Revolutionary Road
Technology

Revolutionary Road

New technologies have brought a paradigm shift in road construction methods, explains RAMESH PALAGIRI.

Infrastructure development, especially roadbuilding, has witnessed a major boost in the past five years with the objective of reducing high logistics costs to help India achieve greater global competitiveness. The Ministry of Surface Transport has set itself the target of building 40 km of road per day. Owing to many major projects being launched under the Bharatmala programme, there has been a paradigm shift in road construction methods. 

With a clear focus and exclusive emphasis on highways through an accelerated highway development programme, the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) announced and awarded several greenfield expressway projects, like the Delhi-Mumbai Expressway, Amritsar-Jamnagar Industrial Corridor, Delhi-Katra Expressway and Ganga Expressway, among others.

New technologies have brought a paradigm shift in road construction methods, explains RAMESH PALAGIRI.Infrastructure development, especially roadbuilding, has witnessed a major boost in the past five years with the objective of reducing high logistics costs to help India achieve greater global competitiveness. The Ministry of Surface Transport has set itself the target of building 40 km of road per day. Owing to many major projects being launched under the Bharatmala programme, there has been a paradigm shift in road construction methods. With a clear focus and exclusive emphasis on highways through an accelerated highway development programme, the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) announced and awarded several greenfield expressway projects, like the Delhi-Mumbai Expressway, Amritsar-Jamnagar Industrial Corridor, Delhi-Katra Expressway and Ganga Expressway, among others. As it has been necessary to accelerate speed of construction while keeping costs in control to achieve targets while maintaining high quality standards, current conventional construction practices are slowly being replaced with new innovative methods—this is required to achieve good ride quality and durability while ensuring timely project completion.The Wirtgen Group has been consistently trying to develop products that offer better  efficiency in terms of fuel consumption and sustainable  development and lower carbon  emissions. With increased demand for better quality roads, increasing digitalisation also has to be brought into work for higher productivity, controlled costs, perfect predictability and reduced project completion time. Innovations from WirtgenAt Wirtgen Group, we have been continuously innovating on building better roads for both the bituminous and concrete segments. Wirtgen soil stabilisation technologies result in resource saving, faster construction and cost economy. The cement-treated base or subbase (CTB or CTSB) not only reduces aggregate requirement but ensures a stronger foundation and reduces layers. These technologies are currently being used on the Delhi-Mumbai Expressway, Purvanchal Expressway, and several other mega projects.Cold recycling reuses 100 per cent of asphalt pavement material; the only addition is bitumen (2-3 per cent), which rehabilitates the existing asphalt pavement to its original properties.In the field of rigid pavements, we are discussing the use of dual-layer concrete paving with the Central Road Research Institute (CRRI) and Indian Roads Congress (IRC) using Wirtgen slipform pavers, where the bottom and top layer of concrete are paved in a synchronised operation. It is additionally ensured that both the top and bottom layers are paved ‘wet in wet’ regardless of weather or site conditions. This technology saves costs and is already being used worldwide.The Wirtgen offset slipform paver SP 15 with a flexible offset mould system has an efficient stringless machine control system that can be used for applications like drains and crash barriers on expressways.In asphalt paving, Vogele inline paving uses a mobile feeder, where the binder and surface courses are paved ‘hot on hot’ in a single pass, greatly accelerating activities on a jobsite. The three machines—a paver for the binder course, a paver for the surface course and a material feeder—work ‘in line’, one behind the other, leaving one lane open to traffic. With technologies like inline paving, we are able to pave both the dense bitumen macadam and the wearing course in a single pass operation, hot on hot, thereby eliminating the tack coat and thus saving costs. The innovative Vogele spray jet technology is helpful where bitumen emulsion can be sprayed and overlaid with an asphalt surface course. Vogele also offers an innovative and economical solution for the road construction sector with the non-contacting Road Scan temperature measurement system.Hamm offers various optional innovative systems like the HCM (Hamm Intelligent Compaction Meter and Analyser), HCQ (continuous compaction control) and Hammtronic, which ensures the delivery of required compaction efforts from the machine to ground and avoids over-compaction of the surface. These technologies are in use globally as well as in India and help optimise operating cost and save time. Hamm oscillation technology is also available in asphalt compactors in a combination with vibration in the front drum and oscillation in the rear drum. Hamm soil compactors and tandem rollers are built with a patented design of three-point articulation joint.Kleemann crushing plants have several innovations like the continuous crusher feed system (CFS); diesel-electric drive, and the crusher de-blocking system. The CFS creates an extremely consistent filling of the crusher area, thus contributing to a significant improvement in performance.Telematics, connectivity solutions, the Cloud and data analytics have brought an unprecedented change to the construction and mining space. Major equipment manufacturers have been investing in these concepts and we at Wirtgen Group also support fleet and service management with the intelligent WITOS FleetView telematics system. WITOS FleetView offers a wide range of features for managing the equipment fleet that can be used to increase the construction equipment’s degree of utilisation and reduce fixed costs. These technologies are beneficial in providing a varying range of data and enabling improved worker safety, real-time reporting, continuous improvement, remote operation, tracking equipment, supplies and levels, and equipment servicing.Indeed, in the road technology sector, products from the Wirtgen Group are the benchmark for the industry in terms of innovation, performance and reliability as well as application expertise and support—and, in most cases, these products are a few generations ahead of the competition. About the author: Ramesh Palagiri, Managing Director & CEO, Wirtgen India, a John Deere Company, has over 30 years of experience in the construction and mining machinery industry. During his 12-year term at Wirtgen India, the company invested in and set up a manufacturing plant in Pune to produce machines for the domestic market as well as global export. The company’s turnover during his tenure has increased tenfold. Prior to this, he was chief operating officer at Schwing Stetter India and one of its co-promoters. During his eight-year stint there, the company achieved a phenomenal average growth rate of 50 per cent.

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