Need for larger fleet of on and off highway construction equipment to carry out India's burgeoning infrastructure development programme, lucrative for engines manufacturers. Firm demand fundamentals of engines are totally based on multiple demand factors. Increasing number of new Indian OEMs are entering into construction equipment business whereas the existing players are increasing their production capacities. The demand is being placed by newer foreign equipment manufacturers setting up shops in India. The players have put in phase wise strategy to localize parts and critical components with engines being one of them, to make the end products price competitive. However, the rider for engines manufacturers amidst the demand fundamental being bright is that, led by increasing mechanization of construction sector, OEM's are demanding engines, that are higher on uptime, low on fuel consumption, meet emission norms, yet affordable to own and operate and can be serviced on time based on set maintenance schedules.
A Big Service Market
According to Mr. Amit Gossain, VP - Marketing & Business Development, JCB, "The new engine plant has been set up with an intention to indigenize the JCB's engines featuring its own standards that would go into its backhoe loaders, wheeled loaders, and other models from India's largest range of earthmoving and material handling equipment. The broader perspective of setting up the new engine plant is to provide myriad value to the equipment and finally the end users."
The engines production centre includes an assembly line and a machining line. The manufacturing process of the engines works on the 'no fault forward' production model. To maintain high standards, the machine is minutely inspected at every stage of production encompassing cutting edge technology providing optimum engineering value to the manufactured product.
At present, JCB's ecoMAX engines are used to power JCB's range of backhoe loaders, wheeled loaders, compaction equipment and part of its excavator range. The "All New 3DX" backhoe loader is powered by a 4 cylinder 76hp ecoMax diesel engine which has been specially designed to meet the new standards. With terrific operational performance, the new ecoMAX also offers 2.25 lac saving on fuel cost per year to All New 3DX owners.
Mr. Gossain says, "The fuel efficient indigenously manufactured, Ecomax diesel engines are reliable and have a longer life. They are equipped with state-of-the-art 16 Valve Technology, have been designed and manufactured at the same platform as the world record breaking Dieselmax engines. The BSIII compliant JCB engine ecoMAX has been specifically designed for Indian climatic, terrain conditions and machine usage pattern. JCB engine ecoMAX has over 75% indigenization, both by value and parts count; It is the first engine in India that has been developed exclusively for off-highway applications and available with the range of 76-150hp, they are naturally aspirated, turbocharged or common rail."
Elaborating on the features, Mr. Gossain states, "The water cooled engines are powered by a high pressure rotary pump. The block, bedplate design and crankshaft dimensions are similar to the JCB Dieselmax engines. The cold side has features like 14.5 psi cooling system for increased cooling efficiency, fan belt auto adjuster, 6000 hrs of belt life, oil change period and engine filter change period of 500 hrs each reducing maintenance cost, main filter change period of 1000hrs, state-of-the-art Delphi fuel system."
Mr. Gossain adds, "Higher torque at low RPM results in increased productivity when the machine is performing loading and dozing applications. Our environment-friendly engines with low noise and vibration and longer engine life add to customers delight. Moreover, better filtration and fuel injection allows JCB engines to perform well in off-highway fuel conditions minimizing equipment downtime; above all it will ensure better equipment integration."
JCB's initiative to enter into engine manufacturing is based on the captive equipment manufacturing base, large market presence and brand recall. This makes manufacturing own engines a commercially viable exercise. However, most importantly, the large presence of JCB's backhoe loaders fleet in the market equally makes it convenient for JCB machine owners to reach out to only one point for all their servicing needs. This also allows JCB to provide cost benefit to customers.
Wide range of engines are also made available by Volvo Penta for the construction and mining equipments. The Swedish entity, aims to have a wide market presence through its wide product offerings. According to Mr. Prabhakaran.S, Vice President, Industrial and Marine Power Systems, Volvo Penta "Volvo Penta product range for variable speed engines starts from model D5 – D16, with power output of 105 kW to 565 kW. We have engines meeting Tier 4F to Tier 2 emission standards across the range."
Mr. Prabhakaran adds, "the 13L Tier 4i diesel engines are certified by Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) as well as CANMET-MMSL. The 13L is the first engine to receive the certification and there is more to come from our stable.The 350-550 hp, TAD1360/61/62/63/64/65VE-series of diesel engines offers ventilation rates that is lowest among the industry for the given power category. The ventilation rate is around 30 CFM/hp which is considerably lower than traditional diesel engines used in mines today."
