These machines undertake different tasks at various stages of construction such as concrete mixing, transporting the concrete, pumping concrete, and placing it at the required sites.

Infra development projects are becoming larger and more complex; plus, the trend of constructing high-rise buildings is increasing. There is demand for high strength homogeneous concrete. Completion schedules have become tighter. As pressure mounts, contractors are looking for technologically advanced and high efficiency concrete equipment.

In view of the current scenario, construction equipment manufacturers are looking at many opportunities opening up for them and are therefore developing higher quality and more productive machines to meet the needs of the construction companies. There is also a push by the Government towards indigenization so that customers benefit through a lower cost of equipment and lower operational costs.

As per Research & Markets, the Indian concrete equipment market is projected to cross $1,300 million by 2024, exhibiting a CAGR of 13% on account of anticipated growth in construction activities led by Government initiatives like the Smart City Mission, AMRUT, the Atal Mission for Rejuvenation of Urban Transformation, Metro Rails, Bharatmala and Sagarmala, etc. The Government has also supported the Indian concrete equipment market by liberalizing taxation policies for the construction industry. In 2018, it reduced the GST on concrete equipment from 28% to 18%, which helped concrete equipment manufacturers to reduce the overall cost of equipment and operations for the end-users.

Global Manufacturing Center (Ltd.)
“Schwing Stetter’s world-class manufacturing facilities and proven R&D offers products with features that significantly reduce operating costs through optimized fuel economy and improved utilization.”

V.G Sakthikumar, Managing Director, Schwing Stetter India

Growth prospects of Concrete Equipment Industry
The Concrete Equipment market of India continues to grow with the expansive investment plans under the Governments National Infrastructure Pipeline program. The sanctioning of multiple infrastructure projects, including metro rail, high-speed rail and expressway projects has created a massive demand drive in the CE market. The increased connectivity brought about by the completion of these projects promises more large scale infra projects.

With the influx of projects awarded by the government and increased demand for the ready-mix concrete, customers are opting for higher capacity batching plants, pumps and mixers over lower capacity equipment. Boom pumps have occupied an unprecedented position in the RMC sector due to its one-man operation, which eliminates redundant manpower.

Global Manufacturing Center (Ltd.)

Schwing Stetter products & solutions
Schwing Stetter specialises in customised and comprehensive solutions. With our world-class manufacturing facilities and proven R&D department, we have introduced 14 new products to the CE market with features that significantly reduce operating costs through optimized fuel economy and improved utilization.

We manufacture truck mixers, batching plants and concrete pumps at our production facility in Irungattukottai SIPCOT Industrial Zone. Our Global Manufacturing Center (Ltd.) is the newest addition to our 5 manufacturing plants producing concrete trailer pumps, boom pumps, stationary pumps, self-loader mixers, shotcrete pumps and excavators for domestic consumption and export worldwide.

The introduction of telematics has ushered the CE industry towards 4.0 Revolution. The telematics features in our heavy equipment like excavators, boom pumps, wheel loaders, and other products enhance the ability of these machines to operate at consistent productivity. The geo-positioning of the machine, sensors reporting work status updates, and the ability to predict machine maintenance needs create a healthy work environment for the equipment and ensure longer machine life. This innovation provides a clear view of equipment utilization and availability, an important factor in meeting project schedules.

Maintenance and after sales services
Schwing Stetter has 27 offices and 9 service centers in India with over 500 service and spare parts teams. Our specialist team of over 40 members provide dedicated support and training to the customers across India. We also have dedicated support teams for special projects such as HSR, CMRL, etc., to provide customers with immediate assistance and reduce machine breakdown time. We focus on cluster service activities for major potential dedicated projects in line with XCMG and SSIPL products.

Exports
Schwing Stetter India has a strong presence in the neighboring ASEAN countries like Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam. To meet the growing demands of these international markets and to match the requirements of the company’s expansion plans, the GmH (Global Manufacturing Hub) at Cheyyar has been equipped with technologically integrated manufacturing facilities.

In the near future, we plan to expand to Brazil, the USA, and GCC as well as increase the company’s presence in Munich and most of Eastern Europe. We are also opening a new branch in central Africa to further strengthen our presence in countries like Lithuania and other parts of southern Africa.

Global Manufacturing Center (Ltd.)
Developed after extensive field research and trials at our in-house R&D facility, our rugged and technologically advanced products ensure low total cost of ownership, with proven high productivity and energy efficiency.

Premraj Keshyep, Founder & MD, KYB Conmat

Growth prospects of Concrete Equipment Industry
The government has laid out an ambitious plan to steer the Indian economy for the next 25 years under the aegis of PM Gati Shakti, a transformative approach for economic growth and sustainable development. This approach would be driven by seven engines, including railways, roadways, waterways, mass transportation and logistics infrastructure. The Gati Shakti Master Plan aims to expand the national highway framework by 25,000 km between 2022 and 2023.

For financing infrastructure, the government has stepped up public investment complemented by private capital at a significant scale with emphasis on PPP model.

