Boom pumps and concrete pumps are increasingly finding use across projects. The government’s large projects are only aiding their cause.
As India marches to a more modern urban-based economy, backed by the growth in sectors such as manufacturing and services, the infrastructure needs in urban centres have also risen tremendously. With industrial centres coming up and a commensurate demand for land, there has been an increase in land prices that have led to vertical construction of buildings. Most developers have benefited with this trend and tasted success in metros considering the obvious benefits these super structures bring. It’s now the turn of Tier-II cities to witness a similar phenomenon.
Building sky-rises or suspension bridges at staggering heights calls for a select set of equipment otherwise not found in use. One of the main equipment that enjoys this privilege is concrete pumps (a.k.a. boom pumps).
Truck-mounted concrete pump is an important part of any construction project. Considering that these structures have plenty of concrete infused in them for solidity, the pumps are the only equipment that can transfer liquid concrete by pumping it to the construction site. There are mainly three types of concrete pumps: Boom or truck mounted pump; trailer, line, or stationary pump; specialised usage pump.
Explaining some of the milestone developments that have shaped the concrete boom pump market, VG Sakthikumar, MD, Schwing Stetter India, says, “The construction equipment market in India has seen an average growth of about 25% over the last couple of years. This coupled with the government’s focus on infrastructure development, and introduction of GST and RERA has ensured a sustained growth in this space. Key regulations made in roadways, irrigation and railways will lead to urban development. Major projects like Bharatmala, Sagarmala, Sethu Bharatam, Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchayee Yojana (PMKSY) and development of Coastal Employment Zones (CEZs), etc. will have major impact on the concrete and boom pump market in the country.”
One of the critical aspects in developing boom pump is the availability of truck chassis in the market. In India, 3-axle and 4-axle trucks are popular and this has restricted the size of the boom to 43 metres. Recently, the government has permitted 15% additional loading to the trucks but the boom pumps require trucks with multiple axles as they move in size beyond 43m-50m class.
To give a perspective, APAC is the largest consumption countries of truck-mounted concrete pump in the world in the past few years and it is expected to keep increasing in the next few years. APAC market took up about 64.2% the global market in 2017, while Europe was about 7.2%, and North America is followed with the share about 5.7%.
Explaining how the global concrete pump market will grow significantly, Sailaj Verma, senior VP, sales, KYB-Conmat India, says, “There has been a rising recovery in construction outlay across residential and non-residential sectors and this is likely to propel the global concrete pump market. Moreover, growing domestic construction in developing countries such as India, China, and Brazil, is also expected to boost the concrete pump market globally in the near future. However, the high cost of concrete pumps may slowdown this market’s growth in the upcoming years. Alternatively, the growing trend of mega structures’ construction is further projected to offer new growth opportunities in the global concrete pump market in the future.”
making it count
Over the last few years, concrete pump manufacturing companies have developed products that offer higher productivity, reliability and efficiency. Most of them are MNCs and are known globally for their ability and commitment to develop better solutions with each passing year and one that will excel in the harshest environments and most challenging application conditions.
Speaking about the advancements of their pumps,
Wilfried Thiessen, MD, Putzmeister India, says, “We have introduced advanced fleet management technology in our range of stationary concrete pumps and truck-mounted boom pumps. A Putzmeister pump is not an expense, but an investment in longevity, durability, convenience and ease. Whatever the job, easy or tough, long lasting or short duration, there is a range of concrete pumps to choose from: truck-mounted/boom pump, stationary/trailer, crawler, truck mixer, pre-cast, bore-pile, etc. On offer are concrete pumps with booms from 20m to 63m, which offers optimal pumps for all construction sites. Stationary concrete pumps with possible output of more than 100m³/hr and possible delivery pressure of up to 250 bar are ideal for high rise or long distance pumping as well as for the everyday jobs.”
Early this year, Sany India introduced 16 products into the market. It launched two models of concrete pump (HBT5010C51 and HBT6013C51 Legend series). Sany legendary HBT S-Valve technology concrete pumps, re-launched in the Indian market, are proven and reliable concrete pumps designed for high performance in high rise pumping and heavy-duty applications like dam projects. Sany’s pumping solutions range from 30 to 120m3/hour. SYMC intelligent control system helps monitor equipment status in real time.
Sanjay Saxena, VP & BU head, heavy equipment and concrete, Sany India, says, “In truck cranes alone, we have a range of 12 models ranging from 25 tonnes to 160 tonnes. Boom lengths could range from 10.22m to 63m. Our rough terrain cranes are well received in the Indian market as they offer high flexibility and multiple functions. We have designed the cranes using a combination of hi-tech software and combined with mechanics of materials, the cranes possess perfect mobility and controllability.”
Similarly, Schwing Stetter India offers trailer pumps in the range of 35-400hp. “Schwing truck mounted concrete boom pump S17, S20, S36X and S43 SX are provided through varied chassis offerings from Tata Motors, Ashok Leyland and Mahindra & Mahindra. It is being augmented at our production unit at the Sriperumbudur facility, and patented the new hydraulic tanks. To cater to the requirements of ready-mix concrete, we are promoting the truck-mounted mobile concrete pumps, even though demand for this solution is still modest, but growing,” says Sakthikumar.
Verma of KYB-Conmat pursues a R&D strategy that is closely linked to its client’s expectations. This needs alignment and the success of the stationary concrete pumps have given the industry a whole range of i-Pump technology machines which includes the SCP 5000 & SCP 7500. “The stationary concrete pump with intelligent controls have features like S-Valve technology, robust electronic operation controls & management with manual overdrive and is suitable for high pressure pumping and Indian ambient conditions,” he adds.
The i-Pump technology Concrete pump makes transfer & placement easier and faster for casting of civil structures. It also reduces manpower requirements at the site and also avoids human errors in the process. This makes the i-Pump technology machines very economical to run and environmentally-friendly.
Intuitive improvisation is the need of hour and most vendors have put consistent efforts to mitigate innovation at every single stage of production, sales and service. Thus, to enhance higher productivity and compose the homogenous output mix, concrete and boom pumps have been designed in a compact size that eases the mobility and is apt for a user-friendly functioning. Verma says, “Digitisation will involve minimum maintenance, thus assuring continuous performance in tough conditions. It requires minimum installation area and the pump is equipped with fully automatic S-Valve technology, which allows pumping with higher concrete pressure to reach higher output at great heights.”
At the same time, the wear and tear of an S-Valve pump is lower and so are the operation costs. Due to the close circuit of an S-valve pump, the pump and pipeline can be cleaned by simply pumping water instead of concrete. With S-Valve concrete pumps, reverse pumping is also possible which solves the choking problem in many cases without disassembling and cleaning of the pipeline.
The advantage of a boom pump is that wherever concrete is produced, the machinery finds its place be it in projects such as roads, railways, ports, rural infrastructure, power, smart cities, irrigation, water supply and sanitation, etc.
Going forwad, Schwing Stetter plans to introduce cylinderless booms, and Schwing track mounted concrete pumps for varied applications. The new track-mounting system provides propulsion across rough terrain often encountered by foundation companies drilling cast piles that are filled with concrete. Besides negotiating unimproved job sites, the track system relieves the contractor of an additional tow vehicle with operator.
Little wonder, why this market is booming.