Today we have paving professionals in our team who almost play the role of consultants to our customers as far as their paving needs are concerned, says Ramesh Palagiri, Managing Director and CEO, Wirtgen India. Exceprts from an interview with Equipment India.How do you assess the market potential for pavers?For tracked pavers of paving with 9 m and above, the market is fluctuating between 100-140 in number. And the market for smaller pavers that is 5 m, is roughly around 250-300 in one year. Our market share in big pavers is 70 per cent and for small pavers, it is around 8-10 per cent.Brief us about the range of pavers offered by Wirtgen in India, and the advantages of the product lines.Though we have a comprehensive and complete range of pavers for our global offerings, in India we have pavers for specific needs in road construction. We offer our 5 m width class of pavers for city roads, state highway construction and for specific jobs in national highway construction. We offer both the wheeled and the tracked variety in this category and the models are Super 1300-2 and Super 1303-2, respectively. Our 9 m width class of pavers, model Super 1800-2, are predominantly sold for four-laning highway projects and is our most successful industry leading product. From the past two to three years we have seen a lot of six-laning projects being awarded and for that, we offer our 13 m width class of pavers, model Super 2100-2, which are immensely popular now.The advantages of the product lines are a combination of features built into the products which are definite benefits to our customers and also our application expertise in paving technology developed over the years.Today we have paving professionals in our team who almost play the role of consultants to our customers as far as their paving needs are concerned. Our products are ergonomically designed coupled with features which enable paving with extreme accuracy and finish. The Budh International Formula 1 race track has been laid with our pavers and this kind of job demands the highest standards of paving.Which is the most preferred range in India, and is there any specific reasons for that?Our model Super 1800-2, the 9 m width class pavers have been the most preferred for the top bitumen layers. Since the bitumen layers of a road constitute a substantial component of the cost of road-building, we also promoted the idea of using these pavers for the aggregate base layers as well. With BOT road projects being the most preferred model of road contracts being awarded today, our 5 m width class Super 1300-2 tracked pavers have also assumed significance for their paving accuracy and contribution to overall cost savings in road construction.Detail for us the features in your pavers range.Paving is more of an art than a simple operation as there are lot of factors that determine the ultimate paving result. The operator hence, plays a major role in this and our pavers have the unique ERGOPLUS operator station concept where the entire operator station and the controls are ergonomically designed after understanding the needs of the operator. Even a not-so-experienced operator can easily handle the controls as they are logically placed. Visibility of the paving area and the areas of the machine in a comfortable sitting position is a major benefit. Every maintenance area is easily accessible and serviceable. Any amount of available technology contributing towards better paving results can be coupled to our machine which comes pre-equipped.How superior is the technology in the range of screeds offered by Wirtgen?We have pioneered electrical heating of screeds long ago and this area, perfected over years of experience, has resulted in the best screeds that we have on offer today. Each and every component of the screed is designed to enhance matte finish, superior compaction, longer component life and lower maintenance costs.As knowledge and skill levels of operators are critical for optimal productivity, how do you address these challenges?We address them in two ways. One is training our existing operators in the field with support engineers to make them more knowledgeable not only for operating the paver but also in riding the paver. Secondly, we have an operating school in Pune where we train fresh ITs for three months in both theory and practice. This is a free course we offer now. This year we plan to train 150 operators and we will transfer these operators to our customers.