These measures will reduce the volatility of the construction equipment market for the coming years, and hence we are anticipating a higher growth rate for Concrete Equipment Industry in India in the near future.

Global Manufacturing Center (Ltd.)

KYB Conmat products & solutions
KYB-Conmat offers a wide range of concrete equipment including Stationary Concrete Batching Plants, Mobile Concrete Batching Plants, Compact Batching Plants, Tower Batching Plants, ranging from 20 CuM to 240 CuM capacity, Concrete Paving Machines for Roads and Canals, Transit mixers ranging from 6 CuM to 9 CuM, Concrete pumps and Self-Loading Mixers of 2.3 CuM,2.8 CuM, 4.3 CuM and 4.8 CuM concrete output per batch. Our machines are user friendly and come with state-of-the-art automatic controls.

Our products are developed after extensive field research and trials at our in-house R&D department. These rugged and reliable products give low total cost of ownership, with proven high productivity; and we ensure that, they exceed the expectations of our Indian as well as international customers. These products are energy efficient and consume lesser power or fuel.

KYB Conmat Batching Plants are integrated with the latest multi-language SCADA software, making the machine highly operator friendly. We also provide self-diagnostic feature in our control system to minimize downtime and the need for physical service visits. Our batching plants can be remotely connected to our server through VPN and any fault finding, repair, software updating etc. can be done from remote locations.

All our mobile machines like Self Loading Mixers are IOT enabled, BS-4 and ARAI compliant, and offer high productivity and better mix quality, faster loading and discharge due to an advance Blade Design and electronic batching system with printer, produce more concrete per batch by optimized drum capacity, which reduces the overall cost per cubic meter of concrete. These Self-Loading Mixers offer superior maneuverability by single joystick control, 4-wheel steering/4-wheel drive system, also offer superior operator comfort due to reversable operator seat and balanced load distribution on front and rear axles.

Challenges
Considering the global turmoil caused by Covid-19 and Ukraine war, there has been a huge impact on raw material costs and supplies, and cost of manufacturing has skyrocketed. It is very difficult to pass on the total impact to the end customers who always look for lower cost of acquisition. As a result, reputed manufacturers like us are facing very stiff competition from substandard equipment suppliers. Nevertheless, thanks to our continuous R&D efforts and efficiency improvement, we are able to develop alternatives and maintain supply cost without compromising product quality and performance.

After sales services
KYB-Conmat has a strong country wide after sales service network with over 150 trained service representatives stationed in the most remote locations. This is further supported by our dealer/spare parts network. Our 24X7 Service Support Desk is linked with service engineers at different locations. It identifies the caller’s geographical location and forwards it to the nearest service personal.

Exports
We export our full range of state-of-the-art equipment to over 25 countries across the globe with the support of our local dealers and spare parts stores present in those countries.

We have a strong market presence in Africa, Far East, Middle East, SAARC countries and are working towards expanding further.

Global Manufacturing Center (Ltd.)
“AJAX, the only Indian manufacturer to offer a complete range of concreting equipment for infrastructure and road construction, is in the right place at the right time to play an important role in nation-building.”

Debasis Bhattacharya, Head – Sales, Marketing & Product Support, AJAX Engineering

Growth prospects of Concrete Equipment Industry
The construction equipment market is expected to register a CAGR of 4% during 2020-2025. There are many opportunities for leading manufacturers of Road Construction Machinery to offer high quality, productive, and efficient equipment to meet the needs of construction companies. The push by the Government for localization with a strong emphasis on indigenization to make India Atmanirbhar, will help companies as well as the suppliers. Customers will benefit with the lower cost of equipment and operational costs.

Global Manufacturing Center (Ltd.)

AJAX products & solutions
AJAX introduced India’s first Self-Loading Concrete Mixer, followed by a range of Batching Plants, Transit Mixers, Concrete Pumps, and Boom Pumps. The company has also designed and manufactured India’s first and only Slip-Form Paver to build concrete roads, and the only company in India to offer the next-gen 360° Concreting Solutions. AJAX is also India’s largest manufacturer of SLCMs and is exporting to countries in the Middle East, Africa, and Asia.

Innovation & Indigenization
Over the last three decades, the need for energy efficiency, higher productivity, easy mobility, and flexibility has been our focus.

Being an environmentally conscious company since inception, the AJAX brand stands apart with its quality management system (QMS), ISO 9001:2015 certification, and ISO 14001:2015 for its environmental management system (EMS). From an energy conservation point of view, rooftop solar PV installations are implemented at its corporate office which save up to 1 lakh units of electricity every year. This has been implemented in the manufacturing units as well.

30-meter boom pump: The AJAX 30-meter pumps are the first of its kind in the Indian market suitable for 4/2 chassis and offering optimized boom length. The 30-m boom pump is an alternative and convenient solution to conventional 36-m boom; it will cater to 90% of the placement applications being catered by conventional booms, which will also result in reduction of ownership costs and operation costs by 25-30%. We are the only manufacturer to offer a 25-m boom and a 30-m boom on the 4/2 chassis, which ensures initial low investment to customers.

