Cranes Make The Move [August 2012]

Cranes achieve the goal of lifting loads with great efficiency and several manufacturers share their opinions on the aspects that make this machine a great success. A report by Relin Hedly
The changing phase of cranesCranes and hoists have come a long way from being just simple machines to lift and bring down materials to becoming intelligent simplifying processes in manufacturing, mining, infrastructure, automotive and construction industries. This equipment has played a great role in reducing time and human efforts thereby significantly contributing towards the output.
Several industries including mining and construction, manufacturing require heavy loads to be lifted and lowered in diverse processes. The Indian industrial crane industry has enjoyed immense growth thanks to the economic development that took place in the last few years. With the construction sector becoming highly competitive thanks to the advance technological development in the construction world, several crane companies have been successful in providing efficient services for different landmark projects.
Focus on quality is essentialToday, almost every crane company is dedicated to offering superior quality and highly reliable crane operations to the customers. In India, many crane majors even conduct training programs and regular inspection as a preventive measure to avoid any untoward incident. This feature helps to maintain and improve the quality of cranes.
A company's ability to innovate generally refers to technical product innovations. Commitment to adhere to customers requirements with quality products helps the company to be on top. Continuous improvement from the research and development team also aid in creating quality products that result in efficient crane operations. Elaborating on the quality aspect, RB Pandey, General Manager, ABG Cranes said, “Stressing on quality and reliability, the company has chosen highly reliable and globally renowned partners for supply of critical components. With its past exposure to servicing of huge fleet of heavy lift cranes, it has highly experienced and specialised service team to meet its customer’s service requirements.” ABG Cranes currently manufactures indigenously designed hydraulic crawler cranes of capacity 40 MT, 80 MT, 100MT and 160 MT.
Safety of paramount importanceThe changing nature of work in the construction industry is been attributed as one of the largest contributors towards the increasing rate of fatal accidents in the industry. Cranes being a vital component of several construction operations are associated with a large number of construction related accidents. This alarming issue gave rise to the impending concern of safety. Today several crane companies are adopting stringent safety measures to avoid crane related accidents leading to death. Anupam Industries, one of the fastest growing crane manufacturing companies gives paramount importance to safety. Emphasising on this aspect Mehul Patel, Managing Director, Anupam Industries Limited said, “Being an organised player and market leader, Anupam very much emphasises on safety aspects. The ladle cranes for steel industry, which are very critical in nature from the safety point of view, are equipped with lots of safety features. The company provides complete redundancy for all mechanical and electrical parts and ensures that any breakdown due to operator’s error does not lead to any accident.” He further added, “Unfortunately, majority of customers do not give due importance to safety as compared to pricing. Customers’ willingness to add more on the safety features is still lacking. However, after experiencing fatal accidents and break downs, they have now started realising the importance of safety features.”
There is substantial scope for improvement in the safety standards by drafting and implementing safety norms by relevant government agencies. USA and Europe follow the best practices in terms of safety standards.
For any project, cranes play a vital role and for the completion of the same, however safety is essential. It means the projects should be completed with minimum or no accidents within the projected time. Crane is an important machine at the project site therefore awareness of crane operation and safety norm should be explained to the operator. “As part of its safety arrangement in the cranes category, Kobelco has incorporated a system called K-CROSS i.e. Kobelco – Crane Remote Observation Satellite System. This system will be a helpful tool to all its customers to monitor the crane's performance and safe operation from their offices located at remote location,” said Nilesh Bhorkar, National Manager – Sales & Marketing, Kobelco Cranes.
Maintenance Enhances PerformanceSafety as an aspect in the day to day working module is a non-negotiable aspect. Regardless of the sector a manufacturer operates in, be it organised or un-organised, it is unwise to disrespect safety as eventually one is putting human life in danger. “An unexpected breakdown of cranes, hoists, winches and other material handling equipment can result in delay within the manufacturing process and delivery schedules. Thus it is advisable to have proper maintenance carried out through skilled professionals who share an expertise in ‘crane specifications’. This will help lessen and almost get rid of any chances towards unprepared breakdown,” said Tushar Mehendale Managing Director, ElectroMech.
He further added, “The Indian industrial cranes sector lacks of a structured after sales service assistance. Most of the manufacturers end their involvement towards the customers with the closure of the commissioning of the equipment thus putting the customer in perplexities of servicing and maintenance of his cranes. ElectroMech understands the gaps as well as the need to pay attention to the customer’s needs. In its belief towards providing solutions approach to selling we offer well engineered hoisting solutions.” Further training also helps to reduce or eliminate the possibility of human-factors-related crane failure and involving personnel in the selection and use of safety devices is essential.
Future OutlookIndia is a growing market with many multi-national and domestic crane manufacturers. The country has a few key factors in its favour that will ensure the continuing growth of this segment. In future, the steady inflow of investments from foreign multinationals, projected increase in domestic spending on infrastructure construction and power projects, inclusive economic growth, strong internal fundamentals are some of the factors that would influence the growth of crane segment in India.

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