TechSci Director: There is upsurge in demand for high-capacity cranes
Karan Chechi, Director, TechSci Research, speaks on major demand drivers in medium and heavy-duty mobile cranes market.
How is the medium and heavy-duty mobile cranes market progressing in India? Which projects are the major demand drivers?
The medium and heavy-duty mobile cranes market is progressing largely in India due to the growth in the construction industry of the country. The construction industry in India has seen a high growth rate over the past years owing to the elevated economic growth of the country. Numerous heavy construction projects like metro projects, railway projects, flyovers, and bridges have collectively increased the demand for heavy-duty mobile cranes over the past few years.
Karan Chechi, Director, TechSci Research, speaks on major demand drivers in medium and heavy-duty mobile cranes market. How is the medium and heavy-duty mobile cranes market progressing in India? Which projects are the major demand drivers? The medium and heavy-duty mobile cranes market is progressing largely in India due to the growth in the construction industry of the country. The construction industry in India has seen a high growth rate over the past years owing to the elevated economic growth of the country. Numerous heavy construction projects like metro projects, railway projects, flyovers, and bridges have collectively increased the demand for heavy-duty mobile cranes over the past few years. The demand for heavy-duty mobile cranes is expected to grow in the forecast period due to the rising demand for higher tonnage cranes, which are used in several applications. The medium-duty mobile cranes market revenue is anticipated to witness steady growth over the forecast period owing to their load lifting capacity and performance in both small and medium-range operations. The medium-duty cranes are employed in transportation sites, warehouses, and workshops that have constraints for the handling of loads weighing under 20 tonne. The increasing demand for medium-duty cranes can further be attributed to their several advantages including installation and operational convenience over traditional crane equipment in load lifting operations. Market participants are offering innovative and advanced medium-duty mobile cranes in response to the growing demand across several industrial applications. The major demand driver for the mobile cranes market is the development of Gujarat International Finance Tec-City (GIFT), which is India’s first operational smart city and international financial services centre. The city is expected to cover a construction area of 8.5 million square meters along with 200 skyscrapers. The state government is also planning to build a double corridor metro system to link up the GIFT city to the nearby airport along with various parts of Ahmedabad and Gandhinagar. The mobile cranes market in India is still dominated by pick-n-carry cranes. Why? The pick and carry cranes have the most dominant market out of all the cranes sold in India which makes it a product that has been adopted throughout the country and is used for all kinds of lifting work. In India, the pick and carry cranes are utilised for almost every application with more than half consisting of usage in construction and infrastructure projects. The rest of the applications of pick and carry cranes include usage in industries, manufacturing, and logistics. Additionally, the designing of the pick and carry cranes is basically articulated which is a major factor for the dominance of this type of mobile cranes in the market in India. The most important advantages of using pick and carry cranes include simplicity, versatility and maneuverability offering up to +55/-55 degrees articulation along with the benefit of low prices in the mobile cranes market. The majority of the pick and carry cranes out of all mobile cranes that were sold in the past years in India were produced by domestic manufacturers including Escorts and Action Construction Equipment (ACE). What are the major design changes in your range of products? The mobile cranes are being used to address the high-end demands from the infrastructure and construction sectors for urban development. Manufacturers are focusing on introducing new changes to the design of mobile crane models that would address market demand for a long period of time. From loading capacity to multi-activity, the key design is being revised to meet the industrial demands for complex operations at major project sites. This advancement has been possible with the adoption of technology and new materials. Manufacturers are delivering advanced mechanized solutions for mobile cranes. Hybrid overhead traveling cranes can be stacked with smart features that can provide control of the material handling in the production processes. Additionally, more models are now manufactured with drive and control systems that offer several optional features that help in reducing fuel consumption and maximising reliability and productivity. There’s a popular feature that is named as the Eco Mode system, with the help of this system, the entire pump drive is disengaged automatically when the engine is in idle mode and switched on again in a matter of seconds using intelligent control when power is required. With this system, the software sends signals to the electronic engine, which then automatically adjusts its RPM as per the lifting requirements at the site. What is the role of safety in heavy-duty mobile cranes? What are the added safety features in your mobile cranes? The role of safety in heavy-duty mobile cranes is very important as managing the crane can be a high-risk activity at a construction site. In addition to the potential cause for serious injuries or death, a crane accident can result in substantial property damage that can influence the budget and schedule of the project. Crane accidents also can damage the brand reputation of the construction company. While mobile cranes are designed to tackle heavy lifting, it’s important to prepare for a safe lift that helps in avoiding damage to equipment and injuries to workers. Operators need to guarantee that all the components of the mobile crane have been tested and are in good operating condition before any lifts, which can prevent occurring of more damage on the sites. Some of the added safety features in the designing of the mobile cranes include slow down limits, anti-collision and distance provisions, limit switches, and load limiters. The companies are providing the mount and install long travel slow down spider limit switches, which are placed at 2,000 mm from the end of the runway crane rail that helps in preventing the overhead crane from banging into the end stops at full speed. Another type of switches provided include fit cross travel slow down spider limit switches that are placed at 1,000 mm from each end of the crane girder to prevent the crane unit from being able to run into the cross-travel end and stop at full speed. Overhead mobile cranes can be fitted with crane anti-collision sensors that would automatically slow the crane into creep speed approximately two meters before colliding with either another crane or when any track end stops. The safety features of the mobile crane will include emergency crane limit switches for the highest and lowest hook positions with the help of limit switches. The loads can also be limited for any mobile crane by calibrating it with safe working load limiter devices. The current unprecedented market conditions have put a brake on the demand due to slowdown in construction activities. How do you look at this scenario for the mobile cranes market? The Covid-19 pandemic spread across the country has affected the mobile cranes market severely since last year. In March 2020, the lockdown enforced by the government all over the country obligated the industry players to allow their employees to work remotely. The manufacturing of construction-related products and the provisions for related services were restricted to permitted limits during the lockdown. The production of mobile cranes was also severely affected, resulting in a demand and supply gap. The Covid-19 pandemic has affected the supply chains, limiting the growth of the mobile cranes market in India. These factors have impacted the economy and the revenue of the construction industry substantially all across the country. The Covid-19 pandemic had a damaging effect on the mobile cranes market, due to which the market went through decreased shipments of mobile cranes that led to the significant effect on the revenues generated from them. As a result, a drop in the growth trend of mobile cranes market was observed during the first half of 2020. This drop in the growth trend was halted in the second half of the year as the demand for mobile cranes expanded due to the growing requirements from the construction, shipping and material handling industry. The Covid-19 pandemic has substantially crushed the value chain of the mobile cranes market. India that accounts for a significant share of mobile crane manufacturing market, along with the other countries in the world has been adversely affected by the pandemic. The automotive, railway, aerospace, and defense industries are witnessing a decline in demand, which is expected to continue for the short term due to the global as well as the nationwide slowdown. How do you look at the market recovery and outlook for mobile cranes? What will drive the growth in future? In India, the demand for mobile cranes is growing rapidly owing to the increasing number of infrastructure projects that have led to the requirements for assembly and lifting. The development is apparent in the industrial as well as the core infrastructure sectors. Mobile crane manufacturers and rental agencies are witnessing an upsurge in demand for medium and high-capacity cranes. Mobile cranes are widely used in India for major industrial applications such as power plants and turbine manufacturing. Rising construction activities focused on the refurbishment of existing infrastructures and increasing government initiatives for building better infrastructures, such as houses, schools, hospitals, stadiums, government buildings, and airports, are anticipated to boost the market growth. The increasing application of mobile cranes in both core and non-core industrial projects and maintenance works is also expected to propel their demand over the forecast period.