What opportunities do you see for Epiroc in India’s growing construction sector?
I see a lot of opportunities emerging in India’s infra development sector. The Indian government’s policies involve heavy investments in the infrastructure and mining segments, so we expect to see a lot of projects coming up and therefore a lot of business. In fact, the Indian market has been giving us a lot of business opportunities since the past 60 years and we are committed to working for the country’s nation building. We may even consider moving more of our manufacturing from Sweden and Italy to India as the affordable manufacturing cost here will allow us to export not only to low-cost countries but also to the more premium European and the US markets.
What are the complete range of products under the brand Epiroc for the Indian market?
We cater to the Mining space which covers drilling both on Surface and Underground and also the Construction segment.
Our range of products in the drilling space includes Blasthole drills, Surface drills and Underground drilling boomers while in the Load and Haul space we have low profile Dump trucks, Loaders and Haggloaders. In the construction segment, we offer Hydraulic Breakers, Bucket Crushers, Drum Cutters, Hydraulic Compactors, Combi Cutters and other demolition products. Coming to the consumables space, we manufacture Rock Drilling tools and other consumables for such operations. We are also into manufacture of Deep hole rigs for CBM/O&G applications.
What engineering improvisations have been carried out in your mining equipment in the recent past to improve productivity, fuel efficiency and safety?
We believe that automation, digitalization, and electrification is the future of the mining industry. Having already invested in automation and remote controlling, we are also working on fully autonomous mining methods. We have a big R&D center in Bangalore with a team of over 385 employees. We want to develop products with new designs, advanced features, and integrated with the latest technologies. So, our aim is not only to Make in India, but also to Design in India.
How do you look to make your products cost-competitive in the price-sensitive Indian market?
We do not want to compete on the cost factor alone. We want to be the leading company in the mining industry with a strong focus on technology, performance, and service to our customers. We are trying to source parts locally and then supply our products to global markets. This will help bring down our manufacturing costs.
We focus on Total Cost of Ownership. So, just owning the machine is not the total cost. We combine efficiency with technology and the services and bring the best solution to the customers. Our long-term relationship and long-term support to our customers makes them trust us.
What are the new targeted application areas and markets for your products?
We have a full range of products catering ideally to the Indian market. Few of them are being manufactured from our factories in Nashik and Hyderabad, which supply to the Indian market and to Columbia.
We plan to target new market segments such as railway infrastructure, metro rails, and roads. We want to give products that give total solutions to our customers along with high performance, efficiency, and reliability. We believe that digitalization and automation in machines will be in demand and we are prepared to offer such machines for India’s infra development projects.
What is your take on preventive and periodic maintenance?
Epiroc truly believes in following the right maintenance philosophy to ensure that our customers get the optimum life and productivity for their equipment. We do insist all our customers to follow periodic maintenance practices as mentioned in the O&M manuals. We also have state of the art concepts like RigScan - which does live scan of the machine and helps to predict the failures before they actually happen and Certiq - which is an on-line remote monitoring system giving live statistics of the vitals and alerts of the machine. These two are important tools which help our customers to save on costs and increase uptime.
How is Epiroc addressing the issue of operator training/skill development?
Out of our total workforce of over 1600 in India, more than half are service engineers. We have modern manufacturing facilities in both our Nashik and Hyderabad plants. We work with many partners in India and provide special training to the operators of our customers. As most developers are trying to complete their projects on or before time, equipment availability has become vital. Our vast partner network helps us to stay in close touch with our customers in India.
Please give information on your dealer network and new markets you plan to be present in.
Epiroc serves customers in the mining, infrastructure and natural resources industries in more than 150 countries. With cutting-edge technology, we develop and produce innovative drill rigs, rock excavation and construction equipment, and provides world-class service and consumables. In India, we are spread across the country with 8 regional customer centres, 2 product manufacturing plants, 1 technical unit and 1 head office. This kind of extensive network functions effectively with the help of our regional presence backed by our extensive dealer network all across. We want to be a preferred partner with every project in this domain.