Somnath Bhattacharjee, President & Chief Executive Officer, Material Handling Solutions & Equipment Projects Solutions Business, TIL.
Introduction of the TIL-Astec range of equipment in track plants, wheeled plants, stationary plants and the manufactured sand segment in India has set a new benchmark in terms of technology, capacity, performance and total cost of ownership, says Somnath Bhattacharjee, President & Chief Executive Officer, Material Handling Solutions & Equipment Projects Solutions Business, TIL. Excerpts of the interview.
What is the demand-supply scenario for crushers and screens, for both the mining and aggregate segments?
Although the crushing and screening equipment (C&SE) sector is facing the brunt of the slowdown in the infrastructure sector and is hit by the ban in iron ore mining by private companies in major iron ore reserves, C&SE demand has registered better figures, compared to other construction equipment categories in the recent past.
The major part of C&SE demand has been originating from infrastructure, road projects and commercial quarry segments. Most of the new project completion periods in the highway sector have been lowered to 24 months from 48 months. Many state governments are banning or putting restrictions on riverbed sand quarrying. This approach is triggering the higher use of rock sand and crushed ultrafine. Selective lifting of ban on iron mining in Orissa and Karnataka is also improving the outlook of C&SE demand.
This segment is poised for growth in India in the years to come, with proposed construction of road network, railway network, and infrastructure development influencing the higher demand of aggregates, besides growth in the mineral mining operations. However, with the growth in these sectors, completion period of contracts will continue to get compressed as project completion schedules will face tough demands. This phenomenon is likely to trigger demand and usage of higher capacity crushing and screening equipment, in order to be able to do more with less number of equipment.
What is the impact of the de-growth of the mining and road sectors?
Infrastructure and road projects are major demand drivers for crushing and screening equipment in India, especially in view of the challenges faced by the mining sector.
Healthy growth of the C&SE industry depends on the sustainable growth of the infrastructure and mining industry. Growth of infrastructure and mining industry in an emerging economy like India is largely dependent on clear policies facilitating land acquisition, forest and environment clearances, availability and access to financial resources, financial closures on time, stable interest rates, favourable investment sentiments, and other key macro-economic factors besides good governance. These areas have emerged as the key challenges in the Indian infrastructure and mining sectors in the last couple of years, causing a slowdown in economic activities. The slowdown in the mining and infrastructure sectors has impacted the year-on-year (YoY) demand of C&SE products by over 25 per cent.
What are the technology trends in crushers and screens?
Constant infusion of upgraded technology has been vital to improving efficiency, performance and profitability of the crushing and screening business. With muted demand, customers are looking to achieve better total cost of ownership on their equipment acquisition. There is a constant focus on improving the sustainability of the operation with choice of technology and products which offer better care of environment with lower fuel consumption, lower dust emission, lower sound pollution, and minimum water consumption in case of a wet classification method. There is a clear emerging focus towards higher capacity equipment; better productive and reliable machines to do more with less.
How has TIL sustained the cost pressure?
TIL has more than 50 years of capital goods manufacturing and distribution experience which has enabled a significant in-house engineering, manufacturing capability, besides a strong and reliable vendor base. Constant value engineering exercise makes TIL the most competitive in the cost-vs-value offering equation. At TIL, our core business model is to introduce world class technology duly value-engineered, products built to a global design at an optimised cost. This philosophy of affordable innovation keeping the customer and his business model in the centre helps us to strike a proper balance between our cost and the offered price to customers, making it a win-win situation.