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One-on-One with Mr. S Kumar, Business Line Manager, Atlas Copco India Limited, Portable Air Division

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S Kumar

 

S. Kumar
Business Line Manager,
Atlas Copco India Ltd., Portable Air Division

 

Atlas Copco India’s focus on continuous innovation paying rich dividends

The air compressors market segment in India is becoming increasingly competitive by the day. This does not come as a major surprise what with compressed air being one of the key lifelines of several industries, including construction. This is one field where a lot of R&D has been happening with respect to areas such as fuel savings and preventive maintenance. One company that has carved a niche for itself and charted out a distinct growth path is Atlas Copco. With its strong R&D focus, product portfolio backed up by excellent after market support services, the company has been growing from strength to strength in recent times.

In an exclusive interview with The Masterbuilder, Mr. S. Kumar, Business Line Manager, Atlas Copco India, Portable Air Division, shared detailed inputs on the company’s range of air compressors, what makes them stand out from the crowd, its manufacturing facility in India and future plans, among others.

Here are the edited excerpts.

Atlas Copco’s history dates back a long time. It was founded in 1873 in Stockholm, Sweden. The Group serves customers in more than 180 countries with products and services focused on productivity, energy efficiency, safety and ergonomics.

“Atlas Copco India established in 1960, is the country’s leading manufacturer of innovative solutions in air compressors, industrial gases, vacuum pumps, portable compressors, light towers, generators and pumps, industrial tools and assembly systems. Atlas Copco is a leading global manufacturer of construction and power equipment. Atlas Copco is the leading provider of air, flow and power solutions which develops and manufactures world class portable air compressors, water well compressors and light towers, pumps and generators,” Mr. Kumar said beginning the interaction.

Wide range

Listing out the range of air compressors that the company offers in the Indian market Mr. Kumar said, “We have a good mix of compressors in our diesel range with the following parameters:

– starting from 140 cfm to 1350 cfm,
– pressure range of 7 bar to 35 bar covering all pneumatic applications,
– we also have a good electric range starting from 45 kw upto 75 kw (300 cfm upto 500 cfm ; 7 bar to 12 bar)

We also offer options such as

– skid or trolley mounted
– flexible tow bars
– sheet metal or hardhat canopies to suit various applications
– zone specific compressors meeting safety norms
– containerized super silenced compressors
– reciprocating booster compressors

XRH1_100_Plus
XRH1_100_Plus

 

 

 

 

 

 

The range combines lightweight compressors with small dimensions, making it easy to maneuver on site. We offer highly productive solution compressors for mining and quarrying needs with features such as:

– High machine uptime
– Operation with 50-degree LAT

Options to operate till -15 degree Celsius

– High reliability and performance
– Closed door operation and less noise with well-designed canopy”

Throwing light on some of the key innovative features that make Atlas Copco’s compressors such a favourite with the industry, Mr. Kumar explained, “Sustainable productivity and safety are guaranteed features in all Atlas Copco compressors, and are non-negotiable. Atlas Copco products are designed and developed for Indian job site conditions, so we do various innovations through reengineering. We believe in consistently upgrading our product portfolio, keeping in mind the product gaps and future challenges. The element, which is the heart of the compressor, is engineered to the highest standards in the industry where all Atlas Copco portable air compressors are new generation screw elements which are energy efficient and engineered to power the best.”

Continuing further he said, “To prove this, the change of element in our XRH1100 EXCEL resulted in a fuel saving model XRH 1100 PLUS with 11% better fuel efficiency. Similarly, the XRHS650/250-300 dual pressure compressor has the most advanced technology with maximum pressure in this range, by reducing the load with a 2-stage screw element design. This enhances its productivity and fuel efficiency.”

“All our compressors have aesthetically designed canopies to control the noise level on site which is the highest standard achieved in the industry so far. We, Atlas Copco give equal focus on operating conditions, and hence with our special cooling design makes our compressors more suitable to work in high ambient temperatures and dusty environments. Further, the quality of all our consumables is as per Atlas Copco global specifications and therefore last longer with longer maintenance intervals, “Mr. Kumar added.

