Electromech: Materials Handling Equipment Industry Heads for Robust Growth

Tushar-Mehendale
Being a Mechanical Engineer by profession and having an MS degree to his credit in Manufacturing Systems from USA, Mr. Tushar Mehendale, the Managing Director of ElectroMech, India's largest manufacturer of industrial cranes by volume, recently gave a detailed overview to S. A. Faridi on the current status of the Materials handling equipment industry in India. He highlighted the changing trends in the sector which led the manufacturers to regularly upgrade their equipment thus making them both of world-class and customized to satisfy the customers. He also described the ongoing mismatch in demand and supply and manufacturers' stand in the current stiff-scenario and competitions.

With vast experience in the Indian materials handling equipment industry, could you please narrate the sector's growth story and market outlook for the next five years?
During the past decade India emerged as a preferred market for multinational companies as they saw the immense potential in the Indian market in terms of growth and demand for their products. Heavy investments were made as numerous multinationals set up their manufacturing units in the country, attracted by the low labour cost & excess availability of raw materials such as steel & iron. Along with this, other allied sectors also grew, driving demand for equipment such as cranes.

The foremost contributors to the growth story have undoubtedly been infrastructure and construction sectors. Both the sectors have played a vital role for the rise in demand for materials equipment industry, especially the crane industry in India. While we are witnessing a slowdown in new projects and expansions, this is expected to turn around as there is still plenty of scope for growth in India. The $1 trillion investment announced by the Indian government in various infrastructure projects under the 12th Five-year plan, has given a much needed boost to the materials handling and crane manufacturing industry in terms of revenue and growth. Additionally, the government has shown keen interest in encouraging the private sector to invest in Infrastructure projects which will definitely help to raise revenue for investments.

The Indian materials handling equipment industry will show a stable growth in the coming years, mainly driven by investment in manufacturing sector taken up by various manufacturing giants and leading companies. Also the growth is mainly responsible because of the consistent rise in demand across sectors like construction, automobile, power, and railways.

Double-Girder

The industrial cranes market is pegged to be roughly at Rs.2000– Rs.2200 crores annually. Almost 30% of this demand comes from government owned companies while the remaining 70% from the private sector. There are over 250 cranes manufacturers in India, however about 30% of the market by volume is dominated by a handful of established players.

What is your take on mismatch in Demand-Supply?
The demand and supply gap does exist vis-à-vis well-engineered specialized cranes as required by the infrastructure construction industry. Apart from some of the front runners of the Indian construction industry, many contractors do not believe in investing in their equipment collection from the long-term perspective. Hence they tend to settle for low-cost cranes which have a lifespan of less than a year or two after which a substantial amount of maintenance and downtime is typically incurred. As the crane industry in India is to a large extent made up of a substantial number of smaller players, the requirements of such contractors can be easily met.

However, if the players in the infrastructure construction industry develop foresight and decide on sourcing only well engineered robust equipment, then there is definitely going to be a demand-supply gap as there are very few manufacturers in India who are in a position to provide very well-engineered cranes.

In view of the current tough economic scenario – how does Electromech cope up with the stiff competition?
A slowdown in the economy gives companies an opportunity to introspect and identify their strengths as well as areas of improvement. Core competencies can further be strengthened if due attention is given to areas that could become opportunities for differentiation. ElectroMech has always had a culture of continuous improvement, more so when the times are tough so that when the inevitable upward trend happens, we are ready to offer our clients the best products and services. ElectroMech since its inception believes that the key to the success for any company is the satisfaction of its customers. We manufacture and customize our products according to the client's requirement. This has helped us in reaching where we are today as well as staying ahead in the market especially considering the tough economic situation. Our in-house design and development department is constantly working towards upgrading our products while also adapting to the changing trends in the industry to provide world class products to our valued customers.

Could you please highlight some of the advanced features being incorporated in your machines considering safety as the prime concern?
Safety as a characteristic in the day-to-day working module is a non-negotiable aspect. Regardless of the sector a manufacturer operates in, be it organized or un-organized, it is unwise to disrespect safety as eventually one is putting human life in danger.

