Tuesday, August 16, 2022

Interaction - Alok Jha & Puneet Kumar Vidyarthi, CASE Construction Eqpt,

 

                      

Our impressive product portfolio delivers performance, productivity and low Cost of Ownership

 

CASE has a rich legacy of sustainably supporting construction businesses across the world with products and services that deliver practical solutions to their challenges. ALOK JHA, DIRECTOR – SALES & MARKETING, INDIA & SAARC – CASE CONSTRUCTION EQUIPMENT & PUNEET KUMAR VIDYARTHI, HEAD – MARKETING & BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT (CE BUSINESS) - INDIA & SAARC, CASE CONSTRUCTION EQUIPMENT, in a joint exclusive interaction with CONSTRUCTION OPPORTUNITIES on the aegis of EXCON spoke about the company’s new launches, technological innovations and a lot more.

 

CASE Construction Equipment has recently completed envious 180 years of serving construction businesses across the world. Kindly share with us this enviable journey…

Alok Jha (AJ): Yes, we take pride in this extraordinary  achievement. For the past 180 years, CASE has been pioneering technologies and innovations that have changed the industry and earned the trust of construction businesses across the world. It introduced the first factory-integrated backhoe loader in 1957. The more than fifty years of skid steer loader and wheel loader excellence, and numerous awards –testify to its expertise and its ability for practical innovation. The long history of important milestones and this year’s anniversary are testament to CASE’s capacity to evolve with the time, always remaining close to the customers with effective and innovative products and services – including an expanding offer of digital services – that deliver performance, productivity and low Cost of Ownership.

Sustainability is in CASE’s DNA and a key strategic driver that extends to all aspects of our business focusing on 4 key priorities: reducing the carbon footprint of the  operations and products; ensuring occupational safety on the workplace; a circular product life cycle approach to design; and actively involving the CASE people and local communities.

 

What are the products you launched at this year’s EXCON? What are the technological deployments in your new launches?

Puneet Vidyarthi (PV): We displayed 10 models at the exhibition from our existing range of equipment, including a 952 EX and 450 DX Vibratory Compactors, and a 2050M Dozer. We launched new equipment starting with the 770 NXe 49.5hp Loader Backhoe, together with the 770 EX Plus, 851 FX CP variant, 1107EX Soil Vibratory Compactor, CX220C LC-HD Excavator, and 845C Motor Grader.

The newly launched 770 NXe is a highly versatile Loader Backhoe from CASE that demonstrates a right balance between power and efficiency. The equipment features a cutting-edge Electro-Hydraulics variable displacement pump, coupled with the proven FPT S8000 49.5 hp engine that promises to deliver exceptional productivity in all applications without any compromise. The engine, designed and developed to offer higher productivity by CASE sister brand FPT Industrial, is known for its class leading torque delivery, which provides incomparable performance in tough loader applications with faster response time and high fuel efficiency.

CASE India has prioritized customer ease optimizing the machine layout for maintenance operations and providing easy access to all the main components with its signature tilt-able front engine hood. We have tried to introduce more machines per machine in this category. We feel that there is lot of scope in the export market and that’s why we are continuing with our existing range as well.

CASE India’s Loader Backhoes are renowned in the industry for their quality and performance. The recently unveiled 770EX Plus Loader Backhoe is powered by a native AL H4C4 engine known for its excellent reliability and durability. The high torque electronic engine is acknowledged for its proved transmission and low downtime and is backed by a modern hydraulics system that provides more output per litre.

We also introduced the 851 FX CP model, known for its FPT engine technology that generates 97 hp and delivers a class leading 453Nm torque. The advanced operator station is a spacious airconditioned cabin with near 360° visibility for higher productivity. It also offers an audio visual warning system with up to 25 warning signals along with electronic throttle knob, 12V power socket, and electrical side shift lock for ease of operation.

CASE CX220C LC Excavator is marking a new chapter in the brand’s journey in India with the start of Excavator manufacturing at the Pithampur plant. The machine is designed to handle tough applications and is powered by a proven FPT engine to ensure high productivity with low fuel consumption. The CX220C LC is highly suitable for stone quarry, road works, general construction and earthwork. The 6-cylinder fuel-efficient FPT electronically controlled engine develops a gross power of 117 KW (157 hp) and peak torque of 622 Nm at 1800rpm. The excavator is equipped with CASE India’s renowned Telematics system, which provides real time updates related to the maintenance, tracking, utilization and security of the machine and sends real time alerts on fuel usage, battery, geo-fencing, engine, etc.

