15 December 2018

Table of Contents for Industry Focus:Cranes-Trends & Technologies





Industry Focus:Cranes-Trends & Technologies

Offering sky-high possibilities

 

After having witnessed spooky spikes in the growth momentum, the global construction industry is back on  track. Now the wheels of transformation seem to be turning towards growth & how! With the Indian Government announcing a plethora of infrastructural development and many are still in the offing, crane market in India is at an extremely bullish pace. 

 

It’s literally the investment bonanza for the construction and allied sectors in India as the real estate and construction sector in India is expected to be the third largest globally by 2030, contributing over 15 per cent to Indian GDP and emerging as the largest employer in India providing employment opportunities to over 75 million people. If recent reports are to go by, the government has extended full support to the players to hasten the project cycle. This surely spells good news for crane manufacturing and services companies in India and abroad.

 

Poised by the growth dynamics, Saeesh Nevrekar (Director), Terex Cranes India, informed, “This year, the government has decided to allow considerable budget to fund large investment projects for roads and railway construction as well as ports infrastructure. They would be both new and legacy projects with a commitment on executing them quickly. With this boom in infrastructure spending, we expect a sustained demand for our cranes. In addition to this transport infrastructure policy, there will be a focus on energy and particularly renewables like wind and solar. We are quite optimistic with growth horizons.”

 

AN EASY TRACK AHEAD?

Though the entire infrastructure development initiative poses a rosy picture, there doesn’t seem to be an easy ride for crane companies. The reasons are many. Crane manufacturers, similar to other construction equipment manufacturing sectors, face challenges with regards to export growth because of numerous tariff and non-tariff barriers set by the governments across the world. In addition, foreign companies face a lot of challenges while operating in markets like India, China and Korea, which are highly price-sensitive. Crane manufacturing requires significantly large investment, resulting in higher cost of the product, which turns out to be one the biggest drawbacks. Skilled manpower development is yet another challenge that needs to be addressed to allow optimum utilisation of the equipment in most of the applications. Initiating diploma courses for crane operators in on operation safety, is a good way to plug the dearth of skill in crane operations.

 

RISE IN RENTING AND LEASING

Owing to the higher costing of equipment, renting or leasing of construction equipment has seen an upsurge, thereby giving a fillip to the industry. This aids in reducing the initial investment and the operational and maintenance costs. One doesn’t need to even worry about repair when you rent an equipment, which in itself a highly expensive affair.

 

Besides, cranes used for certain industries require special skillset, which can be avoided through renting option. Rental companies aid you with required professional machine operators and drivers, inclusively with the rent. Along with maintenance and operating costs in ownership, there is also a whole host of other costs, which include insurance and other fees such as government licensing. These costs vary greatly with application. Moreover, renting a crane has an advantage of getting the latest equipment with the latest technology, which otherwise is extremely difficult to attain when you own the equipment.

 

TECH-NOVATION

Innovations in manufacturing and smart design and advancements in technology resulted in adaptable, intelligent, modular, lighter, compact and energy-efficient cranes. As per Konecranes sources, new technology has enabled cranes to be more compact and energy efficient, and will eventually render legacy systems obsolete. For example, some new cranes offer robust, intelligently designed modules that can be easily configured to meet a wide variety of needs. With this new type of crane technology, users can change or add new features over time depending on the business need. Additional features could include remote diagnostics, maintenance monitoring or automated positioning. This new crane technology can scale with the business, enabling companies to be nimble and realise a greater return on investment.

 

Intelligent Service Panels

According to a study, cranes with Sway Control are 60 per cent faster than the conventional ones. These types of cranes performed by the electronic sway control systems are expected to witness a good market with the increasing demand for quality and productivity. Further, some new cranes are equipped with intelligent service panels, allowing operators to diagnose and correct faults quickly. The crane detects its condition automatically and communicates it to the operator via the service panel. With such preventive service mechanisms, businesses are armed to make better business decisions. Additionally, such a feature aids companies in preventing unwanted and costly product downtime.

 

Remote Monitoring Service (RMS)According to Mordor Intelligence, one of the significant technological advancements in the crane market is the use of advanced Remote Monitoring Service (RMS) facility, which can measure and record the data of crane usage. RMS provides considerable benefits to the customers, in the form of unlocking all the information to customers about the crane operation and usage. In the process, it improves safe crane operation, supports the usage-driven maintenance, thus considerably saving annual maintenance cost.
Another innovation is a crane with optimized pulley rope angles, which extend the life of wire hoisting ropes. This makes the angles smaller, reducing wear on the rope. Smart systems also communicate the condition of wire ropes and recommend replacement when needed. Additionally, new cranes are compact, reducing the need for expensive building renovations. Because smaller cranes can operate in much tighter spaces, they can position loads more precisely. New, smaller cranes are also designed to be more energy efficient. New crane technology cycles energy back into the power grid, which greatly mitigates warehouse energy consumption and costs. Some cranes are even manufactured with recyclable materials, supporting a company’s goal of being more environmentally responsible.

