As project sizes becoming bigger, foundation and earthmoving equipment manufacturers are offering bigger size equipment for increased output and productivity. P. P. Basistha explores the offerings and the benefits involved with the heavier equipments.
Higher working capacity of foundation and piling equipment are essentially gauged by their operating weight which enables the machines to undertake deeper drilling at wider diameters in hard strata. In accordance with this, Soilmec, the Italian foundation equipment major has in place, heavy equipment that can undertake drilling from 60 metres to 100 metres. However, it has also in place lighter capacity equipment that can undertake drilling from 20-50 metres deep.
Soilmec’s product offering consisting SR-70, a heavy equipment has been deployed in the construction of International Container Transhipment Terminal at Cochin, being developed by Dubai Ports World. The project which will be India’s first container transhipment terminal between the East and West Coast, for accommodating bigger vessels involves drilling upto 80 metres, deepest drilling ever done by any foundation equipment in India as Mr. Chakravarty informed, 1200 mm of diametre with the SR-70.
SR-70, a foundation equipment of 79 tonne class has a powerful rotary of achieving 266 km maximum torque. The machine has been deployed in the brownfield expansion project work of Tata Steel’s flagship plant at Jamshedpur and that of Indian Iron and Steel Company belonging to Steel Authority of India Limited. The machine has been undertaking digging at hard soil with full of iron slag in both the projects. The SR-70 has also been finding increased acceptance at National Thermal Power Plant’s project at Bongaigon, Nellore, Bawana and much recently Barh Thermal power project.
Also to undertake deeper drilling, Soilmec has in place the SR-80 another top version of the company’s offering. The machine which can be converted in a 70 ton foundation crane and from that when equipped with a diaphragm wall hydraulic grab is able to perform panels upto 1200mm long and 3500 mm width and upto 70m depth.
The rig of the machine is equipped with a hydraulic rotary shifting gear box which, at the same torque level is able to offer higher rotation speed, an average increase of 15%. By means of which we obviously have a higher production capacity but can also be exploited for soil mixing applications.” The safety feature of the machine includes, being equipped with three cameras located in the critical areas at the winches, blind rear and bottom areas for the operator, he mentions further.
Soilmec, which is essentially into geotechnical construction has got requisite data inputs, which it passes on to the potential contractor for selection of the appropriate machine, from its range of foundation equipment product offering based on the job requirement.
Another Italian foundation equipment major to provide heavier capacity foundation equipment is Mait Far East Pte Limited. The company has on offer its HR-260 drilling rig with 75 tonnes capacity for undertaking drilling at 80 metres. It has HR-800 weighed at 150 tonnes for undertaking drilling jobs at 110 metres. It has HR-300 weighed at 95 tonnes to perform drilling functions at 80 metres. The machines are well capable for undertaking drilling at hard strata with increased output.
Adds Mr. Brahme. “Mait’s rigs are multipurpose rigs which can be used for diaphragm walls with a simple change of kit at a rapid pace. Changing from bored piling version to diaphragm version takes only few hours.”
Mait manufactures range of hydraulic rigs for bored piles, continuous flight auger, diaphragm walls, jet grouting, casing oscillators etc. Mait also manufactures hydraulic hammers for driven piles.
Mait’s foundation equipment puts forth the claim on products offering value for money. As per Mr. Brahme, “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, it can perform optimally to its potential and provides a good resale value to the contractor wiling to sell the same after its usage.” Mr. Brahme, informed about a Mait piling rig, which worked for more than 25,000 hours in Mumbai was sold off at reasonably good price after its job by the contractor.
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. The company also has prime customers involving, Navayuga and Simplex infrastructure, to whom it has sold 25 and 20 rigs respectively, over the years. Based on the DPR made available by the contractor, Mait provides assistance to the contractor for selection of the right kind of foundation equipment based on the job application requirements.
Based near Venice, Italy, Casagrande’s wide range of foundation engineering equipment includes Hydraulic Piling & Diaphragm Wall Rigs, Hydraulic Crawler Drills, Hydromills, Desanders, equipment for micropiling, Jet Grouting, to name a few.
A large majority of Casagrande’s product range is working in India on various projects and applications like Delhi Metro, Mumbai Metro, Bangalore Metro, Bridges, Flyovers, Underpass, Dams, Ports & Harbours, Power projects, etc.
Casagrande’s other top end variant includes, the C850, the B300 (weighed at 88 tonnes). It is able to undertake piling at a maximum depth of 70m at a maximum diameter of 2000mm. On the other hand the company’s B-400 weighed at 110 tonnes can undertake piling at a maximum depth of 87m at the maximum diameter of 2700mm.
In the large rigs, Casagrande’s popular big rig model C600, weighed at 107 tonnes, can undertake Bored Piles at a maximum depth of 87m at a maximum diameter of 2200mm and Diaphragm walls of upto 57m depth and panel thickness of 1200mm.
