Fragmented aggregate mining, as well as issues related to regulations and liquidity, are threatening the growth of the crushing and screening equipment segment in India. Progressive policy steps and modern technologies are needed for the sustainable growth of the segment.
Aggregates are needed in every construction project. With construction projects in roads and highways, railways, metro rails, irrigation, etc picking up, the demand for aggregates is expected to grow in the coming years. Coal and iron ore mining is on a revival. All these are expected to drive the demand for crushing and screening equipment in India in the coming years. Manufactured sand (M-sand) is another demand driver for crushers and screens since natural sand mining has been restricted in many states.
The growing number and scale of projects indicates requirement of aggregates in large quantities. And so the demand is growing for larger capacity crushers and screens.
Ramesh Palagiri, Managing Director and CEO, Wirtgen India, says, "Due to the large number of new road projects being rolled out, there is a sudden demand for construction and road building equipment and with these, the demand for aggregates is also increasing in areas where greenfield projects and expansion from 2 to 4-laning and 4 to 6-laning are being taken up. This has boosted the demand for crushing and screening units. Also, the developments in the road and rail sector will see a huge surge in demand for aggregates for construction. New urban infrastructure projects also add to the demand for aggregates and consequently for crushing and screening equipment."
Ranjit Ravindran, Head of Business - Mining, Voltas sees a lot of demand from mining. He says, "In the iron ore segment, we are currently witnessing a surge in demand for crushers. This is primarily due to the increased local steel demand and the upcoming auctions of iron ore in 2020. The production of aggregates and M-Sand is also growing with investments in roadways, railways, metros and smart cities."
According to Ravindran, the demand for newer machines is not very bullish, but the existing population of machines is fully optimised to undertake the current development in mining and infrastructure. "The biggest challenge for new equipment sale is the over-leveraged balance sheets of many infrastructure companies, the reluctance of non-banking finance companies (NBFCs) to fund projects due to poor CIBIL score of contractors, and the Reserve Bank of India's tight guidelines for the banking and finance sector," he adds.
VG Sakthikumar, Managing Director, Schwing Stetter India, says, "Mobile crushers find their market in road projects, mining and sand manufacturing. With government spending on infrastructure projects going up, this will accelerate road projects which are time-bound, which in turn will augment the sales of crushers and screens. Mobile crushers will become popular in the demolition and in recycling segments."
According to Sunil Kumar Chaturvedi, Chairman and Managing Director, Gainwell Commosales, construction remains the largest demand sector for crushers and screens. He says, "We have tied up with thyssenkrupp for a range of crushing products ranging from 150-500 TPH which largely covers the requirements of the Indian construction industry. Aggregates will be a major demand driver for crushers and screens. Availability of aggregates is extremely important with the pace at which infrastructure development and construction is happening in the country."
Jaideep Shekhar, Managing Director - MP India, South East Asia and Middle East, Terex, highlights the market scenario, "India's crushing and screening industry has seen a steady growth over the last few years. One of the important factors driving this is the government's effort to build world-class infrastructure through many ambitious projects such as Bharatmala, Sagarmala, UDAN etc. With the Budget 2019's massive push towards infrastructure projects, we expect a double-digit growth this year for almost all types of crushing and screening equipment."
Vivek Bhatia, Managing Director and CEO, thyssenkrupp Industries India adds, "Today, India is the fastest growing major economy and it is but natural that substantial investment is coming into infrastructure development. India has a substantial infrastructure deficit and in the last 3-4 years, investment in infrastructure has picked up. The new budget also seeks to address this need and there is clear commitment to improve infrastructure. We have created a tremendous capability for crushing and mining equipment focusing on aggregates which will support the buildup of infrastructure across the country."
Construction, infrastructure development and mining drive the demand for crushers and screens in India. Ravindran points out, "With investments happening across the country in infrastructure, rebuilding, and auction of iron ore mines, there will be an increased demand for crushers and screens."
Sakthikumar observes, "Demand for crushers is likely to go up as the Government of India has already awarded a lot of infrastructure projects which are still under execution. The new projects in road, railway, metro, airport, port, power, irrigation, mining, RMC, real estate, affordable housing, etc will further augment the demand. Presently, M-sand has big demand since most of the state governments in India have banned river sand mining." According to him, the crusher capacities depend on the particular application; however in general 150-350 TPH are the popular crusher models.
Shekhar says, "India is witnessing rapid urbanisation, fuelling the demand for faster construction which is a major driver for customers to move towards mobility. Terex is one of the first organisations to manufacture mobile plants in India that are best suited to meet the requirements of larger projects for completion in a relatively shorter period of time."
