Oct 1 2012 | Equipment Zone

One of the remarkable trends in MHE sector....

"One of the remarkable trends in MHE sector is with regards to several international tie-ups happening. This has led to substantial global influence in terms of quality and use of better technology in the industry. The industry has started becoming more and more customer oriented as compared to the past."

Tushar Mehendale, Managing Director of Electromech shares his views with Sandeep Sharma about his company, products & solutions, industry growth, latest trends, demand scenario and client preferences. Edited Excerpts…

Tell us about your company and offerings in the Material Handling Equipment (MHE) category?
ElectroMech offers a range of Material Handling Equipments ranging from Electric Wire Rope Hoists, Single Girder and Double Girder EOT cranes, Jib Cranes, Wall Travelling Cranes, Goliath Cranes, Underslung Cranes, along with special purpose cranes such as Stacker Cranes and Tunnel Mucking Systems.

Besides this, we are the exclusive India partners for ABUS Crane Systems, Germany for their entire range of standardized hoists and cranes. We also have sole representation for Stahl’s range of Explosion protected hoists and cranes in India and with Shuttlelift, USA for Rubber Tyre Gantry cranes.

In addition to the entire array of products that we offer to our customers, ElectroMech believes in providing ‘well- engineered’ turnkey hoisting solutions. In the process of installing industrial cranes (EOT’s), factors like the building height, area, column strength etc. also get affected. To relieve our customers from these issues we provide our clients with an apt solution, providing them maximum space utilisation on their shop floor along with playing down building cost.

Our company’s cranes & hoists can be found in varied industry verticals such as automobiles, construction, general & heavy engineering, oil & gas, power, railways, shipbuilding, and steel along with thousands of SMEs.

What’s your market share and growth rate in the last financial year with respect to crane segment?
Market share for the past FY - Approximately 10%. Over the past decade, Electromech has grown from strength to strength. With a strength of 70 people in 2001 and a top line of 3.25 cr, today ElectroMech employs over 600 people and is the largest volume manufacturer of industrial cranes in India. Our growth rate in the last FY has been on par with our growth over the past decade.

What are the latest trends in the MHE sector particularly in the crane segment?
One of the remarkable trends in MHE sector is with regards to several international tie-ups happening. This has led to substantial global influence in terms of quality and use of better technology in the industry. The industry has started becoming more and more customer oriented as compared to the past. Apart from the market competition and the surplus of products available in the market, there has also been a considerable amount of shift in the approach of the consumers towards companies as well as manufacturers for different aspects of customer service. By default, customers today expect a high-quality and well-timed customer service. As practice manufacturers have to place enabling structures in place ensuring zero customer complaints.

There have been a lot of innovations in the modern crane industry in the past few years. However there are several advancements that haven’t yet made it to PSU or for that matter to consultant tender specifications which are now standard in the global crane market.

These consist of direct drive motors for long travel of the crane, which drive each wheel separately instead of the traditional central drive motor with drive shafts connecting to the wheels. This arrangement helps get rid of long shafts as well as couplings that in the long run could give rise to misplacement in the system as well as natural incompetence in transmitting power. The crane manufacturers in India earlier faced problems with bringing into line the speeds of the two drives to ensure even movement. This can now be resolved through sophisticated yet robust electronic systems, like ABUS’s ‘LIS’ system. It permits the hoisting system to have multiple motors of lower capacity instead of one large motor, thus helping in lower consumption of power, less mixture of parts and as a result lower spares inventories. Recent drive assemblies, tajke for e.g. the ones delivered by ABUS have pole changing motors, presenting an instant advantage of twin speeds without the need of an external variable frequency drive (VFD).

Could you brief us about the USP of any of your product launched in the last financial year?
Our all range of products has precise operational efficiency along with state of the art handling technology. The last financial year saw us launch rubber tyre gantry cranes in association with Shuttlelift in the Indian market. These cranes offer our clients a reliable and extremely versatile lifting solution with a go-anywhere capability.

What kind of growth do you see amidst global turmoil and all time low sentiments prevailing in India?
The current market scenario has certainly affected the industrial cranes sector and we are seeing the effects of this. However, we expect an upswing in the coming months, given the governments focus on infrastructure development which will directly and indirectly have an effect on manufacturing. Our focus now has been to make sure we are ready to take on the pent up demand, whenever there is a turn-around in market sentiment. We currently have enough installed capacity to cater to the requirements of our growth strategy vis-à-vis the Indian and global markets. Also, At ElectroMech, we enjoy the distinction of being the largest industrial cranes manufacturer by volumes in the Indian industry. We will continue to maintain this leadership position and build on our strengths.

Could you comment on the demand drivers and hot geographies for your products / solutions in the MHE segment?
With India taking active initiatives towards building world- class infrastructure, material handling equipment manufacturers and suppliers are looking for more and more options in the huge market potential the industry presents. In general Indian construction and infrastructure sectors are the major demand drivers for the crane industry in India. Most of our company’s cranes & hoists are utilized at major infrastructure projects sites. For e.g. Gantry cranes are used for precast segment yards and bridge constructions, specialized hoisting equipment are used for bridge launching girders etc. Other industry segments such as steel and cement are growing at a good pace too, complementary to the growing infrastructure needs and the prerequisite for a variety of cranes and hoists for their material handling needs.

The power sector is also expanding in India, with the government promoting expenditure on several new projects; hence there is demand for a large range of cranes from this sector. The power sector requires cranes for a variety of applications and their requirements could be up to 250 MT, as in the case of windmill manufacturers, Transformer manufacturers, TG Hall cranes, coal mill handling cranes, etc. As mentioned before, the demand for cranes will majorly be dependent on India’s industrial output and infrastructure needs. Since there is an expected growth in all sectors at varying paces the demand for cranes will originate from all sectors, i.e. infrastructure, heavy engineering, manufacturing, power, etc.

What can be the size of the MHE industry in India and the approximate number of players?
The MHE industry in comparison to other industries showed a noticeable growth even through the economic slowdown in the past. It recovered and gained momentum in the year of 2010 with an astounding growth. The earth- moving segment had a profound effect on the overall MHE industry in India. It has been regularly witnessing a sturdy demand thanks to the backup towards infrastructure projects by the government. With several acquisitions and joint ventures in the last few years, the material handling equipment industry has witnessed a phase of restructuring. This is the sole resultant of the active interest of global leaders in the domestic market. Countless international companies are selling equipments in India through business agents. In the Indian MHE industry the industrial cranes segment is highly fragmented. According to our estimates, the industrial cranes market in India would approximately be of Rs. 2000 – Rs. 2200 crores per annum.

As a matter of fact almost 30 per cent of the cranes are in the government-owned companies and the remaining
70 percent comprises the private sector. This shows how the private sector is the most potential part of the Indian economy. The private crane manufacturing domain is growing at a constant rate and is also willing to adopt innovative expertise much earlier. Region-wise distribution in terms of quantities shows that Western India contributes 50-55 per cent of the total requirement, while Southern India follows with 20-25 per cent, Northern India with 15-20 per cent, and Eastern India with 5-10 per cent. Roughly 40% of the total crane industry in India is dominated by reputed names in the organized sector. The remaining market shares comprises of a surplus of 250 small crane companies.

What’s your take on the client’s preference with regard to buying v/s rentals in case of cranes?
In the case of industrial cranes, the equipment is literally ‘made to measure’ to suit the clients application and factory dimensions. In this case, the buyer will always buy the crane.