Casagrande has been able to maintain a well established presence in the Indian construction market. Casagrande piling rigs boasts 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 Diaphragm Wall Rigs have found applications in many construction projects across the country, prime among this includes, construction of underground stations of Delhi Metro, the Underpass sections in New Delhi by Valecha Engineering, Basements, Underground Car Parks, etc. Casagrande has various models of Diaphragm wall rigs namely B125KRC1, B180HDKRC2, B250KRC3, C600HDKRC2, etc. The Diaphragm wall rigs can be seen working in most large cities in India with a large focus in New Delhi.
Casagrande’s Hydraulic Crawler Drills for Micropiling, Anchoring & Jet Grouting Applications like C6 are deployed in several projects in India, like Delhi Metro, Dams, etc. The most reliable crawler drill produced, has several applications. Today’s C6 has changed from its older versions, with options like radio controls, electronic rotary, versatile mast movements, etc.
Jet Grouting Pumps, Desanders, Bentonite Mixing Units, tools, accessories and comprehensive solutions are available with Casagrande.
Foundation equipment for critical construction project work is also offered by Bauer. The company, which sold piling rigs to L&T 13 years ago, have found its product acceptance among major construction companies at their site over the years. Prime among them include, Navayuga Engineers, Krishna river bridge project at Vijayvada in Andhra Pradesh. The construction component involves, using four Bauer piling rigs for constructing a three kilometer bridge on the river.
Bauer rigs are also being used in Parbati hydroelectric power project in Himachal Pradesh, National Thermal Power Corporation’s ongoing coal fired power station at Barh in Bihar and also Navayuga’s Nariana flyover in Delhi. The equipment have found usage in Delhi Metro Railway projects also.
Elaborating on the advanced features of Sinovo rigs, Mr. Rakesh Raina, General Manager Sales, PVS-Impex mentions, “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. On this, the newest Caterpillar engines meets exhaust classification 3rdemission standard and with auto acceleration and deacceleration functions, resulting in 5-10% 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.” Added features of Sinovo piling rigs includes, PLC control system with LCD display lubrication free bearings advance computer control system etc. Sinovo piling rigs are available in range of model configurations consisting, the TR120, TR160, TR180, TR220, TR250, TR300, and TR400.
Piling rigs with advanced features are also claimed to be offered by Rotary Construction Machinery India. China based Beijing Rotary Machinery Technology Company Limited is relatively a new entrant in the Indian foundation and piling equipment market. The company which has been importing its piling rigs from China has sold four machines in India as of now following its entry in the Indian market. The piling rigs were sold to Mumbai based construction companies. According to
Nonetheless, though the sales of the ThyssenKrupp’s products have been modest but it has found its acceptance in major projects comprising, South Asian LPG project at Vizag and Videocon IT Park at Kolkata. The company’s Vibrohammers and sheet piles have been used in projects belonging to Shapoorji Pallonji, Larsen & Toubro, Essar Group, Befesa Infrastructure India (P) Ltd. ThyssenKrupp’s Vibrohammers owes its utility to the higher output it can deliver at a shorter time period.
To promote the products, Nathani Steel has been carrying on business development not only among end users but also among construction project design consultants such as Sterling Consultants, Shrish Patel and Associates etc.
Versatility & Prequisites
Given the advantages of the heavier capacity foundation equipment both in terms of its productivity and versatility, a contractor can be enticed to acquire it. However, a contractor would be well advised to take into account certain usage parameters, prior deployment of the machine at the job site as this would make the usage of the equipment more commercially viable.
Significant yard sticks that needs to be taken into account includes, a thorough evaluation of the job size in hand and the ones the contractor looking to undertake in future. As Mr. Brahme of Mait informs, “a contractor should go for a bigger machine, once he has a job assurance of undertaking minimum 60-800 piles. Besides, rate of drilling per metre needs to be justified, prior going in for a bigger machine. At par with this, the strata requirement, the drilling depth requirement and the diameter should also be well taken into account in advance.”
Deployment of a bigger machine and getting the desired output and productivity would also be justified with appropriate selection of supporting equipment. This would mean at par with a big equipment a contractor has to put in place a heavier capacity crane, for bridge projects, to lift down the steel casing for pouring concrete. Selection of the right concrete pump that can be matched with the working foundation equipment also needs to be taken into account among others. All which would go in positioning of the equipment commercially viable.
Efficacy in Heavy EarthmovingNot to be left behind, at par with heavier foundation equipment, big sized earthmoving equipment come with their own usefulness both in terms of higher productivity and multipurpose usage. This is both for excavators, wheel loaders and backhoe loaders. Segments of earthmoving equipment manufacturers have equipment in place to yield higher productivity and output for Indian construction and mining market while some others are following suit by upgrading their product line offerings.
