23 October 2019

Table of Contents for Special Focus-High Rise Handlers





Interview-Dr Vikram Mehta (Spartan Engineering Industries)

We aim to be a leading Indian MNC with a presence in 25 countries

 

Mumbai based Spartan Engineering Industries Pvt Ltd is one of the most preferred names in India’s lifting and material handling sector. DR VIKRAM MEHTA, MANAGING DIRECTOR, SPARTAN ENGINEERING INDUSTRIES PVT LTD spoke to SHRIKANT RAO  

 

Tell us about your product line and the contribution they are making in the area of high rise handling?

We are mostly into various material handling and passenger handling equipment. When it comes to high rise buildings there are few things which play a very critical role. One is the height of the structure so that the machine can reach the desired heights. The other aspect is the elements equipped within the machine. While talking particularly about high rise constructions there are equipment that play very important role like tower cranes and hoists. We are experts and leaders in the hoists segment. In terms of hoists we have recently developed few machines – we have today machines right from 500 kg to 2 ton. These hoists can carry material as well as passengers. We have now launched the Aviator series of hoists. We have researched a lot regarding machineries available abroad. We have a specialised R&D team that visits various exhibitions across the world to study evolving trends and technologies. After almost a year or so we have developed aesthetically and technically superior machinery with advanced safety features. High rise construction demands machinery with advanced safety features. These machines can reach up to 80 m to 120 m. Aviator SMH Series and Aviator SPM Series are the recent additions to our product line. We also have the feature of multi-functionality – these hoists can be used to carry material, passengers and even rebars. In high rise constructions, generally rebars are carried through tower cranes but here this machine can replace tower crane functions. We have two types of attachments, ons horizontal and the other is vertical rebar attachment. In horizontal attachment there are various modules depending on the length of attachment – which are attached to the material hoists. Generally in material hoists there is a cage – in case of rebar hoists it is removed and rebar attachment is put up to carry them vertically.

 

Can these be considered the hoists as a replacement for tower crane or just an alternative?

They are an effective alternative for tower crane and can be used as a replacement in case of transporting rebar materials from one place to another. Through these hoists we can carry passengers as well as materials. Moreover the frequency is more if you carry the materials through the hoists and to achieve cost savings is also highly possible. In high rises we are positioning these hoists in a strong way.

 

Tell us about Spartan’s crane business?

Initially we used to deal in flat top tower cranes, we used to manufacture the flat top – topless tower crane are considered as a more advanced ones. But considering the market requirements we have now entered into CAT Head Cranes. We have recently introduced this product into the market. Moreover the tower crane market has become highly competitive today we are hence steadily and cautiously focusing on the crane business. But we are mostly now focusing upon the hoists business.

 

Could you fill us on the safety elements incorporated into your products?

Reliable features like top-bottom and final limit switches – there are various limit switches in the hoists. Our machines have a display within the cage in the hoists – which indicates the errors that occur during operation. This will help the operator in knowing the error and address it immediately. For instance, if there is an issue the rack searching limit switch if that is not functioning properly then the machine will stop. There are various limit switches equipped in the machine which stops it from functioning if the machine has any faults. We can say that these limit switches acts as regulating sensors – trap dam limit switches, etc, mechanical lock for entry cage, sensors, electromagnetic motor brakes, rubber buffer pads etc. Rubber buffer minimises the vibration once the hoist reaches the ground surface. We also have a basic model (V model) and premium model (P Model).

 

Could you name the developers who have been at the forefront of using Spartan products?

Some of our key players are L&T, Rustomjee, K Raheja, Shapoorji & Pallonji, JMC Projects, Sobha Developers, Gammon, Shirke, Gorson, and Aparna Construction to name a few. Our hoists were used in constructing the Mumbai metro rail stations, and for the Hyderabad monorail stations.

 

What are the other products you manufacture?

We also have bar cutting and bending machines. We manufacture and supply machineries which are used in the various stages of a construction project – that is, from the foundation till the final execution stage. We have the Gladiator series of bar cutting machines which are used in the foundation base of a construction project. We have the Aviator series – which is the material and passenger hoists, then we have the tower cranes and also rope suspended platforms which are used in the finishing and maintenance purpose of a project.

