Mast Climbers & Suspended Rope Platforms: Manufacturers Report Growing Acceptance

Though the demand of mast climbers and the suspended rope platforms is relatively at a concept selling stage in India, however, growing consciousness among contractors on the utility of the products is leading to their increased acceptability, reports NBM&CW.

Mast Climbers Suspended Rope Platforms
Taking note of wide areas of infrastructure construction in India that may require mast climbers and suspended rope platforms for faster project executions, manufacturers and distributors are increasingly taking the onus of popularizing the products. Hence they are participating in road shows and seminars in order to make the contractors aware of the utility, the products can deliver based on their wide applications across the construction value chain that include, construction of highrise residential and commercial buildings, aluminum and glass claddings, external brick works, external plastering and delicate material handling. To add more, construction of chimneys and cooling towers of thermal power plants and ship maintenance in shipyards are the other areas for mast climbers and suspended platforms applications.

Manufacturers think that the concept selling initiation through information dissemination is just a beginning to make the products popular in India. One of the vital reasons coupled with the wide application areas of the climbers and platforms for its increasing adaptability is the growing concern of safety, paucity of skilled laborers required for construction job in big metropolitan and smaller cities, easier erection than the conventional scaffolding techniques. The manufacturers are of the opinion that the vertical moving equipment can deliver many utilities. With carrying capacity ranging between 1 to 4 tons the working spans varying between 5 meters to 36 mts, the platforms can benefit towards rational usage of sparse skilled labour and savings in materials movements at different heights. They claim that the climbers can almost result towards optimum faster execution of jobs than the conventional techniques.

Ram babu Cheruve
According to Mr. Ram Babu Cheruve, MD, CMAC India, "Almost all the progressive & the corporate contractors both in medium and major categories are taking the advantage of mast climbers and reaping the advantage of, reduced labour casualties, economies of scale in construction, completion of jobs on time based on the fact that erection and dismantling is a one time skill job." CMAC India has supplied its mast climbers to Lodha reality, Gammon, JMC, Mantri realty, Jayabheri, My Home Constructions, Odeon Builders, Shapoorji Pallonji, Paras Builders and so on.

He adds, "To make the products popular, we initially did calculations of the saving from labor, savings from the wastage, and the risk free usage followed by passing on the information to the contractors. Me and my technical teams stood on the platforms for hours together to educate the end users how to use these equipment. We have now developed full fledged training modules for the electrical & mechanical engineers of the end users operating the mast climbers."

CMAC mast climber

To cater to the requirements of varied infrastructure construction and maintenance applications, Mr. Cheruvu informs, "At CMAC, we used to manufacture regular mast climbers upto 7 meters of span. Taking cognizance of emerging application at industrial works, commercial housing & shipbuilding works; we have started importing mast climbers from overseas market with span of 9 – 32 meters that can work upto a height of 150 meters. We have built the capability of supplying up to a span of 45 meters & the capacities of upto 4 tons." The company also provides spare parts. Based on the elevation and layout of the applications requirements, CMAC claims to offer technical support in making available the desired mast climbers.

Application Customisation

Single Twin Mast Climbers
According to industry estimates, the size of mast climbers in India is expected to be around 200+ units from the Indian construction sector at present. The growing consciousness among contractors on the utility of the products for varied applications is well likely to increase demand in near future. The manufacturers and the distributors are hence planning to increase market penetration through increased product customization and availability through manufacturing and marketing tie-ups.

Everest Engineering Equipment India has entered into a recent exclusive partner tie-up with GJJ of China for marketing its mast climbers in India. Under the marketing alliance, Everest will be marketing GJJ's SCP230/9D and SCP 200/12D single mast and twin mast platforms.

P V Ramdev
Mr. P.V. Ramdev, MD, Everest Engineering says, "The platforms have gained popularity with Indian contractors, as they can be erected fast at sites with space restrictions, as well as can reduce labour cost. Though the initial investments may be higher than the conventional scaffolding techniques, contractors can have increased construction uptime as majority of projects in India are getting constructed by engineering procurement and commissioning mode having compressed work schedules." Everest has supplied around sixty mast climbers to Indian construction majors like Larsen and Toubro, JMC Projects etc. The company is targeting to sell 100 units during 2014-15.

