29 May 2020

Industry Focus: Pillng & Drilling Equipment

Laying a Strong Infra Foundation


As India’s trillion dollar infra modernization drive gathers steam, there is a concomitant rise in demand for foundation equipment across the spectrum. Most of this demand will be fuelled by projects in infra space including transport infrastructure – especially urban transport, power, mining, and water sector. In real estate — India’s galloping tower population will fuel demand majorly reports Satish P Chavan.



Currently construction activity across the country, and across most sectors, is driving demand for foundation equipment of various types. In infrastructure sector major demand drivers include power – including the T&D segment, mining; transport includes road, rail, ports and airports, and urban transport infra comprising metro rail, elevated transport corridors, and flyovers. In real estate there is demand across the spectrum, but the new trend of constructing tall buildings across India’s metro cities and Tier II and Tier III cities, is fuelling demand for piling rigs and allied equipment. Piling machines are foundation equipment used to drive piles into the soil to provide support to buildings and structures. Piling machines find application in various infrastructure projects related to rail infrastructure, highways, bridges, tunnels, etc. Also India’s new stress on advanced technologies for the production of energy from non-conventional sources such as hydel, wind, and solar energy, is further likely to boost demand for foundation equipment. Another major driver for foundation equipment is the National Water Mission to ensure integrated water resource management helping to conserve water, minimize wastage and ensure more equitable distribution both across and within states. The Mission will take into account the provisions of the National Water Policy. All water initiatives within this policy framework will drive substantial demand for water well rigs and other drilling equipment. The market for water well rigs in India really opened up in the 1990s, but rapid urbanization across India brought with it water scarcity, driving demand for water well rigs. This segment has been growing at a steady pace off late but is expected to generate substantial demand in the long run.



Demand Dynamics


Across the entire foundation equipment product spectrum, demand varies for different product verticals in terms of types and sizes. There is a huge demand for piling rigs for small and medium pile diameters from 400 mm to 750mm in real estate projects, power plants, SEZs, road construction, water sector and irrigation. Also, India’s long coastal belt with its difficult soil mechanics will generate huge demand for medium range piling rigs for depths of up to 30 meters and pile diameters between 500 to 800 mm, applications. Another type in demand is the 20T torque category, but bigger and more powerful machines will be in demand as more mega projects like dams and bridges will be rolled out on a fast track basis.


From drilling equipment to piling rigs, to hydraulic press-in equipment, to all types of hammers, there’s varying demand among product verticals. The new demand is for specialized foundation equipment, with larger models deployed at large scale infrastructure mega projects like dam, bridges, power plants, and railway projects, this segment continues to be a niche market segment.


Similarly the recent mining ordinance has opened up the mining sector increasing the demand for exploratory rigs, another sector fuelling demand is the oil & gas sector. The smaller capacity and bore/diameter segment is also seeing rising demand on the back of urban infra projects which are typically executed in confined spaces. Especially metro rail and elevated transport corridors need small and medium size equipment for foundation drilling and piling projects. The urban water and power utilities’ segment is one more sector churning up substantial demand for Foundation equipment. Now piling and drilling OEMs are offering smaller tractor mounted models that are being used in real estate projects, equipment with smaller capacities are now emerging a key market segment for OEM suppliers.A rise in their level of awareness among the construction fraternity, is also seeing demand for smaller rigs even from relatively smaller construction projects.


The new urgency to execute projects on time has contributed to fast track piling, using rapid drilling and boring rigs, innovative piling methodologies, specialized hammers for driving, and advanced methods of pile evaluation for its capacity and integrity. With rapid urbanisation, and peculiar requirements for additional space, high capacity, soft ground conditions, India’s piling industry has geared itself in wake of demanding quality control/assurance and progress requirements. In recent years there has been a qualitative improvement in executing foundation projects in India in terms of quality, performance and speed of their construction. Modern piles carry greater capacity vis-à-vis their size; projects are constructed speedily thanks to high capacity hydraulic rigs with depth capability even greater than 60m. Impact hammers and Vibro-hammers has resulted in precast and driven cast-in-situ piling operations being carried out in denser strata. With advancement in use of new foundation techniques comes special consideration and attention to deploying the relevant type of equipment.


