Friday, January 28, 2022

Interaction- Subhajit Chandra, Div Head- Mobile Crane, LIEBHERR INDIA

Our strong, well experienced and knowledgeable team of service managers and engineers are available 24 x 7 to entertain customer queries / breakdown if any

 

Liebherr an entrenched player in the Indian market is well known for its technologically advanced machines. In an exclusive interview to CONSTRUCTION OPPORTUNITIES, SUBHAJIT CHANDRA, DIVISIONAL HEAD - MOBILE CRANE DIVISION, LIEBHERR INDIA PRIVATE LIMITED speaks about the latest trends, company’s offerings, and future outlook on the industry.

 

Give a brief overview of the Cranes industry in India, latest trends and market dynamics.

The COVID-19 pandemic has negatively affected the Indian cranes market mainly due to the halt in international trade, prolonged lockdowns, and ceased manufacturing and construction processes. The Indian cranes market industry is segmented on the basis of type, mobility, business type, and region. Depending on type, the market is classified into All Terrain Cranes, Rough Terrain Cranes, Crawler Cranes and Truck Cranes.

According to business type, it is categorized into original equipment manufacturer (OEM) and aftersales. Based on mobility, it is classified into static and mobile. There is an increasing requirement for a broader range of higher lifting capacity, quality products, with long life expectancy and comprehensive after sales service.

However, Mobile All Terrain Cranes are the most standard and versatile type of crane used in construction, mining, defense, shipping, port building, rail, road, bridges, oil & gas industry, and others manufacturing industries. All Terrain dominates the market owing to growth in the construction sector across India due to his versatility and operation efficiency. Use of heavy-duty mobile crane in Indian industries is the sign of increase in investments in construction, cement, steel, wind and power sectors are factors for the market growth. All Terrain dominates the market owing to growth in the construction sector across the globe and in India due to his versatility and operation efficiency. Use of heavy-duty mobile crane in Indian industries is the sign of increase in investments in construction, cement, steel, wind and power sectors are factors for the market growth. The mobile crane consists of telescopic boom mounted on a mobile platform/ chassis, which could be a wheeled. It is being designed to facilitate easy transportation between different operating locations by road. Rough Terrain cranes are mainly for inside the plant operation and truck crane are useful but limited to smaller capacity segment up to 60MT-80MT.

However, All Terrain Cranes is predicted to accelerate owing to the expansion of cement plants, construction industry, Infrastructure projects and the increased business potential of shipbuilding and repair industry. In addition, the increasing competition in the market is expected to drive further the crane rental rates resulting in overall growth of All Terrain crane revenue share.

 

 

Many states have now eased the lockdown, has there been an uptake in sales for your company, provide details with regards to the current situation of the industry and what are your strategies to overcome these challenges.

Since the 3rd quarter of the year 2021 slowly, we have found a good movement of enquiry level of 250T- 300T capacity crane However, Mobile crane manufacturers are expected to make improvements in their manufacturing capabilities with the stabilizing market scenario over the forecast timeframe. Sales of mobile cranes play a vital role in increasing revenue in the construction and infrastructure industry, owing to their high usage in the building of industrial plants, mines, road and bridge infrastructure. The diminishing requirement of mobile cranes across India due to the recent pandemic affected the mobile cranes market share over the projected timeframe.

 

 

Tell us of your various crane offerings their lifting capacities, applications and their demand in the Indian market.

We are coming with 300T capacity All Terrain Crane – LTM1300-6.3 features with very long 90m Boom, the highest boom length will help to lift the material in higher reach and this will be perfect suit for Taxi jobs in India. Our Liebherr make 450T capacity All Terrain Crane – Model LTM 1450-8.1 a long yet powerful 85-meter telescopic boom with single engine. The Liebherr 8-axle crane has been designed for worldwide cost-effective mobility and fast, easy set-up on site, which has resulted in the LTM 1450-8.1 being capable of travelling on public roads with a 12-tonne axle load including its 85-meter-long telescopic boom, all supports and a complete hoist winch. This means that it can be quickly prepared for use once it reaches the site. Liebherr unveiled recently 650T capacity All Terrain Crane –Model LTM1650-8.1 at the Bauma 2019 event, the successor to the legendary LTM 1500-8.1, the best-selling large crane ever. Of course, this heavy-duty crane has the same genetic concept as its predecessor i.e. ultimate performance on eight axles. The result is that the 8-axle crane can complete hoisting work in the 700-tonne class or even higher with ease. It therefore has a nominal lifting capacity of 700 tones.