The M-sand can be manufactured in the vicinity of quarry sites, thus reducing transport cost and ensuring timely project completions. Shekhar claims, "Terex India serves as a one-stop solution for sand manufacturing needs and its equipment is proven for handling the toughest applications in extreme conditions." On the demand from mining, he adds, "The coal sector is set to grow rapidly for the next few years, so while we already have a range of equipment which customers are currently using in their coal mines, we are simultaneously preparing to launch new products that further meet the demands of this sector."
Bhatia elaborates, "Aggregates will drive the demand for crushers because aggregates are needed in construction of roads, housing and in almost every construction and infrastructure build out activity. Also, sand today is in short of supply due to strong legislation against exploitation of natural sand. We have crushers that can produce different grades of M-sand. Thus, sand manufacturing will also be a key demand driver for crushers. The penetration of reinforced cement concrete (RCC) has been increasing in India and will also contribute to this demand. As we urbanise more and there is pressure to build infrastructure at a faster pace, I think the concrete percentage will definitely go up. In mature markets, RCC constitutes as high as 70-90 per cent whereas in India it is far lower. All of these factors will contribute towards a tremendous amount of investment in crushing equipment."
The Indian crushing and screening equipment market is buoyant, as apart from construction, mining is also on an upward trend. All this has led to some significant moves by OEMs to introduce new products and expand market reach. In a recent development, thyssenkrupp Industries India has entered into an exclusive distribution agreement with Gainwell Commosales, a leading distributor for construction, mining and power solutions with a strong presence in the North, East and Northeast regions of India.
Among other positive market trends in the crusher market, Schwing Stetter India has recently entered into a strategic partnership with global leader Rubble Master HMH GmbH. Under this, Schwing Stetter India will be the exclusive distributor to sell and service the complete range of Rubble Master HMH products from Austria in India.
In the emerging market scenario, equipment manufacturers see demand growth for various crushing and screening products and solutions in the construction, mining, quarrying and M-sand segments.
Wirtgen Group, a major player in Indian market, offers its Kleemann range of crushers and screens. Kleemann's product portfolio comprises a varied range - the MOBICAT range of track-mounted jaw crushers, MOBIREX range of track-mounted impact crushers, MOBISCREEN series track-mounted screening plants, and the MOBIFOX/MOBICONE range of secondary screening units. Each of these variants comes with further different models, and the complete range of track-mounted crushers varies from 150 TPH to 1,500 TPH in jaw, cone, impactor and screens.
Palagiri claims that the Wirtgen Group's Kleemann machines are the best in the market in terms of fuel efficiency. He adds, "The design of these machines and the fact that they are equipped with Scania engines are the two important factors which contribute towards fuel efficiency.
We have fuel saving of at least 15 per cent compared to other machines in the same class.
Voltas M&CE division is the distributor of Terex Powerscreen crushers and screens. Ravindran explains, "The Horizon range of screens (H Screen) from Terex Powerscreen are horizontal screens ideal for handling high volumes of sticky materials and for the exact, fine sizing demanded in many construction contracts. This H range is ideally suited to applications such as natural and crushed aggregate, coal, iron ore, recycled concrete and asphalt." The product range that Voltas M&CE division handles includes Chieftain screens, Warrior screens, Metrotrak crusher (jaw), Maxtrak crusher (cone) and Trackpactor impact crusher.
According to Sakthikumar, mobile crushers from Rubble Master HMH are more suitable for construction, mining and M-sand type of applications. He adds, "With RM GO! Next, Rubble Master takes development of the RM GO! line to the next level, making RM crushers and screens even safer with numerous digital features as well as a fully integrated hybrid drive and an RM innovation. Crushers and screens are coordinated using a central control unit, thus optimising the overall performance of the machinery."
Terex is also bringing new products and solutions into the market. Shekhar explains, "We are working on various new product development projects for the Indian and regional markets, with multiple new models in the pipeline for our modular range and some exciting new additions for our tracked crushers and conveying range. We are particularly excited about the upcoming launch of our new TG cone series, a bronze bushing spider bearing cone. This new series of cones will complement our current market leading Cedarapids MVPX series (screw type cone) and the TC series (floating bowl cone), which will give us the opportunity to offer the most versatile and comprehensive cone range in the industry." According to him, Terex is also adding multiple new products to its tracked conveyor range in India later this year, including the high level feeder conveyor, the low level feeder conveyor, and the tracked 100 ft conveyor (in addition to the already available 65 ft and 80 ft conveyors).
Terex product range includes tracked jaw crushers and cone crushers, tracked two and three deck screens and unique machines like Warriors and tracked conveyors. The company also has an extensive range of products, including tracked impactors and tracked horizontal screens, which are imported from its UK factories as per the customer requirements.