Higher productivity from a bigger sized excavator is essentially derived through its higher engine power and engineering refinement in terms of its hydraulics and arm-bucket and boom are concerned.
Placed with higher output requirement from the construction sector, Hyundai is also planning to launch 80 tonnes excavator under its Robex series for the Indian construction market within a couple of months time. Apart from the 80 tonner Hyundai has 50 tonne capacity excavator. Hyundai manufactures its 20 tonne Robex excavator in India at Pune for the Indian market plans to tap the higher capacity Indian excavators market, led by growth in project sizes. As per Hyundai sources, the competitive advantage of the Robex series excavators, essentially lies in its high productivity, low operating cost, and competitive parts price.
Big sized equipment are also made available by market leader Telcon. The construction equipment major has in place range of versatile excavators in place starting from 2 to a high of 120 tonnes both for Indian and European markets under technical collaboration with Hitachi of Japan. One of the company’s prominent big size product offerings for the Indian mining market has been the Ultra large Hitachi EX 2500-5 mining shovel. The machine has been continuous patronage from M/s EMTA as the mining company’s third machine was commissioned in the recent past at the Panchwara block, Pakur Jharkhand. Two such units have been operational at Tara OCP of Bengal EMTA Coal Mines. As per Telcon sources, all EX-2500 are providing optimum productivity with Emta and are under full maintenance contract with Telcon.
The Zaxis 870 LCH boasts of strengthened under carriage with enlarged upper and lower rollers, idlers and sprockets and strengthened track links. The machine also has strengthened front components with enlarged pins and strengthened H-bucket for heavy duty. Similar features are also boasted by the Zaxis-670 LCH. The excavator which is of 67 tonnes has a bucket capacity of 2.5-3.5 cum.
In the league to offer high capacity excavators is Volvo CE. Volvo CE has its flagship high capacity 70 tonnes excavator for the Indian market under the model configuration EC700BLC. As per Volvo, the EC700BLC works on the next-generation Volvo diesel engine using Volvo Advanced Combustion Technology (V-ACT) that delivers low emissions, superior performance and fuel efficiency. The machine finds its application for mining, mass excavation, quarrying etc. The salient features of the machine includes, advanced hydraulic system automatic sensing work mode, advanced power mode control system has ten working modes, thereby ensuring higher productivity. It has an 80–ton hydraulic system for longer component lifecycle. Volvo has on offer the 40 tons hydraulic excavator EC460BLC12D having bucket capacity of 2.45 cum-3.1 cum. The machine possesses advanced technological features for high productivity.
Mentioning about the advanced features of the machines Mr. O.P. Bangur, Director, Dozco says, “the machines have all advanced features packed in a rugged body.”
The 90ZIV wheeled loader has a direct injection, turbo charged engine for low fuel consumption. The equipment comes with a load sensing steering system, only the required oil is supplied to the steering circuit (takes priority over loading circuit) so that the light touch steering is ensured even at low engine speed. When steering is not required the full discharge from the steering oil pump is applied to the loading circuit so that the powerful bucket loading is ensured for energy savings.
Advanced features for high productivity is also claimed by JCB for its 4DX back- hoe loaders. The 4DX backhoe loaders which has a shovel capacity of 1.2 cum and a bucket capacity of 30 cum maintains to have power slide hydraulically shifts for the boom eliminating the need to manually move the backhoe during repositioning. Besides, the machine also claims to have increased mobility, upto 40 kmph resulting lower cost of travel between sites for increased productivity, higher engine torque for augmented loading and hill climbing performance, enhanced room capacity, low noise levels and automotive styling for enhanced operators comfort etc.
The backhoe loaders also claim to offer enhanced productivity based on their versatile application helped by attachments. In accordance with this, the machines can be attached with rock cutters, jaw bucket, ripper tooths, ditch cleaning bucket, hydraulic tools circuit etc.
JCB also claims to provide high output through its 210 tracked excavator. According to Mr. Gossain, “the JS 210 comes with X type under carriage, sealed tracked chain and scalloped drive sprockets for extra life. Further, the tracked excavator has features consisting of automatic machine control systems for troubleshooting and suggesting solutions for maintenance of the machines during performance.” The JS 210 excavator comes with a bucket size having capacities ranging from 0.9 cum to 1.2 cum with replaceable wear parts. The machine has advanced hydraulic components protected by superior standard filtration, to ensure long hydraulic fluid and component life.”
However, prior deployment of a high capacity machine a proper evaluation of the volume of work to be undertaken has to be done by the contractor. This will make the utility of bigger excavators and loaders at the job site optimum as the machines are fit to work where high quantum of work is being undertaken. Right evaluation of the job work necessitating usage of high capacity machines would enable the contractor to earn right margin for the job and in turn enable to pay the monthly installments with ease.