Excavator Makers Share Heightened Business Sentiments on Robust Demand

Excavator Makers

The Indian excavators market will witness newer solutions backed by services packages in the months to come as manufacturers get ready to take on the present spell of burgeoning demand. P.P Basistha reports.

Excavator manufacturers in India did not have it so good. Buoyed by new and restarted road construction projects, and irrigation projects, demand has jumped to almost 45% in 2016 as compared to the previous year. The unprecedented growth is the steepest since 2011 when demand attained similar dimensions. Manufacturers anticipate demand will hover between 40-45% in mid-2017 as there will be ample business opportunities for the excavator manufacturers amidst stiff competition. Manufacturers are actively working out strategies to build market presence as they gear up for increased business opportunities.

New Launches Galore

Looking to expand and consolidate its presence in the dynamic excavators market, Tata Hitachi has new offerings from its stable-the EX super series and advanced ZAXIS GI series. The new products, amongst others, are a part of Tata Hitachi's range of 2 to 40 ton hydraulic excavators for the infrastructure sector, 45 to 120 tons for the mining sector, and the ultra large 190 to 800 ton excavators for specialized heavy duty mining.

Sandeep SIngh Tata Hitachi
"Our customers are extremely competitive in the marketplace - and to be competitive m they want to reduce operating costs and improve efficiencies. Taking cognizance, we have developed a two pronged product strategy - one addressing the value segment and the other the premium segment. The value segment has products belonging to the EX Super Series -combining advanced technology and low running costs - to enable a high return on investment. The superior design of products in this series ensures ease in serviceability leading to a lesser downtime for maintenance. These EX Super Series machines can work in a wide variety of applications in various geographies across India commanding best in class resale value. For the premium segment, the ZAXIS GI series of machines - fitted with industry leading hydraulic technology ensures unbeatable performance, high fuel efficiency and high durability," explains Mr. Sandeep Singh, MD, Tata-Hitachi India.

Sharing further details on the newer solutions, Mr. Singh says, "Our prime motto being deliverance of reliable solutions made us develop the new EX Super series of machines. A line-up includes the tunnel version of EX200LC Super series, the aqua version of EX 70 Super Series. The GI series of ZAXIS 370 LCH quarry variant and the ZAXIS 400 MTH are for large granite and marble quarrying. Being powered by a reliable Japanese engine to deliver 250 PS power and built to achieve higher production efficiency in tight job schedules, these machines are targeted at granite and marble, blue metal handling and bulk excavation segments in India."

Tata Hitachi Excavator

He adds, "The ZAXIS GI series of products provide impressive fuel economy, swift front movements and is easy to operate. Another highlight of this series is the optimized hydraulic system and the improved engine. A combination of HCM Technology and THCM R&D has given us the required expertise to customize and build machines keeping in mind the job site and application requirements in India which is featured in the advanced engineering attributes in the newer solutions." Bulk of Tata Hitachi excavators are manufactured in India, while some specified models are imported from its global network.

The higher capacity range of excavators are being serviced by Tata Hitachi's full maintenance contracts, annual maintenance contracts, and extended warranty support solutions. Parts' support is being rendered through our 1,30,000 sq.ft central warehouse at Nagpur with more than 30,000 line items. The warehouse in Dharwad caters to the parts and attachment requirements for the equipments marketed through the Southern dealers.

Looking forward to leveraging its presence in the expanding excavators market, SANY India has taken major initiatives to strengthen its marketing network coupled with introduction of new products.

Sany Excavator

Deepak Garg, Sany
Says Mr. Deepak Garg, CEO, SANY Heavy Industry India, "We have been able to raise our market share to 6.5 % in 2016 as compared 3.5% the previous year. We have strengthened the dealership network through replacing some existing dealers along with appointing new dealers with sound financials and strong market knowledge. Announcement of new dealers is a strategic step towards increasing our market footprint and reiterating our commitment to the Indian market. Our new dealers will help us to reach out to our existing and potential customers in North Eastern states, West Bengal, Karnataka, Gujarat, Rajasthan, Delhi, Madhya Pradesh and Nagpur. Coupled with this, we are making our brand visible through participation in events such as the recently held 'Make in India' event in Mumbai, exhibiting high levels of localization in our products, delivering high value to customer. These strategies have made customers recognize our excavators as better products strongly backed with local manufacturing, distribution and support structure."

