We have been witnessing consistent growth and this will sustain as there is still tremendous opportunity for these products in the country.
Santosh Rao, Managing Director, Palfinger Cranes India Pvt Ltd, shares his thoughts on the industry.
What are the key advantages of using articulate boom cranes for material handling?
Loader cranes safely loads and unloads trucks while also transporting loads. The truck and crane combination negates the use of having two cranes at loading and unloading points. In the case of a knuckle boom crane, the crane folds compactly while not in use and unfolds while required to self-load or unload the truck or load or unload other trucks. Loads can hence be handled very safely as the machine uses outriggers for stability while the crane is in operation. Possibility of fitting a host of additional attachments on these cranes (knuckle boom cranes) like clam shell buckets, workman baskets, augers, brick grabs, pole handlers, tyre handlers etc, further enhances their utility and versatility.
What are the various configurations and applications of such cranes? Could you share some examples?
Palfinger offers stiff boom and knuckle boom cranes of various configurations depending on the application. The configurations could mean additional booms, top seat control, radio remote control, fly jibs for extra reach, hydraulic system provision for attachment fitment among others. Configurations are offered basis extensive application study. While the knuckle boom cranes are given for a specific applications then there is a possibility of fitting various attachments. For instance, a brick grab would be offered to handle concrete bricks and clay bricks. Workman baskets would be offered for accessing heights, tyre handlers would be offered for changing tyres of heavy trucks, augers would be offered for drilling holes say for electric pole erection, pole handlers could be offered for handling poles of various dimensions. There are possibilities to offer many such application-specific attachments.
We also have our EPSILON range of timber and recycling cranes used extensively in all leading paper industries and scrap handlers in the country. These loader cranes have a special construction and configuration for heavy duty operations.
What are the new products and technology trends?
At the Bauma 2016 in Munich, our technological superiority was at the fore with the launch of the heavy-duty 165 tonne metre crane, the Fall Protection Mode which was a market innovation, launch of the SOLID series of easy and robust cranes to name a few. Technology trend is towards innovation of material, boom profile, movement geometry, advanced controls, diagnostics and advanced stability control to make cranes lesser in weight with higher lifting capacity, offering more flexibility in terms of configurations and controls and incorporation of advanced safety features.
Brief us on the Palfinger range of articulate boom cranes. What is the current demand-supply scenario of these cranes for end-users and rental, intra-city or inter-location logistics providers?
In the stiff boom product range, we have cranes with capacities ranging from 8 tonne metre to 50 tonne metre. Our knuckle boom crane offerings range from 1.5 tonne metre to 200 tonne metre. This makes it an extremely comprehensive product range to cater any application. We have seen a steady increase in demand for these cranes from the Indian Defence, construction companies, process industries, concrete brick manufacturers, Railways, municipalities and government electrical corporations and all these are application-specific and end-user segments. While we see an increase in demand from small time rental companies who are again segment specific, the large hirers and logistics operators are yet to consider these products as a regular part of their fleet.
What are the evolving trends in using articulated boom cranes?
It is extremely encouraging as we see a year-on-year growth for these products wherein new customer segments and market segments are accepting these cranes. Safety which is slowly but surely becoming an integral part of big projects, necessitates usage of this equipment which in turn is also a market driver.
What are the growth opportunities for these cranes in the coming years?
We have been witnessing consistent growth and this will sustain as there is still tremendous opportunity for these products in the country. The enabling factors would be stringent safety regulations at project sites, easy vehicle registration formalities facilitating seamless movement across states, GST associated benefits which would encourage large rental companies to invest on these products and immense growth in railways, road and power sector.
Our stiff boom cranes range from 8 to 50 tonne metre capacity, while knuckle boom crane offerings range from 1.5 to 200 tonne metre capacity.