 

Product wise which are the main business generators?

We are presently concentrating a lot on hoists and bar cutting and bending machines. And we have developed now new machines in these sectors.

 

Could you name the developers to whom you are supplying your machines to?

Sobha, Aparna Construction, Shirke, Capacite, Rustomjee, NCCL, Nanded City, IL&FS, Amrapali, JMC Projects, L&T, Adarsh Developers and Gammon are some of the firms using Spartan products.

 

Tell us about the technologies driving your business?

Whether it is related with safety, display features or limit switches our process of manufacturing itself is highly technically advanced apart from our procedure of following FEA analysis. We stringently follow all these norms while introducing our machines. Moreover, ensuring reliability of our machines is one of the key factors. Even the designs of our products are created through specialised software called ‘Solidworks’ – the most successful design software to develop product and engineering designs. The software is being widely used by major automobile, manufacturing and numerous engineering companies worldwide.

 

Could you dilate on the main challenges faced by companies such as yours?

A key challenge is the presence of local and Chinese players. The market is flooded with Chinese products. Also awareness level among customers is another key challenge. Importance attached to safety is still not as high as we want it to be. The other major challenge is cost. People only focus on investing on the initial cost and fail to understand the real value of quality products. Creating technical awareness among customers is a major challenge. Dependence on manual workforce is another key barrier which needs to be brought down. We need stringent norms to maintain safety in the construction sector.

 

As an organisation what are the strategies you employ to convince your target audience?

This is where SPARSH comes into the picture– it is an initiative where we interact with our customers. We conduct various customer meets, focus on maintaining a client-centric attitude even in our marketing activities. We try to reach out to people and explain to them how the machineries work, we are almost everywhere now. We are one of the first companies to have an app for our products. We also maintain a strong social media presence and project our company through newsletters etc.

 

Tell us of Spartan’s focus on R&D and the latest technological trends?

Our R&D is one of our topmost priorities and is a very critical element of our organisation. We have about 28 staff working in our R&D unit. Our centre is fully equipped with all the advanced software and technologies. We conduct a detailed study – NPD (New Product Design) on the technological trends driving the industry, the technologies being offered by our competitors and also on the internationally available products. This helps us to design and offer products which ensure not just topmost quality but also on maintaining its identity. Operating the whole machine on your finger-tip is a major trend driving the industry. For instance in the last Excon we participated, we prepared a software wherein the entire passenger hoists could be managed through iPhone application. Even in material hoists we offer remote control features. We have touchscreen displays inside the hoist’s cage.

 

Briefly tell us about your manufacturing unit?

We recently shifted our manufacturing unit to Ambernath – 3 months back. The unit is well equipped with all the advanced technologies. We have our design, and production team as well there. We have a capacity about 40 hoists in a month, bar bending and cutting machines around 150, SRP around 30-40 a month.

 

What is your outlook for the future of business for your firm?

We will be able to revolutionise and achieve growth slowly. We have a lot of expectations from the prospects ahead in terms of business for our machineries. Moreover, we are also expecting positive growth from high rise constructions which are gaining prominence not just in metros but also in tier-II cities. This also opens new growth avenues. We will be focusing on expanding our reach to these areas as well by expanding our dealership networks. We already have 8 branch offices. We are also focusing on our export business. We already have a dealer in Dubai and Sri Lanka and are getting good responses.

 

Tell us about your plans for 2020?

We aim to be a leading Indian MNC having a presence in 25 countries built on innovation and growth by 2020. We are looking to be a Rs.1000 crore diversified group by that period. To strengthen our foothold on innovation we have shifted our focus on R&D department and has invested heavily in it. Last year itself we invested about Rs.2 crore only on our R&D activities. We have an engineering staff of 25 employees in our R&D department and the unit is equipped with all the advanced and superior technologies. We follow the FEA analysis before designing our products.

 

 

NEW PRODUCT LAUNCHES

 

  • Aviator Rack & Pinion Passenger & Material Hoist
  • Sky Climber – Rope Suspended Platform for multiple applications
  • New Gladiator Next-gen series of Bar Cutting & Bending Machines   



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