Crushers and screen manufacturers are expecting higher sales realization. According to industry estimates, the demand is projected to grow to the tune of 15-20% during current and coming fiscals. This great demand would be led by firm requirement of wheeled and stationary product line. However, tracked plants are perceived to pass through shrinking demand phase at least for sometime now. The manufacturers are working on marketing strat- egies, backed by product offering, to meet the growing requirement amidst tough competition for wheeled and stationary units, whereas the business plan is being reworked to offset declining sales of tracked units.
According to industry prediction, the demand for tracked plants started declining from 2010 with the retrogression of economy setting in. There is also temporary drop in demand this year due to slowdown in off take of iron ore from China. The situation is being compounded with a ban on illegal mining in Orissa resulting in slowdown. The Bellary-Hospet iron ore mining region of Karnataka has been one of the prime demand markets for tracked units. Jharkhand, Bhilai-Jagdalpur, Barbil region fared no better due to disturbed condition. This slowdown in demand of the tracked units had a multiple impact on drilling, blasting and transportation equipment consisting of tippers and allied equipment. Demand fall of tracked units have been reported to be at -50%. The growth of mining sector has been 1.8 percent as compared to 7.8 percent last year as per Ministry of Mines recent figure.
However, on a positive note recent development work of captive Chiria mines undertaken by Steel Authority of India Limited, for the mega capacity addition of its flagship Bhilai Steel plant in Chhattisgarh, Greenfield Kalinga- nagar steel plant of Tata Iron and Steel Company in Orissa will require tracked plants. New unit of Jindals in Angul is expected to bring future demand of tracked units as well. The demand is also projected to grow from new facility of Balaji Ispat at Bokaro and upcoming facility of Electro Steel casting at Durgapur in West Bengal. Expansion of Rourkela and Bokaro Steel plant of SAIL is expected to add up requirement of tracked units. The new facilities, in their initial stages are charted to come up spanning during 2013–15. However, the demand, not exceptional, will depend on the pace of iron ore mine allocation to the new steel plant developers. Enquiries with the Tata Steel and other developers revealed that the process of mine allocation has been slow by the government owing to environmental and other issues.
Carrying the positive sentiment further, demand from cement units and captive power utilities running on coal may neutralize demand pull of tracked units. However, tracked manufacturers see new demand scope from the replacement market for the tracked units. As per industry sources, there is an existence of a replacement market in many parts of India. Crushing is undertaken in the small quarry sites, through the conventional crushing system. Manufacturers feel, tapping the replacement market, over a period of time, can make up at least 60% of the losses, in turn adding up to the top and bottom line. The size of the replacement market is expected to be to the tune of 150tph-200tph unit capacity.
Taking on the DemandHowever, the big demand figures, projected by manufacturers, representing the wheeled and stationary segment are expected to come from road construction and also from core infrastructure projects consisting of hydro power projects. Thronging of the emerging demand space by existing players and also by multiple new entrants, over the span of five years, comprising Indian and multinational companies, on obvious grounds would not be excluded from competition factor. This is well expected to bring newer solutions and pricing dividends and added service support for customers.
According to the manufacturers, there is a growing demand of higher capacity wheeled plants in a range of 250-300-350 tph. The demand for the higher capacity plants are essentially from build, operate and transfer projects. The demand from bigger projects is putting requirements for steel skid type plants as compared to traditional stationary plants. There is a prime requirement of safety and pollution control features with sprinklers systems and covers for restricted air pollution. For safety, there is a demand trend of machines with safety guards, railings, platforms etc. while for conveyors, safety switches, emergency stops is the current requirement.
Focus on aggregate market has brought dividends for Powerscreen. Mr. Khoda informs, "We have considerably expanded sales in tracked plants for the first half of 2011 as compared to last year. The growth was seen in the road sector with the current development in this area and the large investment in line with this from both public and private sectors." He adds, "Our major sales today in India are in iron ore and the aggregates sector for road building. However, we have identified alternative applications which have been investigated and the company has already had good success in sales into these target markets. We are optimist that over a period of time our market share in these alternative segments will grow considerably."
