Demand for high rise structures, industrial projects and handling heavy load is expected to up the demand curve for good quality and safe tower cranes. EQUIPMENT INDIA brings an update.
The future of tower cranes (TCs) looks bright in light of the various initiatives taken by government over the past years. Realty segment will lead the demand for TCs followed by other sectors like thermal power, nuclear power, industrial construction and others. Equipment performance capabilities, safety features, reliability and equipment price will be prime consideration for acquisition followed by quality after market support commitment by the suppliers.
The industry vouches for substantial increase in demand over the next two to five years; however the numbers gathered by EQUIPMENT INDIA is highly contrasting. As per a conservative approach the overall market is about 400-500 units, and is expected to grow at least 20-25 per cent every year for next two to five years, whereas on the higher scale the total TC market is pegged at 800 to 1,000 units which is expected to increase to around 2,000 to 3,000 units in the next two to five years. As per geography NCR, Mumbai, Pune, Bangalore and other Metro cities are major markets for TCs.
According to Sanjay Vasudeo, Director, FUWA India -FCEIPL based on the size and application, the tower crane market is grouped into three segments.
First segment: Building and factories where TCs ranging from 5-10T capacities are used make the first group. This segment caters to around 70 to 80 per cent of the TC market. It is highly competitive with a lot of Indian manufacturers catering to this segment. ´This segment is catered by two models internal climbing, which generally fits in the lift shaft; mostly preferred for high rise buildings and the other, TCs are fixed on the ground called fix type. Depending on project needs these are further classified as Cathead or topless or luffing type. The luffing TC requirement is generally addressed by SYM and other manufacturers from China, also by Potain and Liebherr and other European manufacturers. The European models being expensive, most of the requirement is met SYM TC from China and other Chinese TC manufacturers.
Second segment: Industrial application and ports make up the second segment. This segment which comprises of range from 16-30T capacities caters to 10 to 15 per cent of the TC market. There are few manufacturers´ mostly Chinese and European. This segment is not price sensitive, but quality and features conscious.
Third segment comprises of TCs ranging from 60T, 80T to 120T. The numbers are small. There are few manufacturers like Kerun of China and some European makes. This segment too is not price sensitive, but quality and features conscious. These TCs are becoming more and more popular because they can stand within or around the structure being erected. These TCs gives number of lifts per hour and hence more productive than crawler cranes.
According to Anil Mudgil, Vice President-CED, Action Construction Equipment, in India, the tower crane market is still at its nascent stage with 500 units compared to Chinese market with 25,000 units. ´However, this scenario is rapidly changing and the TC market is expected to grow at 20-25 per cent annually over the next few years. The real estate sector itself has seen a paradigm shift over the past decade with modern techniques of construction becoming more common across the sector. Not only metros, but Tier 2 towns are witnessing previously unseen level of development. With these changes, comes the demand for quicker time to market for projects, which is pushing the demand for related equipment,´ according to Tushar Mehendale, Managing Director, ElectroMech. Mudgil says, ´With cost of land increasing the high rise buildings are becoming more popular and we cannot construct a high rise structure without the help of a tower crane. As such we are expecting this market to grow for another 5 to 10 years.´
´Infrastructure projects like airports, dams, bridges etc and industrial projects like power, steel, cement plants etc will be some of the demand drivers,´ says Sheetal Malik, General Manager - Sales & Marketing, Escorts. According to him, day-by-day demand for higher lifting capacity increases due to pre-cast structures used in construction of high rise building and mechanical works carried out in the industrial projects. Apart from that rental company taking TCs for various project sites, the government ambitious plan of building smart cities will see a good demand of tower cranes in the near future.
Says Krishna Kumar, Divisional Head - Tower cranes, Liebherr India, ´There will be rise in demand for TCs in India, however it may take some more time; with the positive steps the government planning to implement like new land acquisition bill and GST, by year 2016 etc will definitely boost the market.´ ´The acceptance level of TCs has increased considerably in the recent past with almost every building project now uses TCs as this leads to faster project completion and shortage of labour is effectively met,´ says Rajeev Kumar, Chief Executive Officer, Friends Equipment.
