We are in the design stage to launch our service business with a lot of strength and power, and we are committed to support our customers fully, says Sandeep Sukhija, Chief Executive Officer, S Cranes Engineering Works. Excerpts from the interview.In the current scenario, how do you assess the overall market for industrial cranes?The requirement of overhead cranes is directly related to the growth in the region, district, state or country. Since it is capital equipment, its requirement is directly related to the market sentiment of growth and hence setting up new businesses. And it is a unavoidable need for any industry being set up.What sort of technology shifts has the industry witnessed compared to the matured global markets?In India, the market requirement of features in the cranes is shifting from manual to electrically controlled to remotely wireless controls. The drives are shifting from slip ring motors to squirrel cage motors. There is an increasing use of variable frequency drives for jerkless, smooth, noiseless and precise operation. The surface finish of the products is now being paid attention to.Which are the major sectors that offer business to S Cranes?Plastics, chemicals and bulk drugs, warehousing, container handling stations, engineering and fabrication are the major sectors that offer business to us. Since 70 per cent of all processes in an industry are material handling, any industry needs cranes, hoists and lifts.Could you brief on the potential from warehousing and the products on offer?Typically, a warehouse could be in a long shed or a vertical storage multiple floor building. In case of a shed, our overhead cranes offer the flexibility of large spans and reliable uninterrupted operation. In case of vertical building with multiple floors, we offer goods lifts or freight elevators that are atomised. This allows smooth transfer of materials in fixed vertical shaft having any number of floors. The lift cabin can be as large as 3 m x 3 m x 2 m, having a load carrying capacity of 5 tonne, travelling a height of up to 25 m. These can be operated by a machine on top with the cabin being suspended on wire ropes or alternatively operated by hydraulic power systems pushing the cabin up vertically. These systems have been in operation for years and we have a huge industry experience that allows for consistent trouble-free operations and safety.How do you assess the performance of the last two quarters?The current inflationary trends and devaluation of the Indian currency has impacted the industry; we hear an increasing number of people in the industry complaining of low demand and slow market. We are seeing a lesser number of enquiries coming in, too. We haven’t seen ourselves crossing our targets in the last two quarters and we are building new training methods to increase our effectiveness.Brief us about the current safety norms and regulations.Cranes, hoists and lifts used in India are adhering to the safety norms as set by the Bureau of Indian Standards and we have seen and observed them to be sufficient and up to the mark.Built-in safety features in our products are limit switches to limit hook travel, limit switches to limit hoist/crab travel on girder (CT), limit switches to limit carriage travel on the gantry girder (LT), control voltage in push button stations safely at 110 V, electrical overload relays to prevent over capacity lifting, and insulated shrouded bus bar system for supply of power to the travelling crane/hoist.The optional safety features are load indicator and recorder (digital display), overload preventer mounted on the wire rope, to activate and bring the system to a halt in case of lifting over capacity, as well as radio remote controls.How energy efficient are S Cranes systems?Our design strength enables us to design custom made girders every time, thereby reducing the dead weight of the crane. This in effect reduces the power required for the travel of the crane and hence our motor hp reduces drastically (in some cases up to 50 per cent). This contributes to the lesser machine cost of our crane and savings on energy consumption.Give us a brief on the manufacturing facility, and capacity.We have a manufacturing facility of six acres at Talasari, in Thane district. This is on the border of Maharashtra and Gujarat. It lies in between the industrial towns of Vapi and Umbergaon. The factory is 125 km away from Mumbai, 1 km from the railway station of Sanjan on the Western Railway and 15 km from the Mumbai Gujarat highway. We have a strength of more than 200 people and the capability of making and testing girders up to a length of 50 m and capacity 50 tonnes. We have the capability to make 30 cranes a month.What is the investment pumped so far and is there any more capex on the anvil?We have so far invested about Rs 10 crore in assets. We are committed to investing generously in plant and equipment to facilitate early and timely deliveries. We are erecting two more sheds - one for assembly and another for shot-blasting and painting.Is there any new product launch planned?We are in the design stage to launch our service business with a lot of strength and power; we are committed to support our customers fully. We have set up an independent service and repairs business, targeting to provide after sales service within eight hours from an S Crane Centre. This service will be available 24x7. And have an ex-stock availability of all spares. We will support customers not just with our cranes but with cranes of other make, too.What are the steps initiated to provide training to operators?We provide one-day training to the operators, free annual health check-up and annual maintenance contracts, apart from periodic performance check and follow-up calls.