The growth of the Aerial Work Platform (AWP)
AWPs are capital-intensive equipment, and a lot of them are being imported as second-hand machines, but with JCB manufacturing them in India now, customers can buy new AWPs at a competitive price, informs Deepak Shetty, CEO & Managing Director, JCB India.

What are the primary concerns of the AWP industry that need to be addressed for faster growth of the industry?

The growth of the Aerial Work Platform (AWP) industry hinges on addressing several critical concerns. There is a strong need to ensure safety through proper training and creating greater awareness regarding its applications above 3 meter working height.

Adhering to EN280 standards and implementing government restrictions on the import and sale of sub-standard equipment with non-genuine parts are important focus areas. Also creating greater awareness of the AWPs available in the market is an important growth driver of the AWP Industry.

Do you see a greater awareness and usage of the AWP especially in view of its versatility across various job segments?

Awareness of the versatility and applications of Access Work Platform (AWP) machines has gained substantial traction, particularly driven by the construction industry recognising the various global best practices that are coming into India. The increased emphasis on safety has had a positive influence on various projects, thus amplifying the relevance of the AWP product range in India. Customers are now investing in technology that is both productive and safe.

The use of AWPs in major infra projects like airports etc. has become a regular practice now, which is a promising indicator of its acceptance and growth. Today, several sectors stand out as primary contributors to the growing demand for AWP machines. These emerging sectors include Aviation, Manufacturing Facilities, Construction, Logistics & Supply Chains, and Rental Companies.

What new technological advancements in AWPs are likely to increase their demand in India?

Material handling trends across the world are also gaining popularity in India, leading to stronger demand for Access Work Platform machines. We are also seeing newer applications in manufacturing, warehousing, air, and seaports. In view of all these developments, we are expecting over 20% more growth over last year.

There is heightened interest in Electric/Battery booms as well as >80ft booms, specifically those equipped with diesel engines with electronic Tier 4 final technology. It is anticipated that demand for these models will increase. JCB Access Machines are inherently designed to provide safety in operations. Our made-in-India equipment is exported to various countries around the world, including developed markets such as EU, USA, and Europe.

How are PWPAI and International Powered Access Federation (IPAF) bringing awareness on safety and standard operating practices in India?

The PWPAI and IPAF play a crucial role in raising awareness about safety and standard operating practices in India. IPAF’s efforts to redefine government legislation and policies on safety can have a significant impact on promoting a culture of safety at heights.

JCB fully supports improved safety norms and regulations for people working at heights. This can create ample opportunities for operator training, specifically Class 3A and 3B training for Aerial Work Platforms.

Globally, the AWP business is driven by rental agencies who prefer new equipment, while in India, the preference is for used equipment due to the lower rental rates. How does JCB market its products and services to cater to the rental market?

We are seeing significant growth in the Indian market. Notably, rental rates have seen a positive increase of around 15 to 20% for big booms, along with an improved average utilisation rate.

JCB’s Access product range holds promising potential in India, benefitting from our ‘Make in India’ initiative at our Jaipur facility. JCB is the Global Manufacturing Hub for Access Machines and all machines in India are made to the same global quality standard and are exported the world over. We are confident that producing high-quality products at the right price point, and catering to the rental companies’ needs for an enhanced RoI presents a significant opportunity for us.

What are the company’s plans to strengthen its position in the Access equipment market dominated by international companies like JLG, Dingli Machinery, Palfinger, Manitou, Haulotte, and Niftylift?

The growth of the Aerial Work Platform (AWP)
JCB has been in India for over four decades and has worked towards developing innovative products for its customers. We analyse India’s distinctive site conditions and specific requirements and develop our products around the needs of the end-users.

The ‘Made in India’ JCB Access Machines are exported all over the world. Our customer-centric products allow us to tailor our products and offer optimal solutions to customers, and also provide them best-in-class product support to ensure a world-class ownership experience.

We have 11 dedicated AWP dealers who handle JCB Access products across the country. This is in addition to our 60+ dealers in our Construction Equipment portfolio. Dedicated service engineers from our dealers provide our customers and rental companies timely and reliable after-sales services including genuine parts.

What are the features of JCB Access India’s recently launched Articulated Boom Lift?

The AJ48D Articulated Boom Lift model comes with a Tier 4 engine, designed to comply with the environmentally conscious emission norms advocated by the Indian government as part of the green revolution.

What sets this machine apart is its unique feature of an additional 3ft reach, a capability unmatched by any other product within the same category, making the JCB AJ48D truly distinctive.

Noteworthy for its exceptional productivity, superior performance, user-friendly interface, and strong safety considerations, the AJ48D undoubtedly stands out as a leader in its class. Its comprehensive attributes make it a suitable choice for various rental applications.

How will this new range of boom lifts meet the Indian buyers’ demand for value-for-money products and a quick RoI?

The newly introduced boom lift is suitable for rentals, specifically intended for robust heavy-duty applications. Its advantages lie in its durability and performance, offering the added benefit of reduced maintenance requirements. These features ensure that the return on investment (RoI) surpasses the initially anticipated timeframe, presenting a compelling proposition that will undoubtedly capture the attention of prominent industry players. This is anticipated for both the Indian and US markets, thereby establishing a promising opportunity for this product.

What new safety developments and safeguards have you made on your equipment?

Safety has consistently been an integral aspect of JCB’s ethos. For our AWP products, we prioritise safety without any compromise, given that these machines are utilised for tasks performed at elevated heights.

Our commitment to safety is evident through the incorporation of various standard safety features in our machines. Examples include pothole protection mechanisms on scissors, extended guard rail steel bars on the scissor platform, cable crush protection on booms, and limit switch sensors for anti-crush protection. These features are indicative of our dedicated efforts to ensure the highest level of safety in the design and functionality of our machines.

The growth of the Aerial Work Platform (AWP)

What is the biggest challenge posed by buyers in India when purchasing an aerial work platform? Does your team conduct an application study of the technical aspects pointed out by buyers for which the AWP is intended?

We consistently advocate conducting site inspections. Through this practice, we have identified numerous instances where customers could benefit from a more optimised solution. Such an approach not only minimises their initial capital expenditure (CAPEX) but also lowers their operational costs. At JCB, our primary goal is to offer precise solutions to customers.

To ensure a thorough understanding, we have a comprehensive checklist to record all pertinent technical application details before generating quotations in our system. This meticulous process successfully resolves potential uncertainties.

What customer support services, including spare parts supply, regular maintenance, and training, is JCB offering?

Our approach involves conducting diverse campaigns, varying in duration, focused on spare parts, services, and even free machine inspections. Additionally, our sales process encompasses Operations & Safety Training, as an integral component that accompanies the commissioning and installation of AWPs, post-delivery.

This comprehensive support structure is facilitated through our dedicated network of AWP dealer partners located across the country. Our dedicated in-house service support to major key account customers enhances our service reliability and confidence in JCB Access products in India and also in the SAARC regions.

For making India a manufacturing hub for world markets, reduce imports, and boost local manufacturing of components and parts, how is JCB supporting its vendors?

JCB embodies the vision of an Atmanirbhar Bharat. The machines built at our Jaipur factory are of global quality. We are also extremely proud of the fact that our gender diverse factory has over 34% women on the shop floor.

Promoting localisation of components in our machines is a primary focus area for us. Presently, over 50% of the parts in our AWP are sourced locally, and we will increase their number.

This strategic pursuit will not only expand the business prospects of numerous Indian parts manufacturers but also create additional employment opportunities. Aligned with this vision, JCB India proudly upholds the slogan ‘Make in India for the World’ for all our product offerings.
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