With demand poised to rise, concrete equipment players are introducing productivity enhancers
Good days lie ahead for the concrete sector.
'Granting 'infrastructure' status to affordable housing has made the segment more acceptable to developers, boosting construction activity across the country,' says Sailaj Verma, Senior Vice President, KYB-Conmat. 'Additionally, fresh tenders and ambitious road construction targets emphasising concrete roads, the Sagarmala project, irrigation projects, etc, are giving the concrete sector a much-needed impetus.'
'We expect a substantial growth trend for concrete equipment in 2017-18 as affordable housing has been given infrastructure status owing to which the real-estate industry will get access to preferential and lower borrowing rates from banks and faster approvals on their projects,'
says Debasis Bhattacharya, Head-Sales, Marketing & Product Support, Ajax Fiori Engineering (I). 'Also, the Central Government's allocation of Rs 396,135 crore to infrastructure and Rs 64,000 crore to national highways will give the concrete equipment industry a big boost.'
'Housing initiatives like granting affordable housing 'infrastructure' status, targeting building 2 crore affordable houses by 2022 and setting aside Rs 23,000 crore towards the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana, almost a 53 per cent increase from last year, will boost demand for concrete equipment in the coming years,' says CR Jyothiraj, General Manager, Concreting Equipment, Sany India.
Already, these prospects are converting into opportunities for concreting solution suppliers.
'We are seeing renewed demand for batching plants of 120 cu m per hour capacity for road construction projects. Companies are opting for multiple numbers of these large plants to open road jobs in more than one location,' says Ashok V Dikshit, Director, Aquarius Engineers. 'Concrete element manufacturers are also showing interest in batching plants, typically in 90 cu m per hour capacity plants, as demand for prefabricated structures will rise with affordable mass housing projects being granted infrastructure status.
With real-estate investments easing and the pace of stagnant projects picking up, we are also seeing some revival of demand for concrete pumps in the range of 70 cu m per hour.'
'Investments in road and infrastructure projects are fuelling demand for batching plants of bigger capacity, mainly in the 90 cu m to 120 cu m segment.
We expect consistent growth in the long run in the concrete equipment sector, considering proposed investments in road and infrastructure development and growth in the affordable housing segment, which will bring additional growth of 20 per cent and more in the sector,' says Jyothiraj.
Customers want to minimise their spares inventory holding for their equipment fleet and are looking for a total concreting solution to meet the entire range of batching equipment, placing and pumping solutions from a single vendor, according to Bhattacharya.
'To cater to them, equipment manufacturers must offer a wide range of variants of each to complement each other, as we do. Our brand's flagship product is the highly versatile, self-loading mobile concrete mixer, which is a combination of a loader, mobile batching plant and transit mixer for small to medium volume concrete requirements in any kind of terrain.'
'Sourcing the concrete production, transport and placement or delivery equipment range from one company creates a single-point responsibility for service and spares, simplifies maintenance and optimises on-site spares inventory management,ö opines Verma.
Customer feedback suggests they need a versatile machine but simpler, with fewer moving parts and occupying less space, which is easier and faster to transport, set up and operate, explains Bhattacharya.
To this end, Ajax Fiori's new CRB30 batching plant with an output capacity of 30 cu m per hour, based on customer feedback, features a lower bin height to eliminate the need for a separate conveyor and an aggregate weighing system independent of a skip transfer system to reduce the cycle time and thereby enhance productivity. A planetary mixer comes with the plant as a standard to suit ready-mix concrete and precast needs. It is compact in layout and modular to be transported on a single trailer. Its plug-and-play electrical system allows fast erection at site. It needs minimal concrete foundation for erection, or can work on an alternative skid foundation. To deliver higher agitating performance, helpful for navigating greater distances between the batching plant and the site, KYB-Conmat has introduced a new MR 70 concrete mixer. A new 240 cu m per hour concrete batching plant with a versatile and fully automatic PLC control system with SCADA and a new generation of rack-and-pinion elevators offer about 30 per cent higher speed of operation, better energy-efficiency and safety, a VFD for smooth start-stop operation, a load limiter and an optional floor selection system. And, to facilitate the free flow of concrete for better suction with stabiliser legs to take lateral and horizontal loads while pumping, KYB-Conmat has launched stationery trailer-mounted concrete pumps SCP 45 and SCP 75, which feature intelligent controls, a unique S-valve technology and a specially designed hopper.
Sany India has launched their latest modular series 30 cu m and 60 cu m batching plants featuring a highly efficient, reliable twin shaft mixer with in line bin configurations to meet tough Indian working conditions and lower maintenance charges, along with transit mixers of various capacities.
Customers are looking for total concreting solution to meet the entire range of batching equipment, placing and pumping solutions from a single vendor.
Renewed demand for batching plants of 120 cu m per hour capacity for road construction projects.
Demand drivers: Concrete road construction, affordable housing, Sagarmala project, irrigation projects, etc.
Selection Tips for Concreting Equipment
Batching plant type
'We prefer a fully automatic, 60 cu m per hour rated batching plant with a job print reporting system, and systems to accommodate various materials as well as more than one admixture and ice feeding for temperature controlled concrete. A drum-type batching unit is preferred over a pan-type mixer. A plant with twin-shaft motion or planetary motion mixers is better than one with radial motion mixers.'
- Rupesh Kumar, DGM-Quality, Larsen & Toubro
Batching plant capacity
'To determine the batching plant capacity for a project, we consider the daily quantum of concrete needed. As an example, for a daily requirement of 100 cu m for a medium-sized building project, we would opt for a plant of 30 cu m per hour capacity because the actual plant output is always less than the rated capacity owing to different reasons such as the concrete pouring rate at site, time required for one transit mixer cycle and number of transit mixers used. All these factors are interrelated. We prefer to run the plant over a maximum of one shift and we try never to keep the transit mixer or labour idle. We would increase the plant capacity for a large project.'
- Pramod Joshi, Head-P&M, JMC Projects India
'We prefer 72 cu m per hour pumps, and boom placers of 100 cu m per hour capacity because, nowadays, most building projects in metros are at least 80 m to 400 m tall. When selecting a concrete pump, we give more importance to the project height and grade of concrete used than the output of concrete.'
- Pramod Joshi 'Concrete pumps suit on-the-ground concreting with distance or overhead concreting. Direct unloading or unloading using a chute is better for below-ground or on-the-ground concreting. A boom placer (up to 45 m) is preferable for low-height concreting while a static pump is better for long-distance or high concreting. A boom offers flexibility while a static pump offers greater pumping capacity.'
- Rupesh Kumar
Beyond Conventional Concrete Mixing, Transportation and Placement Equipment
Concreting production, transportation and placement equipment conventionally makes use of batching plants, transit mixers and concrete pumps. 'But this holds good for regular projects; different kinds of concrete needed for a project can necessitate other concreting equipment,' says Rupesh Kumar, DGM-Quality, Larsen & Toubro. 'For instance, very low slump, low workability concrete, typically used for infrastructure projects, is transported in cable buckets or dumper trucks, not in agitating vehicles like transit mixers. Tremmie (very high flow) concrete used for piles is not vibrated and placed using a crane and concrete buckets. Projects in remote areas may call for mixer cum transit mixers to produce, transport and place small quantities of concrete.'
- Charu Bahri