The infrastructure sector will drive the growth of overall concrete equipment industry, whereas the real estate segment, along with the power segment, will drive the growth of concrete pumps.
Concrete equipment industry as whole is facing a new set of challenges in addition to the downturn of nearly 40 per cent in the recent past. These challenges require the industry to update/upgrade their offerings, to meet the demands of high rise pumping up heights in excess of 300 m; owing to government restrictions in natural sand mining there is extensive use of manufactured sand (M-Sand) and stone dust (which are very abrasive), in the concrete mix design causing excessive wear in concrete pumping pistons, cylinders, pipelines and the wear plates, mixing blades, knives etc., of the pumps.
Says Ahamed Mohideen, Deputy Vice President - Plant & Equipment, Lodha Group, ¨In dams and barrages, it is horizontal displacement, in which we cannot underestimate the pumping, which also needs an equal pressure to pump the concrete. So the horizontal head needs to be properly calculated while placing the concrete. In mass concreting, you can also pour the concrete through some types of spouts through which there is an immediate discharge of concrete. But it all depends on the site conditions.¨
Every project has a particular requirement in terms of the height of placing concrete and the concrete output. One can opt for a stationary pump if the pump is going to remain inside the premises of a particular site for a long duration whereas line pumps are mounted on to a truck chassis and are highly mobile pumps. They also score a point over the stationary pumps as they can carry with them all the pipelines and need not be toed.
Says Wilfried Theissen, Managing Director, Putzmeister Concrete Machines, ¨The current market is close to Rs 1500 crore but the installed capacity of the various actors is double. Real estate, high rise, infrastructure (roads, dams, bridges, fly overs, metros, power stations, airport) projects are expected to boost the demand for concrete pumps.¨ Speaking about the growth potential of boom pumps Theissen adds, ¨If the speed and the quality of the execution will become a must, the cost of the workforce will go up and the real estate and planned infrastructural projects become reality. The market could grow from now at 100 units/year to 500-1000/year within the next 5 years.¨
Says Yogesh Salvi, Manager - Export & Special Application, Aquarius Engineers, ¨The major verticals will be ready-mix concrete, which is shifting from tier-1 cities to tier-2 and tier-3 cities where more concrete would be required. Another segment will be high rise pumping. In cities like Mumbai, high rise buildings are major demand drivers for high capacity concrete pumps.¨ Speaking about the growth prospects of boom pumps he says, ¨There is a potential as infrastructure projects are coming in. Bridges and flyovers will require faster pumping operations and there are no other pumps but boom pumps will do. The boom pump market should be 150-175.¨
Salvi adds, ¨Specialised concrete pump can be categorised as high pressure pumps where high grade concrete is used. We have delivered pumps which were pumping M-100 grade of concrete. The challenge is when we go with a higher grade of concrete the pumping property of the concrete will change drastically. The chance of thickening of concrete increases so a sudden rise in pushing pressure is required for the concrete. So the pumps should be designed in such a way that it can meet these particular high pressure requirements.¨
If we look at the technology adopted in concrete pumps in the past, we have experience a vast improvement in recent years. The international concrete pump manufacturers are now able to offer a vast range of concrete pumps for various applications without compromising on quality. In the past, the concrete pumps were used mainly in metros and major cities only. In recent years, we have seen the increase in demand of concrete pumps in the tier-2 and tier-3 cities. Also, in the past the concrete pumps were mainly used by big corporate companies but now these pumps are also used by medium and small contractors.
