We have solutions to lift and carry loads right from 500 kg to 250 tonne. We have provided solutions for material handling needs over 190 years and our name is synonymous with quality and reliability in material handling across the world, says Manojit Acharya, Executive Director, Demag Cranes and Components (India). Excerpts from the interview.
What are the latest product/technology trends for industrial cranes?
As a company, we keep adding improvements by way of technology or product features continuously and these get incorporated in all our products across the world. This is a seamless process in the organisation. In India, we have seen transnational corporations stress on the need for automation. Demag Cranes are known to benefit users since the load that our cranes put on structures is lower. We have projects underway that will further reduce the load that our cranes put on the structures. There are also some projects that deal with intelligent crane systems, wherein cranes can be operated based on operators skill and qualification.
How do you assess the existing safety norms and standards?
The safety norms are designed to ensure equipment, operator and environment safety. The challenge actually is in the interpretation and implementation of these norms and their translation in to safe working practices. At Demag, we take this challenge and meeting it is our primary responsibility. Training of operators and engineers on various safety features, safe operating practices and instituting a preventive maintenance regime that ensure safety is our approach.
Safety is of course, at the core of what we do. Safety in the products that we deliver, safety when manufacturing the products, safety of our team mates who are involved in erecting and commissioning the cranes are all important.
Some basic safeties in the product include an inherent overload device which does not allow the user to lift loads more than rated, something overlooked by many local manufacturers. Many plants today have multiple cranes in the same bay or cranes operating vertically. For such sites we offer anti-collision devices. The anti-collision device could be vertical for cranes that operate above one another or horizontal, for cranes in the same bay.
To what extent has the concept of intelligent cranes been accepted by user segments?
Many multinational corporations or manufacturing units in India that are associated with MNCs are aware of and appreciate some advanced features. Our crane solutions to the paper industry include intelligent systems that can be used in the paper factory warehouse. The crane stacks finished goods by quality or other parameter defined by the user and also retrieves it based on a pre-programmed sequence. The crane is fully automatic and is controlled from a central console. We have also supplied this crane in India.
For the steel industry, especially for very large storage centres, our Coil Master provides intelligent solutions. These work in an integrated coil storage system adjacent to an existing coil processing bay. Since the system is capable of stacking coils up to three levels high, the available storage floor space allows for clear space in the processing bay for continued production growth.
Another area where we have used intelligent technology is in the area of waste handling. Waste-to-power projects need cranes to handle the inflow of waste material, cranes to handle the waste in the storage areas and to feed to the boiler/incinerator as well as to handle the ash. We have supplied fully and semi-automatic cranes for such applications. In fact, recently we supplied a crane for a waste handling project in India.
We see good potential in the areas of coil master and waste handling cranes, in times to come.
Tell us about the range of systems offered by Demag for various verticals and it advantages.
Demag caters to a wide variety of industries such as general engineering and fabrication, steel, paper, cement, automobile and auto ancillaries, power equipment and infrastructure. We are the only manufacturer that is a one- stop shop for material handling and movement solutions. Our product range starts with an 80 kg hoist and extends to a 450T crane.
Our products are classified as modular cranes (KBK). These are popular in the automobile and auto ancillary industry, and other industries where a solution for an assembly line is required. Advanced solutions like Electrified Monorail Systems (EMS) or closed loop systems are provided in this range. Today, certain ranges of KBK tracks are manufactured at our plant at Chakan and we can deliver over 24 km of KBK tracks in a year. We are the market leaders in this product category.
Our universal cranes, as the name suggests, are based on a common or standard design philosophy. These cranes form the bulk of the market requirements and are common in industries such as power equipment, general engineering and fabrication, steel product handling. Our products in this range are very compact, use the Demag hoists, wheels and drive systems that are globally available.
Demag Process Cranes are gaining popularity in segments such as steel manufacturing, power, heavy fabrication, paper, cement and waste handling. Typically process cranes start at above 50 tonne. We have recently delivered 300- tonne cranes to two sites. There are very few companies in India that can design and execute such projects. These process cranes comply with IS or DIN standards. These cranes are completely localised and that makes us very competitive in the market. Our components such as chain and rope hoists and drive systems have always been popular with users. Other crane manufacturers incorporate our hoists on their crane since this provides a long term reliability and support. Our drive systems have been popular with system integrators in a variety of industries.
What was the overall performance for the last two quarters?
The last two quarters though have been tough with many decisions repeatedly being delayed. We expect our performance to be similar to 2012.
Would you brief us on DemagÆs core competencies and strengths, services provided and dealer network?
Demag Cranes and Components are leaders in the areas of providing simple and effective solutions for intra-logistics. We have solutions to lift and carry loads right from 500 kg to 250 tonne. We have provided solutions for material handling needs over 190 years and our name is synonymous to quality and reliability in material handling across the world.
Our India operations are part of a global manufacturing setup. To be close to our customers, we have offices at six major cities to cater to different regions of the country. However, an important point to note here is that we are probably the only company in this industry that has a dedicated field force for services. Our field services team is over 50 people. All our engineers undergo a training and certification prior to being deployed on the field and also undergo frequent refreshers to be updated on the wide range of products. The field force is further supported by an expert team, the objective being that our customers should have minimum downtime on account of the crane. Many of our customers engage with us through an annual maintenance contract to ensure that the cranes are maintained in optimal condition.
In addition to this, a network of 20 odd channel partners support our customers by making available spare parts at local level. Our channel partners also stock chain and rope hoists as well as modular cranes.
What is your assessment on the increasing competition?
The competitive scenario in our segment is not very different from overall capital equipment landscape in India. There is a good number of Indian as well as multinational companies who are competing for market share in this segment. Our positioning is driven by product technology and lifetime of service/ reliability and availability.
Our positioning is driven by product technology and lifetime of service/reliability and availability.