Our new Soil Compactor 1107EX features a standard drive and smooth drum for multi-purpose activities and standard compaction jobs. The 1107EX PD with pad foot drum and double drive is designed for compressing more cohesive materials. It also offers a 25 mm drum and turbocharger with pre-cleaner as a part of its clean and quality design. The machine is powered by an AL H4C4 engine with a choice of world-class components that ensures a high level of performance and reliability.

CASE Graders are among the best-in-class ranges in the brand’s line-up with a commitment of return on investment for longer duration. The new C-series Graders are powerful machines with the FPT 6.7L turbocharged BS (CEV) IV diesel engine, which is electronically controlled. The intelligent hydraulic system with a load sensor allows operators to regulate the moldboard from the cabin itself, resulting in increased productivity and operator comfort. CASE 845C Motor Grader is designed to provide comfortable operation from the ROPS/FOPS open cab. The cabin features an adjustable suspension vinyl seat and operator control for ease of accessibility and unobstructed visibility. It is also equipped with an electronic information centre that indicates Tachometer readings, Transmission modes (automatic/manual), Engine cooling temperature, fuel level and consumption, Engine and Transmission diagnostics and other features.

 

We would like to know from you about your customer centric service programs.

(AJ): We have over 200 touchpoints and 66 dealers. The industry  sells over 36000 backhoe loaders in a year, where CASE India holds  7% market share. We are the leaders in the compactor segment in the country. We have two very unique programs – the CASE CARE, which is all about annual service contracts and CASE PROTECT, which is about maintenance contract. During the lifecycle of the equipment, we must be engaged and ensure that the customer gets the benefits of the lowest cost of operations. We have customized packages to suit their needs.

CASE Protect is the most comprehensive safeguard for the machine. It is the assurance that every business needs to stay competitive, productive and profitable. This premium support by CASE covers critical components of machine for an extended duration. CASE Protect is an extended warranty that can be purchased during the first year of machine ownership. This program covers all hydraulic components, structures, transmissions, axle and the engine and has the same exclusions as your standard warranty. With CASE Protect, customers will be able to give expert care, round-the-clock support and hassle-free operations.

CASE machines were designed to exceed expectations. Each component, carefully chosen to maximize productivity, power and fuel efficiency. To keep these machines performing at its peak, it needs to be serviced regularly. This is where CASE Care helps. CASE Care is an annual, cost-effective service contract. Within this contract, we pro-actively monitor customers’ machine’s health and diagnose potential problems, which helps in preventive maintenance, low downtime and maximum productivity.

In tandem to our continued thrust on after-sales service, alongside the impressive line-up of new products launches, we also showcased the after-market solutions. We have showcased, at the show, our Remanufactured Transmission. Remanufacturing helps in lowering customers’ owning and operating costs and increasing uptime. CASE remanufactured components provide a drop-in replacement option that meets the OEM specifications. That’s because some parts may have been updated to reflect the latest engineering enhancements or new testing procedures. In many cases, the reman parts perform better than the parts they replace. Most CASE reman parts are engineered to meet the latest OEM specs and can be used to substantially improve the performance of refurbished equipment. Cutting-edge technology, bespoke tooling & equipment and strenuous testing allow CASE to remanufacture essential components of vehicle to the highest standards, ensuring as-new quality. With REMAN, remanufactured parts can be quickly fitted as an alternative to an overhaul or repair.

The second service is the long block of engine. If the engine needs a replacement, there is no need to replace the whole machine. Customers can just replace the long blocks and put the peripherals as per their requirements. This ultimately reduces the downtime and results in substantial cost savings. Through these services, we aim to offer a one-stop-solution to our customers.

To limit machines’ downtime and guarantee maximum productivity, we continue to invest in a growing network of spare parts warehouses. Transforming our “Being close to the customer” philosophy into a daily reality, we work tirelessly to ensure we are physically closer to our customers through fast and effective parts delivery.

 

Tell us about your newly launched state-of-the-art R&D center.

