Be it mines or quarry of different sizes, maximum output is all what owners and operators of the sites are looking for, in the country, to a greater extent. To examine requirement to maximize output are being driven by various internal and external factors. Firstly, iron ore, the major demand sector where most of the track mounted units are deployed. The Legal intervention at sites to regulate the production of iron ore have led to suspension of output processing activities, the time when firm fundamentals of the growing economy have kept demand of steel at all time high (barring the intermittent cycles). Due to the suspension of mass activities, the onus has shifted to primary producers with captive mines (currently steel producers with captive mines are the major and assured demand market for the crusher suppliers facing dwindling sales from the iron ore sector) to meet the burgeoning demand. The secondary producers are really under pressure to deliver products having strong market linkages. To meet the demand of end products, they have to source processed raw materials from legally valid limited sources like that of National Mineral Development Corporation. This has eventually made the track units working at the limited iron ore output sources, whether captive or independent, provide higher equipment uptime.
The requirement of higher raw materials production is acknowledged by Ms. Arti Lunia, Executive Director, Corporate Affairs, Steel Authority of India Limited. She says, "Since growing demand has necessitated India to resort in steel imports, there is always a need to increase productivity of raw materials for steel production for the primary producers." Similar views are shared by Mr. M.V.S. Seshagiri Rao, Joint Managing Director & Group CFO, JSW Steel Limited, the major secondary producer in the country "steel demand will remain firm in the country despite the slowdown in the economy." The enquiries on plant utilization from the officials in their respective plant revealed that production units are working at 85% capacity, substantiating the high utilization of the crushing units at the iron ore sites supporting the plants. Similar responses are from cement sector requiring limestone.
Mr. Mahalanabis informs, "crushing and screening solutions made available by Apollo are economical as they are made on standardized and advanced manufacturing process." He elaborates saying, "lots of improvements and innovation has happened in metal forming technology and with very innovative softwares in the field of design (like solid works/solid edge) and finite element analysis in recent past. We use all the above mentioned technologies in our manufacturing. Further, wherever necessary, we use automation to help the operators(end user) to utilise the full capacity of the machine with lesser shutdowns. Our usp of product development is that we analyse individual requirements carefully to provide custom-built solution, which definitely scores over our competitors who offers very general "solutions" and does not really look into the customer's requirement."
He adds, "higher uptime of the equipment is being ensured by providing complete technical support through onsite training by our personnel to the quarry owners /operator, where our team jointly with the customer's team runs the plant for a period of time to help them achieve the rated capacity and familiarise them to various operation and maintenance related features. Based on customer's requirement, we also provide training at our factory where we can open up the equipment and show how the machine works so that people understands the machine better.We also provide Audio Visual maintenance manual. Timely spare parts support is ensured through our nationwide network.
Apollo's crushing and screening range comprises of plants for aggregates, limestone, iron ore and coal. It also provides plants for other minerals where "ore dressing" is required. Capacities of the plant manufactured comprises from 100 TPH to upto 1200 TPH across stationery, wheel mounted portable and track mounted mobile plants.
He adds, "our Kleemann range of crushers and screens are technically advanced to provide higher productivity. There are many points where we can prove our superiority over competitions mainly fuel efficiency, product quality, builtup quality, electrical and hydraulic features, economic life of machine, lower downtime, easy maintenance etc. Over and above considering these features, we can prove that our cost/ton is much lower than competitors, even though our machines have higher owning cost. Our operational costs are lower which perfectly suit to Indian buyers to get their projects done on time with required quality output."
Mr. Palagiri says, "Support to the equipment is offered by Wirtgen India's full-fledged service and after market network located across India. We have a number of warehouses and a Strong service Network to ensure timely support of Spares linked to our central warehouse in Pune. We also offer AMC contracts to obtain maximum availability of machines as part of equipment support.
Training of operational crew on timely basis is also regular exercise of Wirtgen India Pvt Ltd's service team. We have a state-of-the-art workshop where refurbishment of as many as five machines at the same time, can be done and also a well equipped State of the Art training School at our Pune production unit."
Presently we would import the fully built crushing units from its plant in Germany. However, the company has long-term plans to indigenously produce the Kleemann crushing and screening plants at its production facility in Pune.
He mentiones, "to ensure the higher productivity of our crushing units, we are in the process of testing its newly developed software (automation) that will be installed in our crushers to monitor the working performance/efficiency of the products for effective preventive maintenance." He adds, "higher equipment performance is also ensured through adequate after sales service support aided by continuous operators training and operational maintenance programmes."
According to Mr. Kumar, cost competitiveness is being ensured across the company's entire product portfolio. He informs, "our Group company Opel - Socomec manufacturing rock breakers under the technical collaboration with Socomec of Italy, have also launched its new indigenized, cost competitive, BOS 1500 Model rock breakers for 20 ton class excavators. We are also in the process of even indegenising BOS 1900 Model for 30 ton class excavators."
Along with carrying out advancements in the product line, Propel industries are also in the process of expanding its market network. According to Mr.Senthil Kumar, "as of now, we have covered states of Tamil Nadu Maharashtra, Kerala, Andhra Pradesh, Rajasthan, Uttarkhand and Karnataka. However, with increased customization of the products based on user requirements across the value chain in the quarry sector, we will expand our marketing footprint to the other parts of the country.
Propel's crushing plant comprises of 400 TPH 2 / 3 stage stationary / skid crushing and screening plant, 300 TPH 2 / 3 stage stationary / skid crushing and screening plant, 200 TPH 2 / 3 stage semi mobile or stationary crushing and screening plants and150 TPH 2 / 3 stage semi mobile or stationary crushing and screening plant. It's unit equipments offerings consists of jaw crusher, cone crusher, vertical shaft impactor, vibrating screens, grizzly feeders, sand washing equipment and hydraulic Rock Breaker (Opel – Socomec, Italy).
Synergizing to Emerging Demand
Mr. Babu mentions, "The new mineral processing solutions will be competitively priced despite being qualitatively at par with the premium class of products presently available as the production will be entirely indigenous and in house across our production units in Hyderabad. We have the requisite experience in providing custom made solutions for the mineral processing industry, especially in providing transportation solutions through conveyor systems and extreme engineering solutions like concrete placement systems in Dams." Nawa Engineers has recently acquired hydraulic cone crusher technology from US based Louis Johnson. According to the company, the cones are made of unique 'fault reverse material' comes in the range of 300-400-500 tph while its primary crushing plant range consists of 150-1000 tph units.
According to him, "the new range of cone crushers are competitively priced based on the fact that we produce plants through lean manufacturing systems. Besides, proper inventory management also allows us to keep raw materials price in check, thus allowing us to make price competitive products."
Introductions of new products along with modifications in the existing productline, hold good for the users and manufacturers. However to carry the trend further, there is a requirement of constant information sharing between the manufacturers and quarry owners for creation of custom products based on the fact that India has got much diverse geological conditions, where production of desired quality of aggregates, through necessary design modifications will have to be made under the dual initiative of both parties.