In India, there is a potential ground of opportunities for the construction sector. The country is in a crucial phase of development where numerous projects are running in different regions, propelling the demand for construction equipments. Analyzing the developments taking place over the decade, there has been significant advancement in the sector. On the supply front, the market has evolved on technology, product utility, variants and price fronts. Almost all major construction equipment companies across the globe have established presence in India either as joint ventures with Indian companies or as independent entities. Similarly, on the demand front, the Indian consumer has realized the importance of value proposition rather than money, thereby shifting the demand curve towards value driven products, more importantly quality services. The Indian construction equipment industry is projected to exhibit a cumulative annual growth rate of 19% during 2013-2018.
Almost all types of building sites and construction projects utilize mechanical compaction techniques. With more than 60 per cent of the cargo movement being handled by the road network, the focus will naturally be on road infrastructure. Roads and Highways sector has been and continues to be one of the key drivers for growth for the infrastructure sector in India. India needs roads, both in rural and urban areas to progress. The government has shown significant focus on building a world-class road network. Thus, there is a substantial budget outlay in successive National Budgets towards this segment. Investments that have been earmarked for this sector present a great opportunity for the OEMs. According to Off-Highway Research, the growth rate of compaction equipment from 7.6 per cent in 2009-10 will reach to over 60 per cent by 2014. (The total volume of compaction equipment in 2009 was 2,787 units, which in 2010, crossed 3,000 units (a growth rate of 7.6 percent) and the forecast is a growth in the volume of around 4,800 units by 2014, a growth rate of 60 per cent.
Discussed below are the top trends that the market players are adapting to withstands the growing demand aided by some government push.
The Ministry of Road Transport and Highways ‘Value Engineering Programme’
The Ministry of Road Transport and Highways, has decided to implement a ‘Value Engineering Programme’ to promote the use of new technologies, materials and equipment in highways projects executed either under PPP mode or public funding mode.
The programme aims at using innovative technology, materials and equipment to reduce the cost of projects and make them more environment friendly. It will simultaneously ensure that the roads or bridges and other assets get constructed much faster, and are structurally stronger as well as more durable. The ministry has also reconstituted a nine-member experts’ panel for approving proposals for use of new technologies, material and equipment. The reconstituted panel is chaired by SR Tambe, former Secretary, PWD Maharashtra and co-chaired by Prof Ravi Sinha, IIT Mumbai.
The NPE (National Panel of Experts) will examine all technical matters involving the new technologies, materials and equipment referred to it by the concerned Engineers or concessionaires/ contractors. The NPE will also resolve the technical issues which arise as a result of difference in views between engineers and contractors regarding implementation, besides deciding about the need for field trials of any new or innovative technology/ materials/ equipment before its adoption.
A safer outlook
An operator’s efficiency is paramount with regard to optimising the output. Comfort and safety of an operator are of paramount importance as it not only ensures safe operations at the construction site, but also increases the efficiency of the operator. Hamm compactors are provided with isolated operator platform, there is no feeling of vibration of the machine. This improves the stress-free operation of the machine & improves the operator’s efficiency. Hamm soil compactors are built with patented design of three point pendulum articulated joint. The three point articulation joint connects the front & rear ends of the compactor & enables excellent directional stability and steerability & provides driver safety on difficult terrains and for the driver’s comfort. Operator efficiency is improved by the isolated operator platform, by providing comfortable seat 3 point articulation will help the better stability of the operator Operator safety and maintenance related features are in built design in Hamm compactors which include safety indication & alarms for any faulty conditions. In Hamm, machine Engine compartment is closed with FRP hood, which will reduce the noise levels by approx. 10 -12 DB , we can also provide the isolation foam as an option to reduce the noise levels further
Similarly SD110BA, model of Volvo is one of the most popular compactors in the Indian market. A conveniently positioned control on the operational panel allows easy switching of work modes, depending on working conditions. The unit also offers variable drum vibration frequencies from 0-30 Hz, which is again easily adjusted from the operator’s console, allowing faster and easier reactions to changing soil types and conditions.
The latest Compactor from JCB India, the JCB116 has been designed keeping operator comfort in mind. Few key features are: The in-built Compaction Meter is placed ergonomically for operator comfort thereby, helping in achieving the desired output, The steering wheel and console are designed to ensure fatigue free operation and The cab platform is mounted on 4 viscous mounts, to isolate it from any vibrations and to make the operator feel comfortable even during high amplitude passes. JCB’s range of Compactors, vibrations, and heat levels are kept lowest to provide a comfortable work environment. Moreover, operator friendly and ergono-mically located controls with joystick help in easy machine operation.
