VG Sakthikumar, Managing Director, Schwing Stetter Sales and Services, explains the paradigm shift in concrete delivery systems, with a focus on his company's advanced technologies.
There is no method which can be termed as 'correct' or 'wrong' in concrete delivery and preparation. The solution is based on the type of project to be executed, time available and nature of construction, strength of concrete, volume of concrete, etc. India is a country where on one end we are launching 104 satellites in one go, while on the other, we do not have the basic level of mechanisation. For example, many of our villages are yet to be connected with proper infrastructure. We have a similar situation in construction sites that require concrete as well. India today has many high-rise constructions in various stages of implementation.
We have close to 15 cities building the Metro rail networks. India is investing big time in non-conventional sources of energy. The concrete required for all such projects is different from one another. For example, in the Subansri dam project, the requirement was for temperature controlled concrete of 880 m3/hr, produced at 10oC and was placed at 12oC at the pouring point. Two numbers of 240 m3/hr higher capacity batching plants ran for 24 hours straight, producing 6,220 m3 of dam concrete, setting a world record for the production of dam concrete.
So, the solutions are customised and the trends are different. For example, high rise projects are requiring concrete plants in higher capacity but with smaller footprints to save the land requirement. Highway projects are requiring plants with minimum setting-up time and no foundation cost so that they can be moved frequently without spending money. This is at one end of the spectrum. On the other end, small contractors who have trouble finding skilled manpower for construction are migrating to entry level mechanisation and are looking for cost-optimised investments to mechanise the project. Their aspiration is to keep the cost low and handle the challenge of mechanisation of related site activities like material handling, etc.
As an organisation, Schwing Stetter India is directly engaged with various trends of mechanisation across the segments of construction sites for both corporate and retail customers. We offer customised solutions that satisfy the project implementation requirements. In general, we are more focused on operating cost, ownership cost, reduction cost and more fuel efficient engines, etc. This is basically because concreting in sites has not changed in the last few years.
As far as automation and control systems are concerned, we are advancing with the latest changes in technology. Today we offer ERP solutions, fleet management, remote access and proactive maintenance for machines, to name a few Schwing Stetter product solutions.
Schwing Stetter India is the only company with in-house electronics and automation set-ups for concrete batching plants. The latest advancements are: