OMAN SITE PICTURE
Restricted supply of construction areas in metro, non-metro cities and peripheral areas is resulting in increased proliferation of high-rise construction. This is necessitating requirement for vertical transport solutions to carry men and construction materials to support construction and maintenance of projects following their completion. P.P. Basistha takes a look at the solutions, equipment manufacturers have on offer.

Newer design approaches for real estate projects are based on optimization of construction space. Taking cognizance, project developers and contractors developing real estate projects in prime urban areas are leaving no stones unturned to explore newer design options for high-rise projects. Synchronizing with the design requirements and the construction methodology being adopted to set-up the high-rise construction projects, vertical transport equipment manufacturers are offering range of solutions that involve men & material hoists. In many cases, the solutions on offer are being dovetailed with critical knowledge support to contractors enabling safe utilization of the equipment for smooth project execution and finally completion. Not the least, saving on costs. According to industrial estimates, demand of men and material hoist is projected to reach up to 1500 units per year by 2020 from around 400+ units.

Rambabu Cheruvu
According to Mr. Rambabu Cheruvu, MD, CMAC, "Buildings are getting taller with wider floor expanse. Top 10 cities of India, are approved for construction of 14+ floors and the 2 tire cities are cleared for 10+ floors. This requires the need for vertical transport solutions to transfer safely men and larger volumes of building materials coupled with the requirements of timely project completion. In India and China for buildings above 150m height, to improve the productivity, many twin cage building hoists are installed even for one building. The men and material hoists are highly beneficial for construction and maintenance of process industries as well such as steel, cement and thermal power plants. The industrial units require at least 5+ units with heights from 50 to 200 meters. At CMAC, we are well positioned to meet requirements of safe vertical transportation for men and materials at varied heights"

He continues, "The present requirements of contractors are for vertical solutions that can work at higher heights and move at higher speed levels. Further, there are requirements of bigger capacity hoists that consume less power and delivers comfortable operation experience. Based on the requirements, we have reached operating height of 210 meters with 2 tons weight 5 years back. We have recently deployed a machine for a height of 230+ mts in Mumbai with 2 tons capacity for each cage. For safe operation of the equipment, we are implementing a floor calling system. This aids the operator with properly stopping at the desired floor thus saving the time and enhancement of productivity. For economical operation, we are offering variable frequency drives for our hoists. This optimizes power consumption to a large extent." Conmech has delivered a 4+ tons with twin mast passenger hoist for industrial applications.

CMAC Pqw
Carrying forward towards newer product development, Mr. Rambabu informs, "At CMAC with the help of CABR, we constantly carry out engineering improvisations of our equipment, for the safety and comfort of the end user. According to this, we are now preparing for a 300-meter height with 3.2 tons weight on each cage. As, there is a growing necessity for transporting larger number of men and higher volumes of materials, we are taking up the challenge to develop a twin mast hoist, to handle table formwork which could be as big as 4000x5000x2400. If successfully developed, the machine could be termed as new generation vertical transportation equipment."

According to Rambabu "The competitive features of our men and material hoists are consistent performance and very low maintenance. Our equipment delivered during 2006-07 have successfully completed 4 projects and are still being used. Load sensing device & overload protector and floor calling and floor landing systems (optional) are our other features."

As part of product support, CMAC provides six months operators training for faster uptime of the equipment. Training is imparted for daily maintenance, various materials handling and prioritizing their shifting in co-ordination with the construction supervisor also forms part of the training. The company has established a test bed at its new production facility where it imparts practical training to these operators on the above mentioned areas. The company provides maintenance support through a team of 54 service engineers in the top five cities of India.

CMAC claims to have a decent market share of 1 ton, 1.6 ton, and 2 ton passenger hoists. Some of the company's tailor made vertical transport solutions are high speed hoist for power projects, curved hoist for chimneys for construction and inspection, hoist in cooling towers, cement and steel plants. It has recently started making available hoists for tower cranes for operator to reach the cabin. The company's clients include L&T, Shahpoorji Pallonji, Gammon, BGR energy, NCC, Tata Projects, Lodha and DLF. CMAC has exported its solutions to Oman, Qatar, Dubai, Brazil, and US.

AD Bhosale
Universal Axis Lifting Solutions
Wide range of vertical material handling solution is manufactured by Universal Axis Lifting Solutions Pvt. Ltd. According to Mr. A.D. Bhosale, Vice President, Universal Axis Lifting Solutions, "Our vertical material handling solutions with different drive mechanism are custom designed for Indian site condition, especially the ones with challenging conditions with the support of our dedicated design department with highly qualified and experienced staff for design and analysis. The vertical material handling solutions, made at our state-of-the-art robotics manufacturing facility, first of its kind in India, delivers products with highest accuracy, strong and full proof welding connection. All the key components of the solutions are of Indian origin."

