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Construction : Cover Story | March 2016 | Source : Equipment India

Widening Growth Path

For the emerging and developing nations, the growth path widens which will inevitably be attractive destinations for machine makers worldwide, writes Pradeep Sharma.

The key success factors for the future depend upon innovative financing and value-added services where the focus is on increased penetration of financing leasing and rental services, providing adequate maintenance to equipment and training to crew, and facilitating immediate repair and refurbishing of equipment. The study also points out the importance of R&D and innovation in terms of appropriate product technology and pricing, product customisation for different applications, product reliability and ease of use, and last but not the least, post-sales support in terms of service and training infrastructure, focus on maintenance of equipment, ensuring the availability of spare parts and widening the distribution network to service the client better.

Despite the prevailing global uncertainties, rising needs of better infrastructure, modernised methods of agriculture and growing complexity of mining/manufacturing methods will boost demand for technologically advanced equipment in these industries. Moreover, looking ahead, the growth path widens for the emerging and developing nations, which will inevitably be attractive destinations for machine makers worldwide. The new political dispensation lends a lot of credibility and hope for growth in infrastructure in future.

The growth of the Indian CE industry is dependent on three factors: the first being the focus on infrastructure investments in terms of roads, ports, power, housing and real estate construction. The second is industrial production and capacity expansion by manufacturers in terms of new facilities and up-gradation of existing facilities to meet the ever-increasing demand. The third is seeking the emerging growth areas in terms of leasing and rental of equipment, exports, increasing the use of refurbished equipment, and most importantly, providing timely service to the clients.

As per the study, new areas are emerging that hold good growth potential for the future, especially in rentals which currently contribute just about two per cent of a market which is expected to grow. Equipment leasing is another sector, and is expected to grow, then there is financing and end-to-end services where some of the large players are looking at providing end-to-end services to the users throughout the equipment lifecycle - financing, user training, maintenance and buy-back of used equipment.

Finally, there is the export scenario where exports of CE from India should grow, and is expected to sustain this growth in future.

Innovation from ACE
ACE is a dominant player in the crane market having introduced innovative crane solutions/products from time-to-time. Recently, ACE introduced its new generation pick-n-carry truck cranes which have the following features:

  • These cranes use industrial driveline from trucks resulting in improved gear shifting, better operator comfort and higher speeds.
  • Cabin is in front and at lower height. Operator sits just like sitting in a car. He has excellent all-round visibility.
  • Overall machine height is much less as compared to present machines resulting in lower centre of gravity and hence improved stability and very low chances of machine toppling.
  • Less number of structural parts as front and rear frame are joined by pins having self-aligning bearings providing flexibility in structure.
  • Rear frame is connected to axle through leaf springs providing robust suspension and jerk-free ride. Luff cylinders are positioned in a way that the cylinders move away from load when the boom is lifted ensuring safer operation.
  • Wheel steering is standard just like cars and hence operator-friendly and facilitates easy manoeuvering of crane.
  • ACE cranes have a special feature that the full rated lifting capacity is available in even articulated/steered position.

The policy of responding with speed and expertise has been rewarded over the years in the form of repeat business, resulting in constant growth, making us the leading company in the mobile cranes, tower cranes and construction equipment sector in the country. Another factor driving our growth has been the versatility of our equipment to satisfy a vast range of possible applications. Our equipment has been successfully used in many sectors like infrastructure construction, power projects, ports and shipyards, dams, metro rail, roads, mining, steel industry, engineering industry, railways, cement, petroleum, defence, chemical and fertiliser plants, warehousing, logistics, building construction etc, to name a few. Our road construction equipment also has been received well in the market and is now waiting to see the market improve.

In tower crane segment, the demand is still mainly for 5 to 6 tonne category tower cranes. With builders going for prefab buildings the demand for 10-12 tonne category tower crane is growing steadily. With the growth in infra projects expected next year, the demand for bigger tower cranes of 10-20 tonne category is likely to grow further. We are fully prepared to indigenously supply any tower crane from 1.6 tonne to 20 tonne capacity.

There is a definite positive sentiment as a stable government has taken over and the industry on the whole is expected to get the advantage of the same. But, it has not yet started to reflect in the numbers and we still have to see the effect on ground. We are expecting the situation to change in the coming months and hope that the next financial year will definitely show us the results that we all expect.

ACE has recently introduced its new generation pick-n-carry truck cranes which have new added features.

The author is President, ACE.

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