Prevalent piling practices in India indicate that while basic piling methodologies are still in vogue in here, the new focus is on faster quality control and quality assurance measures; and meeting fast track progress requirements of the piles. Newer piles like segmented prestressed concrete spun piles are being explored and the Indian piling industry is fully geared up to meet the future piling challenges. But most importantly, progress is made through use of new computational tools, towards better understanding of behavior of piles under complicated field conditions. An increasing use of systems to investigate the capacity and integrity of installed piles is now accompanied by a better understanding of risks that are associated with construction under various ground conditions, and by a desire to improve specifications and site controls.



Piling Practices in India


Among the most common piling methods used frequently in India include; Bored cast-in-situ, Driven cast-in-situ, and Driven pre-cast. Use of Steel and Pre-stressed concrete piles is also finding increasing use in India on major infra projects.


Bored Cast-in-Situ Piles address need for high capacity large diameter and deep bored cast-in-situ piles. Increase in their geometric attributes has raised the benchmark of concerns related to quality and progress. Choice of boring techniques and tools has become decisive to achieve optimum progress


Driven Pre-cast Piles offer a better quality since reinforcement cage fabrication and concrete casting are done in a controlled environment of the yard and are open to inspection. Typical lateral cross sectional dimension varies from 350 to 500mm, giving a safe capacity in the range of 1000 to 1250 kN.


Marine Piling is used to support marine structures like jetties, wharves, dolphins, near- and off-shore structures. Essentially they are considered as slender piles subjected to very high lateral loads arising from waves, currents, wind, water pressures, and other operational forces during mooring, berthing etc. These are therefore heavily reinforced and are of higher diameters than land piles. Special design considerations include durability aspects since they are exposed to severe aggressive conditions. Marine piles are still based on IS: 2911 or BS 8004 which are primarily meant for land based piles. This fact necessitates need for special codes for marine pile design.



In the drilling segment, demand is poised to turn even more robust after the government recently announced an Open Acreage Licensing Policy (OALP), launched the National Data Repository (NDR), and put in place a market driven Hydrocarbon Exploration and Licensing Policy (HELP), in June this year. Almost 52 per cent of India’s sedimentary basins are still unapprised and the last seismic data acquisition of the unapprised sedimentary basins was undertaken by the Government nearly 25 years ago. Thus the National Seismic Program was started last year for reassessment of hydrocarbon data of existing sedimentary basins for fresh volume estimation. The first bidding round of Discovered Small Fields (DSF), has been a resounding success with 44 fields awarded. “Exploration and production sector has remained a main focus area for the Government,” informs Dharmendra Pradhan, Minister of State (I/C) for Petroleum and Natural gas, adding, “These policy decisions have powered the Government to undertake about 10 significant reform measures which will benefit the E&P sector. These reforms range from National Seismic Program; to Discovered Small Field Policy; to Reform initiatives for enhancing domestic production such as incentive for production from difficult areas; to HELP and so on. We expect Open Acreage Licensing to accelerate exploration activities in the country since investors can express their interest in an area which they feel has prospective without waiting for formal bidding.” Going further, last month PM Modi, met with top oil & gas industry officials from Rosneft, BP, Reliance, Saudi Aramco, Exxon Mobil, Royal Dutch Shell, Vedanta, Wood MacKenzie, IHS Markit, Schlumberger, Halliburton, Xcoal, ONGC, IndianOil, GAIL, Petronet LNG, Oil India, HPCL, Delonex Energy, NIPFP, International Gas Union, World Bank, and officials of International Energy Agency were present at the meeting. Observing that “Status of the energy sector in India is highly uneven,” he stressed on the need to develop energy infrastructure and access to energy in Eastern India. The new policy plans to double India's existing oil production, from current 80 million metric tonnes to about 150-155 million metric tonnes by 2022. These recent policy decisions will churn up huge demand for drilling rigs in the oil & gas sector.