 

TOWER CRANE CAMERAS

Blind spots on tower cranes and excavators pose a significant risk. Tower crane cameras solve the problem of poor visibility in bad lighting or weather conditions and minimise injury potential to the crane operator. Having a camera on a crane also can enhance productivity by cutting down on time spent trying to view poorly lit or dangerous areas. Having eyes on any and all parts of the jobsite proves extremely valuable when working in construction. These cameras can be used on tower cranes, luffing boom cranes, excavators, telescopic boom cranes, truck cranes and crawler cranes.

 

In short, new crane technology is superseding the cranes of yesteryear. Aptly summing up, Konecranes officials highlight, “With so many new innovations, companies can increase uptime, save on maintenance and energy costs, scale products with the business and extend the life of their investments.”

 

MAINTENANCE MAKES SENSE

Periodically scheduled crane inspection programmes by specially-trained, third-party technical professionals go a long way in preventing accidents and increasing productivity. While today’s crane safety technology reduces the risk of accidents, safety training still holds prudent importance. Another essential service to supplement crane safety technology is safety consulting service to help customers select the most appropriate lifting equipment for their operations. On the similar lines, Nevrekar informs, “We always develop our cranes with the goal of helping the customers to make their business more efficient. We work closely with them from the very early development stages and we learn from their experience. Our products are a key element to the success of many construction projects in India and all over the world. We focus on the efficiency of transportation, cranes assembly or erection and of course, safety. We also make sure maintenance can be managed efficiently.”

 

TOWERING PROSPECTS

The construction industry in the emerging economies of Latin America, Middle East, Eastern Europe, Africa, and Asia is expected to grow rapidly over the next 10 years. This market is expected to cross $6.8 trillion by 2021 in these countries, on the back of infrastructure renewal, growing needs of ‘megacities’ and ‘smart cities’ constructions in developing nations, globalisation and urbanisation. This is a major driver for the crane market in these economies. On the contrary, the construction industry in developed economies is expected to witness a slower growth and so will the dependent crane market. Growing innovations in terms of lightweight materials and technologically advanced mechanics are expected to open up new opportunities for the crane market, with the ‘Green Fleet’ trend in existence. Advancements in electric vehicle technology are expected to extend to the crane market as well, opening up new prolific ventures in the segment.

 

Asia-Pacific, led by China and India, is currently the largest market for cranes in the global scenario and is likely to lead the growth in the forecast period. Africa and Latin America are expected to emerge as good markets post 2021, as rising disposable incomes and improving economy will encourage more infrastructural development and constructions. As of 2016, China was the largest market for cranes, both within the Asia-Pacific region and in the global market. The growing construction sector is expected to drive the market for mobile cranes at a higher pace in the Asia-Pacific region. While the developmental horizons look promising, companies need to tap this burgeoning demand and arm themselves with the suitable skillsets to ride the growth trajectory.

 

TECH TRENDS

New crane technology is superseding the cranes of yesteryear. Some of the trends are:

  • Cranes with Sway Control are 60% faster than the conventional ones.
  • Having a camera on a crane enhance productivity.
  • Crane with optimised pulley rope angles extend the life of wire hoisting ropes.
  • Remote Monitoring Service (RMS) ensures safe crane operation, supports the usage-driven maintenance, thereby saving annual maintenance cost.
  • Crane modernisation helps companies lift more material, faster.

 

 

“With the revival of infrastructure sector growth, crane sales are expected to rise in the coming days. The outlook is certainly quite positive. With NHAI planning to invest around $250 billion in road projects over the next 5 years and the ambitious Sagarmala project, many new opportunities are expected to open up for cranes. Furthermore, given the ambitious expansion plans of the Indian Railways, with an envisaged investment of $140 billion over a 5-year horizon, that is an another area that should be worth exploring,” reveals

Anil Bhatia, Vp – Sales & Marketing, TIL Ltd.

 

 

Future outlook for the industry and from a company perspective?

The industry is poised for a decent growth,at least till the next general elections in 2019. A growth of more than 15 per cent on CAGR basis is a very safe bet. We at Escorts are eyeing a growth higher than the market on percentage basis. All this looks very much on as  the fundamentals are very much in place for surpassing the projected numbers.,” reveals

Rajinder Raina, GM– Marketing, Escorts Construction Equipment.

 

 

 

“What are the key market trends – the key drivers for growth?

This year the government has decided to allow considerable budget to fund large investment projects  for roads and railway construction, but also in ports infrastructure. They would be both new and legacy projects, with a commitment on executing them quickly.  With this boom in infrastructure spending we expect a sustained demand for our cranes. In addition to this transport infrastructure policy, there will be a focus on energy and particularly renewables like wind and solar for example.

We always develop our cranes with the goal of helping the customers to make their business more efficient.  We work closely with them from the very early development stages and we learn from their experience. Our products are a key element to the success of many construction projects in India and all over the world. We focus on the efficiency of transportation, cranes assembly or erection and of course, safety. We also make sure maintenance can be managed efficiently.,” reveals

Saeesh Nevrekar, Director, Terex Cranes India.




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