The North-Eastern region is a major focus area with plans in place by the authorities and quick turnaround time for awarding projects. Today, demand for equipment is also increasing gradually from this part of India, says Prantik Saha, Marketing Manager - Road Construction Equipment, Atlas Copco. Excerpts of the interview.
How do you assess the performance of the road construction equipment segment in the last couple of years?
Since the last couple of years, the demand in the road construction equipment segment for the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) projects is experiencing stagnancy. This is mainly due to NHAI projects getting embroiled in land clearance issues.
What is the growth potential from state highways and rural roads?
State highways and rural roads in a few states have been showing increasing growth, resulting in increasing marginal demand in 2013 over 2012 for road construction equipment like compactors. We feel that, in the current market scenario, state highways and rural road projects are the only contributing sectors to the road equipment demand seen in the last two years. It is this stable demand which has compensated the loss from NHAI project delays.
As far as NHAI projects are concerned, what are the major areas to be looked into?
During our interactions with various contractors, we noticed that they expect NHAI to look into obtaining the necessary land clearances before awarding projects to contractors. This would resolve contractor issues and enable the contractor to avoid delays in projects. Further, NHAI support in converting BOT to a good mix of EPC and BOT, as well as a better understanding between land clearances and environment clearances, would be a much needed boost to speeding up NHAI project rollouts.
How do you assess the growth potential from the road sector, especially from North-Eastern states?
The north-eastern landscape in particular, has very few roads and very low connectivity. Looking at current activities and projects, this region is a major focus area with plans in place by authorities and quick turnaround time for awarding projects. Today, demand for equipment is also increasing gradually from this part of India.
What is the pattern of compactor usage for state highway and rural road projects? For rural roads, there has been a gradual upgradation from the old static 3-drum rollers to vibrator rollers. Demand in this segment is gradually increasing because of PMGSY projects.
What are the technology trends seen in the compactor segment?
The compactor segment is witnessing technological advancements in terms of:
Brief us on the range offered by Atlas Copco in the compactor segment.
We offer soil compactors from 4T class to 27T class, asphalt compactors from 1T to 18T, pneumatic tyre rollers 6T to 27T, paver finishers 1.8 m to 14 m paving width, milling machines from 0.35 mm to 2 m cutting width, delivered from our state-of-the-art manufacturing facilities in Sweden, Germany, Brazil, China and India. All Dynapac machines are designed for the toughest conditions and have several unique features. To name a few, the lowest operating cost for the customers, most advanced compaction technique like high frequency for asphalt rage rollers to achieve the end result in minimum passes, unique fully floating screed for the pavers to achieve excellent surface finish and so on.
What are your views on the growth potential for road equipment segment by 2020, product-wise?
In the next five years and beyond, we do believe there will be a realisation of the huge untapped potential in all product segments of the road equipment in India. Besides, compactors, pavers and tandem rollers, equipment such as planers, feeders, etc, will also get an opportunity to deliver higher quality roads in India. Recent surveys on road development in India indicate that in developing markets like India, road infrastructure will be an extremely important component to support the growth opportunities.
Will there be any new launches in 2014?
At Atlas Copco, we always believe in the continuous process of innovation and product development. Developing new technology products and promoting our existing high quality products from our global product portfolio enable us to offer world-class products, to be a part of making world-class roads in India.
Developing new technology-based products and promoting our existing high quality products from our global product portfolio enable us to offer world-class products.
CASE launches 851 EX backhoe loader
CASE Construction Equipment has announced the full availability of the new 96 HP 851 EX backhoe loaders, the most powerful backhoe loader in India. Richard Tobin, CEO of CNH Industrial, officially handed over the keys of the first full production unit of the new 851 EX backhoe loader to a key contractor Nabada Johari at a ceremony held at the CASE India plant in Pithampur, Madhya Pradesh, where it was designed and manufactured.
Tobin said, ´India and the Asia Pacific Region are key markets for CNH Industrial, and we have maintained significant investments in order to provide the best products and support to our customers in the region. Our investments have also enabled us to develop the new EX series backhoes at the Pithampur plant to meet the specific requirements of construction businesses.´ The reliable and proven 96 HP 8000 engine, developed by CASE sister partner FPT Industrial, delivers a powerful performance and fast response time, enabling operators to maximise productivity. This coupled with the exceptional fuel savings of up to 13 per cent resulting from the air after-cooler system, makes the 8000 series the most fuel-efficient engine in the market.
The load sensing hydraulic system delivers maximum power where it is needed, while the simultaneous operation of the hydraulic receivers maximises productivity and minimises fuel consumption. With the hydraulically shifted clutches the operator can change direction and travel speed on the go. The control valves deliver smooth speed and direction shifts, resulting in smooth and accurate operation.