21 April 2019

Table of Contents for Cover Story





Interaction- Amarnath Ramachandran, President & Director, LeeBoy India Construction Equipment India

We have a clear roadmap to build global-spec machines

Among the few OEMs who began manufacturing in India solely for the global market, the company is now emerging an entrenched player in the domestic market as well. In an exclusive interview to CONSTRUCTION OPPORTUNITIES, AMARNATH RAMACHANDRAN, PRESIDENT & DIRECTOR, LEEBOY INDIA CONSTRUCTION EQUIPMENT (P) LTD, highlights Smart features in their machines and underlines the importance of Aftermarket Services.

 

Tell us about your manufacturing base in India. Do you practise Lean Manufacturing?

LeeBoy’s manufacturing plant is located in Bengaluru, Karnataka in India. Spread over 5 acres, this plant has the capacity to produce 900 units annually. We manufacture Motor Graders, Crawler Excavators, Backhoe Loaders, Drill Rigs, and Concrete Batching plants at this facility. This state-of-the-art manufacturing facility has rolled out over 550 machines over the last five years.

We use lean manufacturing processes to provide high quality products with optimum usage of resources. This is also built into the overall framework of our factory which uses sustainable manufacturing principles with unwavering focus on continuous improvement.

 

 

Major demands made by end-users of your equipment. Is there a shift from initial cost price to TCO in Buyer Decisions? Importance of Aftermarket Services.

While cost is one of the key factors driving purchase, more and more customers are increasingly looking at other factors like total cost of ownership, productivity, availability of finance, resale value, service and spares support.  Service today is a given. It’s not possible to survive without service. LeeBoy works on a concept of total cost of ownership where factors like resale value, service support, and flexibility of the company to make small changes, play as big a role in maintaining customer loyalty as just aftersales and aftermarket support.

We offer our customers a comprehensive PSC (Post Sales Care) solution. We support machines directly and through dealers. Apart from a direct interface from LeeBoy as part of our customer engagement framework, our outlets and dealer network ensure availability of all essential spares for periodic and breakdown maintenance.

We have also invested in an exclusive training academy where the operator and service engineers undergo intensive training to operate and maintain our machines. There is a sharp focus here on preventive maintenance and troubleshooting to ensure a longer lifespan of the equipment, higher uptime, and lower maintenance costs.

We have recently launched the LeeBoy HelpDesk to enhance the speed and effectiveness of responding and resolving customer queries and complaints. Overall, there’s a very clear focus on offering our customers quick service to maximize uptime.
 

 

Do you practice ‘Make in India and Sell Globally,’ use your India manufacturing base to supply the global market.

Absolutely! Since our inception, we have had a clear roadmap to build global-spec machines. We only import key driveline components like axles, transmissions, control valves, brakes, pumps, and motors. The rest of the machine is completely Made in India.

Our products follow standards set by ISO and ARAI. They are not stripped down machines made for the Indian markets. There is only one build being manufactured in India which is sold in both domestic and overseas markets.  Machines made in our India plant are operating in 20 countries across the India subcontinent, Southeast Asia, Middle-East, and Africa.

 

 

Your assessment of India’s manufacturing policy, to what extent does it foster growth of your company.

To this question I’d like to quote John F Kennedy – “Ask not what your country can do for you but what you can do for your country.” Every company constantly searches for sops and subsidies instead of focusing on building globally competitive products. This is not only in India, many countries impose barriers. A product which is built well will sell everywhere despite obstacles. The need of the hour is to ramp up the contribution to GDP from the manufacturing sector. The need of the hour is efficient logistics from industrial areas to ports and airports. Fast electric trains which will lower cost and improve delivery time.

 

 

Your outlook for the Indian ECE market. Which sectors will be the major demand drivers?

The market outlook for India is always bright due to our infrastructure deficit. Implementation has been our nemesis. But we are getting there as the pace of projects has picked up over the last couple of years.

Growth will be significant higher over the next 3-4 years, and as mentioned earlier, barring any financial policy disruption or political instability. As India has a genuine infrastructure demand and if the current financial reforms continue, there will be no looking back. The main areas of demand will be roads, mining, defence and power.

 

 

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

2017 has been a year of consolidation for LeeBoy India. We have been hit like the rest of the market by demonetization, GST, etc. In the long term, we are still very optimistic about India. We are increasing exports to offset poor domestic margins. The road ahead is bright. We have large export orders pending execution.

 

 

As an exhibitor, what are your expectations at EXCON ’17?

EXCON has been and continues to be South Asia’s premiere exhibition for construction equipment.

EXCON 2017 is a very exciting year for us as we launch our new series of Motor Graders and Crawler Excavators. These are high performance machines which are suitable for mining and also popular in the Middle East and African markets for quick completion of projects.

We look forward to displaying the entire range of our product and service offerings at EXCON to existing and potential customers. Customers to EXCON typically have a focused plan in mind and they visit us for clarification and decisions. This is a great opportunity for us to showcase product up-gradation and new service offerings. It is also a very useful platform to connect with our supplier-partners who play an important role in our growth. With the advances in communication and media, we expect much more footfalls this year.

 

 

Cutting edge Smart Technology featured in your machines. Such as; engine control, SCADA, PLC, Telematics, IoT, etc. Also Safety and Operator Comfort features in your machines.

Our products are constantly upgraded on the basis of continuous feedback from customers and technical advances with our partner-suppliers. Since we launched our current portfolio for India in 2012-2013, most of our products are fully loaded with current technology. Some new features are:

  • Electronic CAN controlled engine
  • Electronic fault diagnostic systems for the whole machine from HO
  • New intelligent fan drive controller with integrated speed sensor
  • Electronic proportional control hydraulics
  • Power distribution modules, with CANBUS interface and diagnostics which eliminates fuses and relays
  • Built in safety algorithms in the transmission controller to prevent misuse and damage
  • Display of transmission fault codes and important parameters on the main electronic display in the cabin, to save the operator the head ache of locating and going through the manual to spot specific fault codes
  • Vastly Improved ergonomics and aesthetics with an imported cabin fully designed in Italy with all round higher visibility, better HVAC efficiency and ROPS/FOPS certified.
  • Radar based audio-visual, anti-collision system which will scale down accidents onsite, especially as the grader is in reverse for 50 per cent of the duty cycle.
  • Automatic cross slope and grade control system to enable the use of semi-skilled operators for critical finishing jobs.
  • Full-fledged 3D Laser controls.

Operator comfort and safety is ensured by an ergonomically designed cabin with AC, high visibility, infinitely variable productivity control, a reclining seat, differentiated piston joysticks, and foot pedals for a cushioned feeling. Work-lights are fitted on the upper structure, cabin top and boom. There is a high visibility beacon with dual or quadro flash along with a loud travel alarm. Other safety features like fire extinguisher, pick to break glass, etc. night lighting package are standard.

We have a lot of safety features built in to prevent operator misuse that includes the LeeBoy Insta-I telematics to ensure that operational data on health of the machine is tracked and maintained by skilled personnel. This enables the machine to run as the designers intended it to. Fuel alerts are also available.




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