Mr. Garg adds, "Introduction of some innovative solutions targeting specific markets have also enabled us to gain market share. Our 20 tons class excavators with 15 meters long boom attachment, has been a high success in the Maharashtra market. We have achieved 62% market share. Our long reach excavators are primarily used in applications like well digging, river/canal cleaning and metro railway construction. These excavators have seen maximum demand in the states of Maharashtra and Telangana, in the last year. The long boom excavators with high levels of reliability and durability based on superior fabrication as compared to other contemporary product offerings, have been used to dig wells recently in the drought hit parts of Maharashtra."

The long reach excavators are designed for better synchronization of engine and hydraulic system with extended and heavier components. The machine is equipped with 8.5 m long boom, 6.02 m long arm and long crawler undercarriage having 800 mm track-shoe width for better operating safety and stability. These are C-9series of excavators equipped with Intelligent DOMCS (Dynamic Optimization Machine Control System) which ensures unmatched productivity with optimum fuel economy coupled with superior hydraulic tuning that handles greater digging forces.

SANY manufactures excavators between 8-38 tons at its Pune manufacturing facility with close to 40% localized content involving engines, pumps and hydraulics. The products are made available and supported by the company's 26 dealers.

Mr. Garg informs, "The performance of the high capacity excavators has been extremely encouraging. Our 48 tons units will be clocking 10,000 hours of operation in November 2016, while our 75 tons units will be clocking 7,000 hours of operation also in the same period.

SANY India supports its large sized excavators will full maintenance contracts. The company has recently put in place an enterprise control centre to monitor the performance and operational status of the excavators.

JCB Excavator

With the addition of the new 22T Excavator in the JCB India's product portfolio, JCB India is now a full range manufacturer of Tracked Excavators with the range starting from 3T to 8T, 12T, 14T, 20Tand 22T.

Jasmeet Singh JCB India
Sharing details Mr. Jasmeet Singh, Head - Corporate Communications and External Relations, JCB India, says, "The new JCB220LC Xtra is the latest addition in JCB India's Tracked Excavator portfolio. JCB Excavators are known for their productivity, efficiency, and safety. This 22T machine has been designed to deliver world class productivity while working in the toughest and most rugged terrains."

He explains, "With 8 Power Modes and Smart Controls - this machine is 7% more productive in H+ mode. The New JCB220LC Xtra comes with Livelink and Air Conditioning as standard. JCB Livelink is one of the major technological innovations in the Indian Construction Equipment industry. This system enables our customers to remotely manage their machines on Service, Operations and Security of their machines through real time alerts."

He adds, "For optimum utilization of our Excavators with Attachments, we have the option of factory fitted piping work. We also provide the option of long and short boom on our 20 tonnes class Excavators." JCB India offers HM380 Hydraulic Rock Breaker for 8T Excavator and the HM1180 for 12T and 14T Excavators. For the 20T / 22T Excavators, JCB offers HM2180HD Rock Breaker.

To expand their product portfolio above 22 T class excavators, Mr. Singh says, "We will continue to evaluate the market potential of the 30 tonnes class excavators. Following which, we may look to manufacture or import the equipment. However, the decision will depend on demand attaining critical mass."

Mr. Singh informs, "We have over 650 outlets and 63 dealers pan India. The network will be instrumental in broadening our sales and maintain customer proximity. We are making concerted efforts to be even more close to our customers."

Nischal Mehrotra Liugong
Liugong India has recently introduced CLG 922-HD, 22 tons class excavators for the Indian market which is being imported from its China facility. The company is also looking to introduce 21 tons class excavators in the country. "We will come out with our 21 tons class excavators from our plant at Pithampur. The prototype of the equipment is ready and we plan to roll out the first excavator unit in 2017. The product will reinforce our position further in the Indian excavator market dominated by the 20 tons class category and is targeted for quarry operations," says Mr. Nischal Mehrotra, Director-Sales, Liugong India.

LIUGONG 922D HD Excavator
Not to be left behind from the higher capacity segment, Liugong India, will be showcasing its new 36 and 50 tons class excavators in bauma Conexpo India 2016.Fitted with Cummins power packs and Kawasaki hydraulics, the 50 tons excavator, with targeted application of overburden clearance in mining sites will be provided with 3.2, 1.6 and 1.8 cum buckets. While the 36 tons capacity excavators will be provided by 1.6 and 1.8 cum bucket attachments.