"Terex is the leader in tracked mobile crushing and screening market with two of our brands - Powerscreen and Terex Finlay - being the preferred choice of our customers for commercial aggregate needs. We offer the largest selection of tracked machines manufactured locally to meet the price, delivery and quality requirements of our Indian customers," claims Shekhar.
thyssenkrupp is keen on introducing new products and solutions to the market. Says Bhatia, "At thyssenkrupp, we believe in producing next-generation products. Throughout the years there has been continued investment in research and development (R&D). Even today, in India and in Germany, we continue to invest in developing the next generation of equipment and at the Bauma 2019 in Germany, we introduced new crushing equipment such as the "Eccentric Roll Crusher". In India itself, we have strong capability to technically develop/improve products. During this year we will be launching some additional products in the Indian market as well."
With the industry witnessing introduction of new technologies and products, it is important for the operation and maintenance personnel to be well aware of the new developments. Chaturvedi explains, "The products that we offer under the new venture are new in the market. We need to be very close to the product, as we always are. It is only a matter of time before we bring these new products closer to the customers. Another important aspect will be training. People need to be trained for servicing and handling the new equipment. thyssenkrupp is providing training for our team and the customers on the new crushing plants."
Continuing on the training activities at Gainwell, he says, "If any technologically intensive machine doesn't operate properly, the customer is likely to experience suboptimal efficiency. So we pay a lot of attention to operator training. We collaborate with the industry to train people on our machines and then provide our customers with these trained personnel for operation and maintenance of their machines. We run a full-fledged training centre for operators."
Shekhar sees some challenges in the industry due to lack of trained operators. He says, "Lack of skilled and trained personnel in the industry to operate crushing and screening equipment is a major challenge. Terex India has been working closely with its customers to ensure availability of skilled manpower who are adept at operating more technological, intelligent equipment in a safe and efficient manner. We have also set up a new training centre up at our Hosur facility to provide advanced training to crusher operators and plant supervisors. This is accredited as a training partner of the Infrastructure Equipment Skill Council (IESC), under the Skill India and NSDC program of Government of India."
Opportunities and challenges
According to Ravindran, all the rebuilding activities contribute to growth in demand for equipment used in mining, construction, and crushing and screening. But the main challenges facing contractors are liquidity, operating margins, poor credit ratings, frequent policy changes by the government, environmental diktats, and unrest in displacement of villages. "All these lead to slowdown in growth."
Sakthikumar adds, "At the moment, the major opportunity is the digitalisation that is currently taking place in the crushing and screening industry. IoT-based condition monitoring and predictive maintenance and how these are implemented and used beneficially by the operator are major topics at the moment."
According to Chaturvedi, the shortage of aggregates has been a nagging problem in India because of the lack of organised crushing and screening operations with advanced higher capacity machines. He says, "Most crushing and screening operations are happening in a fragmented way. But our customers will see great value in the kind of state-of-the-art products that thyssenkrupp is offering and the product support we offer."
On the opportunities, he explains, "The market demand is growing and it is going to unfold on a bigger scale now. Our new partnership is happening at the right time as the next 3-4 years will be a window of opportunity for infrastructure development."
Shekhar elaborates, "Power shortage, improper roads due to harsh weather conditions, poor rail and airport links are some of the major infrastructure challenges that are currently restricting market growth in India. In addition, the majority of our equipment functions on diesel that releases high carbon emissions, leading to imposition of stricter carbon regulations. This is again posing a major challenge as it restricts the industry growth. Yet, with the recent initiatives of the government to improve the infrastructural facilities and favourable economic conditions, the impact of these factors can be largely mitigated."
In spite of the growth opportunities, crushers and screens market is facing various challenges related to regulations, infrastructure bottlenecks, liquidity issues, emission related barriers, lack of trained professionals and insufficient technology utilisation, to name a few. In order to cash in the emerging opportunities, the crushing and screening equipment market hass to overcome these challenging barriers. A joint effort by the equipment players, users, financiers and policy makers can make the whole environment conducive for the market.
Product Innovations - Wirtgen Group
With the MOBISCREEN EVO screening plants, Kleemann places emphasis on safety. Operation of the screening plant is via a mobile control panel that can be attached at three different points on the plant. This guarantees the best viewing positions of the plant functions under executions. All plant functions are started automatically, without each side discharge conveyor having to be activated individually. Data on machine operation can also be read off at the control panel. Plant movement is without jolts, thanks to proportionally activated hydraulic valves. The plants operate particularly efficiently and produce a high output when interlinked with crushing plants of the EVO series, whose size and output are tuned to the EVO screening plants. A further bonus for safe plant operation is the emergency-off function, which, in the case of an interlinked combination of plants, works across all crushing and screening stages.
Case study - Terex Autosand® Cones
Terex Autosand® cones have established themselves as efficient and reliable machines to produce manufactured sand. This machine has a large feed intake, capable of up to 63 mm, and a higher production capacity compared to the conventional tertiary machines. The longer parallel crushing zone in the Autosand cone results in higher reduction and better-shaped aggregate.
Terex has supplied over 100 Autosand machines across India for meeting the ever-growing sand requirements, including Shivalaya Construction Co at Charkhi Dadri, Haryana, and as one of the biggest installations in country for quality sand production, can produce 300 tonne per hour of high quality sand. Salient features of this plant is the use of only Autosand machines to produce sand (contrary to traditional use of impactors to produce sand), thus making it highly efficient with minimum wastage.
Product innovations - Rubble Master
In recent months, Rubble Master and Maximus have been working on an RM innovation in the screens sector: the fully electrified hybrid screen RM MSC8500e. The new hybrid screen was developed on the basis of the tried-and-tested RM MSC8500M screen unit. All the hydraulic drives have been replaced with electric ones. Only the crawler gear remains hydraulic. Components have been integrated that were developed specifically for RM in order to create powerful and robust hybrid machines. All these engineering innovations add up to single-source crushing, an RM first: a screen that is powered through the new RM 120GO! Next hybrid crusher. Both crusher and screen can operate from a single power source. The crusher's high-power generator supplies the electricity without the need for an additional diesel engine.
This reduces emissions and noise levels. The customer has more mobility and flexibility than ever before because, apart from the single source crushing, the hybrid screen can also be operated by a diesel engine or other external power sources. Flexible operation in isolated area sand applications like mining is now possible.
RM has gone even further in features. The screen and crusher communicate with each other without wires or cables. When the crusher's discharge belts are started, the screen also starts automatically. If blockages or faults occur, the screen also stops automatically. In addition, on the RM MSC8500e, a full-featured radio remote control system with display is used for the first time, which means that the operator need not enter the danger area around the machinery during operation. With these safety standards, RM follows the principles of RM GO! Next.
Increased performance and safety
RM GO! Next is the logical continuation of the RM Go! principle. Notable features are more intuitive machine operation and further improvements to access points for maintenance and repair work.
Gerald Hanisch, Founder and CEO of Rubble Master GmbH, is passionate about building crushing machines. He says, "Our crushers and screens communicate with the operator either directly by means of light signals or via the RM GO! Smart app. With this, the operator can monitor the plant directly from the digger cab and see the most important indicators at a glance without having to enter the machine's danger zone. We aim to make our crushers and screens even safer with RM GO! Next.
This was achieved on both the new RM 120GO! Next and the hybrid screen by means of the radio remote control, the new RM operations assist and the multifunction wired remote control. The RM Operations Assist in particular makes communication between humans and machinery easier. LED lights show the operator the machine's current status. These machine communication lights distinguish between operation, service and alert and are standard features on RM 120GO! Next and RM MSC8500e.
Rubble Master developed the RM GO! Smart, which represents a new era of interaction between humans and machines. The infrastructure developed for this system not only promotes intelligent operation of the machine, but also enables remote processing and display of real-time trends and historical data. The customer can use mobile devices like smartphones and tablets to view and process the information.
Case Study - RM crushers and screens
In Mexico, the RM 100GO! crusher has replaced a jaw and cone crusher combination, dispensing with the second and third crushing stages, and saving the customer a lot of money. Orders are on the rise because the high-quality final aggregate from the RM impact crusher and the precisely screened fractions from the RM post screen greatly improve asphalt production.
The Mexican company UPA Construcci=n y Materiales processes basalt up to 500 mm in diameter into cuboid final aggregate of various sizes and sells it for asphalt production. Final aggregate grades between 0-19 mm and 0-25 mm are processed to a high standard. However, this quality needs to be processed at different locations.
Cuboid final aggregate and flexibility were UPA's main requirements in a new crusher. The company went for Rubble Master crushers, which give exactly this perfect quality final aggregate.
Saving costs: "The quality and efficiency (of the RM impact crusher) were simply amazing," reports Ing. Juan G Vazquez, owner of UPA. Soon after, he bought an RM 100GO! This saves one machine and considerably reduces fuel, maintenance and transport costs.
More marketable: The high quality cuboid final aggregate the RM 100GO! produces is in high demand. "Previously, the material produced by the cone crusher was often rejected by construction companies because it did not meet their quality requirements. Now our material can be used for asphalt production without problems," says Vazquez.
High precision: In addition to the RM 100GO!, the firm also purchased a tracked RM MSC8500M post screen to process large volumes of material even more precisely into high quality final aggregate.