(PV): The new India Technology  centre comes equipped with the latest technology and capabilities including an innovation department, vehicle simulation and a state-of- the-art Extended Reality/Virtual Reality laboratory to support global technology-led projects. The Centre has been operational since March 2021 and considering its early returns, the addition of further design development spaces for additive manufacturing, embedded software, data analytics, and User Interface & User Experience (UI/UX) with advanced simulation capabilities are foreseen. This site will play a strategic role for collaborative efforts with its sister R&D centres around the world to tap the opportunities offered by India’s digital ecosystem. The Centre will also focus on developing core competencies in customer-influenced software solutions and technologies including cloud, embedded, electrification, autonomous, advanced analysis, simulation, automation as well as mechanical & electrical design. We believe, our recently launched state-of-the-art Indian Technology Centre will significantly contribute towards developing smart, sustainable and technologically advanced equipment for India and export markets.

 

How engaged are you in terms of training the operators?

(AJ): There are two parts to this question – Operator Comfort & Operator Training. Operator comfort comes as one of the most important deliverables in our products. Cabins of the excavators or the motor grader are best in class in terms of the experience that the operator gets. We firmly believe that if the operator is comfortable, he or she will ensure maximum productivity in the desired timeline from the machine. Controls have to be ergonomically designed. India is a typical country where all the operators have varied weight and height. Our seats not only have the cushioning effect, but they also can move forward or backward as per the operators’ comfort. There are 20 different positions that the seats can take. Controls for the operator move along the seat. This is a revolution in itself. There are premium features built into the machine that offer the best performance and longevity. Coming back to the training part, we have just opened training centre at our manufacturing facility in Pithampur, covering nearly 900sqm and comprising three classrooms with a practical workshop area attached. Offering a capacity of up to 72 trainees at any time, the training centre benefits from multi-mode facilities – allowing sessions to take place both face-to-face and remotely, via the company’s online training portal. CNH Industrial Web Academy will also make use of the centre for web-based instructor-led training of engineers.

Through this initiative, we provide equipment- and technology-related training to our company and dealer engineers. For us, training and development are central to our corporate culture. The constant and rapid technological advances we see today make it an absolute necessity. Our new training centre will not only make the training process more inclusive but also ensure all our training recognizes the latest global trends and developments within the industry. Such training programs form a vital element of CASE Construction Equipment’s professional development strategy, to bring company and dealer engineers up to date with new technological advances and the safest, most appropriate way to use equipment for various applications.

We realize the fact that one operator training centre will not suffice for the skill deficit that we have in the country. Taking cognizance of the fact, we have also launched Nuclear Operator Meets across our 200 locations where we periodically organize operator meets. Under the pretext of these meets, we train and entice the operators to work on these machines. Otherwise, it’s extremely challenging to gather these operators. Besides, we also empower these operators with our DIY options where they themselves can carry out basic repair job to save on time. It’s still a small initiative, but for us, it’s the start of the new era where we enable and empower these operators to get the best out of the machines and become experts. We would like to be a significant part of Skill India initiatives through such endeavours.

The operator training program is in line with the IASC curriculum. In fact, we were a part of co-creating the training module for the operators. We have also started engaging with the educational institutes, such as IITs and IIMs. We believe that training just doesn’t stop at the operator level. It’s a much larger gamut and we are happy to witness the transition happening across the board and companies are coming forward in eliminating the skill gaps.

 

How has been response at EXCON?

(PV): We are elated to participate at the EXCON trade fair, which is taking place after a long period of global turmoil. In spite of rain showers playing spoil sport, we had a good footfall. We received serious buyers and are proud to inform you that we have sealed many deals too. We also facilitated financing options for our prospective customers. Looking at the burgeoning footfalls, we are delighted to witness business getting back to normal. Going forward we are optimistic that the construction industry in India is entering a sustained demand phase. We are taking this momentum introducing next-generation machines to our range of products that are designed, developed, and manufactured in India. We are confident that CASE with new and existing products have a solid potential to be a trusted supplier of construction equipment to the world.

 

How do you see the market dynamics shaping up?

(AJ): The past has been a little choppy, however the future holds a lot of cautious optimism.

We are sure that EXCON would possibly be the good luck charm for the industry and a BIG BOOSTER SHOT.