Infrastructure development lures equipment manufacturers

The fresh resolve of the newly elected government to expand and strengthen the country’s road network has come in as a shot in the   arm for road construction equipment manufacturers to offer newer equipment variants. This will mean quality road infrastructure construction projects with greater shelf life.
The decision of the government to strengthen infrastructure through extensively developing the road sector — both pertaining to country and highway roads — has been indeed good news for road construction equipment manufacturers as they will have greater possibilities to market newer equipment with modern features. The possibilities to offer newer equipment would become reinforced based as contractors with larger work volume look for equipment that can provide quality output in a shorter time-frame.
With an intention to provide high output products, construction equipment manufacturing major, Greaves Cotton Ltd, introduced 19-ton soil compactors during 2008. The compactors are the highest tonnage of equipment in its class and are well placed for rural road development programme. The equipment are capable of providing high production output. To provide high production output, Greaves, in collaboration with Bomag Germany, manufactures single drum vibratory rollers, tandem vibratory rollers and pneumatic tyred rollers.
The equipment have features consisting hydrostatically driven pressurized water sprinkler for lower maintenance, automatic vibration stop and emergency gravity fed water sprinkler, drum offset to prevent damage to road surface, etc.
The 19-ton soil compactors are manufactured by Greaves at its new manufacturing plant for road compaction equipment in Gummidipoondi, Tamil Nadu. The newly opened plant is the fourth manufacturing unit of the company’s infrastructure equipment group. The new facility will complement the existing unit and enable the company enhance production capacity from 600 to 1,200 compaction machines per annum.
Lured by the business potential in the road construction sector, Telcon introduced during 2008, road construction equipment. Relatively a new player in the segment, the earth moving construction equipment manufacturing major had introduced Tata Lebrero VTA 90 tandem asphalt roller and VM3 soil compactor under Spanish collaboration. The equipment has hydrostatic feature drive on both drums for compact design, two amplitudes with infinite frequency modes for better road finish performance and independent vibration control for both drums. The other features include water-cooled, fuel-efficient engines in compliance with CMVR 1996, auto reversing vibration modes, and high gradability to make the machine work efficiently on slopes. 
The other model VM-3, with the highest static linear load, is equipped with hydrostatic drive on wheels with no drive in drums, providing the machine with high gradability. The machines have low turning radius and ecological engine for higher fuel efficiency.
Telcon has also been producing TG 14 motor graders. These are indigenously designed and manufactured and claim to be fuel-efficient and eco-friendly. They have microprocessor-controlled features which help in shifting gears by taking into account –engine speed, turbine speed and transmission output speed as input signal for smooth gear shift. Digital unit displays gear selection drive modes and error code. The machine has proper weight distribution enabling it to dig harder ground with stability. The machines have advanced hydraulic systems to provide higher output.
The rapidly emerging market potential has also made Caterpillar offer one of its advanced road construction equipment. One of its most advanced and sophisticated road milling machines is CAT PM102 cold planner. The machine has proved its worth in some of the tough conditions across the world. In India the machine has performed optimally. Introduced in 2006, CAT PM 102 (1,000mm drum width) has produced results while undertaking work for 8-10 hours a day, cutting hard asphalt approximately 200-250 sq.m per hour at 70-100 mm depth of cut. As per CAT, even under rigid demanding conditions, CAT PM 102 can show robust performance.
The high travel speed of CAT PM 102 reduces repositioning times and machine transfer on job site. Its anti-stall device automatically changes the machine’s working speed to accommodate variation in road surface hardness. With greater accuracy and finishing cut, CAT PM 102 is designed to provide comfort for machine operator. Its ergonomic design of the operator station emphasizes comfort, visibility and easy operation. The controls provided are grouped together and conveniently enhance operator productivity and reduce fatigue. Other features of the machine include an efficient anti-slab device, high capacity collecting, locating conveyors and high penetration cutting tools to add productivity. Caterpillar’s quick release conical tool holders significantly reduce maintenance time. Its well engineered water spray system effectively wets cutting tools and controls dust within rotor chamber.
