Inpact of mechanisation on cement consumption
Labour shortage and demand from customer for very high speed construction has led to increasing mechanization of construction activity and higher demand for cement, says
K. K. Taparia, Dy. Managing Director, Universal Construction Machinery & Equipment and Chairman, Committee for Mechanisation of Construction, Builders' Association of India
With rapid economic development we find there is total change in construction process and system in real estate and infrastructure and industrial construction.
CONSTRUCTION PRACTICES AND GROWTH OF CEMENT CONSUMPTION
Scenario Upto 2000 AD
In the year 2000, value of project was small and investment was quite low, client was not demanding speedy delivery. There was abundant availability of labour with the result that there was slow construction, slow mechanisation and consumption of cement was low.
Scenario between 2000-2010
Upto 2010, project volume increased with construction of highways like Pune-Mumbai Expressway, Yamuna Express Highway and other National Highway projects client started demanding delivery in time. Labour shortage started with the development of states like Bihar, UP, Jharkhand and likely cost of labour increased tremendously. Mechanisation increased with the availability of equipments from international manufacturers. Looking at the demand for equipments most of the foreign equipment manufacturers started setting up plants in India. This gave a major impetus to the cement consumption and equipments for transportation of concrete.
The concept of SEZs provided a medium wherein it not only attracted foreign companies looking for cheaper and efficient location to set up their offshore business, but it also allowed the local industries to improve their export through a proper channel and with the help of the new foreign partners to the outside world at a very competitive price. This also attracted big players who wanted to set up business without any licence hassles and the long process involved in it.
Scenario after 2010
Now in the 11th Five Year Plan, projects have gone to mega size like Ultra Mega Power Plants, Delhi-Mumbai Industrial Corridor, metro rail networks, modernisation of airports and ports, etc. Customers have started looking for very high speed with quality consciousness and safety measures and construction with multinational construction companies. Customers got choosy particularly for gaining multiple growth to execute big orders with automation through mechanization in construction.
CONSTRUCTION EQUIPMENT USAGE TRENDS
(Concreting and Supporting Equipments)
With the development of different types of concreting machines particularly mobile batching plants and mobile batching machines instead of hand mixing there has been ready mix concrete production at site through various specially developed concreting equipments.
Earlier sand was manually screened and now it is done through sand screening machines and washed through sand washing machines. Feeding of raw material and aggregate is done by loaders. Placement of concrete is done through concrete pumps and is transported by transit mixers and tough riders (mini dumpers).
In vertical construction, material is transported by using tower hoist, mini lift and latest equipments like MultiGo, See Saw Lift. This has resulted into very high speed of transportation of material to meet the high speed of construction. With the use of passenger-cum-material lift it is possible to go for high rise building above 13 floors resulting into more construction in small areas as there is already scarcity of land in metros and tier-II cities.
Use of PM lift in pre-heater buildings in cement plants has also mechanized the cement manufacturing process and reduced the manufacturing time. Similarly, in industrial construction the combination of reversible mixers with concrete pump and Tough Rider (mini dumper) for transportation has increased the speed and in turn increased the cement consumption rate, that is consumption of cement per hour.
Most of the leading manufacturers started training operators to create friendliness for operation and institutes like NICMAR also instituted programmes for operators.
MECHANISATION IN CONSTRUCTION
Mechanisation in construction has also helped early construction of cement plants due to speedy civil work leading to early building of capacity to meet growth.
Construction of bridges and roads has been totally mechanized and speed of construction has almost increased 20 times in road and also more than 20 times in real estate in comparison with construction in 1990. Construction in infrastructure has taken lead with development of suitable equipments for use of construction in irrigation, industry, PWD etc.
Equipment manufacturers increased the production of these equipments and had to put robotic machinery in manufacturing to meet demand.
Equipment manufacturers have also developed supporting equipments like the infinite range of equipments for increasing the speed by equipments like bar cutting and bending machines with requirement of steel for reinforcement. Equipments like pavers, earth compactors have also mechanized the process. Also the facility of water mixing has helped in reducing the bottlenecks for loss of time in construction. The vibration is done through needle vibrators and other vibrating equipments.
The concept of 'Equipment Consultant' was born as there was a need for a specialist who can guide/support in choosing the right product as per the need of project and its effective utilization.
With mechanization of construction in important projects has gone to all three shifts/two shifts. This mechanization has driven the growth of cement consumption and further will accelerate now for further multiply growth.
We find automation in construction equipments and support by equipment finance may further increase automation 3-5 times than the present levels which will result in increase in cement consumption per capita. This will also be necessitated by the ever increasing scarcity of construction labour.
With all these developments there has been increase in volume, quality and, above all, increase in cement consumption per site i.e., volume in size and quantity per day.