“Sandvik is committed to manufacture products, which are safe and reasonably practicable considering the environment of use,” says Simon Meester, President Sales Unit, Sandvik Mining and Construction, India. In an exclusive chat with EQUIPMENT INDIA, Simon talks about the market trends in drills and its accessories. Excerpts from the interview. Could you explain the evolution of drilling technology and where we stand in terms of technology and capability in general, specifically with regard to the mining segment? The Indian market is among the most progressively emerging markets in the world and has seen rapid growth in the past few years. The mining and construction industry is increasingly dominated by a few large companies. Our success depends on our ability to help them operate more efficiently and boost their productivity. The aftermarket for mining drilling has grown at an impressive rate but we still have significant growth potential in our other core applications of exploration, material handling and mining crushing and screening.Tell us about the vital role played by Sandvik in the adoption of better technology. While the basic machinery used in drilling remained fundamentally unchanged for many years, the industry has nevertheless, become considerably more mechanised. At Sandvik, we have been manufacturing drills for over 12 years and Sandvik has the wealth of knowledge about customers’ processes, applications, expectations and needs. This background has led us into continuous research and development on drills and drill control systems, to optimise their performance. The current offering in drills comprises of latest series of hydraulic top hammer and DTH drills specially suited for mining and quarrying applications.We have established ourselves as market leaders in hydraulic top hammer and DTH drills. In order to maintain our market lead, we have listened to our customers and put into practice many new solutions, leading to lower operating costs, fuel economy, reliability in operation and ease of maintenance, combined with improved operator health and safety. What about R&D? Which direction is it heading to, compared to the developed markets? Our focus is on designing and producing drills which are energy-efficient, productive, safe to operate and reliable. What are the growth enablers? The growth enablers/drivers are certainly infrastructure such as road, bridges, highways, expressways, mine expansions, etc.Sandvik equipment are engineered for maximum productivity. Our customers are under continuous time and cost pressure. Our aim is to help them to improve their profitability and to help them to satisfy their customers.What are the products and services offered by Sandvik for the mining segment? Sandvik Mining and Construction is a world leading provider of equipment and solutions for construction, mineral exploration, underground mining in hard and soft rock formations and surface mining. Our range of accessories for drills includes rock tools, service, parts, lubricants, etc. We cater to a very diverse portfolio of clients. Our customers can be found in every part of the world, from high mountain tops and frigid temperatures to hot and humid climates in tropical settings. Our comprehensive product range in drilling includes rotary, down-the-hole and hydraulic top hammer drills.Could you describe the inbuilt safety features of Sandvik product range for drilling? Sandvik is committed to manufacture products, which are safe and reasonably practicable considering the environment of use. Some of our key factors kept in mind while designing the equipment are fire suppression systems, EU (European Union) safety devices, emergency stops, various gauges and alarms, visual and audio back- up alarms, ROPS/FOPS certified cabins, and dust collectors.How do you look at the competition, both from the unorganised sector, and also from organised players? Sandvik is one of the world’s most complete suppliers of equipment and solutions to the mining and construction industry. The challenge to lower the cost per tonne of finished products requires a thorough knowledge of the whole quarrying process, combined with the best in equipment, service, support and consumables. Our partnership concept basically means that our customers will always find us available to discuss their challenges and opportunities. What can be improved? How can we reduce downtime? How can we optimise uptime? Do the operators need more training? Where can we further lower cost or increase output? We can analyse the problems together and refer them to dedicated specialists. This approach will lead to improved productivity, lower cost and better profitability. ‘Service’ is our guiding motto. Tell us why a customer should opt for Sandvik and its services. Sandvik mining and construction is a world leading provider of equipment and solutions for mineral exploration, construction, underground mining in hard and soft rock formations, surface mining and bulk materials handling and specific areas of the construction industry, such as quarrying, tunnelling, demolition and recycling and other civil engineering applications.We understand our customers’ business and value their time. We are therefore, in constant development of aftermarket programmes that can be easily adapted to local/regional requirements.Our offering includes performance contracts, health audits, repairs and refurbishment packages, specific trouble- shooting and productivity campaigns and special trainings. The aftermarket offering is divided into the following areas: spare parts and components, tools and consumables, and service.How do you view the future scenario? Sandvik has been in India for more than 50 years and we are in a perfect position to support India’s rapid economic growth. Our customers in India know us for a long time and they know what we can do for them. We want to continue to grow with them, listen to them and help them increase their profitability and help delight their customers. We will continue to make investments in India to exceed our customers’ expectations. The economy is growing, our customers are growing, so we will need to grow with them. “The current offering in drills comprises latest hydraulic top hammer and DTH drills specially suited for mining and quarrying applications.”SAFETY FEATURES*Fire suppression systems.*EU (European Union) safety devices.*Emergency stops.*Various gauges and alarms.*Visual and audio back- up alarms.*ROPS / FOPS certified cabins.*Dust collectors.