In a lifting capacity comparison, the LTM 1650-8.1 exceeds its predecessor’s capacity by between 15 and 50 percent, depending on its equipment package. LTM1650-8.1 has got the max lifting capacity 700T @ 3m working radius with 80m main boom with single engine which is important factor considering the fuel consumption which affect the direct operation cost of the project. Our Crane Model LTM1750-9.1 has excellent success in India, till date we have sold 2 no’s in India in The key feature of the 9-axle LTM 1750-9.1 is that, it can carry its entire telescopic boom on public roads. Its high load capacities and variable boom Systems enable it to cover a wide range of uses. In terms of its construction, this Liebherr make 800T capacity All Terrain mobile crane is designed for particularly short set-up times. The lifting capacity 800T @3m working radius with 52m main boom and 91m strong luffing jib makes the crane the best in the world in 800T capacity class.

 

 

Please provide details on your emphasis on technology – features like intelligent crane control systems and digital platforms imbibed in your cranes and innovations? What are the advancements you have introduced or plan to introduce?

All Terrain cranes are the new innovations being developed worldwide by all reputed Crane manufacturers in last few years. Rough Terrain Cranes are suitable for only on rough terrain operation, cannot move on road. Special concrete roads having high load bearing capacity has to be made to make it move on the roads. It is clearly understood the roads in refinery, Green filled projects and construction sites are not with even terrain in such cases All Terrain Cranes are best suited i.e. Suitable for both off road and on road operation. In Rough Terrain Cranes Axle load is very high, so it is not possible to make it move on the civil roads. In Rough Terrain Crane C.G., position is very high; thereby giving a possibility on toppling of the machine is very high. In such cases, consideration of All Terrain Cranes which are much more technically superior for operation and maintenance of plants, refinery etc. Liebherr manufactures crane as per EN13000 as a manufacturing standard. In EN standards, The European conformity Machinery Directive (ECMD) gives the essential health and safety requirements for machinery. The number of mobile and crawler cranes accident over the past many years remained constant and it has been analyzed that the mobile cranes were the largest contributor. The worldwide accepted and technologically highly enhanced standard EN 13000, which guides the safety norms for the mobile cranes especially operating within functional plants, has a widespread effect on the safety concerns, and has reduced the numbers of accidents in modern day cranes almost to nil. The EN13000 calls for few important criteria’s which are to be strictly followed and concerns only safety features of the cranes thereby minimizing the casualties and fatal accidents caused by petty faults of the operators. As this is to be kept in mind, that an operator is only an operator. Hence, Liebherr offers the Override switch and data logger, Variable Outrigger placements and Fleet Management system such safety features to avoid the accident and human loss. You can notify our following additional features of Mobile Crane, which are unique:

Liebherr Patented VarioBase® (Variable Outrigger extension) System: VarioBase® means the maximum load capacity is calculated directly in the crane control. Thereby the crane control considers the current working position of the crane. It helps to considers unequal extended outrigger beams, e.g. at constricted job sites and provides higher load capacities and lager working areas. VarioBase® calculates for each job situation the maximum load capacity and makes crane jobs more secure. VarioBase shall have the capability to work on outrigger with extension of individual outrigger to the extent of available space without any step (continuous). Individual outrigger extendable arbitrarily to each other. The Crane system is able to calculate the relevant capacity according to each arbitrary outrigger position, which should be displayed in the operator cabin.

Innovative measuring technology of VarioBase®: The in-house developed systems can only provide accurate results if accurate values are available. Liebherr provides maximum safety.

Eco Mode: With the help of Eco Mode an automatic adjustment of the diesel engine speed, fuel is saved and noise emission is reduced.

BTT (Bluetooth Terminal): By wireless remote control & display unit operating hoist and luffing winches to detach/attach hook block from/to front bumper for better safety, engine start/stop & speed regulation, electronic level display and automatic levelling.

 

 

Detail us on the USP’s of your crane, ease of operating your machines, operator comfort and Safety features in your products.

Our Liebherr Models of All Terrain Crane LTM1300-6.3 i.e., 300T capacity crane, LTM1450-8.1 i.e. 450T capacity & LTM1650-8.1 i.e. 700T capacity cranes are with single engine. Single Engine has enough power to supply both in Superstructure and Carrier and they are well equipped with all the new upcoming emission norms in India. Due to one engine maintenance cost reduced.

Definitely two engine maintenance cost is more. The best benefit customer can get in India is fuel-efficient operation. The strong luffing jib is best suitable for Plant operation and in real estate for lifting the jib of tower cranes at higher reach, our strong luffing Jib makes the crane at the best in the respective capacity class.

Our Telescopic boom is a puncture proof and torsion resistant construction made of high strength fine-grained structural steel. The oval boom profile provides maximum stability during bending and torsion. All telescopic sections are extended or retracted by a double-acting hydraulic cylinder. With the rapid-cycle telescopic system TELEMATIK, the various extension lengths can be positioned fully automatic or manual. All telescopic sections can be telescoped hydraulically under partial load. The telescoping process is monitored by the LICCON control on the monitor with telescope images. The telescope length is displayed on the LICCON monitor in the crane cabin.

