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Ready Mix Concrete


Ready Mix Concrete

Ready mix concrete industry in India is still in its infancy but it is an emerging sector. A report by JUHI SHRIVASTAVA

Ready-mix concrete (RMC) is a ready-to-use material, with predetermined mixture of cement, sand, aggregates and water. RMC is a type of concrete manufactured in a factory according to a set recipe or as per specifications of the customer, at a centrally located batching plant.
It is delivered to a worksite, often in truck mixers capable of mixing the ingredients of the concrete en route or just before delivery of the batch. This results in a precise mixture, allowing specialty concrete mixtures to be developed and implemented on construction sites. The second option available is to mix the concrete at the batching plant and deliver the mixed concrete to the site in an agitator truck, which keeps the mixed concrete in correct form.
In the case of the centrally mixed type, the drum carrying the concrete revolves slowly so as to prevent the mixed concrete from "segregation" and prevent its stiffening due to initial set.
However, in the case of the truck-mixed concrete, the batched materials (sand, gravel and cement) are carried and water is added just at the time of mixing. In this case the cement remains in contact with the wet or moist material and this phase cannot exceed the permissible period, which is normally 90 minutes.
The use of the RMC is facilitated through a truck-mounted 'boom placer' that can pump the product for ready use at multi-storeyed construction sites. A boom placer can pump the concrete up 80 metres.
RMC is preferred to on-site concrete mixing because of the precision of the mixture and reduced worksite confusion. It facilitates speedy construction through programmed delivery at site and mechanised operation with consequent      economy.     It also decreases labour, site supervising cost and project time, resulting in savings. Proper control and economy in use of raw material results in saving of natural resources. It assures consistent quality through accurate computerised control of aggregates and water as per mix designs. It minimises cement wastage due to bulk handling and there is no dust problem and therefore, pollution-free.
However there are some disadvantages of RMC to, like double handling, which results in additional cost and losses in weight, requirement of godowns for storage of cement and large area at site for storage of raw materials. Aggregates get mixed and impurities creep in because of wind, weather and mishandling at site. Improper mixing at site, as there is ineffective control and intangible cost associated with unorganised preparation at site are other drawbacks of RMC. There are always possibilities of manipulation; manual error and mischief as concreting are done at the mercy of gangs, who manipulate the concrete mixes and water cement ratio.
The first ready-mix factory, which was built in the 1930s, remained in a standstill position till 1960s, but continued to grow since then. The leading ready-mix concrete supplier worldwide is the Mexican concrete and cement company Cemex, and their main competitor is France-based Lafarge.
The Ready mix concrete business in India is in its infancy. Where as in developed countries, nearly 70 per cent of cement consumption is in the form of ready mix concrete and 25 per cent in the form of recast, in India, ready mix concrete accounts for less than 5 per cent and as much as 82 per cent of cement consumption is in the form of site-mixed concrete. While 70% of cement produced in a developed country like Japan is used by Ready Mix concrete business there, here in India, Ready Mix concrete business uses around 2% of total cement production.
There are several reasons for this. In early 70s both pricing and distribution of cement was controlled due to shortage of supply. Ready mix concrete technology could not be implemented as investors felt that Ready mix concrete plant will starve due to non-availability of cement. The levy of additional taxes & duties on RMC, entry tax, excise duty also contributed to the slow development of the concept.

The growth of RMC is predominantly driven by demand from the metro cities. In cities like Mumbai, the     mandatory     use     of     RMC      is in construction of flyovers provided the requisite impetus to growth, according to an ICRA analysis. RMC is particularly useful when the building activity is located in congested sites where little space is available for siting the mixer and for stock piling of aggregates. The use of RMC is also advantageous when only small quantities of concrete are required or when concrete is to be placed only at intervals.
Even as the concept of ready-mix concrete (RMC) is still catching up in the country, cement majors are keenly focussing on entering the new area in a big way. Anticipating huge potential for the product, cement majors, including Associated Cement Companies, Grasim, L&T, India Cements, Priyadarshini Cements, Chettinad Cement and Madras Cements, are foraying into the RMC business and the share of RMC is expected to go up from present levels of around 5 per cent of the total cement production to the global average of 70 per cent, according to industry players.
The teething troubles has been overcome by the RMC Industry and at present there are over 37 RMC plants delivering over one lakh cubic metres of mixed concrete every month. RMC plants are working in Delhi area also. Envisaging higher demand, the 16.4-million tonne cement major, ACC is planning to beef up its existing RMC infrastructure of 11 units with two new RMC units - one at Noida and the other in Mumbai, during the current year. During the last fiscal, Madras Cements set up two RMC plants near Chennai, with a capacity of approximately 9 lakh cubic metres, while Chettinad Cements installed an RMC facility near Coimbatore. Grasim's RMC business accounted for a turnover of Rs 116 crore during 2003-04, against a turnover of Rs 59.8 crore during the previous year.
For growth of the industry, government bodies, private builders, architects/engineers, contractors, and individuals required to be made fully aware about the advantages of using ready mix concrete, government bodies/consultants needs to include ready mix concrete as mandatory in their specification for execution, government specifications for CPWD and PWD jobs should include Ready mix concrete as a mandatory item. Apart form this tax breaks are required for the growth of RMC
and developers/contractors needs to be discouraged from piling up materials like metal, sand etc. on roads/foot paths.

Company Details

Schwing Stetter (India) Private Limited,
F-71, Sipcot Industrial Park,
Sriperumpudur Taluk,
Kancehhpuram District,
Tamil Nadu - 602 105
Tel: 044-2715 6780/781/47108100.
Fax: 044-2715 6539
E-mail: <>
Website: <>

Larsen & Toubro
L&T House, Ballard Estate,
Post Box 278,
Mumbai-400 001.
Tel: 022-2268 5656.
Website: <>

ACC Limited
Cement House
121, Maharishi Karve Road
Mumbai - 400 020
Tel: 022-6665 4321. Fax: 022-6631 7440.
Website: <>

Gamzen Plast Pvt. Ltd.
B-19; Sussex Industrial Estate
D. K. 'X' Marg, Byculla,
Mumbai - 400 027
Maharashtra, India
Tel: 022-2372 4862/1599. Fax: 022-2377 8793
E-mail: <>
Website: <>

Universal Sales Corporation
Universal House,
Warje Jakat Naka,
Pune - 411 029
Tel: 020-2523 0777

South East
Pudding Mill Lane
E15 2PJ
Tel 0208 555 2415
website: <>

Macons Engineers
Plot NO: 7, Mahagujarat Industrial Estate,
Moraiya Patia, Changodar,
Ahmedabad - 382210,
Gujarat, India.
Tel: 079-2584 0930/2851/0028. Fax: 079-2584 0053.
Website: <>

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Major cement players (Foraying into RMC business)     
Associated Cement Companies     
India Cements     
Priyadarshini Cements     
Chettinad Cement     
Madras Cements     


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