Mr. Prabhakaran claims that Volvo Penta engines are designed to ensure high power to weight ratio. He says, "the cylinder block is manufactured in one piece of special cast iron alloy. The critical engines castings are made in our plant Skovde, Sweden using advanced processes." He mentiones further, "Volvo Penta engines are performance optmised and can be customized to suit each and every application need, including duty cycle requirements."
Mr. Prabhakaran tells, Volvo Penta engines are well placed to meet the heterogeneous require- ments of construction and mining equipments. He says, Volvo Penta has more than a century of experience working with equipment manufacturers, supplying end users with off-road machinery and equipment. This has resulted in unique application expertise and a broad range of practical applications."
Volvo Penta engines are perfectly adapted to suit various mining & construction applications. He says, "our engines are lightweight, compact, and easy to build into machines and equipment where space is scarce. In underground load and haul equipment, mobile and stationary crushing and screening equipment, and drill rigs, these engines perform with least possible environmental impact thanks to minimal emission levels. Through the years, Volvo Penta engines have proved their mining abilities in every way."
Integration of prime mover to an equipment transmission or other drive systems is a major objective of a diesel engine manufacturer. Chennai based Simpson & Co.Ltd, who supply to over thirty different applications,have over the years demonstrated their adaptability in achieving this objective.
Simpsons markets its engines directly to Original Equipment Manufacturers across the country, and has established branches and regional offices at Bangalore, Hyderabad, Tiruchirapalli, Ootacamund, Mumbai, New Delhi, Kolkota, with support service teams at Bhopal, Nagpur and Ahmedabad.
Delivering Productivity & Cost Effeciency
According to Mr. Pan, Senior Sales Manager, Weichai Power South Asia, "our Land King series equipped with electric control fuel system application, makes our engines more intelligent compared to other product offerings. For better optimization with the transmission systems and to suit various duty cycle requirements, our engines have been designed to be stronger and sturdier. Besides, they are compact and light weight to deliver higher productivity. For making the engines light weight, 'Finite Element Analysis' has been used as the designing tool." He adds, "based on the working features of crane, auger drills and other construction and mining equipment, the engine performance has been optimized to make the lowest fuel consumption area under the machinery normal working condition. The engine applies electric control high pressure CR system to accurately control the whole injection process based on different load and speed. It can save more than 10% fuel for the machinery."
Sany, Zoomlion and Liugong equipment working in India are fitted with Weichai Land King series diesel engines. The company presently imports the engines from China. However, depending upon volume demand, Weichai is planning to manufacture the engines in near future in India. Land King N-series Diesel Engines bring the rated speed down to 1900rpm covering power range from 240 to 480 ps. The engines have been designed and developed by Weichai and AVL and co-designed with its international parts supplier. The engines meet Euro III,IV,V emission norms.
Mr. Pan says, "based on our advanced products positioning, we expect to make sizeable presence among the OEM's through our engines. Our engines have been procured by Ashok Leyland, BEML and Kohler in India and are being supported through our pan Indian service network."
Requirement of bigger fleet of off highway equipment indeed makes India a lucrative market for Engines manufacturers. However, being big the market is equally cost sensitive. This has made the task challenging for premium engines manufacturers to establish market footing despite the brand equity they own. "Being premium priced, acceptance of our products have been limited from the OEM's in India," says, Mr. Sudarshan Singh, MD, Deutz Engines India Pvt Ltd. He adds, "there is a technology difference between our product offerings and those being offered in India. Our engines are designed to meet latest Europeon & American emission norms, Better Fuel efficiency, Longer Engine life, reliability and ruggedness as compared to the other offerings thus making cost of our products dearer." Deutz manufactures engines of 25 KW-520 KW capacity range for off highway Construction equipment applications. The German engine manufacturer produces engines both with Electronic and Mechanical Fuel injection.
Mr. Singh adds, that latest generation engines require cultivating culture of preventive & regular maintenance practices to get higher life and low operating cost. Besides, there is a requirement of using Genuine parts to get low cost/hr of operation over period of life of Engine. He informs, "the paradox of Indian customers is that they want to keep the initial asset cost low & and total life cycle costs of the engine is not given much importance while deciding the engine purchase. Over life of engine, Fuel cost is the major contributor varying from 93-95% of total operational cost.
The need of higher equipment performance in India at par with worksites requirements across the globe, is forcing the manufacturer to focus on advanced technologies. However, to have a sustained presence with the OEM's, manufacturers will have to look for an option making the products affordable and bigger information dissemination within the OEMs on the total life cycle costs of the equipment, with the initial costs being higher, which will provide competitive edge to the products in the bigger and competitive market as well.