Putzmeister in India has managed to grow by 160 per cent in 2010
Michael Schmid- Lindenmayer, Managing Director, Putzmeister Concrete Machines Pvt Ltd
in an interview to
Indian Cement Review
describes the products and technology, the challenges and future plans. Read on...
Please tell us about the genesis of Putzmeister Concrete Machinery Pvt Ltd?
Putzmeister Concrete Machines Pvt Ltd is a 100 per cent subsidiary of Putzmeister Holding, Germany. The company was established in 1957 in Germany. We are a global player and Putzmeister, which means master plastering, is headquartered in Germany and has its operations in all the major countries of the world. It has its own manufacturing facilities in 14 countries across the globe, including India.
What are the products you offer? Are there any new products in the offing?
We offer stationary concrete pumps, truck mounted concrete pumps, stationary placing booms, mobile line pumps, accessories & spare parts. Keeping in mind the demands of the market, we introduce new products and variants in the market.
Where are your manufacturing plants located in India? Are there any expansion plans?
We have a state of the art manufacturing plant at Goa which is spread over 1,00,000 sq m. We are in the process of expanding our manufacturing facility.
Please tell us about your green initiatives/CSR activities?
We have installed an effluent treatment plant and our rain water harvesting system is under installation. We use clean production system. Our company was the pioneer in introducing boom placers with fuel efficient deck engines. The fuel consumption of these industrial diesel engines is approximately half of the truck engine. We use technology which uses less fuel and lesser oil changes. Also our boom placers are made with high strength steel which allows a small footprint of the outrigger and a low weight at the same time.
Which are the major projects undertaken by Putzmeister Concrete Machinery Pvt Ltd in India?
Putzmeister pumps have been deployed at various prestigious projects and are the first choice of real estate and infrastructure companies all across India. Our machines are working for the construction of various prestigious projects like Delhi Metro; expansion & modernisation of international airports at Mumbai, Delhi, Kolkata and Bangalore; construction of various power plants, hydro electric projects, LNG tanks, refineries, ports, roads & bridges and in various high rise building projects.
Please tell us about your R&D activities?
In a year, we spend approximately 5 per cent of our sales revenue in R&D. In India, we focus a lot on our R&D activities, where we have to reinforce our products to the difficult working environment and meet the road regulation at the same time. We have our central R&D department at Germany and a local R&D department in Goa. Our R&D department continuously strives for developing new & better products for the customers.
What are latest innovations & technologies in the concrete machinery segment?
We have our free flow hydraulics which enables a low volume of hydraulic oil in the system. With every oil change the customer saves money. Then there is the diagonal support system which is especially beneficial for local trucks. The diagonal support system guides the forces of the boom via the outrigger to the ground. The outrigger are located at the rear side of the boom placer, these forces must go through the entire frame for the truck which shorten the life time of the equipment. Our separate deck engines delivers the required power to drive the boom and to pump the concrete but only consume 50 per cent of the fuel which a truck engine will use if deck engine is not available. The S-valve technology leads to long service life of the main wear parts. Due to the closed circuit, S-valve pumps can develop higher pressure which allows pumping to greater heights. Another advantage of S-valve pumps is the reverse pumping. Using reverse pumping smaller choking can be solved without disassembling and cleaning of the pipeline. We also have Z or RZ-folding system of the booms, which makes the concrete pumping operation easy & the machine gets ready for concrete pumping in a very fast time.
What are your plans to increase your market share? Please elaborate
We are continuously launching new products & variants for our customers. We have presence across India with our sales, service & parts operations in all major locations across India. We have decentralised spare parts and warehouse operations at Chennai, Hyderabad, Bangalore, Calcutta, Mumbai, Delhi, and Pune.
How has the year 2010 been for your company?
The year 2010 was an amazing year for Putzmeister in India. With around 60 per cent market share we are leading the boom placer market and we have increase our market share for trailer pumps to approximately 30 per cent. All new launched products have been well accepted by the market.
Do you have any tie-up with banks or financial institution?
We have MoU's with all the major financers, some of them are Tata Capital, ICICI Bank, Kotak Mahindra Bank, SREI Finance, L & T Finance, Dhanlaxmi Bank, Reliance Finance, Bajaj Capital, etc. We also assist our customers in getting the machine financed if he so desires.
Are the machines manufactured indigenously or imported? Which all countries do you export your machineries from India?
We manufacture the machines at our Goa factory. We also import critical components from our parent company in Germany. We are also manufacturing parts locally, which right now we are importing from our parent company in Germany. We have identified some vendors who can provide the same level of international quality but at a competitive price. We are closely working with these vendors and suppliers & guiding them to produce components as per our standards & requirements. We are also identifying the areas in which we can reduce the costs, so that we can make the products available to customer at a competitive price. But as quality comes for a price and so we will never compromise with the quality because it is due to our product quality, that we have won customer's faith & trust. We export to Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Nepal & other South East Asian countries.
India is a vast market for construction machinery, due to it being the second largest cement producer and the government's increasing thrust on infrastructure, what role do you see in this entire development?
India is in rapid development phase with lot of activities happening in the real estate & infrastructure sector. The government of India is very serious on country's infrastructure development. The construction industry is now using latest machines more than it was using before. Mechanisation of construction industry is taking place. Indian customers really appreciate advanced machines & technology available in other parts of the world. They want the same technology to be available here, We are bringing the latest technology in India to help the construction Industry.
What would be your future strategies to tap the vast market for construction machinery?
Putzmeister in India has managed to grow by 160 per cent in 2010. We have doubled our machine production and we are heavily investing in our service organisation in order to keep our high service quality even at very remote locations. We are working on the blue print to extent our production capacity of our factory in Goa. We will launch new products which satisfy customer needs and will keep on bringing latest technology in the Indian market. We will enter more aggressively into Tier II & III cities where development is taking place at a very fast pace. We have increased our field staff strength and we will strengthen it further. We expect that the dynamics of the Indian market will further increase. The entire development is driven by the requirement for shorter construction times, higher quality and safety.
It is seen that cement manufacturers are involved in cartelisation and the prices have been artificially inflated. How does this affect your business? Please comment.
As concrete pump manufacture we are not direct affected by the cement prices. Anyhow the raw material prices have a great impact to the entire economic situation of the real estate and infrastructure sector. If these areas are affected, the demand for our products is affected as well.
The Indian infrastructure investment is likely to reach US$1 trillion in the next five years, how much will this benefit the construction equipment industry?
The impact will be huge. All Tier I cities have upgraded or need to upgrade their airports. Also all of them either have invested in metro lines or are on the way to launch metro projects. A huge number of thermal, nuclear and hydro power stations are needed to cover the future demand for electricity. The increasing amount of cars needs roads, flyovers, bridges, highways, etc. All these projects are expected to be accomplished in shorter construction times with better quality. This can only be accomplished by applying modern construction methods which are based on modern construction equipment. So, the demand for construction equipment will be on a high level within the next years to come.
If you were to list out the challenges that are hampering the growth of construction equipment industry in the country, what would they be?
In order to react quickly to the demand of the customer and to be competitive, the product needs to be assembled in India. Due to the fact that the supplier market is not as developed as in Europe, we have to import the majority of the components like hydraulic systems, control systems, critical steel structures form Europe. To manage this long supply chain is one of the main challenges. The type of construction equipment (concrete pumps) which we provide are high tech products. The operation of a concrete pumps depends on various factors like job side conditions, concrete quality and skill of the operator, etc. We address this issue by having a specialised team for concrete pumping, providing extensive training to our customers and having a wide service network with local spare parts warehouses.