According to Mr. Khoda, "Powerscreen offers the mining and construction industries a comprehensive range of mobile crushing, screening and washing equipment. Our tracked mobile jaw and cone crushers, together with the well respected range of Chieftain screening plants, are now found in many mines and construction projects in India. In 2010 Powerscreen launched 6 new products that have further strengthened our position in the aggregate sector in support of the major infrastructure works that are planned over the coming years while in 2011, the 1500 Maxtrak was launched. It is one of the largest track mobile cone crushers on the market and is specifically developed for larger segment end users, the plant can accept an all-in feed from a primary crusher to produce up to 950 tph of aggregate." He insists, "The extended market portfolio of tracked plants will allow us to expand and consolidate our market presence in the Indian crushing sector."
Mr. Khoda points out, "we should be in a position to offer price value to the customers, as the units are now being manufactured at the new Hosur plant near Bengaluru through a good deal of localized components. Customers will also stand to benefit as the resale value of our tracked units are quite high." He adds, end customers will be able to save in imports duties for the Powerscreen Track Plants.
Mr. Khoda mentions, "Extended equipment uptime for Powerscreen Units in India is supported by our five Powerscreen dealers. This includes excellent parts availability held in stock at a regional level by each of the dealers and at a national level at the factory in Hosur. Technical support is also available from the Indian dealers who in turn are supported by a dedicated technical helpdesk at all factories."
However, through wheeled plants Mr. Chaterjee expects Voltas will get support for its top and bottom line growth during the mid and long-term. He says, "the wheeled plant business has really performed well and beyond expectations as compared to last year. The plants have been accepted well in aggregate sector. Already in first QTR, the order booking position is close to what we did last year. This has been mainly due to better product offering, customer getting value for money invested and prompt after sales support." He reveals, "currently with our Tracked plant (TP) and Wheeled plant (WP), we had been focusing into aggregate sector, quarry operation & iron ore mining sector. However, to expand business we are also exploring new minerals to compensate the deficit."
Mr. Chaterjee says, expansion of business backed by appropriate customer support is the key of marketing strategy for Voltas Limited both for tracked and wheeled business. According to this, we have focused largely in strengthening network of sales & support across the country. Today, we are present in all major locations across India with sales and service personnel. We believe in living closer to machines. The increased customer support focus for both TP and WP will enable us to expand our market share.
However, it would actually be the total solutions and valued offering by Voltas that will allow the company to expand and consolidate its market presence. He says, "customers today look for value based proposition, total customized solution rather than just purchasing the plants. Not only do they purchase plants but expect total solution like operation & maintenance contract, manpower for running and maintaining the plant with allied feeding and loading equipment. Similarly, today customers in iron ore are not really ready to invest money on simple washing rather intend to spend on beneficiation circuit which will improve quality of ore by 10-15%. Voltas has thus enhanced itself in meeting some of these customers expectations by providing complete valued solutions through its crushing & screening equipment and customer support."
Proman will manufacture tracked plants with a capacity of 100-400 tph under technical collaboration of Tesab Engineering Limited of Ireland in Bengaluru. The crushers will be branded as Proman-Tesab. "The new tracked crushers will provide high equipment up time as they can be operated continuously at mining sites and big infrastructure projects. The machines will be cost competitive to operate as well Mr. Raghavan informs."
Proman manufactures vertical shaft impactors under technical collaboration with Remco. It also makes heavy duty primary jaw crushers under collaboration with Lippman USA bearing a capacity of 100-500 tph. Other range of Proman’s crushing solutions include, grizzly feeders under collaboration with Finedoor of UK and fine removal Ortner equipment under technical tie up with Aggregate Industries US.
Proman also manufactures Procone cone crushers for secondary and tertiary crushing.
Mr. Venkataramana informs, "we are offering total support to our existing and new customers. The idea of providing service back to customers is to become their production partners based on the customized solution requirement." "As part of customer support, Puzzolana offers pre order support in testing of rock, plant location, taking note of pollution wind flow etc. For operation support, we provide manpower training at our factory and onsite training team as well. Customer support also includes, maintenance contracts with or without parts," says Mr. Venkataramana. Puzzolana has 12 stockyards across the country to provide parts support for major customers. The company also has parts godowns at strategic locations.
Terex MPS manufactures its 200 TPH Wheel plants at its production facility at Hosur in Tamil Nadu. Above 200 TPH capacity, Wheel Plants are currently being imported from overseas factories. It has recently launched the modular plants in addition to its existing range of Stationary plants.
