All JCB excavators are fitted with a unique filtration system which increases hydraulic oil and filter life resulting in huge cost savings and better emissions. The auto idler system and high efficiency hydraulics also result in increased fuel efficiency, says Vipin Sondhi, Managing Director & CEO, JCB India. Excerpts from the exclusive interview with Equipment India.How do you view the growth prospects of CE industry especially for the excavator segments? What are the growth enablers?The construction equipment industry’s performance is directly linked to the investment in infrastructure, which is a high priority in India. As a nation, we face challenges with the volatility in oil and commodity prices and inflationary pressures but we are sure we will overcome them.The construction equipment industry will grow in tandem with the growth in the infrastructure sector. Today one can find that most of the major international construction equipment manufacturers have set up facilities in India. Roads and highways is one huge growth enabler for the construction equipment market including excavators. Mining, bridges and dams and real estate are also expected to boost the requirement of construction equipment. The overall scenario in the medium term is positive. The infrastructure sector is bound to see growth.Which is the fastest moving class in terms of tonnage and horse power?The 20T excavator segment is the fast moving class among excavators. They comprise about 60 per cent of the total Indian excavator market. 20T excavators find high demand not only in India but worldwide as well. This is because they fit perfectly into productivity requirements, availability of matching haulage equipment and ease of availability of transporting units.JCB offers the reliable and durable JS200 HD – A 20T tracked excavator with proven and efficient Cummins engine with I27 hp net power designed and developed to work in hot and dusty conditions. JS200HD structures are specially built for arduous applications and have reinforced frames, undercarriage, counter weight, boom and dipper. The hydraulic components are protected by the highest standard of filtration to ensure long hydraulic fluid life up to 5,000 hrs (subject to SOS and recommended maintenance practices) and component life.Many first-time buyers opt for BHL as the price of an excavator below 10T is over 50 per cent more than BHLs. What is the trend now and how do you look at the potential for the market segment that graduates from BHL to excavators?We expect the first-time buyers to continue to go for backhoes because of the versatility of the machine. The backhoe loader is popular because of its multitasking ability, while the excavator is a specialised machine. The excavator is gaining popularity and acceptance in the market; however we expect the backhoe loader gains preference for first-time buyers because of a suitable equation of return on investment for the customers.Is there any category shift towards a shorter tail swing? What is the market for excavators in mining, quarrying and dimensional stone?As of now, the shorter tail swing machines have not gained popularity in India as opposed to developed markets. These machines are generally used in urban areas where there are space restrictions. Thus, higher urbanisation would create demand for such machines. Also, as Indian market matures there would be higher demand of specialist machines which will fuel demand of short or zero tail swing machines. Mining and quarrying are major applications where tracked excavators are used and account for approximately 30-40 per cent of the overall excavator market in India.What are the technology trends in the mid-sized excavators?The focus is on whole life costs which include increasing fuel efficiency, lower maintenance costs and higher performance as there is pressure on margins due to higher fuel costs. Also, the operator comfort and operator-friendly features are gaining attention.How do you assess the potential for various attachments and what are the market trends?The need of attachments varies widely based on the various applications. Through our wide distribution and network and teams, we are well connected to the various projects under execution across India which enables us to gauge the potential of the attachments.Rock breakers are widely used as an attachment to excavators especially for mining applications. Further, as demand for aggregates increases with new infrastructure projects, the demand for rock breakers will also be on the rise. JCB is India’s largest supplier of rock breakers and our rock breakers have been tested in the most arduous conditions. Other attachments like clamshell bucket and orange peel grab are used for solid waste management based applications.Tell us about the range offered by JCB in excavators for various segments, and the value additions incorporated in terms of environment friendliness, safety, energy saving, and fuel consumption?JCB offers wide range of excavators with six models starting from 8T operating weight (JS80) to 21T operating weight (JS 210) to serve plant hire, earthmoving and quarrying customer base. Our latest entrant is the rugged and reliable JS120 – the 12 tonne excavator. All JCB excavators are fitted with unique filtration system which increases hydraulic oil and filter life resulting in huge cost savings and better emissions. The auto idler system and high efficiency hydraulics also result in increased fuel efficiency. JCB gives utmost importance to safety on construction sites and JCB tracked excavators the safest choice for the customers today in India with servo lock override system and swing lock system to prevent unintended machine operation when the machine is idling. JCB also provides cab protection systems for operator safety especially in the quarrying and mining environment.All these machines are backed by the world class service and parts support by our dealer fraternity which comprises of over 430 outlets across India.Brief us on the hydraulics. How does it help in better performance and fuel efficiency?Hydraulics is the one of the key systems contributing to overall system efficiency. Our products have optimised design of hydraulic components with regenerative circuits which provide higher speeds of operation with minimal power consumption, thus providing higher performance and fuel efficiency.Has the latest emission norms brought any design changes in the product? If so, please brief us.The emission norms are not applicable to excavators as of now in India. Bharat Stage III norms have been introduced for wheeled construction equipment. All wheeled construction equipment manufactured by JCB like backhoe loaders, wheeled loaders, soil compactors etc, are powered by the BSIII compliant JCB engine ecoMAX. This 16 valve engine is the only engine in India designed specifically for off-highway applications.Tell us about the plant facility and capacity. Is it fully utilised and are there any plans for capacity augmentation?JCB has focused factories, focused manpower, and focused training facilities and parts storage and distribution for our heavyline equipment range. We have a world-class facility at Pune which is spread over a hundred acres and houses dedicated assembly lines for tracked excavators, wheeled loaders and compaction equipment. The capacity of this plant is over 4, 500 machines per annum. We will continue to explore possibilities to further improve our products and manufacturing processes.