An unexpected breakdown of Cranes, Hoists, Winches and other materials handling equipment can result in delay within the manufacturing process and delivery schedules. Thus it is advisable to have a proper maintenance carried out through skilled professionals who share an expertise in "crane specifications". This will help lessen and almost get rid of any chances towards unprepared breakdown.

The Indian industrial cranes sector lacks structured after sales service assistance. Most of the manufacturers end their involvement towards the customers with the closure of the commissioning of the equipment thus putting the customer in perplexities of servicing and maintenance of cranes. ElectroMech understands the gaps as well as the needs to pay attention to the customer's needs. In its belief towards providing solutions approach to selling, we offer well engineered hoisting solutions keeping safety at top of the agenda.

All of our cranes come equipped as a standard with redundant safety electric limit switches as well as mechanical barriers to ensure that the hook path does not stray dangerously out of the intended work envelope. We have several electrical interlock systems hard wired in our circuitry which prevent an operator from running the crane in an unsafe manner even if he wishes to do so. Furthermore, we have start and smooth stop functions as standard in all of our cranes, we ensure that the load swing is restricted to absolute minimum levels and associated accidents and personal injuries eliminated.

Overloading protection is standard in our ABUS range of cranes. The safety brakes used on the cranes are rated for 1 million operations on full load and ensure a lifetime worry free duty. Not only do our end products incorporate all safety features but our people are also extremely safety conscious when working on the shop floor while manufacturing cranes as well as when working at the site and erecting the cranes. As a standard practice, whenever we hand over our cranes to our end customers, we instruct them how to properly use. The company is also ISO 9001:2008 certified with UKAS accreditation. We are now in the process of putting our systems in place for Environmental Health and Safety (EHS) and Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) certificate as we consider ourselves a responsible company and want to ensure the wellbeing and safety of not only our employees but also our end users.

Tower Crane

Do you really think that customer is ready to pay extra for advance features?
Advanced safety features and cost are two aspects that should go hand- in-hand to ensure success in the long run. In such a highly fragmented market such as ours, competitiveness is the key to success. As a part of our strategy, we follow and ensure the same.

We are proud to own India's largest state-of-the-art manufacturing facility located in Pune for manufacturing industrial cranes. We have efficient processes and manufacturing techniques in place that help us deliver consistent quality and advanced safety in our product offerings. This also in turn helps us ensure reliability and peace of mind for our customers.

Our in house design and development department is constantly working towards upgrading our products while also adapting to the changing trends in the industry to provide safe and reliable equipment to all our clients. Our products are loaded with various features to enhance the overall safety in operations, such as anti-collision devices, 2 stage limit switches, radio remote controls etc. In the long run, the advanced yet reliable equipment are bound to profit our customers due to higher product life.

However cost is a deterrent for our sales, as majorly the smaller companies do make decisions based on pricing rather than advanced safety features. Having said that we believe that the times are radically changing and eventually even the smaller companies will prioritize safety rather than cost.

A word about the safety standards and norms followed in this industry.
Unfortunately, the industrial overhead cranes sector is not governed by any safety regulations by the government. As a result, there is a proliferation of an un-organized sector that puts together cranes as one puts together a meal with last night's leftovers. There is definitely a scope for improvement. For example, in China, every crane manufacturer needs to be registered with a government regulatory authority before being able to sell any hoisting equipment. The same applies in Japan for selling any equipment having a SWL more than 3MT. These companies are then subjected to regular audits and their products need to be certified before they are sold. In India, there is a set of design standards under IS. Several crane manufacturers, especially in the unorganized sector, claim that their cranes confirm the requirements of IS, however, if one scratches beneath the surface a lot of discrepancies are thrown up. These discrepancies lead to price reduction at the cost of sacrificing safety.