Says Theissen, ¨The latest concrete pump technology is based on the S-valve technology. In India, it is found that the majority of the market still uses gate valve pumps, which have been outdated and phased out in Europe in the 70s because of high wear and tear. The gate valve technology which still represents the majority of the pump population in India has too high a liability in wear and tear. That is the reason why customers who have tested the S-valve technology are very pleased with the long service life of the main wear parts and by the low diesel and hydraulic oil consumption. The S-valve technology allows pumping with higher concrete pressure to reach higher output at greater heights. At the same time, the wear and tear of an S-valve pump is lower and so the operation costs are considerably lower.¨
According to VG Sakthikumar, Managing Director, Schwing Stetter Sales & Services, the rock valve system has several advantages, which has made it a favourite with contractors worldwide. Sakthikumar says, ¨The rock valve is robust and easy to service. It is subject to natural wear when pumping concrete and can then be rebuilt with hard-face welding, which makes it multi-economical. The main advantage of the rock valve is its ability to be hard- faced completely internally. The design of the rock valve enables this while the design of other valves prevents this. This means that the rock valve can be completely rebuilt periodically, resulting in the valve becoming good as new again.¨ He further adds, ¨The rock valve is perfectly balanced along its neutral axis. This means that lesser vibrations are transmitted to the pumping. This is especially visible in the case of boom pumps where other pumps are seen literally swinging while Schwing pumps are more stable thanks to the rock valve and the outrigger system. The Schwing rock valve has proved itself over many years and in countless applications, as the epitome of economy in the world of concrete valves. The rock valve is patented by Schwing and it powers the majority of pumps manufactured by Schwing.¨
New generation pumps
Speaking about the technology trends Salvi says, ¨We have three different series of pumps, 700, 1000 and 1400 series. Another high pressure series coming up is 2100 series which we are going to manufacture soon. We use S-valve technology which is a well-proven technology and latest in the world. Our pumps have been designed for Indian conditions to perform at varying weather conditions like temperature differences and even with varying nature of aggregates based on the abrasive index. Our efforts are to deliver the pumps with such a capacity and ruggedness that even if there is a variation in pumping parameters like the aggregate is oversized, the pump has to perform.¨
Shedding light on the advanced features of the concrete pumps offered Theissen had this to say. Putzmeister has introduced new generations of both stationary as well as boom pumps. Let´s take the new BSA eSmart range. With its high-tech HMI (Human Machine Interface) control panel and an in-build Ergonic Graphic Display (EGD) the operator can determine the real time operating status of the machine and all diagnoses faults. This system reduces the restrictions in hydraulic oil flow; and as a result, the heat generation in this hydraulic system is minimised and thus saves recurring maintenance cost.¨ He adds, ¨Moreover, our R&D Department has made sure that this new machine comes with advanced safety features. We truly thrive on helping the industry to avoid accidents and to ensure the absolute safety of our client´s manpower (the operators).¨
He adds, ¨We introduced this new version of BSA eSmart Range with a lot of success, as it only requires 100 litre of hydraulic oil except BSA 1409D. This is almost up to 5 times less as compared to equivalent machines that you find on the market today. And, since this oil needs to be changed every 500 pumping hours or 1,500-2,000 engine hours, it makes the eSmart machines the most economical machine to run and incredibly environmental friendly. We are very pleased with these changes in the BSA eSmart range and can see that our customers appreciate the benefit.¨ Putzmeister also introduced the new generation boom pump M36-4 NG that has been built using aluminium and high-grade lightweight steel to reduce the weight by more than two tons. Says Theissen ¨Our boom pumps come equipped with ´Big Mouth´ delivery cylinders of 230 mm diameter, are 32 per cent more efficient in filling the pipeline than its smaller counterparts with a diameter of 200 mm. The Hydraulic tank capacity has been reduced to 275 litres, which is 30 per cent less compared to other machines in the market, making it much more economical and eco-friendly to run. They come with advanced features like, Z fold system, OSS and Radio remote. The OSS (one sided support system): is the most advantageous feature, this innovation makes sure that construction is running smoothly in space constrained jobsites. Many metro and urban projects run into difficulties as truck mounted concrete pumps block the service roads and create traffic congestion. This technology allows the operator to extend the outriggers only where the concrete placement is required.¨
