One of the world’s foremost equipment manufacturers, J.C. Bamford Excavators Limited, famously known as JCB, since it started operations in India, has been one of the leading players in the earthmoving and construction equipment space. To explore the year that was, and the plans and products JCB have lined-up, Nigel Narayan caught up with Mr. Jasmeet Singh, Head-Corporate Communications and External Relations, JCB India Limited. The excerpts of the interview are below.
How has 2016 been thus far for JCB?
The last four and a half years saw a down cycle for most industries including the earthmoving and construction equipment industry. However, since mid-October 2015 the de-growth bottomed out and starting of 2016 the industry has experienced an increase in demand. The earthmoving and construction equipment industry has grown by 45 percent since Jan 2016 w.r.t corresponding period of last year. The year 2016 has been positive and eventful thus far for JCB, with a slew of products and technology, making their way to the Indian market. We hope this upward trend continues.
How has the backhoe loader performed in 2016?
The Backhoe loader continues to be the most popular machine at the construction site. JCB Backhoes offer the best in class fuel economy, functionality, and affordability. JCB has spent a considerable amount of time on research and development, understanding the customer needs through interactions and analysing job sites to develop a product that meets and conquers every challenge faced on the job. The Indian market is an extremely tough and competitive market. The average number of working hours for a machine in India is 2,500 to 3,000 hours. Our range of ecoXellence backhoe loaders is the most fuel efficient in its class in these conditions.
What are JCB’s immediate plans for the Indian market?
The Indian market is constantly evolving. Projects are getting bigger and more challenging by the day. Catering to this changing landscape requires a broad portfolio and hence our focus has been on expanding our product lines on both ends of the spectrum; the compact equipment and the larger equipment.
Here at JCB, we want to transform the way in which material is handled at the various job sites. Three new innovative products have been launched in the material handling space; the Robot series of Skid steer loaders, the Load all range of Telescopic Handlers, and the new 2DXL Super Loader.
A new 3-tonne mini excavator called the ‘JCB 30PLUS’ is also being made available to our customers. At the other end of the spectrum, the new 5.5-tonne 455ZX Wheel loader will cater to the needs of large projects.
What are the advantages of telematics and ‘LiveLink’ in particular?
JCB introduced a state-of-the-art telematics technology called JCB Livelink for its customers to remotely monitor and manage their machines. It maximises the productivity of the machines by providing real time alerts on Service, Operation and Security benefits to the machines owners.
Both, the equipment owners and operators can look for information real-time such as fuel consumption, idle time, ma-chine location, fluid levels and service alerts on their mobile devices or laptops using the internet. It also helps in informing users via SMS alerts, the location and condition of their JCB machines. Overall, JCB Livelink strives to deliver constructive, real-time information to increase profits and improve productivity of the machines.
What factors have contributed to the rise in demand for the earth moving and construction industry?
Several factors have contributed to the increase in demand. The government’s focus on road & highway development has provided a strong impetus. Moreover, with India being a bright spot in the world economy and with major infrastructure development programs like ‘Make in India,’ the overall sentiment in the market has improved.
What makes the ecoMAX the most preferred engine for OEMs in India?
JCB started manufacturing the ecoMAX engine in 2011. Our goal then was to integrate backwards and reduce our dependency on engines from other manufacturers. Currently, the ecoMAX is a Tier 3, engine compliant with emission standards in India. JCB is both equipped with the capacity and capability to make the leap to service newer and more regulated emission standards. However, the ecoMAX has itself undergone various upgrades that make it more compact, lighter, and the most fuelefficient engine in its class in the earth moving and construction equipment segment. The ecoMAX can help backhoe operators save upto ` 2 lakh on fuel in one year.