Preventive maintenance initiatives

Terms such as internet of things, digitalization, telematics, preventive maintenance have become the key buzzwords in the industry. What is the nature of application support Atlas Copco providing to its customers having operational exposure in construction, quarrying and mining for optimum utilization, with such emerging technologies? Replying to this question Mr. Kumar stated,” Digitalization is the new buzzword and we at Atlas Copco focus on bringing in unmatched service with a strong digital footprint. We are complementing the traditional way of service engineers monitoring the health of the machine with advanced digital systems like Fleet Link, mobile apps such as PowerHub for Atlas Copco dealers and PowerCare for Atlas Copco customers. Fleet Link is a connectivity (telematics) solution which represents all relevant operational and service information of connected machines on the website and dashboards. It offers remote insights in the vital stats of our customers’ portable air compressors on site. Further our latest dealer management software ensures maximum equipment uptime.”

XRHS_650
XRHS_650

 

 

 

 

State-of-the-art manufacturing facility

Elaborating on the company’s manufacturing plant in India, Mr. Kumar said,” Looking into the requirements for infrastructure, most of the manufacturing units are either investing in expansion or companies like Atlas Copco are turning to more efficient methods of production thereby enabling increased manufacturing capacity within the existing resources. Infact, Atlas Copco has invested in a greenfield state of the art factory just few years back, wherein we have introduced the latest manufacturing technology which is ensuring a higher manufacturing capacity. The Chakan plant is 19 000 square meters and was built in accordance with LEED (Leadership in Environmental Energy and Design), is based on IGBC rating system and has rainwater harvesting facility and solar panels for powering the plant. The main goal is that we should be able to serve the market demand and need for the latest innovations in technology and on time deliveries on site.”

Focus on construction industry

Throwing light on the kind of strong focus that Atlas Copco has on the construction industry, Mr. Kumar felt that it is a very positive scenario for the construction and infrastructure segment with extra investment lined in for all areas of core infrastructure such as roads, metro rail, expressway, airports and expansion on existing highways. “At Atlas Copco, we have products to match this positive environment. We offer a range of portable air compressors for quarrying applications, which is a segment of paramount importance, looking at the amount of aggregate which is required for construction and infrastructure projects, “he added.

“With time bound projects and the need for 24 by 7 action to ensure on time completion, technology which ensures reliable light on site, brings in the required support for meeting the infrastructure project deadlines. Atlas Copco’s newest addition to its portfolio, the HiLight V5+ LED light tower, illuminates an area of approximately 5,000 sqm with an average brightness of 20 lux. This LED light tower is the 1st CPCB II compliant light tower in India for the entire light tower, which ensures sites are brighter, safer and more productive. Undoubtedly, the road segment, is where power equipment such as portable air compressors and light towers are most in demand when we focus on infrastructure specifically. Atlas Copco also plays a pivotal role in the irrigation segment to provide water for drinking needs where our portable compressors are successfully deployed in large irrigation projects. We contribute to this segment in a big way, with our advanced water well compressors. With an upgraded portfolio and technologically advanced equipment, Atlas Copco portable air compressors and light towers will continue to touch lives and improve infrastructure needs of people in India, “he explained.

Going into details regarding some of the application areas of air compressors in the construction industry, Mr. Kumar mentioned that,” In terms of applications, undoubtedly, the road segment, is where power equipment such as portable air compressors and light towers are most in demand when we focus on infrastructure specifically. Atlas Copco also plays a pivotal role in the irrigation segment to provide water for drinking needs where our portable compressors are successfully deployed in large irrigation projects. We contribute to this segment in a big way, with our advanced waterwell compressors models such as XRHS650 and XRX1350.

Our portable power solutions are offered to many segments like:

  • Construction
  • Infrastructure
  • Mining
  • Quarrying
  • Oil & Gas
  • Waterwell
  • DSI segments
  • Telecommunication

Each of these segments have varied applications such as:

  • Drilling
  • Hill cutting
  • Breaking
  • Flushing
  • Exploring
  • Pigging
  • Cable blowing
  • Sand blasting
  • Ice blasting
  • Cement unloading
  • Piling
  • Over burden removal
  • Conveying
  • Testing

With our commitment to delivering innovation and high-quality standards, we aim to serve customers with the right mix of products and be a complete solution provider.”

