Crushing Screening Equipments

The crushing and screening market continues to remain fiercely competitive owing to compressed demand. As a counter strategy, the equipment manufacturers are getting aggressive to contest brand substitution by customers with some exceptional business gains, reported by a couple of producers. P.P. Basistha, takes a look.

Lull in traditional demand of iron ore mining and road construction segment continues to make business for crushing and screening equipment manufacturers depressed and fiercely competitive. However, refraining to get carried away by the bearish business sentiments, manufacturers have opted to look for newer pastures, backed by latest customized product placement, while continuing to consolidate the existing business, to minimize the chances of brand substitution. This is because, demand fundamentals continue to remain firm, with indications of market rebouncing back showing and reports of fresh allocations of coal blocks doing round. The government commits to resolve the ongoing imbroglio in the national and states highway road construction sector along with opening up new avenues for business through newer development and maintenance of rural roads.

Abhijeet Pai
Targeting newer business areas, Hyderabad based crushing and screening manufacturing major, Puzzolana Machinery Fabricators, has carried out a series of engineering improvisations in its offerings. According to Mr. Abhijeet Pai, MD, Puzzolana Machinery, "We have focused on making equipment environment-friendly by minimizing extensive leakages through use of dust suppression systems and energy saving by using latest electrical and electronics. Notably, the reduction is also for 100mm instead of 200mm. We are improvising our feeder breakers to produce 100mm instead of 200 mm based on emerging customer requirements."

Puzzolana Machinery
Targeting newer business, Puzzolana expects to make a major foray by marketing its newly developed tracked crushers. "We have now fully developed the track plants and have also begun exporting the same. With the revival of mining business and road projects in the border areas the future demand for track plants is picking up. Based on the upcoming demand and placement of our technologically advanced solutions, we are quite hopeful of being a major player in the segment in the coming year."

Puzzolana expects to retain and also improve its wheeled and stationary plants business across 2014-15. Mr. Pai mentions, "We will look to expand our business through appointment of dealers especially in north east and eastern region of the country supported by stock points to serve the remote locations."

To preserve brand identity among the existing and new customers Mr. Pai mentions, "We are playing a major role in ICEMA with the Indian government for skill development programs and training in the field of crushing and certification to operators with a view to operate the plants through effective and economical methods. Training is also imparted to smoothly operate and maintain advanced plants with automated and electronic features. As part of product support, we offer training to customers at our factories and sites along with dissemination of information on preventive maintenance."

He adds, "To ensure affordable availability of equipment at a time when banks are increasingly restraining from providing loans, we are closely working with finance companies to support buyers involved in contract crushing as those plants are more viable to be supported financially by the financial institutions. Contract crushing and operating on lease, resulting towards reduction of cost per tonne of aggregate is an emerging business segment in the crushing and screening sector in India. It facilitates the contractors to maintain their focus on their core construction business."

Ashoktaru Chattopadhyay
Sandvik Construction has signalled a strong and robust reworking of its business strategies to expand its presence in the crushing and screening sector in India. According to Mr. Ashoktaru Chattopadhyay, Vice President-Crushing and Screening Business - SANDVIK India, "We have targeted to complete maximum nos of sales, primarily to commercial quarry owners, State Highway contractors and RMC companies. This will comprise the mixture of all range - Stationary and mobile plants. The market is still very gloomy with certain hope to bounce back soon, but our strength comes from a definite conviction arrived from the practices we have maintained so far. It is a massive challenge to be in healthy balance sheet in this scenario, which we are in until now. Going forward, we have plenty to do, to be steady in this ever changing dynamics of India construction business. The Territory management will be the key to broaden our reach in all directions. In accordance with this, we are zeroing in on SMART goals, countable efficiencies in our sales, project execution and after market network, through proper and strategic use of our manpower." He explains. "To optimize our manpower resources, we have categorized the market under potential zones as fast, active OR slow zones. According to the character of the zones, we are deploying our manpower, dealers and other support functions with a focus of - value and cost economics base approach. Going forward performance management will be the key area to focus and work."