What lifting capacity range of TCs will dominate the demand for free standing, external and internal climbing configurations? Say Malik ´The 5-6T capacity TCs will remain as the most dominate category. However, we foresee that the demand for above 10T class will grow rapidly in case more pre-cast projects are taken up by the contractors. Mudgil says, ´With builders going for prefab buildings the demand for 10-1T category TCs is growing steadily. With the growth in infra-projects expected next year, the demand for bigger TCs of 10-20T category is likely to grow further.´ PV Ramdev, Managing Director, Everest Engineering Equipment explains further. ´TCs of 10-12T capacity will dominate in large numbers mainly used by realty sector for high rise buildings. For high rise buildings, the shuttering system or formwork will be totally different to achieve a rate of 5-6 days a slab so that the building construction can be completed in 3-4 years. If they use the traditional jumping system, then the completion period will more than double. So the TCs have to be designed especially for structures of above 200 m height considering the formwork and coverage of the building. Mostly these kinds of building are built using internal climbing cranes because there are limitations for external climbing cranes. Use of external climbing cranes will cost more to the contractors, so that most of the users go with internal climbing cranes.´
He adds, ´Moreover, in one building they may have to install multiple tower cranes. Here it is better go with luffing type of tower cranes because the counter jib length will be small and within short distances, multiple cranes can be installed. Also during wind wane conditions, they can luff the jib up and be the crane rotates freely. When we use normal cranes during windy conditions, one crane may hit the other. So for all these reasons, for high rise structures of more than 200 m, luffing jib cranes are suitable to use.´
According to Vasudeo, smaller TCs have safe load moment restrictor, other bigger capacity TCs have SLI or a fully loaded safe load indicator with load display and auto alarms and circuit cutoff. Some high capacity TCs have video cameras to help operator to see the winches and the load lifted.
Says Ramdev, ´We represent SYM which has over 65 years of experience in tower crane industry for various sectors. In high-rise structures of above 200 m, the design standard for TCs is changed because of the change in wind velocity and the seismic changes. SYM is well-experienced to design such machines and they have already sold thousands of machines all over the world which are working over 400 m heights and hundreds of units are working in India. Speed must be high for these tower cranes working at tall structures in order to carry the material from the ground level to such heights at a faster pace. So there are several factors like speed, load capacity, safety measures, etc while designing a TC for working over 200 m height. As the height of the building goes up, the safety requirements of TCs also need to be enhanced. Says Mudgil, ´We offer TCs with (SLI) safe load indicators which provide additional safety apart from other regular safety systems. This indicates the weight of the material lifted along with safe load at that radius. The SLI acts as third level of safety apart from moment limiter and ergo meter. These tower cranes are provided with anemometers to check the wind speed. In high wind speed conditions, tower cranes are not supposed to work and jib is left free to align itself towards the wind´s direction, thereby reducing the wind pressure on the tower crane. We also offer anti collision device for buildings where two or more TCs are working in proximity of each other.´
According to Malik, Comansa TCs are designed and manufactured as per respective DIN and European standards. Accessories and components meet to requirement of driver comfort and safe access. Hoist winch specially designed according to length of wire rope and speed to meet productivity during work for high rise building. Comansa TC steel structure follows EN10025 and EN10083-1 standard. Strong design, without alternating stresses in the jib, virtually eliminates fatigue in this structure. Comansa mast panels are manufactured to tolerances that permit the weight of the crane to rest on the corner angles of the mast, rather than on the pins. This ensures long life and particular advantage for high rise TCs.
Product offerings & trends
Features of TC are basically same. The structure varies from angular design, to box sections to two C sections, welded back to back. The mast joining structure varies from pin to bolt on type. Most of high capacity TCs is having box sections with pin joints. Depending on the height, some TCs have a lift for the operator or maintenance staff, according to Vasudeo.