When asked what gives Atlas Copco’s air compressors the competitive edge, Mr. Kumar pointed out, “Our specialty is that “We are listening” to the customer and are continuously innovating to match our compressor offerings to customer needs. We are launching the NEXT GENERATION COMPRESSOR with PACE technology is the first of its kind in this CFM/PSI combination with breakthrough technology in the shallow water well drilling and mining segment. We undertake a lot of field trials and invest more than a year of R&D before launching any new products. A customer always sees the value he will get from the product he is buying. So, other than launching new products, technology advancements are always in our pipeline.

Infact all our portable air compressors:

– have an advanced well-designed acoustic sound dampened canopy which makes easy operations in high ambient temperatures and dusty environments.
– are most fuel efficient with its energy efficient powerful screw element design.

Our service quotient is also highly trusted with preventive maintenance and on-site breakdown resolution even in remote locations is an expectation which we fulfil anytime, everywhere.
As we stand at the threshold of a new era, we will continue to educate the market through timely and relevant demos where the customer experiences our SOLUTIONS first hand rather than just our products and therefore accepts technological advancements and embraces the paradigm shift in the true sense.

“Make in India” …. This is how Atlas Copco makes it possible:

– Products with the most advanced technology are manufactured in our state-of-the-art facility in Chakan, Pune.
– Digitalization is the focus with Fleet Link and latest dealer management software to ensure maximum equipment uptime.
– Innovation with responsibility.
– Sustainable productivity and growth will ensure efficient use of resources.

New localized portable air compressors and the HiLight V5+ light tower contribute to India’s “MAKE IN INDIA” dream.”

Speaking about the company’s focus on aftermarket services, Mr. Kumar explained, “Our service quotient is highly trusted with preventive maintenance and on-site breakdown resolution even in remote locations is an expectation which we fulfil anytime, everywhere. We sense that we are moving from a manufacturing society to a service based, information centered society, and increases in technology will continue to impact market trends. The service division is focused on digitalization to enable fleet tracking, monitoring on real time basis with precise monitoring and proactive maintenance which will bring in major improvements in inventory management and performance tracking as well mobile apps for both dealers and customers to ensure efficient tracking and faster resolution of service requests. Our inbuilt fleet link and 50+ dealer network distributed pan India as well as periodic maintenance where parts are replaced on time ensure we extend the life of our equipment on site.”

Continuing further on the topic, Mr. Kumar pointed out,” We offer a robust and well-established Refurbishment program at our centralized warehouse in Chakan, Pune as well as our dealer workshops in Hyderabad, Tiruchengode and Indore which are well equipped to offer refurbishment options to our customers. With the increased need for refurbishment as a quicker and more cost-effective option, there is growing demand from customers for refurbishment as a means to give a second lease of life to their equipment. We also measure the mean time to restore for all calls through our centralized system from our head office in Pune for monitoring all calls. This ensures our customer’s get service on time and we create more happy customers. The focus today is high on connectivity, and hence we have an already inbuilt Fleet Link device in our portable air compressors which is available as an option. We strive hard to ensure continuous improvement through better features and tracking mechanisms.“

Future plans

The company has a solid roadmap laid out in front of it so far as its future plans in India is concerned. Going into details about the same Mr. Kumar said that,” Atlas Copco is the undisputed market leader in ‘portable air compressor’ segment and we continuously strive to upgrade our product portfolio to provide better services to our customers. A combination of smart engineering, time-tested technology and quality components gives us the products that are safe, highly reliable and energy efficient.”

“We, at Atlas Copco, believe in continuous innovation while maintaining a keen interest in core competency building within our sales and service team. This enables us to continue to meet the market expectation of getting the right product information and service on time. Further, our strong network of over 50 dealers nationwide strengthens our market presence in India,” Mr. Kumar explained signing off.

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