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Boom pumps gaining popularity in India


Thanks to its technological advantage and perfection, many of the big infrastructure projects such as airports, ports, bridges besides others are using boom pumps to expedite their project execution. The demand is definitely there and it is growing in India, say major boom pump players such as Putzmeister Concrete Machines and SCHWING Stetter India who recently launched larger versions of boom pumps for Indian market.
Putzmeister, for instance, has recently launched BSS 46 which it says is India’s biggest and only 46m trailer mounted boom pump available in the market. The company says that Indian customers earlier had to face lot of difficulty to get bigger boom pumps for their projects. “They had to import these boom pumps which were allowed to stay in India only till the completion of the project. Keeping these in mind, we opened the segment of larger boom pumps in the Indian market by launching BSS 46. This pump is very suitable for Infrastructure projects like LNG tanks, airports, flyovers, and power plants etc. We are getting good response and we believe it will do well in the Indian Market,” said Michael Schmid Lindenmayer, MD, Putzmeister Concrete Machines.
The Indian subsidiary of the Germany based company had started with assembling 32m boom pump in India and then move on to launch bigger versions such as 42m and now 46m. Putzmeister says the BSS 46 has opened a new era of higher reach boom pumps in India which till now were restricted because of non-availability of bigger truck chassis. “The Trailer is homologated which is allowed to run on Indian roads. As it is designed according to existing road regulations, customer does not need special permission to move this machine. Most of the customers have tractors, which mean that customers have to invest less in buying this concrete pump. The unit is designed in such a way that any make of tractor can be used to pull the unit and it can be taken independently also,” Lindenmayer said.
Among its other recent launch is BSF42 boom pumps. Putzmeister says they are the first company to launch a homologated 42m truck mounted boom pump on a normal priced truck chassis. BSF42 has a maximum vertical reach of 41.6m (136ft) and horizontal reach of 37.6m (123ft). It is equipped with a 137 cum/hr core pump and a big mouth S-valve 2318 for harsh concrete. The pump is also equipped with Free Flow Hydraulics for better performance and low hydraulic oil consumption, Cross Outriggers for better stability with lesser ground space and highly wear resistant steel components. The 42m boom pump has five arms for better reach and maneuverability even in areas with space and operating restrictions.
The company has got distinction to work in mega projects such as Burj Khalifa Tower in Dubai where it achieved a pumping height of over 606m. Last year, Putzmeister BSA 1407 D made an achievement by pumping concrete up to a distance of 800m at the Delhi Metro Tunnel site. Besides that the company’s pumps are being used for construction of various other projects such as expansion and modernization of international airports at Mumbai, Delhi, Kolkata and Bangalore.
Another key player in the Indian market is Schwing Stetter which also has various ranges of boom pump, right from smallest 17m to recently launched 41m boom pump. The company manufacturers the smaller versions in India and import the larger pumps from its parent company based out of Germany. “We have 32m and 34m boom pumps which are imported from our group companies situated at Brazil and Germany. Recently, we launched our 36m boom pump S36 in the Indian market, which is imported from Germany. Several of these boom pumps are already working in many prestigious projects across India. During EXCON 2009, we also launched the 41m boom pump which is the longest boom pump that can be mounted on a 3-axle chassis. We will introduce even bigger size boom pumps from Germany as and when it is required in the Indian market,” said Anand Sundaresan, MD, Schwing Stetter (India) Private Limited.
With respect to concrete pumps, Sundaresan says, the Indian market extensively uses truck mounted boom pumps of very large reach of over 50m. “Of course, stationary pumps are also used extensively, but only for high-raise constructions. However, in India, because of vast price difference between the trailer pumps and boom pumps, only trailer pumps are used for most of the projects,” he added.
Schwing Stetter has also worked in many prestigious as well as challenging projects such as Bandra-Worli Sealink and Parbati Hydro-electric besides others. For the Bandra-Worli Sealink project, Schwing had to deploy BP 1800 concrete pump to pump through a 175-meter pipeline. The next challenge, the company says, was to do vertical pumping on Pier 19, which had a horizontal distance of more than 300 meter and a height of 132 meter. “This was successfully overcome when Schwing’s concrete pump model BP 3500 was deployed with the aid of a separate placing boom model, DVMK 42,” said Sundaresan. 
The company also been recognized internationally for setting the world record by pumping concrete vertically up to a record height to 715 meter for the Parbati Hydro-electric project in Suind village, Himachal Pradesh. 
The industry players say Indian market is growing strongly and it has not been impacted much by recession. “During the recession period, the situation in India was not too much affected because the downturn in the real estate market was balanced with the growth in Infrastructure segment. But globally, the impact of recession was quite significant; big markets like US, and Spain were down. But Indian Market is growing strongly and we believe that Asia is the future if we look at the main construction activity,” said Lindenmayer of Putzmeister.
He says India still is a trailer pump market while boom pumps are used quite extensively in rest of the world. But now due to a demand in productivity, quality and safety, this situation is now changing very fast in India. “Though it is difficult to tell the exact market size for boom pumps, we estimate it to be roughly close to 100 units last year. We have more than half of the total market share and we already have a population of over 100 truck pumps working on different projects all across India. We expect this market to grow very fast in the coming time in India,” Lindenmayer added.
Sundaresan from Schwing says the market for boom pumps is slowly increasing. “However, when compared to developed nations, it is still far too low. The major reason is that these boom pumps are still too expensive for the Indian Market. Secondly, it is also not being extensively used in the RMC and Real Estate Sectors. But I am sure in the years to come, the demand for boom pumps will certainly increase,” he added.

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