With the Indian infrastructure players fully appreciating the importance of foundation equipment only in the past few years, Casagrande is keen to partner with them to enhance efficiencies and productivity.
"India is still on the learning curve as far as the overall utilisation of foundation equipment is concerned and Casagrande would like to help contractors to maximise their resources and profits by offering them a wide range of solutions," Rakesh Raina, Country Manager, Casagrande India Piling & Geotechnical Equipment, said in an exclusive interaction with Equipment India.
With a lot of focus on research and development (R&D), Casagrande takes immense pride in its technology. All the feedback received from users over the past five decades is suitably embedded in its solutions. Raina informed, "We have a huge data bank with us in terms of job side reports and, based on those reports, our R&D team keeps on upgrading technology to create very specific and simple solutions." Moreover, the addition of the Fleet Master dashboard has helped make Casagrande machines become "smarter". It allows users real-time access to a Casagrande machine through handheld devices such as handphone, laptop or iPad to assess its location, productivity, deployment and overall performance.
A leading manufacturer of foundation equipment globally, Casagrande SpA was founded in 1963 in Italy. The company designs and produces hydraulic crawler cranes, large diameter piling rigs, equipment for diaphragm walls, small diameter drilling rigs, machines for tunnels, geothermal drill rigs and grouting plants. It has a strong presence here through its closely held India subsidiary.
It is also the only manufacturer with the necessary facility to manufacture self-foundation equipment. The presence of a multi-application kit in its machines allows them to perform different tasks such as piling, diaphragm wall, soil mixing, continuous flight augers (CFA), stone column, jet grouting and anchoring.
Asked about aggressive competition from Chinese manufacturers, Raina declared, "If a contractor is only taking a couple of years' horizon, he is bound to be more inclined towards the low-cost suppliers. But a pure foundation contractor will always think hard before choosing his equipment."
As if to further emphasise his point, he added, "There is one Casagrande machine that ITD Cementation is using for the last 30 years. Afcons Infrastructure has machines that are in use for over a decade. L&T has machines that are over 15 years old. And we just don't supply parts and services, we also provide retrofitting." Casagrande is enthused by the present uptick in the development of metro rail, ports, airports, elevated roads, bridges, residential buildings and skyscrapers as they involve a fair amount of ground improvement and stone column work. "Another big-ticket project that we are quite excited about is the bullet train project from Mumbai to Ahmedabad as that will require a substantial amount of piling work," said Raina. He mentioned that with the government being very emphatic on deadlines, the trend was increasingly shifting towards monopiles.
With the India sales registering a 15 per cent rise year-on-year in the last three years, there has been a significant increase in Casagrande's business from the country.