Single-Girder

What are the newer trends being currently witnessed by the Indian cranes and materials handling industry?
The Indian customers base is ever evolving resulting in the Indian crane and materials handling industry becoming more customer-oriented. With investments flowing in the Indian customer has an advantage to choose from an array of premium quality equipment. Even with pricing as a naturally pivotal factor, customers look at the bigger picture keeping in mind the complete technical specification to ensure that the end product covers all the functional distinctiveness as well as other aspects such as reliability, safety, ease of maintenance, etc. In today's infrastructure projects timeliness as well as delivery and commissioning schedules are favored by the Indian customer.

Some other credible trends in this sector includes numerous international tie-ups that took place in the last decade and because of this the industry is experiencing a substantial upgrade in quality of products and use of superior technology. The industry is becoming more customer-oriented that pays every passing day. This industry is experiencing a cut-throat competition and the approach of the buyers as well as manufacturers has also changed towards customer service. Customers today expect first-class and well-timed service as a norm. Manufacturers have to ensure establishing enabling structures to make sure of minimum customer complaints.
NBM&CW June 2013
NBM&CW Celebrates 30 Years of Progress in the Construction Industry

NBM&CW Celebrates 30 Years of Progress in the Construction Industry

This month marks a significant milestone for our publication as we celebrate 30 years of dedicated service to the construction industry. For over three decades we have been relentless advocates for the adoption of technology, equipment

Read more ...

The Future of Indian Infrastructure Construction Landscape

The Future of Indian Infrastructure Construction Landscape

The Indian construction industry is poised for a significant transformation over the next two decades. With a strong focus on infrastructure development, India will invest over 1.40 trillion USD in the next five years on infra

Read more ...

KNR Constructions: Optimizing Project Delivery with Advanced Equipment

KNR Constructions: Optimizing Project Delivery with Advanced Equipment

Mechanization is helping projects become more financially viable. At KNR, we have become self-reliant by deploying our own equipment and new construction methodologies, which is also helping us optimize cost and time during

Read more ...

Volvo CE: Electric Excavators, Wheel Loaders, Haulers & Compactors

Volvo CE: Electric Excavators, Wheel Loaders, Haulers & Compactors

Volvo CE India is a frontrunner in sustainable construction equipment, offering electric excavators, wheel loaders, haulers, and compactors alongside advanced technologies for efficiency and flexible business models to meet evolving customer needs.

Read more ...

Rajpath Infracon: Transformative Technologies Driving Growth Opportunities

Rajpath Infracon: Transformative Technologies Driving Growth Opportunities

Rajpath Infracon recognizes that innovation is the key to building sustainable, efficient, and durable roads for the future. They advocate for the adoption of advanced technologies throughout the entire project lifecycle - from materials and design to construction and maintenance.

Read more ...

AFCONS: Leveraging Technologies Like GFRP, HSFRC, UHPC, Precast & BIM

AFCONS: Leveraging Technologies Like GFRP, HSFRC, UHPC, Precast & BIM

AFCONS Infrastructure is at the forefront of construction innovation, leveraging disruptive technologies like GFRP, HSFRC, UHPC, precast construction, and BIM to address labor shortages, enhance sustainability, and improve project efficiency.

Read more ...

Wirtgen: Cold Milling Machines, Asphalt Pavers & Compaction Equipment

Wirtgen: Cold Milling Machines, Asphalt Pavers & Compaction Equipment

With its innovative and cost-effective road building and rehabilitation machines, the Wirtgen Group has emerged as an undisputed market leader, offering customers tech-rich and value-for-money products.

Read more ...

Godrej Switches to 100% Green Energy; Builds 3D Printed Office from RCA

Godrej Switches to 100% Green Energy; Builds 3D Printed Office from RCA

We have implemented eco-friendly production processes and energy-efficient technologies to minimize our carbon footprint; we also adhere to stringent waste management protocols, and the principles of Circular Economy.

Read more ...

Terex: Cutting-Edge Mobile Crushers & Screens, Washing Systems & Cranes

Terex: Cutting-Edge Mobile Crushers & Screens, Washing Systems & Cranes

Terex India, a leader in materials processing equipment like Powerscreen® mobile crushers and Finlay® screens, is at the forefront of sustainable construction. Their Hosur facility exemplifies operational excellence with a focus on clean energy, environmental responsibility, and digital tools for efficiency across their diverse product range including Terex® Washing Systems, Franna® cranes, and EvoQuip® solutions.

