Buildmate Providing Products & Services of International Standards

Suresh patel, Fab India
"Usage of AAC blocks and precast products has picked up very well in India due to their sustainable, reliable, and eco-friendly features. The demand for these products will go up exponentially in coming years, thereby increasing the demand for the plants making these products. We, at Buildmate is well positioned with our quality products, excellent craftsmanship, engineering know-how and prompt after sales services to cater to the growing demand and to compete with global suppliers in both domestic as well as international markets," says Mr. Venkata Ratnam, CEO, Buildmate Group in an interview with Maria R.

Could you please briefly introduce Buildmate Group, its various verticals, operations, and progression so far?
Buildmate Projects Pvt Ltd was incorporated and started its operations in 1991. Several Civil and Structural projects requiring special techniques, designs and skills were successfully executed. The company also has expertise in the manufacture of building materials, like hollow bricks, solid bricks, light weight bricks/blocks, dry mortar, quick lime, hydrated lime and other building materials. With the expertise thus attained, the company has taken up manufacture of machinery, installation and commissioning of Plants for building materials, like AAC plants, Quick Lime and Hydrated Lime plants, Sand Lime Brick Plants, Dry Mix Mortar Plants, Precast Concrete Plants, Batching Plants, Jaw Crushers, Cone Crushers, Sand Makers, and Pre-engineered Buildings (PEB).

A word about your plant capacities, turnkey services, and marketing network?
We have a total working area of about 2,50,000 sqft for machinery fabrication, machining, assembly, quality testing, test run and other related things. All necessary tools, tackles, material handling equipment, Plate bending machine, PLC operated Submerged Arc Welding (SAW) Machine, Overhead Cranes, Compressor Plant for Sand Blasting and Painting, etc. We offer turnkey services (mechanical, electrical, automation, civil designs, PEB, installation and commission) for all our projects.

Capacity for Fabrication: 600-800 MT per month
Capacity of Machining/Assembly: 15-20 plants per annum

Seeing the current impetus on the infrastructure construction and real estate sectors with sustainability being the prime element; how do you see the demand and business potential of AAC and precast manufacturing plants in India?
Usage of AAC blocks has already picked up very well and precast products also are being used in a steady rate. The demand for these products in future will go up exponentially and the demand for the plants making these products will also go up accordingly.

AAC Block Production Area

How would Buildmate machines/plants help in energy conservation and eco-friendliness manufacturing?
AAC plants in general are eco-friendly. However, in some of the plants presently operating in India, the waste of finished product, viz., AAC blocks is high ranging from 10-20% largely due to the inferior design of equipment. This wastage is in other terms the wastage of valuable raw materials, viz., fly ash/sand, calcined lime, cement, gypsum, aluminum powder, electric power, fuel for steam generation, etc., Buildmate has designed its plants for ZERO wastage of finished product and the actual wastage reported in the plants supplied by them is 0-2%. Also the design of equipment, lay out, quality of equipment, usage of the best components like motors, gear boxes, weigh feeders, load cells, hydraulics, boiler, etc., has improved the operating capacity, reduction in power consumption and reduction in fuel consumption. Green Separator is also introduced for elimination of sticking of cakes resulting in elimination of wastage of finished blocks due to sticking.

What are the reasons behind the late acceptance of AAC bricks/blocks and precast technology despite several advantages over conventional bricks and construction system? How are these technologies translating in to cost effectiveness?
The reasons for the late acceptance of AAC blocks and precast technology are:
  1. General reluctance for adopting new products
  2. Lack of awareness in consumers, engineers, builders about the advantages of these products
  3. Low level of marketing by the producers of these products
What according to you should be the immediate promotion strategies required which will certainly encourage AAC blocks usage and prefab construction?
Extensive campaign for promoting these products has to be carried out by producers. They should make presentations to engineers, builders and big consumers regarding the advantages of these products. They should also advertise in news media and outdoor media. They should also conduct demonstrations to enable consumers to assess the advantages.

What proactive government supports, policies and incentives are needed to help spread these new technologies in order to reap its considerable environmental and social benefits?
AAC blocks are highly eco-friendly compared to all other bricks/blocks as 70–75% raw material is fly ash which is a waste product from thermal power stations and is a major pollutant of environment. Also AAC plant requires high investment. In this context, AAC blocks have to be encouraged by the Government by offering several incentives/supports.

Government should review the policy of according permission to high rise buildings and insist on the use of these products.

Investment subsidy/incentives should be offered to the entrepreneurs. Concessions/Waival of Excise duty/Sales Tax should be offered as clay bricks and other varieties do not attract any taxes. Government should insist the use of these products for their construction activities.

What are the special features/advantages of Buildmate equipment/technology compared to other suppliers?
Buildmate Cone Crusher
Buildmate equipment/technology are far superior to Chinese suppliers in all respects. Buildmate has obtained orders in a short span of 2½ years for 8 plants in India with capacities ranging from 300 m3/day to 1850 m3/day (4 plants are in operation, 1 plant is ready for operation, 1 plant is in an advanced stage of execution and the other 2 plants are under execution) at much higher prices than Chinese suppliers and lower prices than European suppliers. Orders for another 5 plants are under finalization. All the clients have visited several Chinese plants and also European plants and were convinced that Buildmate equipment and technology is comparable to European standards in respect to quality/durability of equipment, technology, automation, designed zero wastage of finished product, capacity utilization, high productivity, compact plant layout etc.,

Buildmate Jaw Crusher
Apart from the orders in India, Buildmate has obtained an order for modernization and expansion of a running plant in Al Jubail, near Dammam, Saudi Arabia from 300 m3/day to 960 m3/day. Though the running plant was obtained from Europe, the client was convinced with Buildmate technology/equipment and has ordered on Buildmate against stiff competition from European suppliers. For the first time in India, Green Separator for eliminating the sticking of cakes is manufactured and is being supplied to this client. Thus an Indian Engineering Company which took up equipment manufacturing recently has attained a high competence level at par/superior to European equipment suppliers.

Buildmate is now ready to compete with European suppliers in global markets.

With the entrance of several reputed global players in the country, it is tough to retain ones market share. What different strategies Buildmate would adopt to consolidate its position to stay ahead in the current competitive business environment?
Unlike other construction/building material machinery, AAC plants were being imported till recently. Buildmate is now competing with all global players and in fact, is able to reduce their market share by superior technology/machinery.

As already explained above, Buildmate equipment/technology is comparable to European suppliers and even superior to them in some operational parameters. Coupled with reliable and speedy after sales service/trouble shooting, Buildmate can compete with any other supplier.

Buildmate SEL Sand Maker
The mould supplied by Buildmate is specially designed to last forever as the moulds are not opened to remove the cake. Moulds supplied by European suppliers have to be opened for removing the cake which will result in the slurry leaking from the mould after some time. Buildmate has incorporated several other innovative systems/equipment in its supplies which the global suppliers did not venture for several decades.

Performance of plants supplied by Buildmate is reviewed constantly and upgradation in design/equipment/technology is being incorporated for sustained and improved performance along with cost-effective measures. Also new technology/equipment for the effective utilization of a wide range of materials (which are presently not considered) will be incorporated.
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