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Construction : Editorial | December 2015 | Source : Equipment India

CE Industry Buoyant

It looks like all the initiatives by Narendra Modi´s government to accelerate infrastructure: Bringing in reforms to create ease of business in India; attracting foreign and in-house investments; focusing on effective implementation of economy-centric policies and others, have finally resulted in the commencement of the investment cycle on ground, the first step towards revival of Indian economy.

Construction and CE industry is the first to experience the effects of the said revival, a mood strongly reflected by the industry participants in the recently concluded EXCON 2015 at Bengaluru.

In his inaugural speech at Excon 2015, Road Transport and Highways Minister Nitin Gadkari said that issues have been resolved for 90 per cent of 380 projects after his take over. He added that this is an important time for the country on how we can work fast. Interestingly, as his take on environment, he urged the equipment manufacturers to build ethanol and bio-diesel engine vehicles instead of diesel. Anand Sundaresan, President, ICEMA, said, ¨After four years of decline, the ICE industry is finally seeing some signs of growth in 2015-16.¨

To begin with, over 100 new products were launched during the expo, in various industry segments like concrete, crushing and screening, asphalt block mix production, excavation, earthmoving, road making, lift and reach, haulage and mining trucks, material handling equipment and lubricants. To complete the value chain, one could see allied solution providers in telematics, fuel management, maintenance management, electronics and others. Similarly, components, sub-assembly, tyres and spare parts suppliers complimented the main equipment exhibitors to address the needs of a common customer base.

A buoyant sentiment surfaced during my interactions with a large number of equipment manufacturers. Contrary to earlier occasions, I heard comments like ¨industry is reviving¨, ¨our products are now on a one month waiting list¨, ¨customers are visiting us with a predefined agenda¨, ¨we have closed a sale of 53 units during Excon¨, etc.

EQUIPMENT INDIA focuses on Underground Excavation in this edition. There are two distinct methodologies: Drill Blast (DBM) and Tunnel Boring (TBM). Although each method has its own specific application, the challenges are the same.

DBM is a time consuming process involving sequential steps to complete a cycle. However, to facilitate speedier completion of such projects, specialised equipment have been developed. Although expensive to acquire, the high level of productivity, reduction in cycle time and low life-cycle cost more than offset the high acquisition costs and deliver rich dividends to the user. On the other side, executing tunnelling projects by using TBM is fast gaining significance, in hydro electric, metro rail and cross country pipeline projects. However, TBM application is restricted to circular boring and cannot excavate D, Horseshoe or Modified Horseshoe shaped tunnels. Further excavation of large caverns using a TBM is not possible. In any event, the market indicates a high to very high future growth potential for such equipment in light of various TBM projects already underway and many more on the anvil. India has finally overcome the inertia required to revive the economic growth. The wheels have commenced to roll. However, the growth trajectory will be a ¨U¨ curve, said Vipin Sondhi of JCB and I agreed with him.

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