The Crane Control: The control system consists of a LICCON monitor with central computer and operating unit, operating and control unit, input and output modules, two keyboard units and four hand joysticks. All crane movements are continuously electronically controlled. The Liebherr System Bus (LSB) and the Controller Area Network (CAN) manage the data transfer. The maximum working speed of the hoist, luffing, telescoping and slewing gear can be limited at the LICCON control.

 

 

Detail us about the steps initiated to upgrade the skill sets of technicians and operators?

Indian Infrastructure segment is still in high demand of mobile cranes and certainly the operating a crane can be a high-risk activity at a job site. Beyond the potential for serious injuries or death, a crane accident can result in significant property damage and affect the project’s budget and schedule. Crane accidents also can harm a construction company’s brand and reputation. Having a well-trained operator can help mitigate, and possibly eliminate, some of the risks associated with using cranes. A safe lift depends on a number of people filling roles including operators, riggers, signal persons, crane owners, crane users, lift directors and site supervisors, and the communication between those people. Making sure all members of the team are qualified to do their jobs should be a priority. Training can help increase the awareness of risk and jobsite safety associated with crane operations. Liebherr can assist companies in educating employees from the company owners to the operator and even those working nearby.

In India, the operators are getting certificate from few third-party private agencies who certifies the operator but which are not valid and has not any Government authorized approval. To overcome this and make the situation stream line the above-mentioned initiative is important. The operators training shall be provided together by OEM’s (Original Equipment Manufacturers) i.e. Liebherr WerkEhingen GmbH via Liebherr India –MCD and “Skill India” authorized body. By taking such trainings, crane operators will be able to maintain and trouble shoot without external support. This training will be on simulators especially prepared for such purposes being manufactured in Germany and proper completion of the course would enable them to understand crane and get confidence to do trouble shooting if requires. Due to increase in infrastructure in India, number of cranes in future will increase which will result in recruitment of trained operators. Hence, we came up with the idea of training them on simulator alongside with classroom training’s with proper training materials. We wish to use logo of “Skill INDIA” on our training certificate which will surely increase the proposition of the certificate being awarded to them after fruitful completion of the training program followed by an exam process to access their skill development, which would open various opportunities for them in the future.

 

 

Tell us about the indigenisation efforts undertaken by the company to meet the market requirements.

We are purely Sales and Service Company in India i.e. Liebherr India Private Limited is fully owned subsidiary of Liebherr Germany. We offer Brand new and used crane from Germany and provide full after sales support to Indian Market. Being a price sensitive market, we are supplying our used crane, which are 2-3 aged refurbishing in our yard in Germany with due health checkup. We are getting very good response about crane quality and reliability. Especially, for retail segment our strong and long boom cranes are very much fulfilling market requirement of taxi job’s.

 

 

To what extent are aftermarket services a strategic differentiator.

We Liebherr strongly believe that to our customer’s a first crane sold by Sales Representative and second crane to be sold by our service team. We have a strong and well experienced and knowledgeable team of service managers and engineers who are available 24 x 7 to entertain customer queries / breakdown if any

 

 

Your strategy in this price sensitive market.

Due to COVID-19 pandemic, the lockdown has resulted in various infrastructure project sites staring were at closure due to supply chain disruptions that may contract further as more states may enforce COVID-19 lockdown. The mobile crane equipment rental market holds considerable potential for future growth. Hence, the front running organizations are constantly updating their equipment fleets with advanced technologies. Crane players stand to benefit from increasing government investments in infrastructure development in emerging economies. The Indian government is expected to increase its spending on public infrastructure to meet its ambitious development plans.

 

 

Tell us about the new products you have launched or plan to launch in the near future.

In the recent past, we are coming with 300T capacity All Terrain Crane – LTM1300-6.3 features with very long 90m Boom, the highest boom length will help to lift the material in higher reach and this will be perfect suit for Taxi jobs in India.

 

 

Emerging trends in rentals of cranes. To what extent is consumer behavior influenced by cost.

India is always a price sensitive market especially for high-capacity cranes and certainly an equipment finance come in to the picture. The ROI (Return on Investment) taking much longer time for the retail customers and hence to invest on new crane is a matter of questions to them. Hence, we are offering used crane from Liebherr, which are cost effective, and at the same time having a quality and updated technology to all capacity cranes.

 

 

Future outlook for the industry and from a company perspective.

Moreover, in 2021, the effect of the COVID 19 pandemic affected the All-Terrain crane market as it sees a halt in sales; nevertheless, the crane manufacturers like us improved digitalization, connectivity, and already resumed our sales activities all over the world and eventually in India too. The India Crane Market is anticipated to register a CAGR of over 5% during the forecast period 2022 - 2025. These growing construction activities in India will certainly create the demand for cranes. The industry is poised for rapid growth in the coming years, with major investment plans in infrastructure and construction.

Focus on major India Government prestigious project, providing high quality standard product with better operation efficiency is always a LIEBHERR saga and we will continue pursuing the same in Indian crane industry.




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