Indian mobile crane manufacturing behemoth, Tractors India Limited (TIL) is undertaking a large scale Greenfield expansion of its production facilities to cash in on the rapidly growing opportunities in India and neighboring countries and altogether for the European markets. At par, the company is ramping up its distribution business by entering into marketing collaboration with global crane companies offering assorted products for customized market demand requirement.
“Massive growth in opportunities arising out of demand from Greenfield and Brownfield core and industrial construction projects, precisely port and port based projects and refinery projects in India makes it well imperative for us to expand our production facilities to suit the emerging market requirements. This is as because, as our existing plant has reached a saturation point to undertake manufacturing of new products,” says Mr. Sumit Majumder. He adds, “the expansion, aided by creation of a new plant would further consolidate our marketposition as it would enable us to offer numerous products.” TIL’s existing plant is located at Kolkata in Eastern India.
TIL’s new plant facilities would include, mobile cranes, coal cargo handling systems, rubber tyred gantry cranes, electric level lifting cranes and reach stackers.
TIL has recently entered into a technical collaboration with Paceco Corp of USA for production of rubber tyred gantry cranes, and with Famak of Poland for electric level luffing cranes for bulk material handling equipment for Indian ports. The products based on collaborations will be manufactured in its new plant.
According to Mr. S.K. Bhatnagar, “through the new plant we would essentially cater to the requirements of the port sector for handling container cargo, as containerization of Indian ports has gained buoyancy over the years, putting in good demand for container cargo handling equipment.” TIL’s new facility will allow it to undertake four–fold expansion of output of its material handling group in terms of units, through introduction of new material handling products along with mobile cranes. TIL’s existing plant produces 200 units of various models of mobile cranes annually. Production from the new plant is expected to commence in mid 2009. Land acquisition process for the plant is underway.
While the new plant will cater to the requirements of India’s container ports for handling cargo, but importantly, it would also go on to meet the requirements in terms of supplying critical components to European crane manufacturers. As per Mr. Bhatnagar, "we would look on to utilize our new facility both as a production hub for new products for the Indian market and also to promote value based on our strong engineering skills by supplying critical components to crane manufacturers in Europe.”
TIL is the new vendor to its principal, Grove Germany for supplying the critical components, which sources the turn tables and carrier frames from its existing vendors in Slovakia and Poland.
TIL, which has begun commencement of production of the components from its existing plant at Kolkata would look on to supply components to 30 tonnes and 400 tonnes Grove all terrain cranes in near future from its new facility along with enhancing production volumes for the 55 tonnes all terrain cranes.
Adopting the market requirements, TIL introduced diesel hydraulic telescopic boom cranes in 1979. Starting with a 20 MT lifting capacity crane, the range was expanded to 100 MT lifting capacity. All these happened at its existing plant at Kolkata.
Spread across an area of 2,75,000 sq.ft, TIL’s existing plant is a fully integrated construction equipment manufacturing facility in the country producing purpose built mobile cranes. Supported by a well placed design a research and development centre equipped with CAD/CAM facilities and engineering software, the plant incorporates well laid out manufacturing facilities, including fully equipped machine shop, fabrications and assembly shop, finishing bays and test bed.
The plant is equipped with plasma cutting machines and advanced welding technologies to manufacture intricate and heavy structure needed for good quality crane manufacturing. The state-of-the-art structural fabrication shop is equipped with automatic machines and the process conforms to ASME Sec IXISO 3834/EN 729, AWSD 14.33 and others.
Supported by advanced production facilities, TIL ensures that the product output is of superior quality. For this TIL, sources vital components both from domestic and global sources conforming to superior quality standards.
TIL, which has a technical collaboration with Grove USA for its mobile cranes is supported by Grove in making available design, drawings and calculations for each model. TIL modifies these designs to suit the local requirements and local vendors capability.
However, supported by advanced production systems and fitted with advanced equipment, TIL counters the constant challenge in striking a balance in offering quality products at a competitive price to the price sensitive Indian buyers. However, Mr. Sumit Majumder mentions, “To offer quality products at a competitive price and retain our market share in the mobile crane market estimated at 60 percent, “indigenization has been done in hydraulic, motors, pumps along with design modifications, allowing TIL to pass cost benefit to its customers.”
Adding Value on Marketing Tie-Ups
TIL, which manufactures wide range of material handling equipment for the customized demand requirement of the market, strongly feels further value the customers requirements can be provided through offering of products brought through distribution tie-ups. According to Mr. Bhatnagar, “distribution tie-ups are important to meet the newly emerging demand requirements of products from the Indian market.” In accordance with this, TIL has a marketing collaboration agreement with Manitowoc for selling its crawler lattice boom cranes in India. Under the agreement TIL offers 17 models of crawler crane from 80–907 tonnes.
TIL is also the Indian distributor of Grove’s 30–120 tonnes rough terrain cranes in India and also that of Grove’s 35–450 tonnes all terrain cranes, 40 tonnes-75 tonnes Grove truck mounted cranes. TIL also distributes Grove manufactured yard boss industrial cranes and shuttlelift industrial cranes in India.
To expand its product portfolio in material handling, TIL has recently forged an exclusive marketing alliance with Hyster–USA for distributing its products in India, Nepal and Bhutan.
According to Mr. Majumder under this new partnership, we will significantly increase the depth and breadth of our coverage on seizing all the possible opportunities with increased product line to reach new customers.”
To support the comprehensive range of equipment population TIL has well placed service network. Headquartered at Kolkata, TIL has a qualified team of 100 engineers for providing dedicated post sales service, onsite demonstration, maintenance services (through service contracts) and ongoing delivery.
For component support TIL has five warehousing depots at Delhi (Northern India), Chennai ( Southern India), Mumbai & Jammnagar (Western India) and Kolkata (Eastern India) which is also the mother warehouse). The depots has a total stock of spare parts exceeding 75,000 line items.
All depots and customer teams and corporate offices are linked through robust Oracle ERP software that minimizes time to market or deliver, making data available as per real time need.
TIL’s service locations not only work as hubs for providing customer support but also for collecting and evaluating data on changing customer’s requirements. This allows the company to make sure that its production keeps up with demand. As per Mr. Bhatnagar, “the service heads based across our locations takes an account of the expansion and business plans of our customers.
TIL has bagged a recent order from Essar refinery in Gujarat for supplying 55 tonnes rough terrain cranes for construction of its new refinery in Gujarat in Western India. Among recent notable orders bagged by TIL include supplying of 40 numbers of 20 tonnes rough terrain cranes for Reliance Industries’s brown field expansion of its petrochemical plant at Jammnagar. It has also delivered 70 numbers of 40 tonnes rough terrain cranes for construction of the new plant.
TIL was recently in news for rolling out its 5000th rough terrain RT630 C crane from its existing plant. The 5000th crane was delivered to Reliance petroleum. The event was presided over by Mr. Glen Tellock, President, Manitowoc Crane Company USA.