04 June 2020

Interaction-Vijay Khumbani, Director, Columbia Machine Engineering

All our products are technologically advanced

Columbia Machine Engineering (India) Pvt. Ltd. is a wholly owned subsidiary of Columbia Machine Inc. USA, an over 75 year old worldwide leader in the design, manufacturing and support of equipment for a variety of industries with customers in over 100 countries around the world.VIJAY KUMBHANI, DIRECTOR – INDIA, COLUMBIA MACHINE ENGINEERING (INDIA) spoke to CONSTRUCTION OPPORTUNITIES on his company’s product offerings.


Briefly tell us about your product offerings and the key features/USPs that have contributed in strengthening and maintaining your stronghold in the market?

Columbia Machine is one of the world’s leading manufacturers of concrete products equipment, serving customers in over 100 countries. From mixing and batching to automatic cubing and splitting, Columbia builds a complete line of equipment to outfit entire concrete products plant. We pioneered the first semi-automatic, hydraulically operated block machine over 75 years ago with the unique Columbia Vibration Technology (CVT). Today, with over 15 years of local manufacturing at Vadodara in Gujarat, we offer the most versatile, innovative concrete products equipment in the industry. In India, our existing Concrete Product Machine Model SPM20 provides our customers a plant with an ideal combination of a high technology machine with medium capacity and low investment in pallet and product handling. Its simplicity and ease of installation/dismantling makes it an ideal solution for project works. The Model SPM20 can be used to produce a wide range of high quality concrete products such as hollow blocks, paver blocks, retaining wall blocks, flyash bricks and kerbstones. All these features have provided substantial profits and quick payback on investment to over 200 users in India alone. No other concrete products equipment supplier can match the versatility, economy and quality of Columbia. Our experienced local sales and service network, along with our easily available local spare parts, moulds and training facilities, provide unmatched world-class support locally. Our team of experienced engineers can design a plant to fit local production needs as well as provide installation support and training for plant personnel.


Briefly give us an understanding about your manufacturing units – location, size, production capacity, technologies used etc?

Our Vadodara factory is spread over 50,000 sq. ft. area with a 30,000 sq. ft. manufacturing facility. It has strength of nearly 100 well qualified and highly experienced engineers and workmen supported by sophisticated manufacturing facilities from raw material cutting, machining, fabrication and assembly to be able to manufacture our full range of concrete block machines, hydraulic press solutions, batching-mixing solutions, moulds and palletizers. Columbia Machine was the first company to offer state-of-the-art Concrete Block Machinery made in India with its unique Columbia Vibration Technology (CVT) at competitive prices. This allowed Indian producers to offer high quality concrete products profitably such as Hollow Blocks, high strength Paver Blocks, Kerbstones, Retaining Wall Blocks and Flyash Bricks in large volumes at competitive prices in the Indian market. Columbia has contributed significantly to the use of high compressive strength Concrete Pavers in Ports and Road construction, Retaining Wall Blocks in bridges in Highway construction and high volume, high quality Flyash bricks for use in Building construction throughout India.


Please offer your assessment of the importance of shows like bauma CONEXPO INDIA for companies such as yours and tell us of your own previous experience? Expectations from hosting venues?

A show like Bauma ConExpo provides us a platform to showcase new technologies and products to the industry. It also provides an opportunity to connect with existing customers, producers and competitors and exchange notes and views with them. Each show also yields new business leads and provides exposure to a significant new audience. It is important that the show attracts the best companies from all over the world as exhibitors, which, in turn, would result in good quality of visitors from the industry. The show must be well publicised through proper channels so that the target audience is reached. Hosting venue should be easily accessible from the nearest airport. There should be a large number and variety of lodging boarding options with convenient transport arrangements. Good weather is important particularly for shows with outdoor stands.


As a company what are your specific plans for bauma CONEXPO INDIA 2016 – have you devised any new marketing strategy to push your products?

Since our Concrete Block Machinery is very large and difficult to operate at a show, we usually exhibit indoors with a stationary machine supported by videos, posters and samples of products produced on our machinery. In bauma CONEXPO India 2016, for the first time in India perhaps, we will be running live not only a large new Concrete Block Machine, Model SPM30, but, more significantly, its Automatic Rack Loader-Unloader, Model UL30, in a 350sq.m. open stand at this show. This is a completely new Rack and Pallet Handling technology being introduced for the first time in the Indian market. By running the equipment live at the show, we hope to make a significant impact on the audience and provide visitors with a thorough understanding of the working of this new equipment and its technology.


What are the organizational surprises we can expect from you at bauma CONEXPO INDIA 2016: Are you looking to launch any new innovative product or new breakthrough technologies at bauma CONEXPO INDIA 2016? Are you also looking for new collaborations and tie - ups?

At Bauma ConExpo 2016, we will be launching a significant new addition to our concrete block machinery range made in India, the Model SPM30, which is bigger and better than our flagship Model SPM20 machine. In addition, the manual pallet and product handling of the SPM20 plant will be replaced by an indigenously manufactured, fully automatic Rack Loader/Unloader along with a Plate Style Cuber for product cubing. Both handling equipment use technology being introduced for the first time in India. This will drastically reduce manpower required while improving quality and efficiency at affordable costs. We now also offer a very large capacity, fully automated, high technology Concrete Block Plant made in Poland by Techmatik (a Columbia company).


Give us an understanding of your company’s performance this year and your outlook going forward?

With the slowdown in the real estate market throughout the country and infrastructure projects barely taking up the existing slack in capital equipment, machinery sales have been slow. With the demonetisation, there is further uncertainty created in the market which is likely to slow down further over the next two quarters.



Columbia Machine Engineering (India) has manufactured and supplied over 200 plants in India alone with high technology, fully automatic Machines, Moulds and other Equipment such as Concrete Batching plants, Concrete Mixers and specialty product lines for producing Concrete Blocks (both Hollow Concrete Blocks and Solid Concrete Blocks), Concrete Interlocking Paver Blocks, Concrete Segmental Retaining Wall Blocks, Concrete Kerbstones, Concrete Paving Slabs, Concrete Bricks, Lightweight Eco-friendly Flyash Bricks, Concrete Roof Tiles and many other Precast and Architectural Precast Concrete products.

The company has a team of highly experienced and trained professionals who can help evaluate the economic feasibility of setting up a Concrete Products plant, help design a plant to fit production needs, as well as provide support and training for plant personnel.

Columbia Machine Engineering (India) also manufactures and supplies high speed, fully automatic Case Palletizers for Material Handling with state-of-the-art technology from Columbia Machine Inc. USA, for use in a variety of industries including food, beverage, chemicals, paper, edible oil, packaged water, distilleries, soaps and detergents, FMCG and many more. Since the early 1960's Columbia Palletizers have developed a reputation as a world leader offering superior construction, maximum flexibility, easy operation and speeds from 1 to 100 cases per minute.

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