Boom concrete pumps - High up in the air
Boom concrete pumps may not be the most popular CE. But its specialised use continues to keep it in demand
There’s a dire need to arrest cost and time overruns for project delivery to end-customers. More so, in the light of today’s delays caused by Covid-19. There are predictions that the world may slip into a deep recession and only recover by 2021. In such a situation when the developer or the infrastructure player is required to move ahead with critical projects, using the right equipment is the need of the hour.
Taking real estate alone, as per the new regulations, faced with a paucity of funds by developers, contracting companies are striving to meet their construction schedules on time, using the best equipment available. This is prompting construction equipment manufacturers to integrate advanced technologies and features in their products for faster project completion.
What’s on offer
Concrete requirement in construction is expected to increase in the future with a slew of projects in the pipeline in real estate and infrastructure. The need for varied concrete equipment to meet the demands from these projects is abundant. With buildings growing taller, mega structures coming up, and large infra projects being constructed and planned, it is necessary to have the right equipment. High pressure and large capacity concrete pumps will be required to meet the new height of the taller buildings and long distance pumping of mega projects.
VG Sakthikumar, MD, Schwing Stetter India; member of governing council, ICEMA; chairman of Mechanisation committee, BAI, says, “The advantage of truck mounted concrete boom pumps are understood by the people at project site and they prefer using a boom pump over the traditional trailer concrete pump and find it very convenient in starting the concreting and delivering concrete at high speed and to clear the site very fast. They do not have too many people to operate the pump and deliver concrete to the site. With more and more shortage of manpower at site, the customers are left with little option but to employ a truck mounted concrete boom pump.”
The real estate business is not a major consumer of boom pumps directly. However, ready mix concrete companies supply concrete to the real estate projects with concrete transit mixer and truck mounted concrete boom pumps.
Madhan Murali, sr GM, Sunbeam Infra Equipment, says, “Today, the economic activity may be going through a rough patch which is affecting across sectors and industries. Application-wise, concrete boom pumps see its utility in elevated projects such as Metros, flyovers, bridges, infrastructure projects such as hydro, airports, large public infrastructure. Since concrete boom pumps are versatile as an equipment, high on productivity, it is an ideal equipment for any project that requires large quantities of concrete in quick time-frames and also in challenging site locations.”
Contrary to what was happening in the industry a couple of years ago, specialisation is being characterised in utilisation of concrete pumps among contractors both for high-end infrastructure and real estate projects. The distinction is essentially in terms of usage of equipment with enhanced concrete pumping pressure, better reach and rugged features to counter abrasion.
Wilfried Theissen, managing director, Putzmeister India, says, “Infrastructure and power projects account for a higher share of our boom pumps utilisation. Putzmeister Truck Mounted Pumps have worked on most major metro, refinery and power plant projects that have been completed in the last few years or are currently under construction. They have also worked on several bridge and flyover projects around the country.”
Major equipment manufacturers are focusing on technologies that suit current project requirements. As projects get more challenging and timely delivery becomes crucial, they believe customers in India will continue their shift to mechanisation in construction. RMC and pumpable concrete will be increasingly adopted as a result. Space available at the site, concrete grades required, and volume of concrete required will continue to drive new design and technology over the next couple of years. Most companies offer fully automated machines to help operators and site managers stay on top of plant operations and deliveries. There are also machines to enable remote plant monitoring capabilities.
It is also interesting to know that Indian customers haven’t changed much. All of them expect best returns out of every equipment purchase and make their money worth it. Hence as the scale of infrastructure demand rises, greater will be the customer’s expectations.
Delivering performance drives new developments in Putzmeister concrete pumps. Its R&D team is constantly working on solutions that will help their customers pump concrete higher and farther in the most effective manner. All its pumps are designed to have a long service life, handle even the heaviest grades of concrete, be easy to operate and be low on maintenance. Its stationary concrete pumps for example are designed with fewer parts as compared to pumps from other OEMs -- this keeps maintenance costs down. The pumps come equipped with smart controls such as EPS (Ergonic Pump System) that helps operators with a real time status of how the pump is performing, keeps the vibrations and noise levels down, and helps with fault management on the go.
From an environment perspective, most concrete boom pumps are designed to consume up to 70% lesser oil. Most have also added or are in the process of adding telematics capabilities to pumps. This will help fleet owners monitor the real time status of their equipment remotely and allow remote fault diagnosing thereby reducing downtime.
Murali says, “Boom pumps in itself is a technologically superior machine. They are relatively new to India and small in terms of equipment population as compared to its contribution in large economies. However, they have evolved over time with use of lighter materials to reduce weight and improving efficiency, enhanced monitoring and control of parameters, higher pumping capacities & longer boom reach, and ability to function in site locations with space constraints.”
The boom pumps from Sunbeam in cooperation with KCP Korea offer Indian customers global standard products. “The Sunbeam-KCP boom pumps get manufactured in the global production line of KCP and conform to CE certification. We offer Open-Loop System with use of optimal electricals & electronics to enhance longer pumping hours, are operator friendly & easy troubleshooting,” adds Murali.
Besides this, they come with longer wear life & greater boom angle. The ZR-5 section is versatile and a space-saving boom and most of them use lighter materials to reduce weight and increase fuel efficiency.
Recently, Sany India launched boom pump, SYG5230THB. The 37m truck-mounted boom pump offers an additional 1-m boom length and a new five section compact boom design. Sany offers an additional 40% extra power which makes it very suitable for the toughest applications. It gives high operational efficiency due to high low-pressure switching, while its in-built S-valve technology increases productivity and pumping. Sanjay Saxena, VP & BU head, heavy equipment and concrete, Sany India, says, “Our Pune facility has a manufacturing capacity of 5000 units of excavators and 3000 units of concrete machinery and cranes. The effort is to continuously upgrade and expand our manufacturing capacity to meet the burgeoning demands of the customers. With best in class equipment, great infrastructure, strong manpower, and dealership network, Sany India has become a key player in infrastructure equipment industry.”
Sany 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 120 cum/hour. SYMC intelligent control system helps monitor equipment status in real time.
Keeping mind with space constraints in metro cities & in road projects and also to reduce the footprint, selected Schwing boom pumps are available with one-sided outrigger system that allows full boom extension with safe operation through integration with boom controls & is called as EASy one side outrigger system. A normal operation involves extension of all the four outriggers to stabilize the equipment. However, the customer has the option of using only two outriggers and stabilizing the boom in a space which is only and still able to operate the boom with a coverage area of 141 degrees. This system is very advantageous in tight spaces. This option is very special from the Schwing group. Schwing truck mounted concrete boom pumps has various folding systems of the boom with four sections - double z folds, roll and fold and five sections RZ5 roll and fold that helps in construction of factory sheds, etc.
What it boils down to
Development in precast concrete element technology is estimated to hamper the concrete pumps market during the forecast period, as it is replacing traditional construction practices. Rise in concern about economic recession and unforeseen political scenario across the globe are likely to delay or cancel infrastructure activities due to political instability and insufficient funds. Increase in industrialisation and growth in demand for energy in most regions across the globe are estimated to boost the concrete pumps market in the near future. Governing bodies impose fines and take stringent action against industries upon violation of the clean environment act. High installation cost of concrete pumps is likely to restrain its adoption in small industries with less capital investment.
But despite this, an increasing number of investments for the development of infrastructure, such as airports, roads, etc., in developing countries, including China, India, and South Africa is consequently expected to strengthen the demand for truck mounted concrete pumps.