Please tell us about Dynamic Crane Engineers.
Dynamic Crane is a 20-year-old company specialising in manufacturing solutions for the lifting industry, such as electronic indicators for cranes for monitoring safe load, wind, outrigger status, and winch camera systems, along with T-Tag and T-log. It is an authorised OEM for NDT wire rope testing and anti-collision systems.
Dynamic is also a rental company for lifting equipment like AWPs, boom lifts, scissor lifts, and truck-mounted cranes. It also sells JCB equipment and spare parts and provides servicing of the equipment.
How is the equipment rental industry growing?
The key pointers for studying the Equipment Rental Market are Awareness, Technology, Economy, Acceptance, Demand, Supply, and there are the rules of the game. Today, the client is aware and exactly knows what he wants. He could be the end-user, a project in-charge, or the safety person.
As regards technology, equipment are more advanced, sophisticated, energy efficient, and younger. Along with this, the way we conduct the business operations, and the transactions, also incorporate the latest technology. People use internet, CRM, ERP, and other platforms for giving better, faster and safer services.
Financial equations have totally changed; equipment are newer and costlier, whereas rental rates are lower (by more than 20%). Cost of finance is very high in our country. Payment periods are unpredictable, and payment guarantees are not there. It is very strange: you invest money in equipment, rent it out without advance, it runs for an entire month, you raise your invoice, but you don’t get your payment!
On the positive side, there is a lot of acceptance for all kinds of projects – be they greenfield or brownfield projects, or existing projects that need equipment like access platforms, cranes, and other construction machineries. This demand will only increase.
Demand increases when new projects come up, so both demand and supply will go up in the coming years. Our country is huge and growing infrastructurally.
Then there are the rules of the game: the terms of contract have seen a sea change. The work hours, operation terms, site requirements, equipment buying terms all are market / customer driven. There is no standardization in the methods. The simplest of all – the payment period is not the same even for two clients!
There is scope for a lot of improvement. If given proper attention, the industry can grow in a manner where all the stake holders (suppliers, clients, financers, and manufacturers) will benefit.
How has the hike in fuel prices and implementation of BS IV norms influenced the buying vs renting decision of customers?
Buying vs Renting totally depends upon the purpose of using the machine. It is different for different industry segments. For instance, Rental companies have to buy the equipment. EPC companies buy equipment as per their project criticality, time constraint, and budget and will rent all other equipment. Other contractors like Electrical, HVAC etc. mostly rent equipment.
There is a lot of financial pressure on rental companies due to fuel price hike (mobilisation cost goes up), and newer technology (BS IV engine). As the EV technology matures and equipment with battery becomes more popular, it will push the rental companies to invest in newer machines.
What standardization do you expect should be made for the equipment rental industry?
The demand of rental equipment will go up. If the growth is unorganised, it will not be healthy. The smaller players will get into bigger debts. Very few people understand the equipment rental industry. We are not renting equipment but financing projects. So, we invest money for you. To understand this better, we must set some rules and regulations.
Today, bankers are supported by stringent regulations. Their NPAs are monitored and they are rated accordingly. Similarly, we take funds from banks and other financial institutions and buy equipment. If our assets are turning into NPAs, it will affect the whole industry. First of all, the regulations will be required in areas like quality of equipment, competency, experience, capability of equipment provider, and the most important - payment guarantee of all.
Many mega projects have started recently which has led to the entry of new contractors. What measures do you take for checking the client's due diligence?
For bigger projects like the metro rail, the major demand is from big EPC companies and their major contractors. Rather than checking their financial standing, what we generally check is the following:
- Present payment cycle of the project.
- Timely payment conditions from labour and transport companies. Generally, the health of the project is known from these two segments.
- Take two months advance.
- GST payment status of client.
- Check with the association of aerial platform and crane rentals.
What are your expectations from the OEMs?
We expect simpler machines, service and spare part support for higher uptime, better price, and financial support from OEMs. We monitor MTTR and MTBF of our equipment, because down time will directly hit our top as well as bottom line.
Dynamic provides many electronic accessories for crane operation; how do you ensure their optimum utilization?
Dynamic has the rarest combination of knowledge of electronics, equipment, and of the rental industry. We were the first company to make an Access equipment operator manual in Hindi and Marathi. We contributed in the making of the syllabus for Operator Training. We have also designed and executed training programs for technical personnel (mainly engineers) to maintain equipment like Mobile Cranes and Access Platforms.
At our design and manufacturing facility, we design and supply safety products like Safe Load indicators for all types of cranes (Mobile, Pick and Carry, Gantry, EOT, Portal, Tower cranes, ELL etc). Nowadays, the Wind Speed indicator has become an essential safety device so we have developed it also. We have developed T-tag - a simple component to check if the nut of your crane’s tyre has come loose - without spending extra time and in the most cost-effective and simple way.
What crane safety services are being provided by the OEMs?
This is very relative question; it differs from company to company. I can only say that the OEM which is focused on giving timely and economical service along with spare parts will grow faster and bigger.
Also, they should focus on training their clients. How many crane owners have training programs for their users (I am not talking about operators); I mean technical persons and project persons who select the crane. Dynamic has designed a course known as CSAP – Crane Safety Awareness Program in which we talk about selection of crane to reading the load chart of the crane.
How do you ensure spare parts supply to the remotest parts of India?
We have set parameters like in how much time a MRN should be completed. We monitor MTTR and MTBF downtime. We use all means of supply like courier to hand delivery as per the criticality of the project. We do not subcontract our maintenance work as our machines are maintained by our in-house team only. We have a central workshop and a spare part store in Pune.
Please tell us about any recent addition to your fleet.
We have recently received a dealership of JCB for their Made In India Access Platforms. We have battery scissors ranging from 8m to 16m. We will be soon coming up with boom lifts and some other category of construction equipment in our rental fleet.
We have developed products for the offshore industry like the Anchor Winch Monitoring system. We provide cloud connected SLIs and we help you in finding utilisation of your fleet, fuel consumption monitoring etc.
Please share a case study of a landmark project done by your company recently.
We were part of the Digitisation drive for L&T. They wanted to connect all their tower cranes to cloud and monitor Utilisation, Operation Pattern, and Safety of the tower cranes. We took this challenging job and very successfully connected their 100+ tower cranes to the cloud. Their tech division at Bengaluru monitors the data. This product is now running successfully for over 3 years. This has helped us in setting up our own cloud platform and gateway device. We have a very capable IoT team, and we take up projects not only from our equipment industry but also from other manufacturing industries as well such as the food and pharma industries.