Our machines are designed in such a way to reduce the friction on the bushes and bearings. Naturally, the noise will get reduced, says H Sankaranarayanan, Director-Operations, Taurian Engineering. Excerpts from the interview.
What is the overall market for crushers and screens?
During bC India, everybody was hoping that something will happen after a few months. Now we are in May, but nothing much has happened. Small companies are facing tough times because cash flow is at stake and sales are not happening. Hopefully, in another two months maybe something will happen.
As far as the renewed focus on the road sector is concerned, this is a regular exercise in every budget. And this year also, there are big offers. But effectively, nothing is happening. For eg, on the Delhi-Jaipur highway, the 8-lane project has come to a halt since the last one-and-a-half years, despite having funds. In some areas of Rajasthan, the Supreme Court has banned mining. In this situation from where they will get the aggregates to construct roads? Indirectly, again it is affecting the issues. Unless there are concrete mining policies and pollution control norms, I think it is going to be a very tough situation.
What do you think the major challenges are?
Lack of clear-cut policies is a major challenge. The government policies have to be very clear. As a manufacturer, we need clear-cut policies. Currently, it takes up to six months for a company to get the required clearances.
What have been the trends in the sale of crushers and screens in the mining segment?
In the aggregate sector, during 2006-08, it used to be around 25-30 per cent of the total sales. Now it has come down. Most of the buyers were in the Goa and Bellary mining regions. Now those mines are closed down, the machines are now lying idle. Even though there are some areas where the existing mines can operate, it will take another two-three months to stabilise. Once the customers get stabilised, only then can the industry will start working.
Has the high cost of finance impacted the business?
Surely. The rate of interest and the finance costs have gone up, which has impacted the business. Since the industry is not doing well, the finance companies say that recovery is very difficult. They are not allowing in any new customers. The finance companies are very strict on any new proposals. At Taurian, we are trying to get maximum benefit for the customers.
What has Taurian's performance been in 2012, and how do you expect 2013 to be?
In 2012, we fell short of our target by about 25 per cent as compared to 2011. This was because we were expecting a lot and suddenly there was a total stop. In 2013, the beginning is not good, it's crippling. We are hoping that in three months, it will revive. That's why I said there is some light at the other end of the tunnel. Hopefully, that light will become brighter.
Brief us on the fuel / energy efficient technologies used in the range by Taurian.
The motors supplied by the leading companies are energy efficient. Also, we have reduced the friction factor in our crushers. The oil consumption of our machines also are less, with better operating efficiency. We use motors from ABB and Siemens.
What are the features inbuilt to reduce vibration and noise?
Our crushers work within the permissible limit of 80 db noise level. Our machines are designed in such a way to reduce the friction on the bushes and bearings. Naturally, the noise will get reduced.
How do you assess the move towards customer profit-based solutions from product-based solutions?
Everyone wants everything, but crushers will give you crushed products to a certain extent. The screen is the cash register of any crushing plant. If you don't select the proper screen, it will be a problem. And we take utmost care in selecting a screen. We have all our systems in place and our products are also good. We are in this field for the last eight years; we know our customers, the customers know us. We are always there for the customer because we have other division of aggregates. They are our first customers, so we absorb their comments and implement it immediately.
How do you look at the usage patterns of these sophisticated machines by users?
The new second generation customers are now more into sophisticated machines. They want to use computers, PLCs, and they want to get results sitting at a place. So the new trend is moving towards sophistication of machines and operating systems.
We provide the new technologies and features according to customer requirements. Availability of skilled operators is difficult today. We try to train our customers, try to give them the best possible training.
How do you assess the role of pre- and periodical maintenance?
If you don't maintain the machines properly, it is not going to have much of a working life. Periodical and productive maintenance is a must.
Today, only major infrastructure companies do a proper maintenance of these machines because these are professional companies. Local quarries will not be able to do this.
What are the major technology / product trends in this sector?
Currently, the machines are more system-oriented and energy-efficient. Many players try for the usage of minimum equipment and achieve the production target which minimises the operational cost. If you have good application engineering, then this can be achieved.
What is your take on the increasing competition?
Customers need two things, one is delivery and the other is service. If you are good at both these, then the customers will not go anywhere else.