Sandvik Crushing Screening

According to Mr. Chattopadhyay, "Client base is being demonstrated with both Capex and Opex value of our process plants, the utility of the machines in terms of their lives, higher up time and the integrated cost advantage for production through live demonstrations." The Swedish mineral and aggregate processing Major has tied up with funding agencies, making finance available to plant buyers with credible business plan to be prepared for a better solution, to be a champion solution provider.

Brijesh BHabsar
Segment of contract crushing is targeted for business by Gujarat based Apollo Industries. Mr. Brijesh Bhabsar, Head-Marketing, Crushers, Apollo says, "We are looking towards commercial quarry owners, supplying aggregates to major contractors involved in major road projects. We are also looking to market our solutions to the emerging segment of commercial sand producers from aggregates. It is a noticeable business area resulting from ban of the government to use river sand. Our target, nonetheless, remains the main contractors, RMC companies, and commercial quarry owners."

He says, "Product customization is our key engineering strength, making us capable to address the heterogeneous crushing and screening requirements of the customers. The solutions can be delivered to reduce the quantity of fines based on the requirements. We have recently supplied a custom built, track mounted 150 ton unit with a Roller grizzly feeder and Impact crusher mounted on a single chassis to Goa based mining firm. It is a major feat for us, no other crushing manufacturer could achieve so far."

Apollo Crushers

Apollo markets its crushers directly through its own network based in Delhi, Kolkata, and Chennai. However, owing to spurt in demand from the eastern part of the country led by growth in road construction projects, Apollo is looking to appoint dealers in Jharkhand and also in parts of Southern India. Apollo manufactures mix of 100-200 tph track and 400-1200 wheel and stationary plants.

Kallol Mahalanabis
With competition remaining intense, the key challenge for the manufacturers has been to make products affordable for developing newer business, while having decent margins on sales. "We have restrained from exponential business expansion, simultaneously we have been studying very closely emerging business segments for us to make a foray," says Mr. Kallol Mahalanabis, CEO, Taurian.

The initiative of the Uttarakhand Government to restore its roads, followed by the damage caused by the floods few years back has served as an ideal business opportunity for the Roorkee based company. "We have been able to attain economy of scale for producing the plants at our factory and transporting the same to the remote locations. This has allowed us to pass cost benefits to customers, mainly the stand alone small aggregate producers in the region involved in restoration of the roads caused by the water deluge few years back," mentions Mr. Mahalanabis. He informed, "The application area is crushing river gravel."

Taurian TPH Plant

Taurian has been supplying 100-200 tph wheel mounted plants for the new application area. It has so far supplied sizeable quantity of 150 units.

R S Raghavan
According to Mr. R.S. Raghavan, MD, Proman Infrastructure Services India, "We have been working in niche areas pertaining to sand plants and industrial minerals. Looking forward, we are strengthening our presence in the niche segments. Foray into newer segments has allowed us to hedge business risks during one and half years of general slowdown in the industry."

The south India-based crushing and screening solutions manufacturer plans to launch newer solutions in crushing and special screening. The company is pinning its hopes on the fresh announcements of the highway projects. Mr. Raghavan mentions, "The upcoming road projects will be enhancing demand of static and wheeled plants."

PROMAN PROjaw Jaw Crushers

Proman is looking to leverage its brand focusing on product support. According to Mr. Raghavan, "We have been providing support to customers at our factory and onsite training along with undertaking plant operation in certain cases to ensure higher uptime of equipment."

"To ease financial availability for potential buyers, we have been working closely with leading financial companies enabling customers to qualify for the loan backed by sound business plan," says Mr. Raghavan.

Senthil Kumar
Coimbatore-based crushing and screening manufacturing major, Propel Industries, has claimed to gain 10% market share in 2014 as compared to the previous year. According to Mr. Senthil Kumar, MD Propel Industries, "The gain has been achieved through our recent launch of newer QM 250-350 cone crushing solutions. Both the segments have found encouraging market response and we are expecting for some repeat orders.