The road sector produces the highest level of greenhouse gas, directly, through fossil energy used in mining, transportation, paving works… and indirectly through the emissions coming from vehicles. Indeed, the constant increase in the number of road vehicles and therefore of the traffic generates a substantial increase in pollution and noise disturbances. Besides, huge challenges await the road construction sector such as a cheaper and better production, construction and of course maintenance, all the more as raw materials are becoming scarce and the environmental laws are getting stricter regarding air pollution and noise disturbances. Like the rest of the sectors, the road construction sector needs to face the challenge of sustainability.
India too is adopting the nuisances of sustainability adhering to ecological threat. With the advancements in the field of road construction technology, the construction of rehabilitated roads, which support environment providing long durability to road infrastructure, is required utilizing alternative materials, industrial and construction wastes and by products, facilitating road travel, travelers comfort and safety together with cost effectiveness and sustainable development. Go green movement is gaining strength with increased global warming and climate changes. Going green in transportation projects implies environment friendly construction of roads with the availability of alternative materials and the unique question of disposal of non-decaying waste posing a problem for environmental protection. With increased industrialization and growth of population with increasing quantities of waste world over together with increased demand for traditional road construction materials such as bitumen, cement, aggregate etc, the question is of sustainable development. With advances in science and technology, the use of non-decaying materials such as Plastic, Blast furnace slag, Fly ash, Scrap tyres, Mine wastes, Marble dust etc, offer an economically viable and sustainable alternative towards increasing demand for better road construction. In this way these materials can be utilized in an eco friendly way, providing solutions to their disposal with a commitment towards development of infra. Green road construction technology aims at low cost road construction, offering employment opportunities to the masses generating income at the disposal of the people involved thus improving the standard of living of the community at large. The technology also leads to appropriate and optimum resources utilization enhancing the country’s potential to grow faster by eliminating the possibility of resource erosion (depletion), it also provides an opportunity to employ alternatives which are cheaper, easily available and are eco friendly. The need of the hour is to develop and accept the designs and technology which is environment friendly and economical feasible adding an edge to Road construction with lower cost and less maintenance.
‘Housing for All by 2022’
The Union budget 2017-2018, released on 1st February 2017. In regards to the Government’s aim of the ‘Housing for All by 2022’, the Finance Minister in his Budget speech proposed to give ‘infrastructure’ status to affordable housing. Banks can now lend money to affordable housing projects under infrastructure category this move is expected to boost the volume of construction activity across the country. Talking about construction equipment, Asia-Pacific is projected to register the highest growth in the heavy construction equipment market from 2016 to 2021 with India projected to be the fastest-growing market in the region. Overall volumes of construction equipment have increased to a four year high with 41.5% growth accounting to 52,100 units in 2016 compared to 36,800 units in 2015. With the Indian Government’s target of investing about $377 billion in infrastructure by 2019, the construction equipment market is expected to witness a high growth in this period.
Automation and IOT
At present, there is a shift towards increasing automation, production enhancement, and safety. A lot of innovations are also taking place to develop equipment specifically customized solution. There is an adaptation of control methodology in relation to accuracy, repeatability, and efficiency Firms are using modified mechanisms and electrical sensors to ensure safety guidelines. There is a definite shift towards adoption of newer technologies for industries as well which can be seen in specifically in the crane system modulation. With changing times there is a demand for the MHE model that yields a quicker ROI than ever before. Even companies who are replacing or upgrading their existing range of material handling equipment are inclined towards technology that is efficient. The Internet of Things (IoT) is one of the hottest topics in the construction sector, and with good reason. It influences the interaction of technological, economic, social, societal, and individual changes. IOT is being implemented in construction for data gratification and safeguarding of products. In regard to this JCB India Introduced the world’s first Backhoe Loader with an Automated Manual Transmission (AMT) and its largest Made in India 38 Ton Tracked Excavator at Excon 2017. JCB India is known for products with state-of-the-art technology and innovation in design, JCB India is now leveraging digital technology by integrating Big Data and Internet of Things in its products and services. The new range of intelligent machines exhibit the blend of technology and digital innovation to meet the demand for world class machines to build India’s Next Gen Infrastructure. Applications such as JCB Livelink, Smart Diagnostic, Parts E-sell and Digital product manuals will re-define how customers interact with manufacturers. They are all aimed at improving the overall customer experience by providing all the important information in real time. JCB at Excon had a dedicated “Livelink Zone” which was set up to provide a Virtual Reality tour on JCB’s Innovation & Future Telematics Technology. It gave visitors a real-time experience of the new features of its advanced telematics technology – Livelink.
