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Construction : Interaction | November 2015 | Source : Equipment India

We procure new and used equipment depends on the scope of utilisation

Samar Ghoshdastidar, Technical Director, Simplex Infrastructures

Simplex Infrastructures is one of the largest infrastructure solutions providers in India and the Middle East having presence in across eight first growing industry verticals. Samar Ghoshdastidar, Technical Director, Simplex Infrastructures, provides an in-depth overview on the company´s equipment procurement procedures.

What is the equipment selection process in your company?

  • In our company, we give stress on the following during equipment selections process:
  • The equipment should be standard equipment if possible.
  • It should give the best service at low cost.
  • Its unit cost of production should be moderate.
  • It should be easily repairable with low shutdown period.
  • It should be easily transported.
  • It should suit the majority of the requirements of the job.
  • It should be capable of doing more than one function
  • It should be of moderate size, as they have low working cost.

What are the safety features being considered, especially while selecting heavy machinery?

  • Safety feature being considered, especially while selecting heavy machinery are:
  • Control systems to support operator in the work cycle
  • Cab comfort to support operator
  • Easy entry and exit
  • Easy daily maintenance
  • Gurding system for moving parts
  • Presence of sensing system
  • Self monitoring fault detection systems
  • Safe load indicator, boom angle indicator
  • Emergency brakes
  • Hoisting limiter
  • Flashing light/reverse horn, Safety latch in Crane hook etc.
  • Load moment limit
  • Anemometer
  • Inclinometer/depth indicator

What are the categories, types and brands of construction equipment for which you are responsible?

  • The different categories and types of construction equipment for which we are responsible are: Excavating and earthmoving equipment - excavators, dozer, shovels, drag shovels, loader with backhoe
  • Hauling equipment - trucks, dumpers etc
  • Hoisting equipment - tower cranes, mobile cranes, crawler mounted cranes, builders hoists, passenger hoists
  • Conveying equipment
  • Pumping equipment
  • Compacting equipment
  • Pile driving equipment - driven piling rigs, hydraulic drilling rigs, hydraulic hammer, pneumatic hammer, vibro hammer etc.
  • Oil drilling equipment
  • Equipment used for the production of aggregate
  • Tunnelling equipment like hydraulic boomer, shotcrete machine etc.
  • Equipment used in road projects like hot mix batch plant, paver, soil compactor, tandem roller etc.
  • Equipment used for concrete works - batching plants, concrete pumps, placer boom, transit mixer etc.
  • Material testing and quality lab equipment

Could you elaborate on the equipment applications for which you need to select equipment?
Simplex Infrastructures is one of the largest infrastructure solutions providers in India and the Middle East having presence across eight first growing industry verticals: Ground engineering, power plants, industrial projects, transportation, building and housing, urban utilities, marine structures, and water resources and management.

The basic operations involved in the construction of any project are excavation, digging of large quantity of earth, moving them at the fairly long distances, foundation, civil and structural works, back filling, compacting, levelling, dozing, grading, hauling etc for which different construction equipment are required. Beside these, there are different equipment for pile foundation, road project, tunnel and hydel projects, building and housing, marine structures etc.

What are the key and prime considerations for equipment selection? Are you country specific? If yes, then what are the reasons thereof?
Every equipment has certain common factors which are taken into consideration while selecting equipment. They are:

Scope of work to be carried out: Since the first concern is getting the job done, the time frame within which the work is required to be carried out, the specification of work and the methodology adopted will be of primary concern.

Suitability for job conditions: The equipment selected should suit the demands of the job conditions. Climate of region and working conditions should be kept in view while selecting the type of equipment.

Uniformity in type: It is desirable to have minimum number of types so that there is uniformity in the type of equipment on a project. It is desirable to select common type of engine for different machine such as excavators, dump trucks, tractor and scrapers purchased on the projects.

Size of equipment: While large size of machines are capable of giving large outputs on full load, the cost of production is usually greater than that of smaller units if worked out on part loads. Large size of equipment requires corresponding large size of matching equipment. And shutting down of one primary unit may result in making several other equipment idle.

Use of standard equipment: Standard equipment are commonly manufactured, commonly available and are moderately priced. The spare parts of standard equipment are easily available and less expensive. After the work is over, it is generally easier to dispose of standard equipment.

Unit cost production: The economics is one of the most important considerations in selection of equipment. While working out owing cost all items of expenses, such as freight, packaging and forwarding, insurance, erection and commissioning etc.

Country of origin: When imports are unavoidable, it is preferable to import from a soft currency than from a hard currency area, if equipment quality is available.

Available of spare parts: Down time for want of necessary spare parts commonly accounts for long idle periods during working life of equipment, especially of imported equipment. Availability of spare parts at reasonable cost during the entire working life should be assured while selecting a particular type of equipment. Versatility: The equipment selected should be, if possible, capable of performing more than one function and should have feature of inter convertibility as far as possible.

Selection of manufacturer: It is desirable to have equipment of the same manufacturer on a project as far as possible and to have minimum number of different makes of equipment. The quality of local dealers is also important. Suitability of local labour: Available operators and technicians should be able to handle selected equipment.

Technical consideration: The efficient performance of any piece of equipment and its service life are conditioned by: strength, rigidity, vibration stability, resistance to wear, heat resistance, reliability, and maintainability.

A balance between reliability, investment cost and operating cost should be found since a policy of selecting the lowest priced equipment can often lead to higher life cycle costs.

We are not country specific, however for quality equipment we prefer Germany, Italy and for procurement cost economy Chinese equipment.

Do you have some
Yes. In case of paver we prefer Wirtgen, Germany based on quality, service and life. For concrete equipment we prefer Schwing Stetter, Putzmeister, Macons etc for service and quality, Volvo is preferred for fuel efficiency. We generally procure similar equipment from two suppliers only, not from one (to avoid monopoly) and also not many (to avoid space inventory).

Do you procure new, used or both categories of equipment? Could you elaborate on the same?
Yes, we procure new and used equipment. Normally, we prefer new equipment for total useful life, however in case of costly equipment against limited scope of utilising, we go for used equipment when hiring is not economical.

Do you conduct a rent versus buy analysis?
Yes, we go for hiring in case of demand for particular equipment varies extremely high.

What are your preferred brands of equipment in various categories? Why do you prefer these brands?
We preferred different equipment based on performance, useful life, operating cost, availability of spares and service reliability of equipment and quality. Output costing is also important factor for consideration.

What is the importance of Total Life Cycle (TOC) and Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) costs? How do you establish the same and what parameters you consider? Do you calculate TOC and TCO on current prices or do you incorporate an yearly price increase or escalation or inflation in your calculations?
Total life cycle and total cost of ownership are important for calculating housing production cost of any equipment. Normally, we consider price escalation for calculating total cost of ownership.

Do you give weightage to extra acquisition cost towards new technology, performance enhancing features, Telematics, energy conservation and regeneration features and other such items? If yes, to what additional percentage compared to the cost of the equipment without such features?
There is no such practice for giving weightage to extra acquisition cost towards new technology, performance enhancing feature, telematics, energy conversation etc. However, these costs are capitalised along with initial equipment acquisition cost whenever adopted.

Do you have tie-ups with the OEMs on operator´s training for new equipment you buy?
Yes, sometimes we have tie-ups with the OEM on operator´s training for new equipment. When we imported a number of hydraulic drilling rigs, we tied up with the OEM for operator´s training as suitable operators were not available in India.

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