Mr. Mehrorta informs, "The higher capacity excavators have the standard fuel consumption benchmark between 32-35 liters per hour. The excavators are powered by US Cummins engines. While for 22 ton class excavators, we are using Guangxi Cummins engine from our own JV Plant in china for producing the power packs with Cummins. The engines made under joint collaboration, delivers higher performance. This is because they have been specifically designed to perform in off highway construction equipments."

To retain its existing customer's base along with creating newer customers, Liugong has begun working towards an aggressive warranty programme for product support through its existing seventeen dealers. The company intends to introduce all its other product lines in India in phases across five years.

Dimitrov Krishnan Volvo
Expanding its hold on the larger 21ton class market, Volvo CE India will be launching its EC210D excavators in bauma Conexpo India 2016 India. The company will also showcase its EC 250 D, 25 ton excavator at the event. Both the excavators are targeted for the fast growing quarry sector which is buoyant due to demand of aggregates from the road construction sector. The company launched EC 140 D in the previous year. "Our new 'D' series excavator is a major upgrade over the current B- series prime range. The new D series scores higher on fuel efficiency, performance, hydraulics and overall design. All of which goes towards making the units highly productive," says Mr. Dimitrov Krishnan, Vice President & Head - Volvo CE India.

Sharing details on the competitive attributes of the new 'D' series excavators, he informs, "The new EC 480D, EC 300D, EC 250D, EC 210D and EC 140 D comes with spacious and comfortable operator's cabin with noise insulation features, so as to enable the operator deliver higher productivity. With fully electronic controls, the operator can select the required mode for operation. The stronger design and superior welding process goes towards making the excavators more robust. We have made the machine cost effective to own and operate across its total lifecycle as well. This has been done by making the machine more integrated with the given electronics engines by fitting in hydraulics that helps in minimization of waste through drawing exact amount of hydraulic power to the booms and arms based on the exact working command by the operator. The electronics engines cut themselves down when the machine is idling for longer than the given period."

Volvo Excavator

For making the excavators more integrated with the attachments, Volvo CE offers X-1 piping for hydraulic rock breakers and X-3 piping for tilt rotators and bucket crushers. The pipings are provided as an option with the excavators based on customer requirements. Mr. Dimitrov informs, "We are looking to enhance our attachments business through promoting our HB-22 hydraulic rock breakers that was launched this year. We have had encouraging responses to the solutions."

Mr. Dimitrov adds, "We have expanded our Reman (remanufacturing support) to all our excavators across capacity class. The support now covers engines, hydraulics and electricals." Volvo CE provides support for its products through its 'Caretrack' which helps a customer to get the knowledge and information he needs to make the right decisions about his machine and thereby increase profitability. The customer can access the information by entering into a password protected website, which gives him detailed information about his machine that can assist towards preventive maintenance.

Volvo CE has in place customer support agreements. This includes long-term gold service contracts for maintenance of the machines. The Swedish equipment manufacturing major has an active population of 10000+ excavators in India, which are supported by the company's 15 dealers spread over 130 locations across the country. Volvo CE manufactures excavators at Peenya in Bengaluru.

Amarnath Ramachandran Leeboy
Adding value to its excavator unit, Leeboy India will be launching 528-D crawler mounted drill-rig at IMME 2016 Kolkata for blast hole drilling applications in quarries and mines. Sharing details of the new solution, Mr. Amarnath Ramachandran, President Leeboy India says, "Leeboy is one the very few OEMs that will now offer a ready-to-use, factory fitted drill-rig attachment on the excavator with standard warranty terms for the entire unit. The current configuration can drill 8 metres in a single pass. Retaining the slew function of the excavator gives a huge benefit in setup time and hence increases productivity." He adds, "We will be launching the 525 Crawler excavator with enhanced features and aesthetics in 2017".

He says, "Given the inbuilt features of our excavators, the units can be well integrated with the hydraulic rock breakers. Our tie up with with Sandvik for their world-renowned breakers can be packaged and offered with the 523 for heavy duty quarry applications. The Leeboy 523, configured like a mining excavator is heavier, long undercarriage with a heavy duty counter-weight. This enables us to use a 1.24 cu‎m bucket which increases productivity vastly over its peers."