Read more ...

BMC Mumbai: Road Repair with Thin White Topping & Ultra-Thin White Topping

BMC Mumbai: Road Repair with Thin White Topping & Ultra-Thin White Topping

Thin White Topping/Ultra-Thin White Topping overlays are innovative pavement repair and strengthening solutions and are also cost-effective and less maintenance intensive, having demonstrated performance comparable to traditional

Read more ...

ACE: Mobile Crane, Pick & Carry Crane & Backhoe for Next-Gen Construction

ACE: Mobile Crane, Pick & Carry Crane & Backhoe for Next-Gen Construction

Action Construction Equipment (ACE) offers a comprehensive range of construction equipment – mobile cranes, Pick & Carry Cranes, fixed tower cranes, backhoe loaders, and more – while pioneering sustainable solutions and advanced technologies like automation and AI for next-generation construction.

Read more ...

Sanghvi Movers: Leading Crane Rental Industry With End-to-End Solutions

Sanghvi Movers: Leading Crane Rental Industry With End-to-End Solutions

Sanghvi Movers, Asia's largest crane rental company, leverages its extensive fleet of cranes and expertise to address infrastructure growth in India. They offer comprehensive solutions including logistics, erection services, and project management for diverse sectors like wind energy and refineries.

Read more ...

JCB LiveLink & Industry 4.0 for Connected Machines & Smart Manufacturing

JCB LiveLink & Industry 4.0 for Connected Machines & Smart Manufacturing

JCB India leads the way in digital construction with JCB LiveLink for their iconic Backhoe Loaders and other machines, offering real-time data, improved efficiency, and Industry 4.0 adoption for smarter manufacturing.

Read more ...

Adani Group: Driving Construction Innovation with Digital Solutions & AI

Adani Group: Driving Construction Innovation with Digital Solutions & AI

Ambuja Cements and ACC’s focus on Digitalisation and AI-driven strategies are delivering exceptional solutions. By embracing cutting-edge technologies and fostering a culture of innovation, we are offering best-in-class products and

Read more ...

SCHWING Stetter: Batching Plants, Concrete Pumps & Waste Recycling Plants

SCHWING Stetter: Batching Plants, Concrete Pumps & Waste Recycling Plants

SCHWING Stetter India, a leader in concrete equipment, offers a wide range of innovative products – batching plants, concrete pumps, mixers and waste recycling plants – to promote sustainable and efficient construction practices.

Read more ...

Kalpataru Group: Transforming the EPC Industry for a Greener Future

Kalpataru Group: Transforming the EPC Industry for a Greener Future

Kalpataru Group champions sustainable practices in the EPC industry, focusing on renewable energy, green buildings, and innovative technologies for a greener future.

Read more ...

Puzzolana: Leveraging R&D for Advanced Crushing & Screening Equipment

Puzzolana: Leveraging R&D for Advanced Crushing & Screening Equipment

Puzzolana leverages R&D to develop cutting-edge crushing and screening equipment, including high-capacity jaw and cone crushers, for optimized production and reduced costs per ton.

Read more ...

SGES Group: Expert Geotechnical Solutions for Streamlined Construction

SGES Group: Expert Geotechnical Solutions for Streamlined Construction

At SGES, our team brings over 200 years of collective experience in solving complex geotechnical problems; by quickly providing tailored solutions, we assist clients in making timely decisions, thus avoiding time and cost overruns.

Read more ...

Sany: Intelligent Service Platform with Telematics & Electric Dump Truck

Sany: Intelligent Service Platform with Telematics & Electric Dump Truck

Sany India discusses their Intelligent Service Platform with telematics and analytics, commitment to electric vehicles like the SKT105E mining dump truck, and plans for hybrid construction equipment.

Read more ...

To get latest updates on whatsapp, Save +91 93545 87773 and send us a 'Saved' message
Click Here to Subscribe to Our eNewsletter.