Mr. Phil Ellis
On the sidelines of the meet, S.K Khanna interacted with Mr. Phil Ellis, President and CEO, FrameMax who came to cement its association with Niagara Infrastructure Engineering and Architecture (NIEA) for introducing and promoting the Light Gauge Steel (LGS) structure technology in India. Excerpts:

How do you view the technological status of Indian PEB industry as compared to global market? What’s your assessment about engineering and structural installation and management capabilities available locally?
FrameMax’s system is not a PEB structural steel system as per the traditional PEB industry. It has some similar characteristics which is CAD driven, but the FrameMax system is fully computerized in manufacturing (CAM) using light gauge steel (LGS).

Whilst the Indian PEB industry appears to be well-developed, the LGS industry is not and will take some time to catch up with other global western markets.

LGS Technology in India

In view of your long experience in the business–how marketing and promotion of PEB’s products and services in India are different from other countries where you have worked?
Unfortunately, I cannot comment on this question as we have no experience of Indian market promoting products and services. However, we do not expect anything too different from other global markets of a similar nature.

Concrete has been the main workhorse of construction industry. Do you think that there is a need for rational utilization of concrete and greater utilization of PEB products to contain energy resources, pollution, high cost and achieve timelines in the execution of projects? How can the obsession with concrete be softened?
Concrete or more specifically cement production produces 7% of all global CO2 emissions (causing global warming). This alone demonstrates the urgent need to reduce or at least cap cement production, which is what China has done to limit CO2 emissions.

LGS Technology in India

In all parts of the world, the construction industry is known for its conservativeness and history of using concrete, so we understand that introducing a new technology is a challenge. This reluctance to change has hurt the industry because it lacks the technology and innovation present in other industries. Nonetheless, we have seen a shift in perspective as many countries need to find a better, faster building solution to produce mass affordable housing. Project execution times have to be reduced to meet the urgent housing demands of the population, which can only be achieved by shifting to more manufactured product type of construction technique.

A word about the engineering overview of patented FrameMax building system, its manufacturing facilities and locations.
FrameMax have filed worldwide patents on the building system to cover the CAD/CAM manufacturing of LGS components and the erecting of LGS structures for buildings up to 24 stories. These component products can be supplied from FrameMax’s facilities in China, USA or Mexico initially, until the Indian manufacturing facility is fully established. Very large projects can also be supplied from mobile site facilities that FrameMax is able to set up within 2 months at the job site as required.
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