Mr. Shekhar explains, "the modular product line are pre-designed static and semi-static crushing and screening modules. The customers have the option to pick and choose the modules they want to create the plant. These modules are designed to fit and work together with interchangeability and can be bolted together on site. It has easy to assemble and disassemble ability. The modular plants are Terex designed and supplied and comes with Terex Warranty. Modular unit components are labeled so as to be easily identified when constructing the equipment on site."
He informs, "Terex MPS has an extensive product range to meet the demands of both the Construction and Mining Industry. Our product range includes, ‘Cedarapids’, ‘Canica’, ‘Jaques’ and ‘Simplicity’ brands. These are being used in a wide variety of applications across the globe. Terex MPS supplies static equipment and plant from capacity range of 150 TPH to 3000 TPH. Terex MPS also has products for recycling applications. The recycling industry is in its nascent stages in India and we hope to develop this market in the near future."
The demand for equipment is both for static and mobile plants for Terex MPS. Mr. Shekhar says, "we are receiving very positive response from the customers for the Wheel Plants in addition to our existing line of Static equipment. There is an increasing trend for static equipment especially in southern parts of India. The demand for manufactured sand has been growing over the last few months and we have seen more capacity being added by customers in their existing plants as well as lot of new projects are also being put up in turn driving demand of equipment." Terex has launched its wheel plants in India this year.
Mentioning about the features of Terex’s wheeled plants Mr.Shekhar says, "our wheel plants are one of the Industry’s most advanced designed plants which comes with features like option of foldable hopper wings for excavator feeding as an option for the customer. The plant’s mobile design provides it with one of the Industry’s best set up time at site. The jaw crusher comes with Feed Opening of 762 mm – one of the best in its class.
We have provided Chassis Mounted Secondary hopper & pan feeder for quick set up time & better feed control to cone crusher. The over spill chutes have been designed to guide the cone chamber feed box spillage onto the conveyor, thereby reducing the wastage and requirement of manpower for cleaning."
On emerging market trends in crushing and screening in India, Mr. Shekhar informs, "customers are now looking for complete solutions from the equipment manufacturers. The demand for custom made solutions is also increasing, though the standard modules of plants are still the most popular. With our range of equipment support, we offer our customers total solution packages including crushing, screening and washing. These packages can be offered either on wheel plants, modular plants or as unit equipment."
He adds, "to support the total solutions, there is a lot of focus on customer service by Terex MPS. We have invested in manpower at our factory at Hosur to provide unmatched customer service support. We have also been conducting various service training courses at the sites to both our customers and dealer staff.
Sustained monitoring of the parts stock at our own warehouse as well as the dealer warehouse is carried. This ensures that the customers do not have to wait for parts and ensures higher uptime of the plant. We are also planning to increase our dealer network across India."
As per Mr. Raju, "value in equipment and sales will be provided by Nawa through customized solutions offering, in sync with emerging trend of the aggregate sector." He explains, "at par with like their global counterparts, the Indian quarry operators are increasingly looking at mobile crushers and screeners to solve challenges related to logistics and setting up & dismantling plants. Mobile crushers give contractors the ability to move the equipment from one site to another with minimum logistics. Also these mobile tracked plants can be dismantled in a few days or week’s time when compared to a static plant.
Based on the emerging trend, NAWA is already addressing this challenge very aggressively. We are into the manufacturing of mobile plants & will also increase its range to track mounted plants by 2012. DuraconeSRM series, both 400 and 500, shall be added to the ‘crushing & screening’ product line and will be available for sales from Oct 2011 onwards. This should enable us to book new orders for 250/300 TPH plants addressing the popular need of the market and making us one of the few companies first off the block in India. NAWA Duracone SRM’ series will be able to crush hardest of the rocks to the capacities up to 850 TPH. The energy saving and high performing machines, which are ideally mounted on either tracks or multi-axle chassis mobile stations, are meant to meet the crushing and aggregate needs of the multi-billion mega highway projects."
Mr. Raju added, NAWA has developed and introduced a new series of ‘NAWA TRIPLEKS’ vibrating screens with a powerful three-vibratory mechanism for high efficiency screening. These machines are mounted horizontally and provide installation advantages of no head room and power saving.
