During a short tour of Spain, Shankar Srivastava finds the Spanish quest for reconstruction. A report...
ANMOPYC, the Spanish Manufacturers Association of construction, Mining and Recycling Equipment, the Spanish equivalent of Indian Construction Equipment Manufacturers Association (ICEMA), and ICEX, the Espana Exportacion e inversions, part of Spain´s Ministry of Economics and Commerce, had organised Press Week 2015 at Zaragoza, Spain. Editors from India, UK, South Africa, Chile, Peru, Russia and Singapore, were invited to this event, primarily organised to showcase the export potential of prominent Spanish construction and mining equipment manufacturers, producing world class equipment for various applications. During the inaugural presentation of the Press Week, Jorge Cuartero, Managing Director, ANMOPYC, commented, ¨For the past few years construction and public works industry in Spain has been seriously concerned by the effects of the crisis, not only in domestic market, but also worldwide.¨ He added, ¨Despite the diversification in industry (road equipment, earthmoving, lifting and auxiliary equipment), although the sales fell in the domestic market, tower cranes - the most representative Spanish product in foreign markets - almost 100 per cent of the production was exported. The production levels of Spanish manufacturers had dropped to 10-30 per cent of their installed capacity, during the slump. Now it appears that they will bounce back by 5-7 per cent growth year-on-year. However, the numbers will be small as they would be starting from a low base number.¨
I would like to mention that most Spanish industries are Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) having annual turnover under €50 million. Out of the same, ANMOPYC had showcased seven companies. Owing to paucity of time and the long distances of road travel required to reach the locations, I was able to visit the following five companies and had detailed interaction with their management and also assessed their manufacturing processes, quality systems and capabilities. AUSA Center S.L.U. is located at Manresa near Barcelona. Founded in 1956, the company started as the maker of PTV brand cars. When auto majors like FIAT entered Spain, AUSA was unable to compete and decided to foray into construction equipment. Making a humble beginning with a small 300 kg capacity dumper, they have now graduated to an impressive product range of rough terrain dumpers up to 10 tonne capacity, forklifts, telehandlers and compact concrete equipment. Very recently, they have introduced a line of urban cleaning attachments on a common chassis platform. ¨The very impressive state-of-the-art production facility is replete with ´lean´ management, providing flexibility to produce different equipment on any of the four production lines. As a result, we are capable of delivering any equipment model, commensurate to the sales plan,¨ commented Alberto Ortega, Global Sales Manager.
Thanks to the highly focused innovative approach in all aspects of the business, during the long journey till date, AUSA has won numerous awards for best work place, best innovative products and lately, the award for best European company for exports in 2014-15. They export their equipment to nearly 85 countries around the world and are planning to set up a joint venture in India for manufacturing the equipment.
Encofrados J. Alsina S.A.: A 65-year old company located at Barcelona is one of the leading providers of formwork solution for concrete structures in Spain. A very impressive and innovative product range of slab, column, and wall formworks, props and shoring, climbing, multiform, access security and special solutions serves all aspects of civil construction. Jose Caballero, Chief, Engineering Department demonstrated their newly developed formwork system for inverted beams.
Barival Serviplem S.L.U.: Located at Zaragoza, Barival is a fully owned Tata Hitachi venture, manufacturing transit mixers, cement bulk carriers and small concrete batching plants. Major innovation comes in the form of aluminium body bulk carriers which are able to carry at least 2 cu m of cement extra per trip as compared to the fully steel counterpart. Pedro Juan Boix, Director General, is very depressed with the current state of this industry. The current production level is only 10 per cent of the installed capacity. Most of the highly modernised production facility is being used as a warehouse. The business is very slowly trudging back through repair and refurbishment of old equipment. The manpower has been downsized to a mere 50 persons including all functions.
ENAR: Headed by Luis del Prim, the ex-president of ANMOPYC, this manufacturer of small hand-held compaction equipment is on a fast track to expand the business. ENAR has a strong presence in Latin Americas, Africa, Russia and China. Having an impressive range of world-class products, backed by very efficient and well equipped modern manufacturing facilities at Zaragoza and China, the company is poised to tackle all the competitions in India and South East Asia. Luis is very optimistic that ENAR will achieve a 10 per cent year-on-year growth in the next five years from their existing business pegged at €50 million.
Linden Comansa: One of the global leaders in tower cranes, Comansa claims to be fully booked with orders for their Spain plant. Ralf Hagestedt, Sales Manager highlighted the green initiatives taken by this company with the use of water-based paint technology which has the added benefit of longer life and less corrosion. The very modern manufacturing systems and equipment delivers world-class tower cranes of up to lifting capacity of 60 tonne. During a close interaction, Ralf said, ¨During the economy downturn, our China operations which catered to China and Asian markets, made us survive the crisis for almost four years. However, now with the economy reviving in Spain and the Latin Americas, we are in a very happy situation of being fully booked with orders.¨
Overall, I found that construction, public works and mining equipment industry in Spain had a glorious past, most of which was lost in time. But now, reconstruction is on with exports showing a fresh lease of life. Direct investment and tangible presence abroad are making these sectors glow with new life and are gearing up for a bright future.