Formwork, For Your Budget

Formwork, For Your Budget

The formwork industry is launching systems to reach out to customers who want modern technology at a lower price, or in a smaller quantity.

Infra projects and real estate in select cities is keeping the structured formwork industry alive. “If I take away the impact of the uncertainty the Coronavirus has caused of late, we have seen some recovery in infrastructure in the past few months and mixed signals in real estate, with cities like Hyderabad and Bengaluru doing well for us and some improvement in Mumbai and Pune,” says Keshab Chopra, Managing Director, India and SAARC, Doka.

“EN-certified formwork systems are being specified by consultants and architects for infrastructure, civil and building projects, to induce speed while adhering to high standards of construction safety and quality; this is spurring demand for our products,” says Surajit Ray, Managing Director, Ulma Formworks.

Forming iconic structures

PERI India has implemented some landmark infrastructure projects such as Mahatma Mandir, Statue of Unity, Agra-Lucknow Expressway, the Hyderabad, Mumbai, Bengaluru and Lucknow metros, Mumbai Trans-Harbour Link, and Trichy and Pune airports. The Statue of Unity project used 24 PERI RCS rail-climbing units for the wall of two elliptic-shaped cores of size 11.0 m x 8.50 m each, starting at the feet of the structure and reaching the shoulder level. PERI also provided an ACS self-climbing unit for lifting the boom placer independently of a crane.

Complex iconic structures and bridges that have employed Doka formwork include the Bandra-Versova Sea Link, Annaram Barrage, and Lodha’s World One and World View towers. Chopra estimates that about half the high-rise buildings in India, metro stations and pylons are constructed with Doka systems.

ULMA has recently provided ATR, its climbing system formwork for the twin-lift cores of a prestigious high-rise in New Delhi. With the ATR system, all the platforms of the core jump together powered by hydraulic systems, thus saving a lot on formwork assembly and disassembly time, and ensuring safety to the highest standards at elevated working levels.

“Our technology is approved for the construction of leakage and seepage-free flats,” says Nitin Mittal, Managing Director, Knest Aluform. “Some developers we work with are ATS and Nirala World in Delhi, Naman Home Makers, Mumbai and Nyati Group, Pune, for high-rise, affordable and mid-sector projects. We have been working with L&T, Tata, Tata Projects, Shapoorji Pallonji, Godrej, and contractors executing projects for the Prestige Group and others in Bengaluru.”

Positive expectations

Chopra sees a correlation between the political climate and investment in industry. “Wherever the political climate is more stable, investments also improve, such as in Hyderabad. We expect the investment climate to improve in Maharashtra because though there is a coalition government, it seems to be stable.”

“We see many opportunities in the infrastructure sector, roads, railways including metros, affordable housing and airports,” says Raj Lakhani, Managing Director, PERI (India).

“Our aluminium formwork is especially preferred by developers who want quality, good finish and have sold stock, and therefore need to construct a large number of units quickly, to save on interest payments to buyers,” says Mittal. “So, we see huge scope for formwork. I reckon only 10 per cent of the market is using system formwork. Using wood is environmentally unfriendly. It has zero resale value and can be used only seven to eight times as against 200 repetitions typically for aluminium formwork. Also, formwork does away with the need for brickwork and river sand for plastering and is cost-effective; the interest saving from doubling the speed of construction exceeds the cost of the formwork.”

Look out for…

Positive expectations are encouraging industry expansions. Doka’s recent launches in India aim to expand its range of products to the mid-market. “In the past, we used to offer high-end solutions that could last 10 to 15 years. Seeing the current scenario and available opportunity in the mid-market segment, we are offering more versatile, easy-to-use, optimally priced systems with a life span of five to seven years with the same high quality,” Chopra explains. Consequently, Doka has recently launched Lightdek, an aluminium slab system primarily focused on building applications, and Framini in the wall and column segment. Framini, the new framed formwork, exemplifies how a formwork system can improve productivity at small and medium-sized construction sites, particularly when residential, commercial and infrastructure projects have to be built quickly, professionally and cost-effectively. The low weight and optimised ergonomics reduce the work required for formwork operations and make Framini a fast and universally adaptable formwork system.

