With revival of road construction projects, hydraulic rock breakers and drills manufacturers expect improvement in demand prospects. P.P. Basistha takes a look.
Gradual improvement in aggregates off take for the road sector is being seen as a precursor of rising demand for hydraulic rock breakers and drills, by manufacturers in the near term. According to the industry estimates, breakers demand in 2015-16 can be to the tune of 3000 units. To take on the anticipated demand, manufacturers are banking on the technical attributes of their existing equipment and the new launches, which they claim offer lesser operation and maintenance costs in course of primary breaking.
Mr. Singh says, "There are numerous advanced technical attributes allowing our breakers to provide higher equipment uptime and lesser operating and maintenance costs. This includes, rubber buffers and big size accumulators in Rammer Series to reduce stress on excavator hydraulics as well as structure. We use over hundreds of our own patented designed components in our breakers, all manufactured in house."
Mr. Singh points out, "the component RamdataII - electronic data recorder comes in Sandvik's Rammer series of higher capacity breakers as standard equipment. It records usage, impact cycles, operating practices, and servicing interval."
He mentions further, "To minimize equipment downtime, all our dealer technicians are trained by our factory product support team and are updated with real time latest information on all our products and technical updates. Our dealers provide safety, operator training, and preventive maintenance training during every commissioning."
Growing Demand BaseThe urban infrastructure construction is a new area creating demand for hydraulic rock breakers. Growing high-rise construction in metro cities needs below ground free level for vehicle parking purposes. Hydraulic rock breakers are being extensively used to break the rock boulders at the ground level prior to the foundation. Newer demand of hydraulic rock breakers is also coming from the areas having ban on rock blasting. Further, upcoming road construction projects in hilly terrain, requiring fracturing of rocks boulders that come in way of construction. Though there are numerous newer demand pockets of hydraulic rock breakers in India, the market continues to remain volumes driven. Moreover, it remains fragmented. The rental sector continues to be user of economical products with lesser preference for premium products. This resultantly makes it challenging for premium quality breakers manufacturers to promote the products.
Mr. Gossain says, "Our four regional training centers located in Ballabgarh, Chennai, Kolkata, and Pune provide training and JCB certifications for right availability of breakers operators, crucial for any breaking operations. We are planning to increase the frequency of our trainings in 2015. Our robust network of over 600 outlets across India provides easy access to spare parts and after sales support. We follow a population based parts stocking system which helps in reducing the downtime drastically."
Mr. Lall says, "Atlas Copco hydraulic breakers have unique features which ensure minimum machine downtime. Specifically, the 'Conti Lube' which is a self-priming lubrication pump with adjustable grease volume is designed for uninterrupted operation and optimized lubrication. Auto stop mode is another feature where the hydraulic breaker starts without load applied to the working tool thus simplifying handling. In the auto stop mode the hydraulic breakers runs only when load is applied to working tool thus preventing blank firing. With minimal wear and tear of parts the machine does not remain idle. Atlas Copco has the highest impact energy for each breaker in every category coupled with energy recovery mode."
"During commissioning we provide on-site training to operators and maintenance staff of the customer during commissioning of the equipments. We check our breakers and interact with the operators and maintenance staff at regular intervals to ensure that not only is the customer getting the highest productivity but also that our breakers are maintained in a healthy way. We also do road shows and service camps very frequently along with on- site training to operators. At times, based on the population, we gather all operators on the same site and advise them on the do's and don'ts to maintain the good health of the breaker and get maximum returns." Says, Mr. Lall.
He mentions further, "our 50+ strong dealer network and growing each year, a healthy stock of equipment and spare parts is maintained across India. Our dealers have a Pan India presence from Leh in the Northern tip to Kanyakumari in the Southern tip of India. We are also competently covered from West to East, from the Eastern most part of Gujarat to Arunachal Pradesh to make available appropriate marketing and services support for higher equipment availability."
He added "The brand image of our hydraulic drill machines and breakers is its cost competitiveness. Operating and maintaining our hydraulic drills is not as complicated. Furukawa Rock Drill products make work more efficient and help reduce manpower needs and also contribute to improved ease of operation and safety."
Advanced Hydraulic Rock DrillsRoad construction projects requiring aggregates at quarries through blasting has been creating spurt in demand of hydraulic rock drills. Dressing of granite marbles and rock stabilization is another newer application for hydraulic crawler drills.
Atlas Copco India has recently recently launched new hydraulic crawler rock drill-PowerROC D40.The drill is manufactured at its Nashik facility. Enlarging the product portfolio it plans to introduce its new generation drills, PowerROC T35 along with FlexiROC T45 produced in Japan and Sweden.
He continues, "PowerROC -T35 and FlexiROC- T45 are our top hammer drill rigs designed to meet productivity in challenging rock conditions. Top Hammer drills achieve high productivity and are normally low on fuel consumption. They are designed for drilling holes between 64mm to 115mm diameter and is the ideal choice for hard, compact and consolidated rock formations. Our FlexiROC T45 rig is loaded with useful features to tackle various drilling applications. This drill has ergonomic controls in the operator's cabin which support excellent rod handling, smooth drilling and easy tramming. These rigs also have multiple optional equipment comprising dust collection system, water injection system, auto fire suppression system and central lubrication system etc."
Atlas Copco's present crawler rock drills for the Indian market includes, locally assembled AirROC series drills eg- AirROC D35, AirROCD40, AirROCD45, AirROCT25 . It also promotes ICM 260 and Power D40. Atlas Copco also offers, imported units PowerROC T25 / PowerROC drills. Fitted with air compressor, which acts as power pack for drilling operations, AirROC series drills are capable for drilling hole diameter 95mm to 115mm. Atlas Copco offers tools like hammers, rods and bits as consumables for drilling operations.
Mr. Chaturvedi says, "We offer drills based on the productivity needs of our clients .Output can vary from5 to 50 metres per hour".
He adds, "spare parts support being the most critical function is taken care by a dedicated team for Inventory planning and maintaining stocks for various drills. Spare parts are distributed directly to some of the large customers while most of the parts are stocked and sold by our authorized distributors located at close proximity to customers using our equipment."
Furukawa Rock Drill makes are available in HCR series hydraulic crawler rock drill. The rock drill is capable of drilling between 64-165mm diameter penetrating up to 25-35 meters depending on the rock condition. The crawlers has intelligent monitoring system and gauges to monitor the drilling and flushing system. The drills have Dual Damper System for maximum energy transfer. Mr. Sarkar says, "compared to lower levels of fuel consumption, our crawler drills offers high levels of penetration."
While newer demand areas of hydraulic rock breakers and crawler drills augur well for the industry, it will be pertinent for OEMs to offer critical product support.