LeeBoy 523 Crawler Excavator

Explaining the competitive attributes of its Leeboy 523 excavators, Mr. Ramachandran says, "523 LeeBoy excavators offers features that are in-built into the standard configuration to customers to optimize fuel efficiency, reliability and safety. The excavator has both a mechanical and electronic engine option - mechanical fuel pumps inline / rotary for poor quality fuel areas and CRDI system for places with low sulphur fuel. The engines are selected according to the area the customer plans to work in. Contrary to popular belief, the new engines consume more fuel. To offset this drop in fuel efficiency, we make up in other areas like a fan drive system, increased number of interlocks to improve efficiency."

Continuing further he mentions, "Our machines are designed to work from 0 to 55 degrees C ambient and have faced no problems in actual utilisation. All our products including excavators comes with variable power controllers. This enables the operator to check and select between high productivity and fuel efficiency. Automatic centralized lubrication reduces downtime caused by inadequate lubrication and lowers costs of repairs and lubricant costs. The diesel lift pump with hose and foot valve which fills up the 400 litre tank in four minutes. Operator comfort and safety for higher productivity is ensured by an ergonomically designed cabin with AC, high visibility, infinitely variable productivity control, a reclining seat, differentiated piston joysticks and foot pedals for a cushioned feeling. The safety features comprises of work-lights fitted on the upper structure, cabin top &boom. There is a high visibility beacon with dual or quadro flash along with a loud travel alarm. Other safety features like fire extinguisher, pick to break glass, etc. night lighting package as standard."

Mentioning about marketing and product support, Mr. Ramachandran says, "We work closely with our dealers for both sales and service. The customer has access to not only dealers but also Leeboy directly. Our newly launched customer help desk also goes on towards enhancing customer support. help enhance customer support. Our broad ORM Initiative (Operations, Repairs & Maintenance).The initiatives provides customers with a professional and comprehensive solution for operation and maintenance of his equipment. As part of product support, we also offer skilled operators who are trained by the company at our training school LeeBoy EDGE."

While the company's broad product support strategy including its continuous engagement with our customers and supplier-partners to carry out swift improvements correlated by customized service support ensures appropriate product availability, however, Mr. Ramachandran claims vital inbuilt attributes like fuel alerts and Leeboy Insta-I goes on to ensure higher product availability. The telematics as part of preventive maintenance support, ensures that operational data on health of the machine is tracked and maintained by skilled personnel.

Sanjay Kumar Ariando Infra
Ariando Infra Machines India Pvt Limited, Master dealer / National distributor of Doosan construction Equipment, launched Doosan DX 35Z, 3.5 tons mini excavator in September 2016. Mr. Sajay Kumar, Director, Ariando Infra Machines, says, "The new compact excavators are ideal for urban infrastructure development and maintenance, agriculture like carrying out digging work for cable laying,cleaning of drainage, and development of city roads. With dearth of labor, the excavator will be most ideal for carrying out functionalities for urban infrastructure development." The excavators will be imported from Doosan's parent facility in Incheon and Gunsan in South Korea.

Doosan Heavy Excavator
Mr. Sajay informs, "With 20 tons class excavators segment constituting 55-65% of the demand in India, we will continue to focus towards promoting the segment. However, with renewed off take from the mining sector, we will also look to promote DX 300 -30 tons DX 360 - 36 tons and DX 530-52 tons excavators."

He adds, "To cater to the requirements of quarry applications for maintaining stock piles, we have got DX 225, long track excavators providing better stability." Doosan excavators and wheel loaders powered by Doosan engines in India and other global markets.

Doosan has an active fleet of 1700 excavators in various sizes working in India market. The units are supported by its 16 dealers. The company will be looking to replenish its dealership portfolio to strengthen its marketing and product support. Ariando Infra Machines I Pvt Ltd is the new business entity formed in Jan 2016 to support sales, distribution and parts support business of Doosan Infracore Construction Equipments in India.

Support Imperative

The strategic decision of excavator manufacturers to introduce newer solutions backed by requisite services support, packaged according to customer requirements will drive the market and ensure brand visibility. However, the process will need to be sustained. Moreover, it will also be vital to seek continuous customer feedback to carry out product improvisations and also betterment in product services support.

NBM&CW November 2016

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