Self-Propelled boom pump: Keeping pace with the changing requirements of customers, AJAX developed a first-of-its-kind Self Propelled Boom Pump – a complete solution that is built on AJAX’s own chassis with 4x4 transmission, three-way steering, a lightweight compact design, and a fuel-efficient engine. The 25-m Boom Pump mounted on this chassis has a revolutionary design to utilize the full boom length to reach unreachable spaces in less accessible areas and deliver concrete effectively. The smaller tight turning radius of 5.5-m is the major differentiator between the conventional boom pumps as it enables better manoeuvrability in confined site conditions.

SPX 1204 and SPX 754: The slip-form paving technology is one of the advanced forms of technology that is used for paving construction works. Slip form paving has been extensively used worldwide for construction of pavements. AJAX has indigenously developed slip-form paver SPX1204, designed and manufactured in India. It has high-quality components and features at par with pavers offered by global players. The AJAX paver has the flexibility to offer paving widths varying from 3.5-m to 12-m.

ARGO 3500: The newly launched variant of AJAX ARGO 3500 is a testimony of AJAX’s innovativeness. The 3.5 m³ per batch SLCM is designed with a 49.5 hp Dual Engine, confirming to BS III norms - the first of its kind in the CE Industry. It provides lower operation and maintenance costs to customer per m³ of production of concrete.

Challenges
Increasing urbanization, high-rise residential and commercial buildings, modern industrial infrastructure, and the nationwide rural development programs have resulted in demand for a range of concrete solutions. There is stiff competition among the players to offer value to customers through innovative products and solutions.

Maintenance and after-sales services
AJAX has a wide geographical spread with more than 35 dealers, 20 service centres, and 100 + touch points, giving sales & after-sales support to its customers. In-house training facilities for operators and site supervisors also ensures that they become aware of the Do’s and Don’ts on the equipment.

A full-fledged team of skilled engineers are trained to handle both preventive and reactive maintenance on site during emergencies. To ensure round-the-clock service support, customers can reach the company’s 24 x 7 customer care for all queries and requests.

Global Manufacturing Center (Ltd.)
“Since Vibrant is a home-grown company with no imported components and no foreign ownership, we can pass on the cost benefits to customers.”

Kranthi Kumar Ravuri, MD, Vibrant Construction Equipments

Growth prospects of Concrete Equipment Industry
India is only one amongst the larger developing countries to grow @7% per year. The conditions for further economic growth are also loaded in its favour. This stems from the fact that India is a functioning democracy, with a large English-speaking population, and the demographics indicating the largest population of youth (and hence market) in the world. This translates into a huge market for Infrastructure development, and it is not for nothing that this decade will be of India. And whenever and wherever there is growth, concrete plays a very important role; therefore, Concrete Equipment is poised for a strong growth in the coming years.

Global Manufacturing Center (Ltd.)

Vibrant products & solutions
We manufacture Concrete Batching Plants in the range of 20 to 120 m3/hr, with options for mixers like Twin Shaft or Planetary. We have options to suit plant site conditions. We also manufacture Asphalt Batching Plants in the range of 80TPH to 260TPH, WMM plants in the range of 120TPH to 350TPH, Bitumen Sprayers and Broomers.

R&D for Innovations
The equipment manufactured by us are for use in rugged conditions and for working with raw materials that are abrasive in nature. Since, many of our machines operate in remote locations, they are built keeping sturdiness, reliability, and longevity in mind. We have observed that the customer is keen on getting information on the working of the machines on real-time basis and also receive data on the working parameters of the machines. Hence, we are incorporating most of the requirements into the control features of the machines. Also, in Asphalt plants, use of recycled materials and alternate fuels are gaining ground. We are also working in this direction to give customers the best of technologies to suit their needs.

Acquisition cost vs owning & operating cost of customers
As we are a home-grown company with zero imported components and no foreign ownership, we pass on the complete cost benefits to customers, which helps them to own the product at a much lesser cost. The operating cost of our plants is very comparable to the best-in-class plants, as we have not compromised on any of the input ingredients, and we follow the best practises in manufacturing and painting.

Challenges
As in every other segment, competition is stiff in the Concrete Equipment and also in Asphalt Equipment. As all the established players have enhanced production capacity and 100% indigenisation, the supply side is well established. But the demand side is yet to reach the expected levels. A “landed price costing“ concept is prevalent in the retail segment of the market. Overall, the customers are both savvy and demanding. Equipment manufacturing and its cost are heavily dependent on the price of raw materials, but the customers are not willing to accept this easily. So, a stable raw material pricing is crucial for this segment.

Maintenance and after-sales services
Both maintenance and after-sales services play a major role in the closing of deals, and especially in the retail market, word-of-mouth feedback and references are considered very seriously by the buyers.

At Vibrant, we are giving maximum priority to this part of business and are also investing to upgrade our services in keeping with the times.

Exports
We are targeting the neighbouring countries and some African countries to export our machines to and are in the process of finalising some dealerships across the country.
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