17 January 2020

Table of Contents for Cranes-Tower & Mobile

Cranes-Tower & Mobile

Simplifying heights

Cranes, the machines which were once utilised to lift materials have today evolved as a lifeline of most construction projects. VEENA KURUP, takes a closer look upon the changing dynamics of crane manufacturing industry in India. 


Space constraints owing to a exploding population have dictated  a vertical growth path for construction activities in India. This has  made cranes a vital element in project execution especially in high rise structures which are required to be  constructed because of  limited land availability . The rapid pace of urbanisation, development of industrial clusters, central business districts and SEZs are  other factors that have attracted the need for high capacity lifting machineries like cranes.  The growing complexities of project execution has led to the need for  cranes of different size, heights, load bearing capacities and those equipped with advanced technologies.



The Indian crane industry  comprises pick and carry cranes, crawler cranes, tower cranes, slew cranes and industrial cranes. While the growth for industrial cranes  is driven by infrastructure and construction projects, the expanding real estate segment escalates the growth for tower crane business. As per market  analysis   industrial cranes market today amount to approximately  `2,200 -2,500 crore per annum. As per a recent study by IPOS Consulting  about 75-80 per cent of the total material handling segment is occupied by  the 5-6 tonne tower crane segment. While Telcon is the sole player in the Indian crawler crane segment, the tower crane segment includes  majors like Manitowoc, ACE, Escorts and Zoomlion-ElectroMech.

Thanks to  sprouting opportunities  the Indian crane market – which   witnessed the pinch of the economic slowdown and slump in execution of numerous construction projects – has now expanded to include  even multinationals. Tushar Mehendale, MD, ElectroMech says, “The calendar year 2014 started off on a very tepid note with a general feeling of despondency in the industry.   “Over the past 6 months since the new government has taken over, there is a slow but definite change in the investment scenario. Projects which were initially shelved were now being dusted off and discussions have commenced.  We have seen a good resurgence in the overall sentiment of the manufacturing industry on the whole and order finalisations have started happening.”

Admittedly with  Smart Cities, ‘Housing for All’ and infra-focused growth being the buzz word across  India, players involved in the crane manufacturing segment are gung ho  about business prospects. “ We are expecting the sector to gradually grow in 2015. The new government is very optimistic about infrastructure projects and that is a positive sign for the industry,” declares Raman Joshi, Managing Director, Manitowoc Cranes India.

Tower crane business is  witnessing a gradual but steady growth in the India. The segment which  is slowly gaining popularity  – as opposed to the decline in  developed markets - is expected to drive the  construction boom in the country’s realty sector.  Crane major ElectroMech estimates annual growth of 20 – 25 per cent in this segment as tower blocks are becoming more common even in the tier 2 cities.

Such is the potential of the  tower crane business that even concrete manufacturing major  Schwing Stetter has chosen to diversify into the  sale of  of tower cranes in the country association with  XCMG, a China-based global construction equipment manufacturer .  The company’s aim to sell XCMG’s tower cranes, which will be able to lift heavier loads, comes on the back of a rising demand for mechanisation of construction activities in high-rise projects in the country.  It has launched two models  through the recent venture – a 5 ton (with free standing height of 35 metres) and a 6-ton (45 metres) tower crane.



A region-wise demand analysis by industry  experts shows  Western India as the leading  market for cranes  – it hogs 50-55 per cent of the market share, followed by  the southern region  with 20-22 per cent, north with 15-20 per cent and east with  only 5-10 per cent of the total demand inflow for cranes in India.  Mumbai is  the main source of demand  for tower cranes thanks to its largely vertical development -- the city occupies  70-80 per cent of the share.



While opportunities in infrastructure and construction sectors attract global and national players into the crane manufacturing business, rentals offer a viable option for developers and contractors to use cranes without the complexity of managing a fleet of cranes. As per the recent IBEF study, the rental market accounts for 30-40 per cent of the total sale of cranes in India. However there has no major demand from the industrial cranes sector. The players are optimistic of increase in business with rising project specific requirements.

Meanwhile, the rental market for the flourishing tower crane segment in India is also still at its nascent stage. Mehendale is led to say, “We estimate that revenue from tower crane rentals will account for 15 per cent of the total revenue generated by the tower crane industry in the next 3-4 years.”



Technical  excellence is the route taken by most of the industry majors  to compete in the increasingly  challenging  market conditions. a a   The other USP in marketing crane models  includes safety features and increased user comfort in equipment handling activities.

Production best  practices and increased exposure of the Indian crane manufacturers to modern techniques have contributed to this major shift in terms of  technical adoption.  ElectroMech is a case in point.  in respect of superior designing  of crane equipments.  For an industry largely dominated by  the old 1960s-type Russian crane designs ElectroMech was one such major which  propagated  the upgrade from told technology to a  modern and contemporary crane technology  prevalent in Western Europe and other advanced markets.

Meanwhile  Manitowoc introduced the concept of topless tower crane models to the Indian customer through its new range of Potain tower cranes – MCT 205 and MCT 85. The models offer better on-site placement, allows contractors to situate more cranes on projects and enhance the speed of construction activities. “The new topless Potain cranes are easy to erect, highly efficient and very reliable – the three major requirements of crane users across the country,” says  Joshi.

On the other hand, Sarens India,  along with its techno-focused approach  has diversified its operational portfolio from being  a crane manufacturer and supplier to an end-to-end solution provider. “In the coming years, Sarens India wants to emerge as a one-stop solution provider in the industry. But to achieve this growth and sector’s growth, we expect the government to fast track the implementation of GST and also in enabling finance at cheaper rates,” says Manoj Chaudhari, MD, Sarens India.

The expansion strategies adopted by  crane manufacturers have also evidently increased  opportunities for service providers  in the sector. Nitin Gokhale, Director – Techology, Dynamic Crane Engineers Pvt Ltd points out, “We are hoping to scale up the growth opportunities in 2015 and have taken a dealership of wide range of products from industry majors. We are also hopeful on the opportunities from the oil and gas segment and expect this sector to drive the growth for the cranes industry.”



Despite the increasing opportunities and growing participation of multinationals, the crane manufacturing industry is still crowded with a large number  of unorganised players – particularly in the industrial cranes segment. A major reason for this plight is lack of effective   safety regulations imposed by the  government. As per the IPOS study, only 40 per cent of the total market  is dominated by a handful of reputed names in the organised sector while  the remainder is owned by small crane manufacturers.  he crane manufacturing industry has  demanded  standardisation of  safety features in the  equipment being produced by the industry as a part of the objective of brining a measure of discipline to the sector. The  other concern plaguing the industry  is the much awaited and  delayed initiative of GST (Goods Service Tax) implementation. However, with a  infrastructure focused government now in power and programmes like ‘Make in India’ and GST implementation being the talk-point for decision makers,  crane equipment and allied services industry looks forth to 2015 as an year of promise.


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