Mr. Raju explains, "we would further look to provide value to our equipment through addressing the transportation requirements of the aggregate sector as an effort to provide customized solutions." He informs, " NAWA has installed more than 350 plants all over the country, and a majority of them have been set up, and successfully under operation, in the most difficult terrains of Northeastern states, J&K, H.P and Uttarakhand. We have designed and successfully commissioned the concrete delivery and placement system for M/s Patel Engineering Limited for their Ghatghar Hydro Electric Power (Ghatghar dam) Project at Ghatghar, Maharashtra. We have also conceptualized and designed the concrete conveying and placement system for Vaitharna Dam Project in Maharashtra, for M/s Soma Enterprise Limited. The 600 cu. m per hour system comprises continuous concrete pick-up at the batching plants, convey, elevate, articulate and place the concrete by a belt conveyor system that works on hydro-mechanically operated jacking mechanisms to an ultimate dam of height of 100 meter. NAWA is executing the project on ‘from concept to commissioning’ basis." Nawa’s belt conveyor Systems are of varied sizes and capacities for cement, steel, thermal power stations, mining and process plants. Its concrete delivery systems involving belt conveying and placement of wet and dry concrete in dam projects is for capacity of 1000 TPH and above.
According to Mr. Raju, "NAWA is an indigenous company to the core. It started off with its R&D and developed its product portfolio of crushing and screening equipment and plants for construction, quarry (aggregate) and mineral industries. In a short span of ten years, it achieved a phenomenal success in developing world class equipment and systems.
We give prime importance to the after-sales support, which is also a major factor that drives the business and gains customers’ confidence. Companies cease to survive if they do not have a proper after-sales support system in place."
Valued Solutions & Emerging Markets
Mr. Raghavan explains with an example, "Availability of uninterrupted power through transformer/govt supply can be an issue at the quarry site at remote locations. In these cases, customers have no other options but to arrange for a diesel genset to offset the power shortage. This considerably escalates cost of production and arrests output. At Sandvik with our technical knowledge base, we address such finer issues as a part of product and customer support so as to ensure high equipment availability. So in case of such alternative power arrangements, Sandvik equipment are customized to include a Soft Starter. This in turn ensures that the power requirement is in control and costs are maintained to the minimum. He adds, "thus if you see closely, we do not simply supply a readymade plant, prior to commissioning of the unit, we take into account aspects like availability and size of land. In accordance with the same, we map the layout of the quarry site and design the machine accordingly. Aspects like physical and chemical properties of the rocks to be crushed are also taken into account for desired quality output as per set standards of the customers." Mr. Raghavan says, "there exists large scope for product customization in the Indian crushing and screening markets as requirements of the customers are much varied as compared to other markets. We are in a complete position to address all kinds to customized requirements."
"Our customer support for installation and operation of the plants is also holistic. Our sales and service personnel, with their valued experience in drilling, blasting and crushing, actually act as consultants to quarry operators. Flow sheet is prepared in discussion with customers to analyze the rate of adjustments that will be required to provide optimum output from the equipment," says Mr. Raghavan.
"Propel" manufactures combined wheeled plants having a capacity ranging from 100 to 200 TPH, and shall be adding higher / lower capacity plants on demand.
Mr. Kumar informs, "Our products are of high class and updated with latest technology and are also user-friendly, as on detection of any technical fault, the machine transmits an sms to its operators and also to the company personnel for undertaking necessary action immediately. "Propel" is committed to provide full support to customers through its dealer network in four major cities and four regional offices across the country."
"We are planning to tap the potential market of West Bengal and Orissa, North East and sou- thern markets will also be under focus. However, aggregate produ- cers will remain our key area of market apart from road and other mega construction Projects, adds Mr. Kumar.
Mr. Shashi srivatava says, "we offer total solutions to customers by providing turnkey solutions where we train the customers through our engineers. Essentially, we design, manufacture, supply backed by necessary logistics support.
According to Mr. Chavhan, R D Mining which has its manufacturing unit in Nashik, Maharashtra would be able to provide logistics support for the availability of its products and parts through its three dealersbased in North East in Guwahati, Bhuwaneshar, and Agaratala. R D Mining offers mobile plants bearing capacities of 20-200tph. The company reported a sales growth of at least 40% during 2010-11 as compared to 2009-10.
Though newer markets and aggregates, sector is expected to put in demand for mobile and stationary plants. Demand may well materialize for tracked units from emerging demand pockets in mining and the newly targeted aggregates market. However, brand recall is expected to depend on the extent of coordination with manufacturers and customers.