“The configuration and the capacities of RMC plants are expected to change and we expect higher capacity plants to increase its demand phenomenally, by at least 50 per cent over the next couple of years,” says Amit Popatwala, Director—Sales and Marketing, WAM India. In an exclusive interview with Equipment India, Amit speaks about the trends in materials handling equipment industry and the potential for aggregates in the various sectors.
After a tough period last year, are things back on track this fiscal? How is the Wam Group placed to meet the surging demands for advanced products and services?Compared to the global setback, ours was minor; expected growth in the concrete sector has helped us to continue our new projects and expansion activities for the year 2010-11. In 2011, we expect to shift to our new factory at Shahapur in Thane, which sprawls over an area of 12,000 m2. Not only do we have a new range of dust collectors and vibrators, but some other new components have been added in our local manufacturing range, as well.
On what note does the Wam Group expect to end this fiscal? This fiscal will see substantial growth when compared to 2008-2009. Growth over 2009-2010 will be substantially high.
What sort of topline growth are you looking at in the next five years and what do you think will be the source of the growth?The configuration and the capacities of RMC plants are expected to change and we expect higher capacity plants, ie, 60 m3+, to increase demand phenomenally, by at least 50 per cent over the next couple of years. At the same time, we expect the asphalt sector to adapt to the latest technology and start modifying their plants to make it comparable to the international standard. Some joint ventures and technical collaborations in this sector are bound to happen.
Tell us about Wam India’s core competencies and strengths. What are the different verticals Wam India is operating in? Over the last 35 years, Wam India has been globally supplying equipment in the concrete sector with proven quality and after sales service. Localising production and maintaining the same quality is a natural strength of Wam India, which will be further enhanced by making additions to the product range and adapting to new technologies from Europe.
What are the bulk material handling products and systems offered by Wam India in different verticals? We offer all the components in processing plants, products like screw conveyors, dust collectors, vibrators, butterfly valves, actuators, etc.
What are the latest systems in mechanical conveying technology for handling powdery and granular materials? The latest in mechanical conveying is the vertical screw conveying system from bulker to silos. The system is mounted on the bulker. Gradually the industry is shifting from vibratory type dust collectors to reverse jet type dust collectors for filtrations, as they are more efficient and have a long life.
What are the solutions provided to aid material flow control? We have a range of products such as bin activators, internal and external vibrating bin aerators, pressure relief valves, level indicators, butterfly valves, actuators, etc, to aid material flow control.
Tell us about the latest trends in silo safety technology. Unfortunately in India, the users are not yet careful about the filtration and the safety, particularly against the air pressure, when loading the silos with bulkers. Hopefully, this is a passing phase and things will change. We have multiple silo safety systems with a combined control panel, as well as a reverse jet filtering systems, which can be mounted on top of the silo or alternately can be mounted on ground.
How advanced is the use of polymers for the manufacture of screw conveyers and material handling equipment? In India, people do not use polymers for screw conveyors. In material handling equipment, if required, we have the full range of products which can be supplied by using polymers.
What about the systems and solutions provided for ship-unloading? This cannot be explained in a few lines; however, all details are available on our website www.roncuzzi.com. Anyone seeking more details can contact us.
How advanced is the technology you use in sludge, viscous and adhesive material handling? We are not active in this application at present. However, we have handled this globally, wherein we offered ploughshare mixers and a variety of screw conveyors.
How do you look at the competition in this area? What makes Wam India stand apart from the competition? Competition assures good quality, price and service to the customers. As in any other field, we look at competition not as a problem but as a challenge to improve our services, quality and optimise our price to offer value-for-money to our customers. To do this, we have localised our production by taking advantage of our technology transfer agreement with our parent company, where we get all the global support for our technology and commercial activities.
Tell us about your presence in the overseas market. While we are expanding our business in India, we also supply to Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and some Middle-East countries.
Have you introduced any new products, concepts or services? Yes, we have introduced the mechanical conveying system (screw conveyors) that enables bulkers to unload directly into the silos. After the initial success in the trial phase, we went on to sell about 10 units within the past three months. We will be introducing our new concrete reclaimers in 2011, with polymer-coated components to increase efficiency, easy cleaning and the life of the product.