Major manufacturers of drilling equipment playing in the Indian market include: PRD Rigs which has exported to over 350 rigs to various countries worldwide. SK Oilfield Equipment Co. represents major global drilling OEMs like Delta Corporation, Derrick Equipment Company, Drill Cool, Elder tools International, Forum Energy Technologies, in India. KLR Industries, manufacturers of drilling accessories like DTH Hammers, Cluster Hammers, Rock Roller Bits and API Drill Rods, is a major player in the Middle-East and Africa. Hyderabad based Dynadrill Equipment Pvt.Ltd offers engineered rock drilling tools including DTH hammers and button bits, for the global market. Amko Mining and Drilling Eqpt. Pvt. Ltd. has a global footprint and exports diamond core drilling equipments for mineral exploration, soil investigation, to over 16 different countries. Italian OEM Drillmec a global contractor in the design and construction of drilling and work over rigs for onshore and offshore oil & gas industries, is also present in India.


According to ‘The Global Tunneling and Drilling Equipment Market - Key Trends and Opportunities to 2018,’ CAGR for India is pegged at 8.4 per cent. A majority of this demand will be generated by transport (roads/rail/sea/air), infra segments like power and mining, and urban infra and real estate. Add to this substantial new demand for foundation equipment from metro rail projects across urban India. One more forthcoming demand driver will be the proposed Mumbai Trans Harbor Link (MTHL), connecting Mumbai to Nhava Sheva on the mainland near to JNPT.


Major players in India include; Getech Equipments, PRD Rigs India, Revathi Equipment Ltd, Soilmec India, Suretech Infrastructure, Junttan OY, Bauer, etc.



APAC leads Globally


According to consultant Market Research, Asia-Pacific was the largest regional market in the global tunneling and drilling equipment market in 2013, accounting for 48.7 per cent of the global market, followed by Europe and North America, with respective shares of 25.9 per cent and 15.6 per cent. Growth in GCC countries, and recovery in Europe and North America will support the market’s expansion. Market shares in Europe, North America, Latin America and the Middle East are expected to reach 27.7 per cent, 16.5 per cent, 6.7 per cent and 4.2 per cent respectively in 2018, up from 2013, while Asia-Pacific’s share is forecast to reach 44.8 per cent. The APAC market recorded a CAGR of 1.41 per cent. China led with 61.6 per cent share in 2013, followed by Australia, India, Japan and South Korea, with respective shares of 15.0 per cent, 8.4 per cent, 6.8 per cent and 3.9 per cent. Among 26 European countries, Russia led in 2013, with 19.8 per cent, followed by Germany, Italy, Sweden, Turkey and the UK, with 17.6 per cent, 12.0 per cent, 10.6 per cent, 8.6 per cent and 7.4 per cent respectively. The overall European market clocked a CAGR of 6.59 per cent, and is expected to record a forecast-period CAGR of 6.11 per cent.


The US was the largest market in the North American tunneling and drilling equipment market, with an 87.5 per cent share in 2013, while Canada accounted for the remainder. Owing to a low base-year value, the North American tunneling and drilling equipment market recorded a review-period CAGR of 19.84 per cent. The market is expected to post a forecast-period CAGR of 5.87 per cent, driven largely by recovery in the US construction industry.


In the Latin American tunneling and drilling equipment market, Mexico accounted for the largest share with 46.9 per cent in 2013, followed by Brazil, Colombia and Argentina with 23.8 per cent, 19.0per cent and 10.3per cent respectively. The market registered a review-period CAGR of -0.37 per cent and is expected to grow at a forecast-period CAGR of 5.30 per cent. Brazil was a key source of demand in Latin America because it hosted the 2016 Olympic Games.