ACE range starts from 1.6T mobile tower cranes to bigger size cranes of 25T capacity. ACE offer all kinds of tower cranes such as fixed tower cranes, travelling type tower crane, inner climbing tower cranes, etc. Says Mudgil, ´We offer 1.6T and 2.5T capacity TCs, which are popular for small infra and housing projects up to 10-12 floors. These cranes are very good for smaller projects and are in great demand for tier 2 cities. 5-6T TCs are mainly used for real estate projects. In this segment, we have four different types of tower cranes. We offer inner climbing 5T, which can go up to 200 m. We also have 6T with jib length 50 m, 55 m and 60 m.
According to Mudgil, flat top cranes generally do not give any major benefit over CAT-head cranes. Luffing cranes are required when you need to work in close proximity of existing buildings or if a number of tower cranes are working closely. Luffing cranes are application specific and because of their price, are used only when other options are not possible. Says Mudgil, ´We are moving towards manufacturing luffing cranes in India and intend to provide the local solution to our Indian customers in the near future.´
The lifting capacity of TCs varies with projects and their demands. ElectroMech believes in providing customised solutions specific to the requirement of the client.´ He explains, ´For working on high rise projects, Zoomlion offers flat top cranes ranging from 4T to 25T. These cranes are efficient, quick to erect and can self-dismantle and have low operational costs. The flat top design is most suited where multiple cranes are being used in close proximity. These cranes are available with spans up to 80 m.
´We also offer hammer head cranes ranging from 5T to 25T. The cranes from this series satisfy diverse construction requirements of different users. Safety devices, robust structure and specially developed PLC electronic control technology enable the tower cranes to be safer and more reliable. These cranes are available with spans up to 80 m. Our luffing jib tower cranes ranging from 8T to 25T. They feature large lifting capacity, derricking with load, small swing radius and require little operating room. Especially suitable for narrow spaces in urban areas and multiple tower project construction, they are the best choice for high rise projects in crowded cities. These cranes are available with spans up to 60 m,´ says Mehendale.
Escorts offers a wide range from Linden Comansa, a globally prominent supplier of flat top and luffing jib TCs. The range of Linden Comansa cranes distributed in India comprises capacity from 6T to 64T. Says Malik, ´Being a flat top tower crane it is possible to do the assembly and dismantling of jib piece by piece and this neutralises the cost to a big extent as the contractor will be requiring a much lesser capacity of mobile crane during erection and dismantling as compared to a conventional hammer head tower cranes. Also sometimes getting a higher capacity mobile crane at job sites can be cumbersome and expensive, especially if the site is crammed, uneven and difficult to access.´ He adds, ´The unique feature of Comansa TCs is removable jacking cage provision. With single jacking cage available, heights of other Comansa cranes working at the same sites can be increased or decreased, thereby leading to cost savings. Comansa cranes having modular design and require less jacking as the mast size is 5.5 m gives better productivity, inter changeability of the model and safe operation.´
´Terex Cranes offers medium cranes from 8T to 16T and above, mainly flat top and luffers, ((luffer: CTL 140, CTL 180, and flat top: CTT 162 and 182). According to Angelo Cosmo, Marketing Manager, Terex Cranes residential and high rise projects is driving the demand. He says, ´We have a wide range of products that can fit all demanding jobsites. We do also have an application engineering department that assist the customer from the very first day in order to make sure we match all different needs of our customers. We have proven technologies and huge expertise on high-rise building all around the world.´ He adds, ´Recently, we have been experiencing a great demand on all our TC in India, especially for our luffing jib range. Terex Cranes really care about India and we are convinced that it will be part of the important markets for the cranes business in the near future.´
According to Kumar Liebherr has already sold a wide range from 34T to 630T in India for various projects. Says Kumar, ´We have already supplied tower cranes above 300 m buildings in India; our expertise will always be there for our valuable customers for any technical discussions and supports for submitting crane proposals.
´Everest Engineering offers TCs from 5T to 200T range, which is the largest range offered any company in India. Among this, cranes of 5T to 12T range are being used in realty segment while the higher capacity are in industrial infrastructure projects like power plants which use heavy luffing cranes.