The crushers feature electronic adjustments to yield the desired aggregate size based on the applications. It also features power setting that can empty the unit of its own, without the material getting struck in the unit if power supply gets interrupted to the crusher.

"Operations and maintenance contract is one of our major strategies to gain market from existing and newer customers," says Mr. Kumar. He adds "We are proud of the fact that we have many repeat customers, who are content with our well packaged services that have enabled them to downsize production costs. Further, value engineering on our plants and provision of motors with lesser power consumption per ton aggregates crushed have been the other additives to drive business, enabling us to gain market share from our competitors"

Propel Sand Washer

Citing example he says, "We have recently supplied seven units modular 200 tph secondary plant with orders for more to one of our major clients in Uttarkhand requiring an aggregate output of 33,000 tons/day. Our well packaged product support has ensured optimum plant availability to have the desired output."

Propel projects to attain 15% growth in 2015 as compared to this year. It will appoint dealers in Madhya Pradesh, Northern and Eastern India to achieve the targets. Business strengthening is being carried out in Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh that has allowed the company to gain market share. Propel proposes to build up newer business volumes by entering into tracked business in near future. The company presently manufactures wheel and stationary plants in the capacities range of 150-600 tph. It will be shortly introducing fix shaft design cone crushers in the capacity of 400 tph. Propel’s jaw crushers are available in 150-200-400 tph.

G K More
Business growth is looked by crushing and screening manufacturers by expanding market base. According to Mr. G.K. More, MD, Torsa Machines Limited, "We are no longer restricted to the North East Market of the country. We have started our operations on a pan India basis by appointing dealers in all strategic locations of the country, while strengthening our base in our traditional North Eastern market, where we continue to be the market leader." He adds, "Following our strategy to expand our market base across the country, close to 85% of the business volumes is derived from pan India, while the remaining is from North East, reversing the earlier situation when 80% of the sales were from the North East market."

He elaborates, "To promote sales we have been appointing dealers with strong engineering expertise and have a minimum experience of 15 years in the field of distribution of construction equipment. Torsa Machines Ltd. also has a separate vertical of sales engineers who independently generate sales volume for the company. This vertical is always in touch with contractors of all segments both large and small."

Torsa Machines

The Kolkata based company has also been carrying out improvisations in its crushing equipment. Mr. More mentions, "We have incorporated a few changes in our existing crusher models which would reduce the power consumption and at the same time increase productivity as far as bauxite and limestone crushers are concerned." He adds, "Based on emerging demand from the cement industry, we are widening our product portfolio, which we are looking forward to introduce in the next quarter."

Torsa Machines has its manufacturing facility at Amingaon in Assam. The company is in the process of setting up a new manufacturing facility in Kolkata, which will double its existing production capacity. The new factory is expected to be commissioned by 2015.

Business retention and expansion has been initiated by Marsman India Limited through series of initiatives. According to Mr. J.P. Singh, Sales Manager, Marsman, "To leverage our brand presence, we have introduced numerous schemes for our customers ranging from free of cost spare parts with purchase of new machine to providing easy finance, based on our tie-ups with multiple financial institutions. We have put in place numerous other incentives to strengthen our brand presence."

The company has been focusing to strengthen product support to avoid brand substitution by customers. "We just don’t sell the machinery but also insist our customers to buy a set of essentials spare parts to keep the plant running. We have highly skilled engineers for operational training to site supervision. Further, we have a dedicated after sales department who cater to spare parts requirement or any technical queries of our customers.

Marsman is looking to expand its market through exploring newer territories and appointing dealers to serve the same. The company is looking to increase its business in the growing North Eastern region. "We always had our good relations with north east customers. We had supplied our machinery in Assam, Manipur & also the highest point in Gangtok, Sikkim regions. Backed by right product support, our machines have delivered high uptime in those inhospitable areas.

Conclusion

Promoting sales through identifying newer business areas is a notable feat of the crusher manufacturers when demand on a macro level is subdued. However, retention of business will depend on appropriate product support and affordability of equipment.
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