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Concreting Equipment: Industry on the Verge of Rapid Growth Phase

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MB Bureau

In the aftermath of the general elections and a stable government at the center, there is a sense of buoyancy in the concreting equipment market segment. It is not surprising as just like in the case with other types of construction equipment, concreting equipment market segment has been having a good run in the recent few years. While there is no doubting the fact that concreting equipment have now made deep inroads, even into the hinterlands of India, the country still offers a large market, that is yet to be tapped. The encouraging trends could be seen from the turn of the decade. The demand for ready mix concrete (RMC) is now gradually growing. This is a heartening trend since the time when the penetration levels of RMC were very low. Infrastructure projects have yet again received fillip from the government and expected to pick up real speed in the immediate future. There has also been signs of the housing sector too growing at a healthy rate. All these positive signals indicate a period of speedy growth for the concreting equipment market segment.

The gradual evolution of the Indian concreting equipment industry makes for interesting reading. Gone are the days when the market was filled with cheap imitations. The entry of global players has completely transformed the scene. The kind of technology that is available in the Indian market has to be seen to be believed. The rising thrust on sustainable building strategies has also given fillip to the market. There has also been a change in the customers and contractor’s mindset. They now want a product that is a true value for money proposition. It is not enough if they are offered a mere product. They want a machine that is easy to install, maintain and which runs flawlessly on a long-term basis. Additionally, they are also demanding prompt technical support services. Contractors too have realized the importance of these mean machines. They know now that these machines can be operated by a very few people, saving them from the vagaries of labor crunch. Not only this, they will also ensure that the increasingly stringent quality standards are adhered to without much difficulty. Suppliers on their part are also on their toes due to intense competition. Apart from the above-mentioned value additions, they need to ensure that their machines feature the latest technology and features in order to help them stay ahead of the curve.

In demand

Concrete batching plants are fast becoming a common sight as we drive down Indian highways in recent times. The scene is not surprising for their penetration has increased. With the construction boom spreading to the tier-2 and tier-3 centers, as also in several rural pockets, there is demand for these machines. The rising demand for special concrete is also playing its part. Take the case of large-scale infrastructure projects that are in various stages of progress in different parts of the country, where the contractor has to meet specified standards with respect to concrete. The vertical construction boom that is taking place around the country is another good example. The skyline of even smaller cities is now dotted with high rise buildings. Adding to this is the demand that is being generated by affordable housing projects, plus the scores of gated communities that are coming up in various urban areas.

The competition in this particular market segment is intense. Some of the leading players offering concrete batching plants include, Ajax Fiori, Schwing Stetter India, KYB Conmat, Linnhoff, etc., to mention only a few. The focus among manufacturers has been to offer user-friendly machines. From machines that can be easily installed or dismantled to ‘plug n play’ technology, customers never had it so good, when it comes to concrete batching plants.

Steady increase expected

While the concrete batching plants will give you the necessary concrete for construction, it is the concrete pumps that ensure that the concrete reaches the right places, at the end of the day. The key complimentary role that they cannot be disputed and it comes as no big surprise that along with concrete batching plants, they too are in demand. The competition in this segment is also increasing by the day with newer players entering the fray. Apart from stationary concrete pumps, truck mounted boom pumps are also playing a key role, especially in the case of infrastructure projects, such as the metro rail and flyover projects.

This is yet another competitive market segment. Some of the top names in fray include, KYB Conmat, Schwing Stetter India, Putzmeister, Ajax Fiori, etc.

 

Fast growing market segment

This is one market segment that never ceases to amaze. It all started with a trickle over the turn of this decade and has now become some sort of a flood. There are several manufacturers who are trying to tap this segment. The self-loading transit mixers are a good example of what product innovation can do in this day and age of intense competition. These sleek machines with their unique maneuvering capabilities are now a common sight across projects, both in the realty and the infrastructure development domain.

This is fast emerging as one of the most keenly watched market segments in the construction equipment industry. These small machines that offer a sort of mix of a mobile batching plant and a transit mixer have become a common sight across construction sites. Some of the top manufacturers offering them include, Ajax Fiori, Macons, Universal Construction Equipment, etc.

Timely delivery

Mirroring the demand trends for these products is that of the truck mixers too. With the scale of projects increasing gradually, they have become crucial for the timely delivery of concrete. With their capability to travel across the typically narrow urban roads of India, they have become a key lifeline for contractors who want concrete of a specified standard to arrive from RMC plants to their project sites. The demand for truck mixers is expected to further increase given the expected increase in project scales over the near future.

Some of the top players that are present in the market include names such as Schwing Stetter India, KYB Conmat, Putzmeister and Macons.

Positive sentiments

This particular market segment is in for a period of steady growth given all the things that are going in its favour in recent times. It is one market segment where competition has always been intense. With the steady influx of top global players, it is also one of the more organized market segments among the various types of construction equipment that is being sold in India. The rising levels of awareness about the quality of concrete and the emphasis on sustainability has meant that their demand I sound to increase in the future. Manufacturers too have realized that they need to be always on their toes in order to serve an increasingly discerning customer. They are virtually leaving no stone unturned in their efforts. One of the key differentiating factors that has emerged in recent times is the aftermarket technical support services. This is something that becomes important in a country as vast as India. Suppliers are making sure that they have the most widespread network of service engineers available to troubleshoot. The R&D of the manufacturers has also been tuned towards ensuring that the machines require the least maintenance, apart from also being easy to install and operate.

In a way the concrete equipment market segment, along with that of the earthmoving equipment is a sort of initial barometer for the trends in the construction equipment market. This time around with all the market influencers seeming to be in its favour, it won’t come as a surprise that this particular market segment was to clock among the fastest growth rates among all the construction equipment that is now doing the rounds of the Indian market.

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