Another trend in material handling equipment is the growing popularity of voice-recognition systems. People understand the benefits of using a hands-free communication system and being trained to use this technology for minimal error in operations thereby leading to increased productivity. Another significant development is the emergence of M2M communications space which allows communications to happen between Machines. There is also a move towards the products are environmentally-friendly without sacrificing the cost competitiveness. The advent of sophisticated electrical controls through various sensors and inverter drives, it is possible to achieve the same level of control and smoothness of operations using electrical drives.
The fast-changing and varied requirements of a developing nation. It is no longer enough to create one machine and expect to suit the needs of all. Buyers have become more educated and demanding in terms of wanting machines suited to the kind of work and environment that they work in. The biggest example of this is the motor grader of international brands being obsolete for use in the construction of narrow rural roads due to its size despite the technology being more advanced and quality of machines being superior. There is no doubt that customisation is now key when it comes to the world of development. Customisations have to be in sync with the market and the on-ground realities for making the most of it.
According to industry experts there is only one single language that is used for communication across the country. But with a country like India where there is no unifying language and different language is spoken in every district and state, it becomes counterproductive to have all instructions about the machine in a single language. This simple customisation helps interact better with the operator. Machine Abuse And Fuel Theft Are Major issue across the country. Uncertified operators tend to work the machines inappropriately. Simple software customisations help keep a log of the machine’s data for future reference. It also helps keep track of the machine’s numbers in terms of efficiency and fuel consumption. The customised software help run troubleshooting and diagnostic measures to ensure safety and efficacy of the machines.
CASE Construction Equipment, unveiled its latest new product – the 752EX Vibratory Tandem Compactor during Excon keeping in mind the customization factor. The CASE 752EX is equipped with a fuel-efficient 3.9-liter 4-cylinder engine, with a mechanical injection system and internal exhaust gas recirculation that delivers 76 HP at 2200 rpm and torque of 332 Nm at 1300 rpm. This new-generation engine – developed by CNH Industrial subsidiary FPT Industrial, the world-leading manufacturer of engines, transmissions, and powertrains – provides outstanding performance, fast response times, and best-in-class fuel economy. The 752EX’s single- piece engine hood gives easy access for routine maintenance, with all daily service points conveniently accessible at ground level. The 752EX’s operator compartment features a rotating operator seat which gives the excellent front and rear drum/nozzle visibility, making the drive and compaction process easier and safer. The look of the machine is enhanced by two post canopies and by new fuel and water tanks.
Fuel efficiency and multiple applications
Whatever come or may fuel efficiency is perhaps the most pivotal point of consideration for any buyer depending on the project needs. Moreover, better the applicability of the machines, more is its economic gratification. In this regard JCB has been doing a quality service. JCB India offers a range of road compaction equipment with three world-class products – the VMT330 (a 3T Class Mini Tandem Roller), the VMT 860 eco (a 9T Class Tandem Roller) and the JCB116 (a 11T Class Soil Compactor), a latest introduction in the Compaction range.
The JCB116 Soil Compactor is the new world-class machine that comes fitted with a state-of-the-art JCB Diesel Max engine, providing fuel savings in the range of 5-10%. Equipped with a variable fan as standard, the engine delivers a massive 430 Nm of torque at low engine speeds for optimum responsiveness. It provides unmatched fuel consumption in its class of machines. In order to make compaction operation more efficient, Compaction Monitoring System (CMS) has been introduced in JCB116 – an industry first feature from JCB India. Integrated with JCB’s Livelink technology, CMS allows operators to monitor compaction in real-time, thus enhancing machine and operator efficiency. The first ever CMS in India with telematics connectivity, it enables consistent and uniform compaction through precise measurement and with accuracy. Suitable for both asphalt and soil surfaces, it allows operation in two modes auto and manual, displaying both frequency and amplitude of vibrations.
Escort Equipment too is providing high end functional machines which are fuel efficient in performance. The company’s Compaction products portfolio is one of the most exhaustive in the country. Their machines are equipped with the best aggregates from leading international technology companies and laden with high-end features. Ideal for road compaction and relaying, these machines are one of the most productive, economical and rugged in their segments. Their compaction range consists of Soil Vibratory Roller, Tandem Vibratory Roller and Mini Tandem Vibratory Roller. Escorts EC 2420 delivers the ideal results including high productivity & low cost of operation. Being the only one in the weight category gave it the requisite edge. EC 5250 vibratory soil compactor too has been redesigned & comes with enhanced safety. With highest gradeability & travelling speed, EC 5250 is the most fuel efficient m/c in its class.
