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
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
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
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
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.
Schwing Stetter (India) Private Limited,
F-71, Sipcot Industrial Park,
Tamil Nadu - 602 105
Tel: 044-2715 6780/781/47108100.
Fax: 044-2715 6539
Larsen & Toubro
L&T House, Ballard Estate,
Post Box 278,
Tel: 022-2268 5656.
121, Maharishi Karve Road
Mumbai - 400 020
Tel: 022-6665 4321. Fax: 022-6631 7440.
Gamzen Plast Pvt. Ltd.
B-19; Sussex Industrial Estate
D. K. 'X' Marg, Byculla,
Mumbai - 400 027
Tel: 022-2372 4862/1599. Fax: 022-2377 8793
Universal Sales Corporation
Warje Jakat Naka,
Pune - 411 029
Tel: 020-2523 0777
Pudding Mill Lane
Tel 0208 555 2415
Plot NO: 7, Mahagujarat Industrial Estate,
Moraiya Patia, Changodar,
Ahmedabad - 382210,
Tel: 079-2584 0930/2851/0028. Fax: 079-2584 0053.
Total words: 1206
Major cement players (Foraying into RMC business)
Associated Cement Companies