Monday, April 12, 2021

Interview - Tushar Mehendale (Electromech)

This year we will become the largest manufacturer of cranes in terms of volumes



Established in 1979, ElectroMech offers precise solutions for wide-ranging applications in manufacturing plants and infrastructure projects through a complete range of hoists and cranes. It is the largest EOT crane manufacturer in India with the highest market share. The company is an exclusive India partner of ABUS Crane Systems, Germany – one of the world's leading EOT crane manufacturers. TUSHAR MEHENDALE, MANAGING DIRECTOR, ELECTROMECH responded to CONSTRUCTION OPPORTUNITIES queries on his company’s business and the state of the materials handling equipment industry.




Tell us about the sales performance of your products in the materials handling equipment range through 2013-14 in view of the economic downturn and the fall of the rupee? Which were the most in demand? Can you share with us some figures? 


In fact 2013-14, has been a good year for us wherein we have grown by 45 per cent over 2012-13. Although this was primarily on the back of some good order backlog, the second half of the year showed a good traction in terms of order booking. Looking forward, we are seeing signs of growth in the market as companies are slowly reaching their peak capacity utilisations and are looking at expansions. This phenomenon is still isolated
and not widespread. However a definite trend of growth is all set to emerge in the next few months.




Which were the new products introduced in the market – and how have they been received? Tell us about the geographies/projects in which they are being targeted?


In early 2013, we formally announced our joint venture with Zoomlion to bring their entire range of tower cranes to India. The TC 5013–5 & TC 5013- 5G tower cranes, which are India specific models for the real estate construction industry were launched by us to a healthy response from the industry.



How do you expect the market to pan out in 2014-15? Tell us about your plans for the material handling section?  


After taking a heavy beating, the Indian economy looks to be on the path to recovery. We are seeing an increase in the levels of enquiries from different industry sectors. Infrastructure construction industry which was very dormant, is now waking up again and “quick delivery” orders are becoming a norm once again. As a group ElectroMech is well placed to handle a diverse range of requirements from a diverse set of clients spread across different industries and geographies. Hence be it automotive or metals, construction or power, heavy engineering or general engineering, we have products to cater to all their requirements. Our association with ABUS of Germany helps us in providing top quality standardised equipment for the blue chip companies. Our association with Stahl of Germany for the EX range of products enables us to offer highly safe and reliable products for the hazardous area industries like oil & gas. Our association with Zoomlion enables us to provide a diverse range of tower cranes to the construction industry. Apart from this, our in-house expertise of crafting solutions and customising equipment ensures that we can cater to any customer requirement.




Tell us about the new products you are planning to launch in the current year as per market trends and their key features? 


Next month, we are launching a brand new variant of our popular Stacker Cranes which are used across different industries for handling pallets within a racking system in the warehouse. This is quite a versatile product which runs on the top of a multi-aisle racking system and is equipped with its own forks for handling pallets. The forks can move up and down as well as swivel 360 degrees. This makes handling of palletised material within a warehouse extremely easy and safe, eliminating the need of unsafe forklifts or stackers. Several options are also available on these stacker cranes to make them versatile and user friendly.




How do you expect demand to pick up and what will be your strategy to deal with market challenges? Expansions in dealership network if any? 


As explained earlier, the trend of increase in demand is definitely there. This will become more pronounced in the next 6 months and we are eagerly looking forward to it. At ElectroMech we are poised to handle the growing requirements as we have a world class facility that has an annual manufacturing capacity of more than 1000 cranes. We have also implemented lean manufacturing systems within our process flow which enables us to reduce the turnaround time for order execution drastically, thus further increasing our capacity within the same facility.




Tell us about your plans to bolster your manufacturing capacities?  


Our plant at Pirangut, near Pune is spread over 20 acres of land and has a manufacturing area of 23,000 sq. m. We have implemented a piece flow process within our plant that enables us to have a capacity to manufacture easily in excess of 1500 cranes. This year we will be manufacturing in excess of 700 cranes and thus can claim to be the largest manufacturer of cranes in terms of volumes. Our semi-automated stacker crane system in the stores enables us to store all components in a systematic palletised manner and enables quick retrieval. The plant is equipped with state of the art CNC plasma cutting machines with an innovative vertical plate storage system that enables fast and precise cutting of steel used in fabrication of the cranes. We have semi automated welding systems that ensure a consistent and top class welding quality. We can also boast of one of the largest paint booth in the industry having a length of 50m and a width of 8m. This is a down draft type paint booth that allows us to paint multiple crane components at the same time. Our dispatch area is also unique and is serviced by a giant 42m span single girder gantry crane with a SWL of 20t that speeds up the dispatch process. This plant is one of the largest crane manufacturing facilities in the country and is equipped to handle the demands from the industry for the near future. In the past ElectroMech has shown the ability to ramp up operations rapidly and we will certainly be in a position to do the same should the need arise in the future.




What are your expectations from the new incumbent government in terms of new policies that will benefit the construction equipment/ materials handling sector?

We wish that the incoming government will remove all blockages that have been put in place currently for timely and successful implementation of infrastructure projects. The moment mega projects start getting executed in the country – roads, ports, power etc – there will be a spillover effect across a host of supporting industry like steel, cement, machinery, etc. This will have a straight effect in increased demand for material handling equipment.

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