Fitted for rough terrains
The biggest challenge of Indian construction especially tough terrains provides resistance and is always a hard work for operators. Therefore the machines have to be stringent enough to address the rough terrains. Volvo in this regard is doing an efficient service. Volvo soil compactors are versatile machines that can efficiently compact varying soils and aggregates in applications such as highways, utilities, water retention structures, as well as in the preparation of large residential, commercial and industrial sites. There are many features on each Volvo compactor which help them deliver more productivity and efficiency to users. The company’s highly-anticipated new EC200D excavator joined a host of other machinery on the Volvo CE booth at this year’s Excon 2017 in Bangalore, India. The new EC200D excavator from Volvo CE is the star of the company’s line up. Volvo is expecting strong interest in the EC200D, which has been specifically designed for general construction work. Featuring Volvo’s famed fuel efficiency, the new machine also has a bucket breakout force of 123 kN and an arm tear out force of 96 kN, which help it deliver high job site productivity and fast cycle times. Alongside the EC200D was its sister machine, the EC210D. Like the EC200D, the EC210D is a 20-ton rated machine, but it has been tailored for more heavy-duty applications, such as mining and quarry work, as well as general construction. The third excavator on the Volvo booth that drew large crowds at Excon 2017 was the huge EC950E. This 90-ton rated heavyweight is the largest excavator in the Volvo line. Its maximum bucket capacity is 6 m3, while its breakout force of 424 kN and arm tear out force of 408 kN help deliver the machine’s unparalleled digging performance.
An initiation towards training
Achieving man-machine integration to maximize the output keeping the cost of operations minimumis what the operator is trained for. Routine preventive and predictive maintenance is a part of the training to reduce the reliance of the operator for external help. JCB is quite renowned for it. Training is also an essential part of Escorts go-to-market strategy wherein the operators and mechanics are trained at an in-house facility of Escorts, Bangalore. On the side, training is also imparted to make the training more application oriented.
Applications on smaller road construction
Along the ever demanding big projects, there is always a need work of small sites, which frankly could be a bit costly at times. In this regard, the Wirtgen Group offers Hamm range of compactors which are Economical and Effective. The articulated tandem rollers like the compact line HD 12 VV are perfectly adapted to applications on smaller road construction or landscaping sites. They are highly maneuverable for smaller areas and offer economical compaction on small sites. The HD series rollers like the HD 99 tandem roller made in India are perfectly designed for road construction and paving of large asphalt surfaces. Vibration and oscillation make them suitable for a variety of applications. They offer benefit to the operator in terms of comfort and visibility. The 311 soil Compactors and the 3520 Padfoot compactors for earthwork applications are characterized by high degree of comfort, outstanding ergonomic design, excellent field of vision and extremely powerful gradeability. The rubber wheeled rollers GRW 15 are used to compact asphalt pavements.
In recent months, HAMM compactors have been laying the foundations for a better road network in Punjab. One example of this is the construction of the new National Highway NH-52 from Moga to Shahkot. For compaction of the subbase, the construction firm Dilip Buildcon Ltd. employed several HAMM compactors 311. They are “made in India” produced in WIRTGEN India’s own factory in Pune.
For compaction of the subbase for the new road around Moga, Dilip Buildcon employed a total of 8 type 311 compactors. For the asphalt compaction, a number of HAMM type HD 99 tandem rollers were used. HAMM produces both machine types in its own factory in India.
The 311 compactor with the unique HAMM 3-point articulation was developed especially for India in a joint German-Indian team of engineers and has been in production in Pune for some years. With an operating weight of 11 t and a 2.14 m wide vibration drum it brings high compaction force and a large static linear load of up to 30 kg/cm to the construction site. This enables the machine to perform a wide range of tasks with ease.
Growing public & private infrastructure, FDI reforms for construction sector, highway projects and growing economy has led to the overall surge of construction equipment market in India. In comparison with procurement market of construction equipment, rental market in India is at nascent stage but shows higher growth rate. As compared to other developed countries, India’s rental market penetration of construction equipment is lower and is limited to Tier-I & II cities. Construction equipment for procurement market is mostly dominated by construction vehicle segment comprising of dumper, tanker and tipper trucks, followed by earthmoving equipment segment such as excavators and loaders. According to 6Wresearch, India’s construction equipment market is projected to reach 131 thousand units by 2022. The market declined during 2012 to 2014 owing to factors such as delay in project clearance issues and land acquisition delays. However, in coming years, owing to several construction projects in pipeline, the market for construction equipment is expected to witness growth led by surge in construction vehicle segment, followed by earthmoving segment.
While the recent times may have been tough on construction equipment manufacturers, the industry still is brimming with optimism. This is particularly true in the case of road building machinery manufacturers since there have been signals of a spurt in road construction activities. With competition becoming intense manufacturers too are faced with challenges to innovate. The entry of several global leaders in the field is a welcome development, since it brings in latest technology into the market. With major players having gained a solid presence in the Indian market, the next few years could see them further consolidating their position by bringing out newer models.
Info and image source
- Times of india