25 January 2020

Interaction: Ramesh Palagiri, MD & CEO, Wirtgen Group India

Maximum localisation for product competivity



Over the years, WIRTGEN and its brands have been a key name in India’s road sector. Having continuously been in the forefront of improvising on the ideas and banking on the opportunities, the group has been providing all round solutions for the road construction sector. In an exclusive interview to CONSTRUCTION OPPORTUNITIES, RAMESH PALAGIRI, MD & CEO, WIRTGEN GROUP INDIA, speaks about the salient features of the company, the changing market trends and the company’s role in the ‘Make in India’ drive.





Briefly give us an overview of the road construction equipment industry, the latest technology trends, and the current business drivers? What are the road equipment currently most in demand? 


In the last 3-4 years there has been a huge surge in the road construction sector, both on National highways and State highways, and this has driven demand for all our products.





What are the products offered by your firm to support India’s road construction plans?  Cutting edge technology featured in your machines. What distinguishes your equipment from competitors?


Wirtgen group offers 360 degree solution in the road construction and road rehabilitation segment through our brands: Wirtgen ,Voegele, Hamm , Kleemann.The Wirtgen Group has been continuously innovating its products and all our road technology brands – Wirtgen , Vogele and Hamm are not only global market leaders but also innovation leaders , the average age of a machine being not more than 3 years.


The Wirtgen Group  has  been consistently developing products that offer better efficiency  in terms of fuel consumption which helps in sustainable development and less carbon  emissions,lower life cycle costs and better productivity of these machines.




Give us an understanding of their key features in terms of safety, ease of operating your machines, operator comfort, cost efficiency etc their specific advantages.


Keeping the varying and challenging work conditions across India, we emphasis more on the ergonomics, safety and comfort of the operators. The cab design for the operators also plays very important role as the operator can concentrate more on thework rather than struggling for his basic safety and comfort during the long work hours.


To give an example, our ErgoPlus3 display technology in Vogele pavers is extremely user friendly on which the operator can work intuitively and does not need the knowledge of any specific languages. The operator seat and the console can be adjusted easily to achieve maximum visibility. 





Please provide details on your emphasis on technology, research, design and innovation?  What is your focus on technological up gradation in respect to your products? What are the advancements you have introduced or planning to introduce?


To start with, we at Wirtgen Group - have introduced Cold Milling and Cold Recycling and these two technologies are  reasonably well accepted in the market. Soil stabilization is also becoming very popular and all these technologies result in saving resources, faster construction and cost-effective solutions.  The Cement Treated Base or subbase (CTB or CTSB) not only reduces aggregate requirement, but also ensures stronger foundation and reduces layers.


The cold recycling reuses 100 per cent of asphalt pavement material and the only addition is bitumen 2-3 per cent which rehabilitates the asphalt pavement to its original properties.


Hot Recylcing is an economical and environment friendly rehabilitation method for asphalt surface courses where many types of surface damages like rutting, cracking, lack of skid resistance, pavement irregularities, excessive bitumen etc can be repaired on a large scale in a short period of time. The first Wirtgen Hot Recycler has arrived in India and the project would start shortly.


For Concrete paving, the Wirtgen Slipform Pavers can now offer Dual- layer concrete paving, where a single machine is used for dual layer concrete paving, the bottom layer and the top layer concrete are paved in a synchronised operation. It is additionally ensured that both the top and bottom layers are paved “ Wet-in-Wet“ regardless of weather or site conditions. This can be done with single paver or with two pavers where it is necessary to distribute the operating weight to two separate machines.


In Asphalt paving - the VOGELE -In Line Paving where the binder and surface courses are paved "hot on hot" in a single pass, greatly accelerating activities on a job site. In addition, it is not necessary to completely close down the road: the three machines – a paver for the binder course, a paver for the surface course and a material feeder – work "in line", one behind the other, leaving one lane open to traffic. An ideal solution for rehabilitation of heavily travelled roads. The process is both economical and highly eco-friendly,the layer thickness can be reduced in "hot on hot" paving, thus lowering consumption of the costly surface course mix.


The innovative VÖGELE Spray Jet technology is helpful where bitumen emulsion can be sprayed and overlaid with an asphalt surface course .The special advantages of the innovative VÖGELE SprayJet technology lies in its cost-efficiency and excellent environmental credentials. The process optimizes the placement of thin, resource-saving, low-noise asphalt layers.


VÖGELE also offers an innovative and economical solution for the road construction sector with the non-contacting Road Scan temperature measurement system. The scanning and documentation of the freshly paved asphalt’s temperature is already specified in tenders in several markets, and in others there are definitive plans to implement this. After completion of the construction job, contractors can furnish detailed evidence that the temperature was maintained within the correct range using the recorded GPS data, including precise tracking.




Are you looking to add new equipment to you existing product portfolio? Are you eyeing specific projects?


We have already launched  two models of pavers last year and also the screens. We currently have no plans to add new products in the Pune manufacturing facility, however we would be offering new products from our manufacturing facilities in Germany like the new milling machine W 120 R and the new slipform paver SP 62.




What are the trends driving purchase or hire of road construction equipment market in India? To what extent is consumer behavior influenced by cost?


The market is still primarily ownership driven as far as the road building and road rehabilitation machines are concerned, but the rental and the leasing concept is getting more acceptances in our industry. The Indian consumer  is always looking for “ Value for Money” products and whoever has the ability to deliver this, gains market leadership.




Tell us about the indigenization efforts undertaken by the company to meet the market requirements? What is the company’s approach to implementing the ‘Make in India’ drive?


We have been making in India since 2011, and we have identified products for making in India – where we can localize. Our aim is maximum localisation– so as to make the product competitive.

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