Says Sakthikumar, ¨The boom pumps are a different breed of concrete pumps. Unlike other stationary and line pumps, where the pipelines need to be laid well before pumping, the boom pump does not require this exercise. The boom is an assembly of pipelines with R, Z or R - Z folds which enables its 360o rotating capacity. The boom attachment makes pumping faster and easy. Schwing Stetter India has two types of boom pumps; the truck mounted and the separate placing boom pumps. Each of these has its own applications. The separate placing booms are usually opted for high raise building projects, whereas the truck mounted boom pumps can be used for all the applications and also have a reputation of providing faster completion.¨
He adds, Schwing Stetter India has more than 6,000 pumps operating throughout the length and breadth of India and provides the customer with 100 m of pipeline with every stationary pump. All the pumps manufactured by Schwing Stetter India are remote controlled and are extremely user friendly. The pumps have very low operative maintenance cost and are easy to maintain. There are multiple greasing points in every pump to allow smooth operation of the pump. The hydraulic circuit offered by Schwing Stetter India is an open circuit as compared to the closed circuit offered by others. The open circuit curbs the hydraulic oil temperature from rising and hence cuts on the maintenance cost and allows break free pumping.
Putzmeister has a countrywide sales and service network with regional and local offices all over India. The company is on a constant mode of expansion to meet the nation´s growing infrastructure demands, helping customers access competent and cost-effective concrete pumping solutions that bring down the overall cost of operations considerably. In addition to its technologically advanced products, Putzmeister offers its customers competent advice and customised concepts. It also imparts training on all aspects of concreting technology to its customers to spread awareness about the advantages of mechanisation and automation of construction technology in India. Says Theissen, ¨Putzmeister ensures a solution for every challenge - and the elephant is truly taking a ´Great Leap´ in 2015.¨
The overall growth in the coming years will purely depend on projects taking off and investments coming in. As far as concrete pumps are concerned, there will be a big demand because the market trend shows there is lot of mechanisation taking place in the industry. If everything happens as per plan, then we are expecting a minimum annual growth of 25 per cent. We expect that the infrastructure sector will drive the growth of overall concrete equipment industry, whereas the real estate segment, along with the power segment, will drive the growth of concrete pumps.
Client: Cygnus Equipments for L&T Construction
The project: The 1407D eSmart is being used at the Golf Estate project of M3M India being handled by L&T Construction. The project is located in Sector-65, Gurgaon, Haryana and spread in an area of more than 30 hectares that comprises of luxury residential towers of different height going up to over 100 meters and a 9-hole golf course. This project offers a total of 20 towers.
High performing pump: Putzmeister BSA 1407D eSmart
Usage: Pumping concrete for residential towers over 100 m high
1407D eSmart: BSA 1407D eSmart is the latest in the line of Putzmeister´s eSmart Stationary concrete pumps. It joins the 1404D eSmart, 1405D and 1409D eSmart pumps that were launched last year. This is also the most powerful of all the eSmart pumps and is capable of pumping up to 72 cu m of concrete per hour.
The achievement: The 1407D eSmart machine recently completed pumping concrete to a height of 120 m to the 34th floor of tower 9 of the project. The grade of concrete used for this pumping was M40. The Putzmeister service team was present throughout the duration of pumping to oversee and support in case of an emergency. Other than the 1407D eSmart, 1405D, 1407D, 1409D and MOLI (Mobile Line) pumps have also been used on Phase -1 of this site so far, pumping more than 45,000 cu m of concrete successfully. With more work left on Phase-1 and Phase-2 to follow, we hope to pump another 50,000 cu m of concrete on this construction site. It is a big project for both L&T construction and M3M India and with Putzmeister pumps working to the best of their capabilities; they are very pleased with the performance.
VG Sakthikumar, Managing Director, Schwing Stetter Sales & Services Schwing Stetter India has more than 6000 pumps operating throughout the length and breadth of India.