Re-inventing construction with the prefabricated panel system

The age of prefabricated sandwich panel construction has arrived in India. The pressure on constructors and industrial planners to plan, erect and hand over for use of various industrial buildings and constructions is extremely high in the current Indian industrial scene. The Indian economy is growing thanks to a high growth rate in the manufacturing sector which is adding infrastructure at an amazing pace.

Secondly there is a paradigm shift in the outlook on hygienic processing especially of food and food service related products and services. This stress on hygiene and dust proof environment is now de-rigueur in the food and pharma industries.

Thirdly, constructors and consultants are now required to answer convincingly on new ideas and solutions which save substantial power and reduce total cost of ownership for the buyer while satisfying the end user by offering her the most optimum environment required by the process.

All these issues are adequately and very well addressed by the prefabricated insulated sandwich panel construction pioneered by the well known company Rinac India Limited.

Re-inventing construction with the prefabricated panel system
In a brief interview with MGS , we spoke to Mr Manjunath M S, Global Head - Marketing at Rinac India Limited. Mr. Manjunath has a degree in Engineering and has two decades of experience in Applications and Marketing. He has been instrumental in Rinac's foray into Prefab constructions and cleanrooms in the food and pharma industry. He has presented many papers on the subject at various seminars in India and abroad. Here Mr Manjunath shares some insights into what his company contributes to this phenomenon of “Instabuild”, a brand owned by Rinac , under which it executes the prefabricated constructions .

What is your corporate focus and what are your products?
Our focus is on pre-fabricated and pre-engineered factory building construction and Rinac’s product portfolio in pre-fabricated constructions is as follows:
  • Clean room constructions
  • Clean zone constructions
  • Walk on ceilings
  • Teleshelters
  • Warehouse constructions
  • Non- walk on ceilings
  • Pre-fabricated and pre-engineered factory constructions for process industry
These kind of solutions are of tremendous value to end-user segments like food processing plants, pharmaceutical clean rooms, automobile workshops and assembly rooms for precision, plastics, print, textiles facilities, telecom tele-shelters, and electronic assembly facilities.

Our core competences lie in areas of design, manufacture, supply, erection and after sales service, of pre-fabricated sandwich panel system, pre-fabricated modular cold storages, pre-fabricated clean room envelopes and clean zone processing facilities and refrigeration systems for industrial and commercial applications.

How old is the use of prefab insulated panels in India?
As far as industrial construction is concerned, the prefab insulated panel is fairly new, say about 5 -6 years old in India.

Are your products and solutions 100% indigenous, or do you import any materials?
The entire know-how, product components and manufacturing in this product line are indigenous. All components have been tested as per certain internationally accepted standards to ensure superior quality, stability and accuracy.

What are the features of this type of panels and their advantages over conventional counterparts?
The Insta-build solution offers aesthetic finish. It is possible to provide cutouts for fixtures like lights, filters, alarms at site. The movement of cables in and out of the construction is facilitated. The structure has good capacity to withstand weather and wind load conditions and is suitable for outdoor construction. Moreover, it provides excellent labour and energy cost savings and is an eco-friendly construction. Its walk-on-ceiling feature has he advantage that it can take human traffic for maintenance.

Insta-build offers advantages like quick and easy construction, light weight, and sturdiness. The structures are dust proof and weather proof, they can be relocated easily as salvage value is high, the site work for erection is quick and neat and the structure’s design is flexible and modular. Since non-shedding laminate is used for clean room application, it is extra hygienic. Of interest to manufacturers is the fact that our structure reduces transmission of heat into the shelter as much as 8 times compared to brick and mortar construction. Hence there is power saving in air-conditioning. Insta-build is most the preferred MOC for HACCP approvals.

What type of industries is the Insta-build applicable to?
This modern building panel system has a wide range of applications and mostly benefits the following industries—Telecom, Pharmaceutical, Automobile, Electronic Component, Hotels, Hospitals, Food Processing and Agro, Information Technology and Construction.

Can you describe the manufacturing facility of Rinac India in Bangalore? What is the strength of your workforce, have they received any specific technical training to handle this product?
The unit is located at Tavarekere, Bangalore for manufacture of pre-engineered insulated sandwich panel systems, insulated doors, walk on ceiling, tele-shelter, ware house, and non walk ceiling. The shop floor area is 50,000 sq.ft and employs around 80 people.

Our key staff and foremen have received training at appropriate levels. Many of our engineers have gone abroad to study systems and processes in connection with the Prefab insulated construction.

Can you give details of quality control and safety measures adopted at Rinac?

Quality control is an integral aspect of our functioning. We have the following steps:
  • Verification done at factory
  • Raw material with specs procured on a lot basis
  • Verification of every panel and door for dimensional accuracy and visual appearance
  • Tests for strength carried out at the structural laboratory
  • Availability of clean covered space for storage at floor levels prior to installation, if workforce is following the erection s-o-p
At site, we have the following safety norms.
  • Use safety belts for heights above 2M.
  • Use scaffolding for work above 2M.
  • Use shoes and helmets at site.
  • Use the appropriate tools.
  • Earth all electrical lights and tools.
  • Illuminate the work spot with adequate lighting.
  • Avoid use of fire near work spots.
In buildings, are there specific types of structures that your products are applicable to and prove beneficial?
The prefab insulated panel construction is used most widely (and fully compatible with) in the pre-engineered steel building structural system.

Rinac undertakes turnkey construction from ground zero for food processing facilities, ready to eat facilities, etc. The latest food (potato) processing facility has been executed using the new box-out type of prefab panel construction in Gujarat.

What industries may not be able to use your products as effectively as others?
The limitations in the use of prefab insulated panel construction are very few but they still do exist. Chiefly the prefab panel architecture currently prevalent in India still does not submit to curvatures and textured finish. Color choice is also limited for small quantities.

What marketing strategies have you adopted to market your products?
We are proactive in many media and non media initiatives. We have a systematic advertising-plan in the print media. We participate in key exhibitions. We also hold seminars and present papers at various seminars on the subject matter.

What are Rinac’s future plans?
Market place success is achieved by continually offering superior value. We strive to be innovative and explore newer applications and better technology on the product improvement.

What about the maintenance of these panels? What is the depreciation period you are looking at?
The prefab insulated panel system has excellent keeping qualities. Tests on surface coatings that have been done by the paint companies reveal that the coating remains unblemished giving a decade or more as the period to repaint.

Over conventional construction using an air conditioning system, the prefab insulated panel system offers a payback period of approx 1-2 years.

Any other information you wish to share?
Rinac has shown the way to quick hygienic, flexible and power saving industrial construction. Together with PEBs, this construction will be the most preferred construction for industrial buildings in future. Rinac has pioneered the concept and popularized it by executing many large construction projects in India. It is a matter of time before even commercial business installations will opt for this type of construction.
MGS Architecture January 2007
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