"Slipco aim was to make "SLIPFORMING" the most economical methodology, cheaper than conventional shuttering. For very high structures, construction used to take a lot of time & very intensive capital cost on Scaffolding which by providing Slipforming reduced to Zero & companies could hire Slipform Services without any Capital Investments. Slipco has been continuously training manpower in-house & which has been invested back into the Construction Industry. Slipco through its educational wing (GICMAR) is providing Training, Education in Construction Management & Certificate Courses in Slipforming including hands on Training in Live – Projects - with a vision to have at least one GICMAR Student at Each Slipform Project in the Country by year 2020. Under our corporate responsibility each year we train more than hundred trainees," says Mr. S.K Grover, Managing Director, Slipco Construction Pvt. Ltd. in an interview with S.K Khanna.
Slipco has completed 30 years of service in the Construction Industry. How has the company progressed in the changing business environs to its current stature both within and outside the country?
We started as a Specialized Slipform Company & continuously evolved exclusively in the same field. The key change that came about over the years driven by the nature of this industry was that earlier we were providing only Slipform Services to various Construction Companies and now in addition to that, we are undertaking Design – Turnkey contracts from Designs to Commissioning, Providing Slipform Services, Training & Academics.
What are your Important Business Areas and Organizational Arrange- ment to pursue the laid down business agenda successfully?
Turnkey jobs in Construction Division/Slipform Equipment Supplies/All type of Consultancy on Slipforming Projects/Providing Slipform Specialists for Supervision of Various Jobs/Training of Engineers, Technicians & Academic Activities. Different Divisions are all integrated to support each other division & at the same time function as Independent Profit centers. We are providing Equipment/Designs/ Training and even Knowledge sharing to various companies who could be our competitors too!
However, key areas in the present scenario are Turnkey Contracts of Chimney Constructions for various Power Plants & Battery of Silos for Cement, Ash & Power Plant, Water Cooling Systems. Also adding RCC Cooling Towers as a diversification in coming years.
Slipco has developed Indigenized Slipform Technology and seamlessly transferred it to country’s construction stream, executing important projects in India and Abroad. What are its important Technical Attributes making it so versatile fitting in all jobs from Chimney / Slios to Air Traffic Controls (ATC) Towers?
Slipforming fascinated me, while I was working with E.C.C. (L&T Construction Division) But it was exclusively available with only a few construction companies in India & mostly specialists were coming in from Sweden/Austria, doing the job & going back. All the basic jacks/Hydraulics Pumps, even the oil seals & hoses were imported. For that too, we had to open an L.C. about 2 months in advance. Then there were innumerable Indian Construction Companies with very good Credentials/Equipment/Manpower but were not qualified since they did not possess the Slipform know-how. SLIPCO started with the aim to fill this niche, providing all type of Slipform Services to any & all construction companies – which created a healthy competition in the market & consequently slipforming was no longer the Domain of a Few Companies as before.
Versatility can be explained by the simple mathematical solution that the same shutters once fixed, traverse the total height - so the usage is 50 to 100 times & even more for higher structures. So for Highrise RCC Structures “the higher it is, the cheaper it is” theory was proved by us or Repeatedly Similar Structures of Smaller Heights also became viable. At SLIPCO, we have been taking initiative to identify different areas/usage in innovative structures & slipformed them, thus creating lot of scope for the Slipforming arena. Once started, many other people followed & new avenues were created for Slipform – Works.
Our aim was to make “SLIPFORMING” the most Economical methodology, cheaper than conventional shuttering & quicker. For very high structures construction used to take a lot of time & very intensive capital cost on Scaffolding which by providing Slipforming reduced to Zero & companies could hire Slipform Services without any Capital Investments.
It would be of interest for our readers to know the most challenging projects executed by the company through the deployment of this technology to its satisfaction as well as of its clients in terms of quality of work, scheduled completion and cost effectiveness?
As such, each project has its unique features & challenges but we undertook many projects which were" a first for slipforming in India
- ATC (Air Traffic Control) Tower at Santa Cruz Airport Mumbai (M/s Unitech Limited- Delhi).
- Lantern Shaped Architectural Towers for ISB, Hyderabad (M/s Shapoorji Pallonji Ltd., Mumbai).
- Underground (-108 metre) Gate Control Shafts in Tehri Dam (U.A.), M/s KCT Limited, Kolkota
- Rectangular & Tapered Bridge Piers on Jammu Udhampur Rail Link project (Ansals, CEC, Brahmputra & Many other companies).
- Construction of RCC Columns 24 Nos., unsupported, 22m high for Bagasse Sheds of M/s Balrampur Chini Mills, Gonda (U.P.) in one go.
- Steel Tank Erection Jacks & Equipment (Indian Oil)
- Twin Silo for Diamond Cement Jhansi (M/s Punj Lloyds, Delhi).