Another report by Grand View Research ‘Piling Machine Market Analysis, By Product,’ found that Asia Pacific dominated the global market contributing to 41.1 per cent of revenues generated in 2015. Construction sector growth in China, Thailand, Singapore, and India in light of increasing government spending along with favorable policies towards infrastructure development will open new avenues for growth over the upcoming years. Growing importance of unconventional energy sources including solar and the wind for power generation on account of regulatory support in India, Japan, and China is expected to promote their foundation work, which in turn will propel industry growth over the forecast period. The analysis included Impact Hammers, Vibratory Drivers, and Rigs, and by Method, where Impact Driven, Drilled Percussive, Rotary Bored, Air Lift Reverse Circulation Drilling (RCD), Auger Boring, Continuous Flight Auger (CFA). Piling rigs were the most extensively used product and accounted for 39.7 per cent of the overall industry share in 2015 and will show high gains owing to its ability to perform multi-purpose functions including drilling and grouting and auger and screw boring. Expansion of railways network in various countries including China, India, UAE and Saudi Arabia in light of new establishments of metro rail systems is expected to increase usage of multi-functional piling machines, which in turn will augment industry expansion over the upcoming years.


The impact driven method was valued at $1.31 billion in 2015 and is projected to witness growth as a result of its low-cost and efficient pile installations at sites with firm soil. Impact-driven is done with the help of a hydraulic system, compressor, diesel or manual impact hammer machine. Rising usage in full displacement piling and construction of foundations of tall buildings will promote industry expansion. Increasing construction of high-rise buildings is expected to augment market growth over the forecast period. Growing popularity of new methods such as reverse circulation drilling and rotary boring is foreseen to be a major hindrance for the industry.


The increasing use of screw tools for undergoing boring is expected to be a favorable factor for growth. Continuous flight auger (CFA) piling will show fastest growth over the forecast period at a CAGR of 6.5 per cent in light of providing fewer vibrations. Impact hammers market was valued at $1.3 billion in 2015 and were the second largest segment. Lower cost as compared to other products along with their ease of incorporation in foundation industry is expected to propel its demand over the forecast period. Vibratory drivers is a prominent segment, projected to witness a decrease in its share by 2024 on account of stringent regulations aimed at restricting the application scope of construction equipment causing high noises.


Key players in the global industry include Bauer AG, Soilmec, Atlas Copco, Sinomach, The Casagrande Group, Tescar, Delmag, BSP International Foundations, etc.


The report valued global piling market size at $4.39 billion in 2015 and is projected to witness significant growth over the forecast period (2024) owing to rapid infrastructural development across commercial and residential sectors. Increasing industrialisation and rising consumption of metals and minerals in emerging economies including India, China, and the Middle East have resulted in expanding mining activities. Growing requirement of foundation equipment in mining operations is expected to have a positive impact on the market over the next eight years. Regulatory inclination towards increasing energy output through unconventional sources including solar and the wind is projected to promote their foundation work, which in turn will fuel the product demand over the forecast period. However, the requirement of a skilled workforce to operate equipment will be a major challenge for the market growth.


The high cost associated with buying new piling machines on account of increasing cost related to consumables including engines and heavy-duty hydraulic systems is expected to force buyers to prefer rental equipment. Furthermore, rising tooling cost in light of recommendations by OEMs to use specialized tools and relevant lubrication oils is likely to remain a concerning factor for industry participants.


But the latest is Persistence Market Research report titled “Global Piling Machine Market: Industry Analysis and Forecast, 2016-2024,” new sales of piling machines in 2015 was pegged at 1,611 units and this is anticipated to increase at a CAGR of 3.8 per cent over the forecast period (2016–2024) to reach 2,259 units by 2024. It analyzes the global piling machine market performance between 2016 and 2024 and provides insights into the key drivers and restraints impacting the market. Piling rigs accounted for a maximum share of 36.4per cent of overall market sales end 2016 and is projected at $ 678.9 mln by 2024. Vibratory pile drivers account for second largest share and is projected at $192.9 mln by 2016. Hydraulic press is projected to clock fastest CAGR to reach a market value of $120.6 mln by 2024. “The hydraulic press-in and piling rig segments are expected to continue to be the most prominent segments in this market and are expected to grow significantly due to increasing demand, especially in emerging economies,” says an Analyst at Persistence Market Research.


