Swaminathan Dhandapani, CEO
Keestrack is introducing the most advanced and innovative technology for crushers and scalpers through its manufacturing facility in Neemrana, Rajasthan. Swaminathan Dhandapani, CEO, discusses the company’s strategies to drive business in India and export markets.

What has been the response to Etrack’s locally produced, high-tech crushing plants?
The feedback that we have received from the market exceeds our expectation and encourages us to introduce more innovative products in the Indian market. Technology is a key focus at Keestrack, as it helps in reduction of operating and owning costs - not only by adopting technologies to reduce fuel consumption of the machines but also putting our thoughts and efforts in reducing time and money spent on maintenance of the machines.

Our technologically superior crushing plants can give 15% more efficiency as compared to competitors. So, our communication to our customer is quite simple. The customer simply gets the lowest operating cost due to our technology.

Will you be targeting corporate and institutional buyers for the Etrack plants?
We are targeting all customers who are inclined to look at better and innovative technology irrespective of their size or classification as per the industry. However, as institutional players are far more inclined to look at emerging technologies, they constitute as a clear focus for us. In future the market share will be decided not by legacy but by who between the Indian and European manufacturers can deliver the most value to the customer.

Swaminathan Dhandapani, CEO

To bring down cost and be competitive, you need to localize, so to what extent has Etrack increased the local content in its plants?
Needless to state that Indigenization will be key to remain competitive in a market. It is far more critical for us, as competitors have been present in the country for decades and have a high level of localisation. Currently, we have about 70% localization with the remaining 30% being imported. We are not in a hurry to localise as the performance of the machine is paramount and that cannot be compromised just for the sake of reducing the cost. We have a balanced plan to validate and introduce approved vendors from India to progressively increase the local content. However, some of the key components that drive the performance of the machine will continue to be imported.

Which application areas are you focusing on to market your products?
In India, the company plans to tap segments like processing of iron ore, demolition waste recycling, and processing of municipal solid waste, and has appointed a dealer – CSB for marketing its products in the mining mineral processing industry. We have also developed a strong partner network across India to serve the road construction industry.

Our focus will be on primary and secondary solutions. Once we have positioned our tried and tested machines strongly in the Indian market, we will consider introducing the full range of Keestrack portfolio.

Keestrack will be manufacturing products to meet demand in both the Indian and export markets. The company is considering export of about 40% of its crushing and screening solutions to the Global markets.

Swaminathan Dhandapani, CEO

How are Etrack hybrid/electric plants different from those of other manufacturers?
Our machines are engineered to deliver higher efficiency and availability, as they are designed to be hybrid, which means that they can run on both electricity and diesel. Some manufacturers make machines that basically come on a mechanical platform, but are later modified to become hybrid. In my opinion, such machines cannot give as efficient a performance as compared to the hybrid-designed machines.

Our machines also deliver lower cost of operations due to several innovative feature - the power unit (generator) used to power the crushing and screening unit can be dropped off, in case prime power is available. Secondly, the plug out feature in the machine can easily be used for powering external machines like screens, stackers, lighting systems, living containers, anti-dust suppression systems, servicing equipment (welders, compressors), other on-site equipment (weighing bridges). (This is when the crushing plant is in operation). Through such flexible usage, commercial quarry owners and road contractors (especially those working in the North-Eastern region) will be able to curtail their expenses by not having to buy an extra generator set at the job site.

Another aspect that lowers the owning and operating cost of our machines is the use of innovative hybrid technology that substantially reduces the number of parts and are designed for ease of operation. The overall compactness & light weight has been achieved by way of using special grade steel for making the structure strong and robust. All this also makes them easy and cost effective to transport.

How do you calculate the TPH or per ton cost of your plants?
Quarry owners know that the TPH depends on the end product requirement along with the type of mineral being crushed. Therefore, to state the TPH in absolute terms for a machine is tricky without knowing the application. However, we can state that our machines will deliver at least 10% more than the machines of our competitors in the similar class range due to the product design. For the customer, it basically translates to higher productivity at lower operating cost.

How do you ensure proper material selection and vender development so that your machines are made as per your quality standard and can take the stress and shock deformations during crushing?
Although, we are relatively new in India but Keestrack group remains a market leader in Europe and other global markets. Our design and material selection has been tested for over 3 decades and we have simply brought that technology and knowhow to India for the benefit of our customers. It is however critical to choose the right material grades to ensure structural rigidity of the machines. At etrack, we use a special grade of steel so that we get the rigidity and strength without increasing the weight of the machine.

Some of our competitors use mild steel and thereby increase the weight of the machine and market it as a product strength. We however disagree with this approach as we believe that we are providing technologically superior product and are not in the business of just selling steel.

What does Etrack after-sales services include?
We have created a network of dealership across the country for road construction industry and the complete mining market is supported by CSB, who have over 35 years of experience in this segment. In Etrack we aim to become the lifetime service partner for all our customers.

Etrack’s and its dealer’s after sales services include the followings:
  • Spare and wear Parts Support – specialised support to cater need of different site challenges and material type.
  • Maintenance contracts (Tailored Services Packages for AMC/OMC)
  • Upgradation & Training Services to improve technical knowledge of site personnel’s and to boost site productivity & safety.
How do you see the industry changing in the near future?
Technological development resulting in lower carbon footprint and lower cost of operation will be the driving force in the crushing and screening market. We anticipate the following trends in the market:
  • Mobility: Due to the shortening project timelines, we foresee a shift towards mobile crushing and screening equipment. This will also assist in reducing the sunk cost on account of unnecessary civil foundations.
  • Hybrid Technology: Machines that can be run by electricity and have the option of HSD, when required, giving contractors flexibility to choose and reduce cost of operation.
  • Analytics: Telematics for enabling remote troubleshooting and monitoring of asset utilization to maximize productivity.
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