- Construction of Buildings for Coal Pits - M/s S. K. Samanta & Co. Ltd., Jet Engine Testing Workshop, Palam Airport, Delhi -M/s Punj Lloyds, Lift Core Shafts for Bharat, Meridien & Park Hotels in Connaught Place, New Delhi.
- Pre Heater Building at M/s Dhar Cements near Indore
What are the important projects executed by the company in the offshore market and response hereof?
We have been providing our various services & undertaking Cement Silos, RCC Taper Chimneys Projects in Sri Lanka, Malaysia, Doha Qatar, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Indonesia & Singapore. Bygging Uddemann- Sweden, Gleitbau - Austria have been our guiding companies in initial equipment & technology Back Up. Mechanization/Automation/Speed with Quality form the Backbone for Future Projects - we learnt this while competing with International Companies, abroad.
Response has been very good, we are getting repeat orders. At many places where local companies have associated with us, we have also been supplying Equipment, Designs, Consultancy, Supervision Services also besides execution of the projects.
What sort of technical services, the company is currently providing, including equipment supplies? Would you like to expand the scale of equipment manufacturing matching the current demand scenario?
Besides undertaking EPC Contracts for RCC 275m Taper, Twin Flue Chimneys, we are also supplying equipment to some clients who wish to have their in-house Slipform Capabilities because of Repeat Projects. Our basic commitment to make Slipform available at each corner of the country & to all construction companies is going steady. Many a new companies have come up who are undertaking coal/Hydle Power Projects, Ash handling, Cement Plants, Prilling Tower (Fertilizers) Projects (which are a plenty in the Indian Market), are sourcing their requirements from Slipco Constructions. Being an Innovator & Pioneer in this field, our equipment on-schedule delivery, After-Sales Services & Tested Equipments give our clients confidence & many of our important items like Jacks & Pumps which are available Ready–Stock are picked by clients when their contractors are not performing due to shortage of equipment.
Since the Manufacturing/Testing time period is 3 to 4 months – one or more sets are always ready with us & another set in the Pipeline. This also gives us an edge over the other competitors, since most of them have to depend on Vendors or Import. We are also exporting equipment to Singapore, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh & have regular queries from Middle-East Countries. Slipforming is required when a project is to be executed quickly or is already delayed & has to cover up the time. As a result, only ready stock equipment availability can serve the purpose.
Besides equipment, many a companies/clients have started taking professional consultancy not only limited to Design/Drawings but also in Project Supervision, solving nitty-gritty problems in under Construction Slipform Projects which are affected due to quality/ methodology/accidents etc. For all Slipform Projects, SLIPCO is providing Complete In-House Facilities with Reliability.
A word about SCPL’s focus on Training of manpower and academics activities. How has the in-house training and your book Trail Blazer Journey of Slipforming from Sweden to India helped formulation of a certificate course on it, thereby improving the technological status of Slipforming knowledge and practices in the country?
Slipco has been continuously training manpower in-house & which has been invested back into the Construction Industry as many upcoming companies in the field, offer 2-3 times premium salary to Slipco Technicians/Staff to meet their requirements. Since in our country, there is no Institute for imparting this training, Slipco through its educational wing (GICMAR) www.gicmar.org is providing Training, Education in Construction Management & Certificate Courses in Slipforming including hands on Training in Live – Projects - with a vision to have at least one GICMAR student at Each Slipform Project in the Country by year 2020!!
Under our corporate responsibility each year more than a few hundred Trainees are given this facility. Besides fresh engineers & technicians, many Senior/ Working Engineers are undertaking this Distance Learning Program. One Year/Six Months Programs in Construction & Infrastructure Management, Slipforming, Project Management, Diploma/Certificate Courses are being awarded.
How would you look at the future business performance in the next two-three years with margins slowing down and competition hotting up by the day.
The Indian market is huge and there is scope for many more players. Depending upon the capacity/equipments many big projects are coming – there cannot be a slow down in Infrastructure Projects, but for shortage of skilled manpower!!! Innovation in slipforming applications & sharing it with Future construction managers, has been our vision. Whatever we have learnt over the years, has been shared with through my book & various articles. Now with new modern Machineries /Technological updates this book also needs revision. So the next Edition carrying more information with modern techniques, mechanization, which areas need more attention in Slipforming Related Structures is also underway as my next ambitious Project which will highlight how by the year 2020, in India we will be facing Acute shortage of Skilled Manpower (Signs are already showing). Time of Completion of Mega Project is reducing from 24 Months to 16-18 Months & with further shortage of Manpower in coming years, how will we carry out our Projects? The daunting task of planning has to be undertaken/started now itself by all the construction companies in the field.
Mechanization shall be the only solution to scarce manpower. By year 2020, our construction Industry is going to face an acute shortage of skilled manpower. We will require our Engineers to be ready to work hands on with both Civil & Mechanical know-how as “Mechanization is going to be the only Key – for Future Success.”