CAT PM 102 (17,600 kg operating weight, 1,000 mm drum width) milling machine offers several advantages. It is available with either track or wheel undercarriage. The machine is equipped with CAT C7 engine (225 hp) and meets the latest US tier-3 and EU stage-3 A emission norms. Caterpillar’s hydraulically actuated, electronic unit and injection system deliver improved fuel efficiency, faster hot/cold start and better high amplitude performance.
Another significant equipment on offer by Caterpillar is CAT 140 H(165/185 hp) motor graders. The equipment was displayed during IMME 2008 at Kolkata. The prominent features of the machines to provide high output are matched power terrain components for smooth and reliable performance and include powerful reliable engines’ dependable direct drive transmissions for greater fuel efficiency, eight forward speeds and six reverse speeds for maximum flexibility.
Additionally, the machine incorporates an environmentally responsible design with low interior and exterior sound levels, low emissions, high fuel efficiency and ecology fluid drains to help prevent spills when changing fluids. The machines are provided with frame, draw bar, blade and moldboard, and built with high quality steel for maximum productivity and optimum durability in rugged jobsite conditions.
Enticed by growing opportunities in road construction projects, Atlas Copco India Pvt. Ltd, manufacturers of Dynapac road construction equipment, has been providing newer equipment for the road construction sector. As per Abhijit Som, Business Line Manager, Road Construction Equipment, Atlas Copco, “greater number of public private partnership projects have been placing demand on road construction equipment to provide quality output. This provides us business opportunities to offer products with advanced features.” Dynapac introduced 11-ton soil compactor bearing model CA 250 during 2008, and in 2009 it introduced CC384HF tandem roller. According to Som, “CC384 is designed with efficiency in mind – for application, operator, compaction control and service.” Besides, the machine provides greater performance with modern features, visibility, operator-comfort, compaction control and serviceability, apart from being environment-friendly.
The features of the new CC roller make servicing quick and easy, ensuring maximum uptime. He says, “CA 250 soil compactors also provide higher output-based on fuel efficient engines; new generation hydraulics provide reduced oil consumption to  equipment. The machines are fitted with electronic controls for better operation per hour, apart from having vibration protected control cabins.”
Dynapac, which has manufacturing facilities across the globe, produces 11-ton soil compactors and 9-ton tandem rollers from a newly opened modern manufacturing plant at Nashik. The government’s determination to undertake and develop road construction projects has also provided Changlin Engineers Services India Pvt. Ltd to market its products. The development of the road construction sector on a larger scale provides Changlin with good opportunity to market road construction products with technically advanced features. 
Ideal axle load allocation provides excellent stability while cutting hard surface hydraulic lock, auto lock/unlock No-Spin differential to provide stability and powerful traction, etc. Compactors YZ12H have features consisting of single frequency and double amplitude and super centrifugal force for creating strong compacting effect, rear-wheel hydraulic drive and steeples T/M. The advanced operator’s cabin for comfort and safety is fully-adjustable, with suspension-mounted operator’s seat. YZ12H with Rexroth is equipped with DongFeng Cummins engine. Changlin’s pneumatic road rollers also have modern features. The technically advanced components in Changlin’s machines developed from world- class products platform, represent high reliability as well as economic solution — both in purchase and operation. However, the products have been further improved to suit local working environment. Changlin is in process to set up production facilities in India.
The requirement of quality road projects based on public private partnership has also provided scope to Mutiquip Construction Equipment Pvt. Ltd to promote its fixed form pavers for concrete road construction projects. Concrete roads are known to have a greater shelf life and the products are ideal to construct the same. Multiquip’s Super Screed TM fixed form pavers are unique machines for achieving accurate level, quality finish and speedy completion of concrete roads, paving areas, airport runways, elevated decks, suspended slabs bridges, etc.
The Super Screed pavers are a complete unit expanding from 14-52 feet. It requires minimal labour, has adjustable drive and strike tube, independent steering control for each end, a powerful 28 HP Vanguard diesel engine, and integrated transport wheels among its features. The machine has been successfully used for road works in Indore, Bhopal and other parts of the country — notably for construction of taxiways for Bidar, Goa and Pune airports. Multiquip pavers are manufactured by Multiquip USA, and marketed by Multiquip Construction Equipment Pvt Ltd.
While there are bigger business opportunities for road construction equipment manufacturers, it is far more important for manufacturers to provide essential service support to buyers of the equipment.

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