28 February 2020

Precast Concrete & Equipment

Ready made


Precast concrete technology is today an apt alternative to address the growing concerns of construction time and cost overruns. 


Thanks to its varied topography the process of construction in India has found itself constantly challenged. With time and cost restricting construction activities, effective technologies and materials which can enable quick and safe installation is today the need of the hour.  Technology hs addressed this concern by introducing the concept of precast concreting technology. The concept of precast, also known as prefabricated concrete relates to employment of a safer and more durable material as against traditional concrete products. A vital quality of precast concrete is that all its necessary components are manufactured in a factory environment under strict quality control norms, due to which the product has minimal impact on environment. The technology has gained in popularity in the last few decades with the increased pace of construction and infrastructure activities.


The precast concrete manufacturing industry primarily today produces two basic types of concrete products – precast and prestressed concrete. As per industry analysts, the concepts though closely associated are often misunderstood among customers and are thought to be the same. While precast concrete is produced by casting wet concrete in a reusable mold of a specific shape, prestressed concrete is compressed between steel bars for additional strength and durability. The end product achieved – slabs, panels, roof tiles and beams – are today most commonly used across the world in the construction of commercial buildings, bridges, residential structures, highways, even parking lots etc.


While precast concrete is a widely accepted technology in the developed markets, it is yet to establish its stronghold in India. According to industry experts, apart from certain countries in the Asia-Pacific region, most economies have already adopted the precast concrete way of construction. The technology is today used in about 80 per cent of the building construction process in countries like Bahrain and Dubai. According to industry experts the Indian construction industry is worth about $500 million and only 2 per cent of its share is occupied by precast technology as against conventional methods.


However, a gradual shift is expected to evolve with increasing focus on infrastructure activities at cost competent rates. In India the technology has gradually gained in momentum in the infrastructure industry. Today many tunnels, bridges and even roads are constructed using precast technology. The technology is expected to further gain popularity with rapid expansion of activity in the realty segments.


Further the efficient, durable and affordable nature of the product has today made precast concrete a favourite among the developer and contractor community in India. The rising input cost of raw materials like steel and cement, lack of skilled labour and rising cost of labour are the other few reasons encouraging the growth of precast construction in India.


Affordable mass housing is one such segment opening up immense prospects for precast concrete technology. According to the 12th Plan Working Group of India on Financing Urban Infrastructure, the urban housing shortage in the country is estimated to be about 29 million units. The study indicates that the demand for affordable housing is likely to rise to 38 million household units by 2030, wherein the urban population is expected to surge up to 600 million. This, say industry experts, opens up requirement for quick and cost effective construction materials and technology. Pre-cast concrete is the answer to meet all these requirements and is expected to bring the next big revolution in the Indian construction domain. The technology, owing to its technical supremacy, has also emerged as a convenient construction solution for Indian public sector units. For instance, the Delhi Development Authority recently constructed 18,000 precast units for affordable housing. The project was completed in a time span of 2 years. The body is now commissioning another project of 27,000 houses using precast technology and expects to fully complete it in the next 3 years.


Commenting on the potential of precast construction, Chander Dutta, MD, Elematic India Pvt Ltd opines, “If the government wants to stick to its vision of providing ‘Housing for All’ by 2020, precast industry needs to be effectively encouraged. For that it needs to abolish custom duty on the import of precast machinery and also abolish the excise duty which is hindering growth prospects.” Eyeing future prospects and the increasing requirement for smart construction, Elematic India plans to invest about Rs 15 crore to strengthen its presence by establishing a manufacturing plant at Alwar in Rajasthan.


The technology has also evolved as a favourite construction option in the realty market. According to  industry experts, precast concrete technology enables users to save up to 64 per cent of the time involved in the construction process. For instance, while a normal brick and mortar method involves one year for project completion, the same initiative can achieve full completion using precast concreting technology within four months. Supretech Ltd, claims to be a pioneer in the realty market in utilising precast technology. Following the precast concrete wave are the Amrapali Group, Sobha Developers and Raheja Group who have used precast products in their mega townships.


The evolving opportunities in precast construction have also transformed India as an attractive market for multinationals involved in the segment. Spancrete, an American manufacturer is one such major who forayed into the Indian market. “India has always been a growth market for Spancrete’s growth operations. We are seeing immense potential for precast products and technologies,” say Terence W Dittrich, Global Sales Director, Spancrete Global Services.


The company recently joined hands with MAAD Construction Group to establish its precast plant in Mumbai. MAAD a benefiter of using precast concrete technology credits Spancrete technology as a prime contributor for its ability to complete projects on time and at cost effective rates. Arvind Singh, Director, MAAD Mines & Minerals says, “For instance, if a regular building takes 18 months to complete construction, the structure built using Spancrete technology will require only 9 months to complete its operation.”


The industry which has already established its supremacy in the Middle Eastern and western markets, is gaining in popularity in the India. The refined constructional approach and cost effective mode, has thus brought in an industrial approach to the concrete manufacturing segment. Furthermore, according to industry experts the automation in precast industry opens immense employment opportunities for various construction personnel – civil, mechanical and computer engineers and even architects. With its ability to save about 7-10 per of the total construction cost the precast concrete and equipments is expected to emerge as the next growth driver in the construction domain.



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