The REL batching plants, manufactured in technical collaboration with Wiggert Gmbh, Germany, have safety features superior to any other manufacturer in the country, which includes safety fencing, mechanical interlocking systems, says M Sunil, Associate Vice President – Marketing, Construction Equipment Division, Revathi Equipment. In a chat with Equipment India, Sunil talks about the growth potential of the concrete equipment. Excerpts from the interview.What is the demand-supply scenario for batching plants for various segments and is REL geared to meet the challenges?The demand for concrete batching plants in India will only increase due to many factors including mechanisation on one side and the requirement for concrete due to increased activity in many sectors such as infrastructure, urban development, housing, etc.Today there are only a few players in this industry who can boast of the range, technology and also the after sales network to support, and REL is happy to be in this segment.What are the major growth drivers in today’s context?The demand drivers for batching plants will definitely be the investment proposed for the infrastructure, urban development and housing sectors. We anticipate good growth in the lower capacity batching plants in Tier-II and III cities, while commercial ready-mix in major cities and major infrastructure projects will push growth of bigger capacity batching plants.Brief us about the growth potential for batching plants in the RMC segment?The growth in the ready-mix industry depends on many factors. The housing sector also needs to perform well to push this growth. Another opportunity which is emerging now is the expectation of rural infrastructure to grow rapidly. All these point to good times ahead for the RMC industry.Which segment gives REL more business for batching plants?As we are a manufacturer with the entire product line in concreting equipment, we provide this advantage to all our clients, and contactors form a good percentage of our clientele. Due to the short time period involved in projects, contractors and rental agencies prefer less foundation expenses and settle for the skid-mounted batching plant. The REL-Wiggert design offers the advantage of very low investment in the foundation.Could you tell us the value addition incorporated in batching plants in terms of environment friendliness, safety, energy saving, and fuel consumption?The REL batching plants manufactured in technical collaboration with Wiggert Gmbh, Germany have safety features superior to any other manufacturer in the country, which includes safety fencing, mechanical interlocking systems, etc. The rugged design, as well as the control batching system, ensures higher accuracies which in turn, lead to savings.What is your take on competition, and what make REL stands apart?The contactors and rental agencies today operate on a pan-India basis and their requirement is a good network of after sales support apart from world class quality. REL can proudly boast of both these elements with their technology back-up as well as the office/dealership network.How do you address the issue of lack of trained operators for batching plants?REL offers operation and maintenance contracts to clients for the batching plants whereby the responsibility to operate and also to maintain the plant is with us. This is a good solution to the problems faced by clients vis-à-vis availability of skilled operators. Our periodic on-site training programmes also help clients a lot. Another major advantage of the REL-Wiggert design is the very operator- friendly batching system offered by us, which reduces the manual intervention in critical operations.What are the major challenges the industry is facing, in terms of logistics and tax issues?The tax structure variation in different states is still an issue and we hope the introduction of GST will end this uncertainty and ambiguity.Brief us on the products and services offered by REL in batching plants.REL offer concrete batching plants in capacities 30, 60 and 120 cu m/hr. We also offer in many configurations like compartment bins, inline bins, etc, and with different type of mixers like pan, twin shaft, etc. We have technical collaboration for these models with Wiggert Gmbh, Germany, a leading global player. The Wiggert design reflects high productivity coupled with many features such as ease of maintainance and operator- friendliness.What is the scenario of rentals of concrete equipment?The rental segment for batching plant and other related equipment is looking good as contractors and other project implementing agencies are looking at shifting the operation and maintenance of the equipment to the rental companies. This shift is also expected to gather momentum due to the high cost of funds prevailing.What has the performance of REL in the last two quarters been and how do you look ending this fiscal?The scenario is very promising and we look forward to a very good last quarter in the current fiscal, to end up with over 50 per cent growth over last year.Give us a brief on expansion plans, if any, and on new products.REL introduced the truck mounted concrete pump model TP 45 D and also the 17 m boom placer with a slave engine model 17 R3 XT, in 2001-12, both in the concrete pump segment. The other new products introduced by our CED are in the foundation equipment segment with mini piling rigs and vibro hammers. REL-Construction Equipment Division, with a pan-India network of six offices and 15 service back-up points through its dealerships, ensures maximum uptime of the machine with prompt after-sales support.