Arvind K Garg, Executive Vice-President & Head - L&T Construction & Mining Machinery

Arvind K Garg, Executive Vice-President & Head - L&T Construction & Mining Machinery
We are taking a lot of digitalization initiatives to enhance customer value, machine performance and productivity, and will showcase our digital applications and capabilities.

We have integrated Komtrax ICT tools with our L&T EquipCare Product Support System to ensure proactive and superior machine service.

With innovation being a top priority, L&T, along with its partners Komatsu, Scania and Sandvik have over the years, introduced new technologies in the Indian market. L&T has been a pioneer in the introduction of ICT tools in India with Komtrax and Komtrax Plus. It is now seven years since we have put Information Communication Technology into use effectively, and, currently, we have more than 10,000 machines in the field fitted with Komtrax ICT tools.

Komatsu produces ecot-3 series (ecology and economy - Technology 3) products for Indian markets. Komatsu machines meet the demands of ecology while taking care of the economy of the customers with their mastery of three technologies, namely hydraulic technology, engine technology and electronic technology. The future is certainly going to be digital.

We have now integrated Komtrax with our L&T EquipCare Product Support System to ensure proactive and superior machine service care with various features like automatic caution alert, service trigger and ticketing, continuous machine health monitoring, spare parts planning, service call planning, etc. Our VR assisted service support and training is improving our service support initiatives. We have also started using Google glasses for onsite support enhancement.

PC300 8M0 Hydraulic ExcavatorKomatsu PC300LC-8M0 Hydraulic Excavator working in a quarry

Moving forward, Hybrid Hydraulic Excavators should be soon visible in the Indian construction space.

Komatsu hybrid excavators are already working in Japan and in the West. Smart machines that will have ‘teach and replay’ modes for working in areas where the same function is repeated for long durations, will flood quarries and mines. Programmable machines with operators only to supervise, or even without them, would be a reality in India.

Komatsu has already developed operator-less dump trucks and remote-controlled dozers. The future is certainly going to be digital and we will witness more of these developments in India in the next few years.

It has been our pursuit to offer the best-in-class technologies and provide the benefits of the globally prevalent advancements in earthmoving machines to our customers in India.

We have been continuously upgrading our current range of products which include excavators, dozers, motor graders, compactors, wheel loaders, skid steer loaders and pavers, in addition to the wide range of attachments like rock breakers, couplers, demolition tools, piling attachments, crusher buckets, compaction meters, etc.

Over the last few years, we have upgraded our products, Komatsu GD535 Motor Grader, PC 300-8 and PC350-8 Hydraulic Excavators and Scania G440 Tipper Truck. We have also been offering several variants on our products to improve the versatility of our machines to the customers for various applications.

L&T 1190 Soil Compactor engaged in road developmentL&T 1190 Soil Compactor engaged in road development

We have extended our Machine Care Programs to include all models.

In the previous edition of Excon, we had introduced the L&T Suraksha Machine Care Program which covered the comprehensive parts and service support for Komatsu HEX for 3 years and 9000 hrs. and we have extended such Machine Care Programs to include all models based on the usage pattern and working hours. This scheme immensely benefits the customers in terms of machine maintenance, availability, resale value, productivity and operational efficiency, and substantially improves the lifecycle costing for the customer.

Artificial intelligence (AI) is slowly and surely joining hands with operators to assist them in making their jobs easier, safer and more efficient.

Sensors fitted on all engine systems, map and monitor engine behavior and display caution alarm on the monitor to attract the operator’s attention. For example, if the coolant temperature increases the machine begins to give signals right from 95 degree C by reducing travel speed, reducing pump flow at 100 deg C, giving visual alarm at 102 degrees C and at 105 degrees it starts giving audio alarms and reduces the engine speed to low idle, so the operator is forced to take corrective action before it becomes too late.

In large sized excavators that are fitted with a hydraulically controlled radiator fan, the speed of the fan is decided by the engine speed command, the coolant temperature and hydraulic oil temperature, which saves fuel. Auto deceleration feature reduces engine speed in two steps when the engine is running at high speed and the operator is not using the work equipment control levers. This prevents unproductive wastage of fuel and noise. The moment the operator moves the levers, the engine revs up to the pre-set rpm.