Universal Axis's products comprises of rack & pinion passenger elevators, sea saw lift, multi go, wire ropes builder hoists, mini lifts, suspended platforms, mast climbing works platform, tower cranes, building construction Lifts installed in ducts.

Mentioning about the company's range of mast climbers Mr. A.D. Bhosale says "Our masts are made in heavy duty round tube, provided with male and female joints that make their erection easier. Further, the accurately machined rack and pinion gives smooth operation, which ensures safety and durability of the platform. Anti-tilting mechanism prevents the platform from declining on one side. Overload protection mechanism helps avoid excess loading on it. The guide rollers maintain accurate tolerance in the movement of the platforms on the mast. Heavy duty chassis with jacks facilitates free standing upto 6 meters above and the anchoring has to be made at an interval of every three meters."

Universal Axis manufactures 1, 2.5 and 4 tons of XYGO series of mast climbers in single and twin masts at its Shivare plant near Pune in Western India. The company has recently supplied its mast climbers JMC projects in Bengaluru, Kolkata and Delhi for a 100-meter residential project.

Sharing details on Universal Axis suspended rope platforms Mr. Bhosale says, "Capacities of our suspended rope platforms ranges 200- 1000 Kg capacity. The platforms can be installed from 7 to 300 meter height on vertical as well as profile surfaces. They can be utilized for varied applications comprising external plastering, painting, aluminium and glass cladding, cleaning of highrise building structures. The platforms are suspended along the building façade by wire ropes. It moves up and down with the help of electric motor through the suspended mechanism installed at the top of the building. Our platforms has some special features like over load protection mechanism, anti tilting, anti sway and safety lock mechanism for safe operation."

"Our CE certified rack and pinion elevators are available in 2.5, 2, 1.5, 1 tonne, 800kg and 400 kg capacity in single and twin masts, which goes more than 300 meter height above ground to 150 meter below ground. The elevators have variable speed from 8 meter/minute to high speed 90 meter /minute. They can be installed on inclined and profile structures surface such as cooling tower, chimneys etc. Our rack and pinion elevators have four levels of safety mechanism which ensure safe operation condition. The safety device of elevator is manufactured by company and is CE certified and follows BS safety norms. We have the distinction of installing highest numbers of elevators for different construction segments. The elevators are thoroughly inspected by various statutory bodies, consultants and government Institution for its technical suitability and safety prior to their installation." Says Mr. Bhosale. Universal Axis supports its products through its pan India regional offices.

Dr Vikram Mehta
Passenger Material Hoist
Manufacturers of mast climber and suspended rope platforms, Spartan Engineering Industries Pvt. Ltd. (SRP) are also offering customized solutions by adding newer features to their equipment. According to Dr. Vikram Mehta, Managing Director, Spartan Engineering Industries Pvt. Ltd., "For safety considerations, we have installed anti-swing device in the platforms, which will provide more stability when the platforms are working at increased heights, especially in windy conditions. Being modular in design, the width of our rope suspended platforms can be adjusted from 3 meters to 7.5 meters in various combinations." According to him, Spartan has supplied more than 1000 units to its clients across India. The suspended rope platforms are manufactured at Spartan's newly commissioned state-of- the-art plant at Ambernath."

Dr. Mehta adds, "To ensure that our platforms have enhanced equipment uptime, we are offering dedicated Annual Maintenance Contracts (AMC). Preventive maintenance clinics are conducted for all our equipment including suspended platforms for better life and lesser downtime. We have recruited and trained 150+ service engineers to provide job site support at short notice across the country. We also conduct periodic operators' training programme at our customer's site periodically."

Though there are firm fundamentals for the demand of vertical transportation solutions for construction projects and their maintenance. The demand can be better based on firm clauses from the contracting documents to project owners, making it mandatory for the safe transportation of men and materials and timely project completion. It will also be vital to set in Indian safety standards on similar lines of CE and ISO standards featuring safe engineering attribute in the products. Safer utilization of the men and material hoists will also be ensured through proper coordination between the contractors and the equipment manufacturers. This will call for sharing of vital data by the civil engineering team to the equipment suppliers, which in many cases manufacturers point out is deficient. Data on proposed and future construction heights, loads to be carried will be vital. This will ensure appropriate placement of the hoists by the manufacturers.
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