The rental market for tower cranes is still in its nascent stages in India. With good anticipated growth in the tower crane market, the rental business is also likely to grow. Outside India most of the buyer for TCs is rental companies and this trend also picking up in India too. It will reduce investment cost on new machinery and also maintaining the fleet of tower cranes with various load capacity is very expensive as it depend upon the project to project and site conditions. Mostly realty segment will drive the demand for rental segment. Recently there is a demand from precast segment as well. It depends upon the availability of cost effective solutions and requirement for shorter period will generate more demand for rental of TCs. As per estimates revenue from tower crane rentals will account for 15 per cent of total revenue generated by the TC industry in the next 3 - 4 years.
Says Ramdev, ´We are intent to enter into rental segment for tower cranes in a slow and steady manner. We normally associate with the customer from the beginning of the project till the completion on a turnkey basis and ensure that their project is completed successfully using our cranes. Customer can´t expect this type of turnkey services from any MNC in India.´
Says Mudgil, ´For Companies which do not want to invest in Tower Cranes because of capital expenditure constraints, we have an option of offering tower cranes on rental basis, which helps a contractor to utilize tower crane without getting into hassles of fixed cost. Customers need not bother about operations and maintenance or availability / uptime issues. We provide the complete package which enables customers to work with tower cranes without owning them.´
The Indian construction sector is growing rapidly and several construction equipment suppliers have entered the country in the past decade. Few years back , when India witnessed spurt in demand for tower cranes from real estate, power projects and other infrastructure projects, a lot companies started putting up manufacturing facility either directly or through collaboration. While a majority of TCs sold in the country came through the imported route a few years ago, this has changed. Competition, price pressure and the promise that the Indian market holds has led several companies to set up shop in India, increasing the share of locally manufactured TCs. Certain specialisd TCs do still come via the import route, but the industry will witness more of these cranes also getting manufactured in India as the market matures. Demand for high rise structures, industrial projects and handling heavy load will lead to good quality and safe tower cranes hence demand will continue in this segment.
CHOOSE A RELIABLE TOWER CRANE - A GUIDE
Easy, safe installation and dismantling processes
Easy handling operations
Low maintenance cost
Jerk less and safe operation
Less power consumption
Fast and easy troubleshooting
Less space requirement
Long life of wire rope
Clear vision through glass in all weather condition
Worker´s safety and operator comfort
Safe wire connection
Long life of crane
Operates in all weather conditions
Easy availability of spares in India
As told by Dr Vikram Mehta, Managing Director, Spartan Engineering
CAT HEAD TCs FOR HIGH-RISE STRUCTURES
Dr. Mehta describes the features of the CAT head range of tower cranes that can be beneficial for high rises. Speaking of the CAT head range of cranes offered by Spartan Engineering he says, ´The CAT head cranes follows CE standards and is available in a CAT head design. The crane models are available in stationary, inner climbing, skid mounting and travelling models. The robust mast and Jib section ensure uninterrupted and safe operations.´ He adds, ´The cabin is spacious offering a 360 degree visibility. The crane has ST510C steel structures with pin type connections. The pins, ropes, platforms, loaders and footpaths are galvanised. The VFD hoisting and VFD slewing are available with speed adjustments. The crane offers a travelling trolley winch with VFD technology. The electrical components are all branded and the safety devices adhere to EN 14439. Spartan TCs are designed and manufactured as per EN 14439, a European standard that deals with all significant hazards, hazardous situations and events relevant to tower cranes. All structural fabrications use prime quality steel from Jindal steel and SAIL. All critical raw material of tower crane like plate, pins, and tubes are tested in metal testing lab to ensure the strength of material. Spartan carries out DP (Dye Penetrant) testing to ensure the welding quality and strength of weld joints by a QC inspector after welding.´
For 5-10T category the prices range from very basic TC priced around Rs 30 lakh to high end around Rs 50 lakh.
For 16-30T range the prices range from very basic TC priced around Rs 100 lakh to high end around Rs 500 lakh.
For 60T, 80T to 120T range the price of varies from $3.5 million to $5.5 million or more.
In India, the tower crane market is still at its nascent stage with 500 units compared to Chinese market with 25,000 units.