Mr. Ramdev adds, "We are carrying out awareness programme for mast climbers in India. Further, we are rendering operators training for erection, dismantling and maintenance of the platforms as part of product support."

A D Bhosale
Product awareness is also being emphasized by construction equipment conglomerate Universal for promoting its Mast Climbers. According to Mr. A.D. Bhosale, Assistant Vice President, Vertical Material Handling Division, Universal Construction Machinery & Equipment India, "To enhance the awareness of mast climbers, we are holding seminars, product demonstrations along with training programmes as the concept of usage is still in a nascent stage in India." Universal is one of the major Indian manufacturers of mast climbing works platform. It manufactures its XYGO series of mast climbers at its Shivare plant near Pune in Western India.

MastClimbing Works Platform
Mr. Bhosale says, "Our mast climbers are made in heavy duty square tube, provided with male and female joints that makes their erection easier. Further, the accurately machined rack and pinion gives smooth operation, which ensures safety and durability of the platform. The guide rollers maintain accurate tolerance in the movement of the platforms on the mast. Heavy duty chassis with jacks facilitates free standing upto six meters above that anchoring has to be made an interval of every three metres."

Universal's clients primarily involve Real Estate and Rental companies. It has supplied (no need to give numbers) many works platforms to contractors like Sahara Projects, ETA Bangalore, Rajdeep Builders, Jackson Housing, JMC project etc. for residential and commercial housing projects. The platforms are available in Single mast as well as in twin masts.

Universal also manufactures rope suspended platforms for external plastering, painting, aluminium and glass cladding, cleaning of highrise building structures. The platforms are suspended along the building façade by wire ropes. It moves up and down with the help of electric motor through the suspended mechanism installed at the top of the building. Universal manufactures three models of suspended rope platforms: UHP 200 with maximum height of 100 mtr rated load of 200 kg and 1.2 mtr in width, Specially used for repair, Plumbing, Painting, electrification in small ducts or non accessible location from ground. UHP 800 with a maximum height of 300 mtr, rated load of 800kg and platform of 2.5/5/7.5 mtr and UHP 1000 with a maximum height of 200 mtr, rated load of 1000kg and platform length of 5 mtr. The company provides marketing and services support for the mast climbers and platforms through its 75+ offices across the country. The platforms have different level of safety and complies with european safety norms.

Spartan's Rope Suspended platform is electrically operated platform used in external side of building for various applications like plastering, painting, glass cleaning, ACP panel fixing and Structural repairs etc. These platforms are answer to the expensive scaffoldings which take time and efforts for commissioning. These platforms also provide secure and safe working condition at heights upto 270 meters.

Spartan's strength in design, development and production in combination with strong understanding to our customer needs and requirement lead us to come up with array of Platform options and accessories like Parapet clamps, roof support devices, front extensions, side extensions, Anti – swing device etc. Above ensures these platforms can be used at any site location and in any condition.

Vikram Mehta
Mr. Vikram Mehta, Managing Director, Spartan mentions, "We ensure that our platforms enhance equipment uptime, providing dedicated annual maintenance contracts. Preventive maintenance clinics are conducted for all our equipment including suspended platforms for better life and lesser downtime. We have recruited and trained 150+ service engineers for job site support at a short notice across the country. We do conduct operators training programme at our customer's site on periodic basis."

Suspended Rope Platforms
Spartan claims to have supplied five hundred units of its suspended rope platforms. Its clients include, Nanded City, Simplex, Lodha, Pioneer Urban and others.

While it indicates that growing population of the mast climbers and suspended rope platforms is increasing the acceptability of the products, however, to make the popularity grow, better product support and increased knowledge spread of application areas will be perquisite.
NBM&CW April 2014
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