01 June 2020

Interaction: Ashwani Kumar Tandon, Head-Sales & Mktg, Columbia Machine Engg


Our major emphasis is on R & D


Columbia Machine Engineering (India) Pvt. Ltd. is a wholly owned subsidiary of Columbia Machine Inc. USA , an over 75 year old, worldwide leader in the design, manufacturing and support of equipment for a variety of industries, with customers in over 100 countries around the world. In an exclusive interaction ASHWANI KUMAR TANDON, HEAD - SALES & MARKETING, COLUMBIA MACHINE ENGG spoke to CONSTRUCTION OPPORTUNITIES about his company and the latest trends in the concrete and concrete equipment sector.




Briefly give us an overview of the concrete equipment industry, the latest technology trends, and the current business drivers?


The project size is on the rise and most of the projects have a time bound completion. Today, the primary requirement of concrete is high strength. Hence, the contractors and builders are looking for technologically advanced and high efficiency equipment. In last few years equipment manufacturer’s have taken efforts to make the customers aware about the impact of these features on the quality of concrete. This has resulted in contractors/builders asking for value for money rather than going in for cheaper equipment. This is a positive sign.





Briefly tell us about the equipment’s and concrete solutions offered by your company. Cutting edge technology featured in your machines. What distinguishes your equipment from competitors.


We, at Columbia design the equipment based on state of the art technology. Our manufacturing facility at Vadodara is equipped with many modern machines to make our equipment’s as high-quality products. Our machines have the unique CVT technology (a mould vibration technology) which gives the product uniform and consistent density. It reduces the cement content and gives superior appearance, besides maintaining consistent product height. In mould vibration, the forces are completely uniform top to bottom and across the production pallets. This results in equal compaction of material throughout the product. This is quite a change from other machines where there is table vibration.





What is the emphasis you have placed on R&D, innovation, and sustainability?


Our major emphasis is on R & D. We have a very strong engineering and product development team which provides new concrete solutions to customers with technical know how from our parent company Columbia Machine Inc. USA. Our engineers use latest 3D modelling software to evaluate our designs. Additionally, we have a strong application engineering group to help our customers with the customised layout drawings meeting their requirements.





Could you name a few key projects in which you looking to contribute and which can enhance business prospects for concrete industry in India?


Columbia has an exhaustive list of customers across India who manufacture and supply concrete products to major infrastructure projects. The list of customers include world class eco friendly airports, many metro projects, airport terminals, Interceptor sewage system etc which catch the eyes of contractors who would like to be associated with these projects. We support our customers in the production of high end pavers/ blocks/Retaining wall blocks etc to make a mark in these projects. The state initiative projects like Sagarmala and Bharatmala, that are supported by the Prime Minister are set to present a new India to the nation’s citizens. Besides these there are many more projects to be undertaken by the current government where we would be involved to support our customers being partners in prestigious projects.





Could you talk of the growth trends in the concrete and concrete equipment sector and the operational and doing business challenges faced by firms such as yours?  


The growth in India is on the verge of witnessing an infrastructure build up. The construction industry is going to have a strong growth with large spends as mentioned on housing, road, ports. In the last few years there is a double-digit growth. The road sector produces the highest level of greenhouse gas, directly, through fossil energy used in mining, transportation, paving works… and indirectly through the emissions coming from vehicles. Actually, the constant increase in the number of road vehicles and therefore of the traffic generates a substantial increase in pollution and noise disturbances. Besides, huge challenges await the road construction sector such as a cheaper and better production, construction and of course maintenance, all the more as raw materials are becoming scarce and the environmental laws are getting stricter regarding air pollution and noise disturbances. Hence, all company’s focus and challenge lies in meeting the market demand. We at Columbia face huge challenge to compete in the market.





Could you talk of your strategies to push your products in a competitive atmosphere?


There is a big competition in the market with new challenges faced by us from companies from China and Korea however we have the cutting edge over them in terms of technology offered and customer who would not like to compromise on quality. We do see bright future ahead of us for 2018-19 as we are fully geared up to meet market demands.





Columbia Machine with over 20 years of presence in India, offers a complete range of products to suit the requirement of the market that you simply can’t get from any other manufacturer. From importing the machine from USA in the late 1980s to starting of manufacturing by 2000 and having over 200 plants till date in India, Columbia has spread all over the country from Kashmir in the north to Kerala in the south.
With the growing labour costs and great difficulty in getting reliable/ skilled labour throughout India, the Indian market has begun to consider investment in automation of pallet and product handling in their new concrete block plants. The growing popularity of small concrete products such as pavers and flyash bricks has led Columbia India‘s engineers to develop the next block machine with a pallet size optimized for these requirements. Columbia India now introduced SPM 30, this BIGGER & BETTER block machine with fully automated pallet handling and cubing system is the most reliable and viable alternative on the market. Many large and medium pallet machine that are installed in India are too big for the market requirement and not utilized to the fullest of their capacities, also the huge investment of time and money required to install them make them unviable investment.
The launch of SPM30 is a significant new addition to the company’s concrete block machinery range which is entirely made in India. SPM30 is bigger and better machine in addition; it has indigenously manufactured and uniquely designed fully automatic Rack Loader/Unloader Model UL30 for automation of Pallet and Rack Handling. Columbia’s Rack Loader/ Unloader is designed and engineered to adapt to provide economical, automated product handling to your operation. It is further supplemented by another uniquely designed product cubing equipment, the Plate Style Cuber Model PSC200. Engineered for high productivity, low energy usage, and heavy-duty moving, each of our cubers will help you lower operating costs for years to come. All these equipment have been developed and made in India based on technology from Columbia Machine Inc. USA. This equipment provides the Indian market with the most suitable solution for increasing capacity while drastically reducing manpower and simultaneously improving quality and efficiency at affordable investment costs. Columbia has always believed in its philosophy of a small pallet machine and today we are proud to say that most of our customers have not only profited but are proud owners of multiple Columbia machines. The SPM30 thus provides the Indian customer with the next generation of Concrete Block Plant made in India at an affordable price and gives a quick return on investment.

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