In India, Doka is trialling Concremote, a product that enables contractors, consultants and asset owners to measure the actual compressive strength as well as early-age quality parameters of concrete. This ensures not only higher quality in construction, with proper documentation and safer execution, but can also save a lot of time and money in the construction stage.

PERI has recently introduced three new systems in India:
PERI UP MI, a cutting-edge steel shoring and scaffolding solution with a unique gravity lock that drops into a rosette opening owing to its own weight and locks self-actuating; PERI AlphaDeck, a modular aluminium slab formwork system offering fast as well as safe forming operations with a systematic assembly sequence; and Handset Alpha, a modular panel formwork system suited for various walls and column applications, which can be easily handled by only two people.

ULMA has recently launched a new flex slab formwork system called ONADEK. This formwork system is made of lightweight, durable, galvanised steel members supported on drop heads.

Drop heads enable early and safe recovery of the formwork members keeping slab supports in place. ONADEK offers high assembly performance and maximum flexibility for residential and commercial building projects. Being completely modular in design, it is capable of forming any type of slab with complex geometries where there are drop beams, columns or load-bearing walls. ONADEK was recently used for a prestigious memorial project in Mumbai.

Formwork is traditionally bought for large areas; small quantities of formwork are rarely made. Knest Aluforms plans to change this, and thereby deliver the advantage of formwork to small developers and contractors to migrate them from wood to aluminium, shares Mittal.

Get skilled

Some companies offer both onsite and offsite training; others only onsite support. Some charge for this service, some do not. ULMA offers site assistance.

“A trained professional company engineer imparts technical training and provides practical demonstration to engineers and labours at site. Thereafter, ULMA’s site support engineers guide them for a couple of consecutive pours until the carpenters and labour are comfortable with the system,” shares Ray. Doka offers onsite training to customers to improve onsite safety and productivity; it is typically a part of the complete order, shares Chopra. “We also conduct training in educational institutions and offer on-premise workshops to certain key institutional customers to educate their staff on formwork.” “PERI has developed a site-supervising team that supports projects and offers free onsite training to improve the knowledge of labour, supervisors and project engineers, and the productivity of contracting partners,” shares Lakhani. “Workshops at the PERI Academy, in customer premises and construction sites, also help disseminate knowledge related to formwork and scaffolding technologies.” “We offer onsite training to all our customers as a free service,” says Mittal. “Additionally, I visit a lot of higher education institutes to create awareness about formwork.”

Cut wage

payments with formwork systems PERI encourages the use of DUO, a universal application, lightweight, durable formwork system (single system for walls, foundations, columns and slabs) that ensures high productivity and reduces the need for skilled labour on site. “With DUO, the productivity of labour is 20-25 sq m per man day, which is four to five times higher than conventional formwork,” says
Raj Lakhani, Managing Director, PERI (India). DUO has standard components and is easy to understand at site; thus, no skilled labours are required whereas, for conventional formwork, skilled carpenters and helpers are a must.

ULMA’s CC4 and LGW formwork systems with modular panels for horizontal and vertical structures respectively reduce the labour cost up to 60 per cent compared to conventional formwork systems where the shuttering is required to be formed at site and then installed in place. For high-rise lift cores, ULMA’s hydraulic climbing system eliminates most manual labour,” points out Surajit Ray, Managing Director, Ulma Formworks.

Different Doka formwork systems deliver different savings on cost of labour and have different impact on project site productivity, explains Keshab Chopra, Managing Director, Doka India and SAARC. Safety, speed and cost-efficiency are increasingly becoming decisive factors for success in tough day-to-day work on construction sites. Doka formwork systems are optimised precisely to meet these challenges.

- Charu Bahri

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