Major players in the global market include; Bauer Group, Junttan Oy, Soilmec S.p.A, Liebherr Group, BSP International Foundations, Casagrande S.p.A., International Construction Equipment, DELMAG GmbH & Co. KG, Changsha Tianwei Engineering Machinery Manufacturing Co., Ltd., and MAIT S.p.A.


Among regions globally, Asia Pacific is forecast to be fastest growing market for piling machines, projected to touch $829.7 mln by end 2024. North America is projected at a CAGR of 4.9 per cent at $328.7 mln by end 2024. European piling segment is projected at a CAGR of 5.5 per cent touching $274.1 mln by end 2024.




Bauer group has been in Foundation Business for almost 250 years and Bauer Machines have always been associated with high productivity, latest technological advancements, superior quality, safety, environment friendly and versatility. Our equipment lasts a lifetime.   Rajendra Singh Rathore – GM Operations  - Bauer Equipment India





Our product quality is superior and cost is 40 per cent economical. In this market uptime is very critical  and demanding, so all our products perform to this requirement and Deliver Value for money to customers.

G. Sadishkumar,  Director - Global Operations,  PRD Rigs India








In UAE, we have successfully completed nearly 250 projects


UNIVERSAL PILING is a major player in the tough GCC market, and its sister concern PINNACLE PILING  has executed major projects in India’s metro rail space, and also in the real estate segment. In an exclusive interview to CONSTRUCTION OPPORTUNITIES, SAI KUMAR, MANAGING DIRECTOR, PINNACLE PILING (INDIA) PVT LTD, talks about major challenges faced by them on projects executed in India.


Major criteria for selecting a particular type/size/capacity, and OEM brand.


Drills are selected depending on the nature of soil strata needed to deal with and market demands such as diameter and depth. For example, soil strata of NCR areas are not very hard and do not require high torque drills, whereas in most part of Mumbai we have challenging rock strata to penetrate. For loose to medium soil conditions, we usually engage drills between 15 – 22 Tm torque, whereas for penetrating in rock we prefer 25 Tm and above.


Major brands of drills we use for piling are BAUER, JINT, TESCAR and XCMG. For hard and challenging ground conditions, we prefer BAUER drills. Their speed / torque combination is excellent. JINT and XCMG have advantage of being cost effective. They perform extremely well on loose and medium soil conditions. TESCAR is ideal for low headroom and limited work space conditions. Their CF3S model facilitates installation of1000mm piles in less than 4.50m head room. For anchor installation and micro piling, we are using HD, KLEM, and SOILMEC brands. HD from Hong Kong are sturdy drills and commercially attractive. KLEM and SOILMEC have assortment of models catering to wide range of drilling operations.




Major Foundation projects executed by your company, please specify sector wise. Major challenges faced in executing them.


In India, we have successfully completed projects for clients including Delhi Metro, Mumbai Metro, Wave Group, and DLF. Currently works for Mumbai Metro project is progressing in different locations. In Mumbai Fortjet Hills, piling works are progressing for a 60 story building in a mountain slope of nearly 50 degree. Our Shoring experience in India extends to a depth of 25m. In UAE, we have successfully completed over 250 projects since our inception in 2008 for clients including RTA, DUBAI MUNICIPALITY, DEWA, EMPOWER, METRO 2020 with pile diameters varying from 300mm to 2600mm and depth up to 60m. With our Tescar drills, we have successfully installed 800mm dia piles in 4.5m headroom condition.

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