We have redesigned our cranes drastically to increase its capacity without any change in basic machine. We have also come out with ´P´ boom in 1,000T and 1,350T capacity cranes, new boom configuration like SL 10 in our 600T cranes. These new boom configurations help increase capacity of a crawler by 20-40 per cent in specific areas, says Ajay Kumar Somani, Director-Mobile Crane Division, Liebherr India. Excerpts of the interview.
What is Liebherr´s footprint in the global market? How is the company positioned in the Indian market? In above 350T class, Liebherr has a global market share of 40 per cent. The requirement for higher capacity cranes, 600T and above, is increasing due to the requirement of handling higher load. However, there is a slowdown in the requirement of low-capacity cranes like 350-400T. As far as Indian market is concerned, we were clear about the fall in requirement and were never hopeful of a high demand in 2013 and 2014.
What range of crawlers does cement and steel plants use? The cement and steel plants have been buying cranes to meet their regular maintenance requirements. At the time of setting new plants, the crane is provided by turnkey contractors. For maintenance purpose, the requirement is for 100T to 200T capacity of cranes. So far, all major cement plants have been purchasing cranes for maintenance purpose only.
What are the latest technological trends in lattice boom crawlers? The technological changes in crawler lattice boom crane is to make them more effective in capacity and reach. We have redesigned our cranes drastically to increase its capacity without any change in basic machine. We have also come out with ´P´ boom in 1,000T and 1,350T capacity cranes, new boom configuration like SL 10 in our 600T cranes. These new boom configurations help increase capacity of a crawler up to 20-40 per cent in specific areas.
In terms of safety, what do higher capacity crawlers offer? The safety issue is becoming very vital. We have come out with a safety system called ´Working at Heights´. In this new system, all higher structure in basic crane has railings. Each high point has latching system so that workers can latch themselves to avoid falling during assembly/repair.
What are the trends in the service and aftermarket support? In our sector of operation, we have the strongest after-sales support in India. Also worldwide, Liebherr is known for its service support. In India, we have to keep on providing training to our service engineers each year to keep them up-to-date. This has resulted in situation that we are totally self-supported.
Is there a shift towards intelligent/green technologies in crawlers? Yes, the cranes are equipped with LICCON 2, which is Liebherr´s own computer control device. This system is able to give exact and seamless capacities in a very flexible manner. We are using engines of Tier 3b emission level. As far as green technology is concerned, we have come out with ´ECO´ mode drive in mobile cranes, which has to travel on roads. In this drive, the system does not allow driver to over burn the fuel.