Komatsu GD535 Motor Grader in operationKomatsu GD535 in operation

With advancements in mechatronics, the machine monitor and intelligent controls will be a constant guide and coach to an operator.

In hydraulics, the pump and engine mutual control feature automatically controls pump flow depending on the operating mode selection, and ensures that the engine is never overloaded and encounters a stall situation. This feature helps in optimum utilization of the engine HP. Eco guidance on the monitor panel continuously updates the operator to show if he is going beyond the target fuel consumption, based on which, he can decide to change his operating style or consider blasting to loosen the material.

Komatsu, L&T Construction Equipment and Scania have already introduced such products with Intelligent Features in some parts of the world and these technologies will soon be introduced in India in the coming years.

Machine performance monitoring and tracking is fast becoming a new mandatory expectation on machines.

Mechatronics and the use of ICT tools can easily be singled out as having the highest impact on modern earthmoving machines in the last 10-12 years. Electronically controlled high-pressure fuel injection systems are available in our product offerings

Komatsu is the industry leader in this segment with their KOMTRAX (for Construction Equipment) and KOMTRAX PLUS (for Mining Equipment). Such advanced technologies are available in L&T, Scania and Sandvik products as well. Energy saving operations and operator onboard assistance features can help extract optimum production from machines. Self-diagnostic features help service team in quick identification and rectification of faults and abnormalities. In the near future, our dependence on ICT is going to multiply and products providing such advancement alone will survive.

While we are gearing up to meet the BS (CEV)-IV norms, we expect some challenges as there would be a rush to seek approvals from the authorities.

In order to keep pace with environment protection and continuous improvement, the Government of India, has made BS (CEV)-IV norms applicable for CEVs manufactured after 1st Oct 2020. To meet these norms, Engines will have to adapt advanced technologies like CRDI (Common Rail Diesel Injection) for fuel systems, EGR (Exhaust Gas Recirculation) for NOx reduction and DOC (Diesel Oxidation Catalyst), SCR (Selective Catalytic Reduction) for Exhaust After Treatment Systems (EATS). For the functioning of the SCR, AdBlue which acts as a reductant is an additional consumable required. To integrate all the above and manage the performance efficiently, the engine henceforth must be electronically controlled through an ECU.

There are several advantages like accurate monitoring of the loads on the Engine, resulting in the possibility of optimization of Engine power and fuel consumption by upgrading the machines to meet such standards. Remote monitoring of the vehicle becomes more efficient as majority of the functions will be digitally available. While we are gearing up to meet the new emission norms, we expect some challenges as there would be a rush to seek approvals from the authorities as the deadline approaches.

L&T has created an extensive after-sales service network which includes six state-of-the-art service and training centers.

We are a preferred single-stop shop for many customers in the CE industry. We also offer a spectrum of comprehensive operation and maintenance packages ranging from FMC to extended warranty machine care programs.

L&T has over seven decades of experience in Earthmoving Equipment Industry. Our fully equipped service centers not only provide comprehensive repair and overhaul solutions for major assemblies, but also overhaul complete machines, re-manufacture components and give them a new lease of life.

Our technical experts are assisted by a strong team of service engineers and technicians of 30 dealers located at branch offices and in field workshops close to customer jobsites. Our training infrastructure, arguably the best in the industry, comprises structured basic and advanced, technical, behavioral, leadership and soft skills programs. We train our teams to take up challenges in enhancing equipment uptime and customer experience.

L&T 9020sx Wheel LoaderL&T 9020sx Wheel Loader deployed at a crusher site

Easing of liquidity and credit growth will raise demand in the CE industry.

The CE industry has faced headwinds and weathered challenges in the current financial year, leading to muted demand, lower than the previous year. The Government’s continued impetus for building world class infrastructure and the high priority given to large infra projects under various sectors – Railways, Roads & Highways, Ports & Airports, etc, will raise market sentiment. With easing liquidity and credit growth, we are confident that CE demand will bounce back sooner than later.
NBM&CW December 2019
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