Concrete Boom Pumps
The market for concrete boom pumps and placers is on the rise with the construction of high rise buildings and bridges is growing consistently. 

Boom pump is a good investment for large projects like the Metros, airports irrigation projects and other high-rise infrastructure and real estate projects. These massive pumps shorten the duration of project completion, reduce downtime and labour costs. Traffic flows freely as time taken is less for setting up. Making a smart investment like this can reduce the dependency on manpower and meet the project deadlines with ease. The market for truck-mounted boom pumps was below 100 units till 2016, which has later picked up gradually due to the growth in infrastructure construction activities. 

Market scenario
According to VG Sakthikumar, Managing Director, Schwing Stetter Sales and Services,
the market for truck-mounted concrete boom pumps in India holds a large share in the global market. He adds, "The market for truck-mounted concrete boom pumps is expected to grow at a CAGR of 5.8 per cent over the period of 2017-2025. We expect a sales of more than 250 pumps in 2018.

New opportunities
Opportunities are emerging for concrete boom pumps in the sectors of roadways, railways, metro rail, irrigation, real estate, and power (hydro, thermal, gas-based, nuclear and wind). Sakthikumar elaborates, "The short arm and the long arm range of Schwing truck-mounted concrete boom pumps of S17, S20, S36 X and S43 SX are the fast moving range in the market. The models available are also dependent on the availability of suitable trucks in India." Saroj Kumar Jha, Deputy General Manager, B L Kashyap & Sons, comments, "Concrete boom pumps have high demand for increased speed of construction." The company has a fleet of concrete equipment including truck-mounted boom pump. What are the factors considered when selecting a concrete boom pump? Jha explains, "Project concrete quantity, schedule, type of structure, placement location, the rate of pour required, the speed of construction, availability of technical staff to upkeep this equipment etc are some of the major factors we take into consideration while selecting a concrete pump."

According to Sakthikumar, a major challenge in the aftermarket space in general is the fact that many machines are working in remote areas. Customers expect zero breakdown, less maintenance cost, 24x7 service - skilled manpower, and spares life and availability.

He adds, "We want to create customer awareness and train their team. For example, various grade concrete mix pumping at different height and length require good understanding to adjust the pump according to the work requirement. Schwing Stetter India is the only company in this segment to cater to after-market support directly to customer with 26 sales, 30 spares, four training centres and nine service centres without any intermediaries. Schwing Stetter India works close to the customer right from equipment planning stage. Service engineers
are trained through a continuous process schedule."

Advantage boom pumps
Truck-mounted concrete boom pumps increase the concrete pouring speed which in turn helps the project to be completed on time, while ensuring higher accuracy and quality in concrete pouring. On the other hand, a boom pump requires very less manpower - a driver and an operator are sufficient to do a typical concreting work and is extremely easy to use, operate and maintain. The boom pump offers the flexibility of moving the pipeline at will and also handling two sides with ease.

Products and solutions
The boom can be an assembly of pipelines with R, Z or R-Z folds which increases flexibility of operation. The boom attachment makes pumping faster and easy. Sakthikumar elaborates, "Schwing Stetter India offers two types of boom pumps - the truck-mounted and the separate placing boom pumps, each of these has its own applications. The separate placing booms in capacities of 25 m, 28 m, 30 m, 32 m and 35 m are usually opted for high rise building projects, whereas the truck-mounted boom pumps of S17, S20, S36 X and S43 SX can be used for all the applications and also have a reputation of providing faster project completion."

On the control technology used in boom pumps, Sakthikumar elaborates, "Schwing Stetter India offers Vector Control system in boom pump, which constantly tracks data for mode of failure and reason of failure and else tackle further repetition of the problem. Also, we can see the all working data of the machine right from the commissioning stage. This also helps us to do the maintenance schedule on time and trouble-shooting on ease."

On the valve technology associated with Schwing Stetter range, Sakthikumar explains, "We offer Rock valve technology in the concrete pump segment which are able to pump high grade concrete mix like m95 with far higher pressure, allowing the heights and distances for concrete pumping to be greatly increased. BP 4000 Rock valve pump has successfully done 750 m vertical concrete pumping and SP 4800 Rock valve pump also has done the 2.4 km horizontal concrete pumping, all with separate placing booms."

Schwing pump has own integrated control block which is highly efficient to delivered hydraulic power to the respective actuators and also because of its integrated design no need of more hydraulic piping. "Schwing uses hydraulic pilot signals for operation of pumping strokes and there is not a chance of signal failure when compared with an electrical signal system. Schwing provides hard wear parts for critical application to achieve longer change interval. Special concrete pipes with various thick and inner abrasive coating are also available," Sakthikumar adds.

Putzmeister has introduced the new generation boom pump BSF 36.04 NG. The machine has been built using aluminium and high-grade light weight steel to reduce the weight by more than two tonne. This boom pump comes with 'big mouth' delivery cylinders of 230 mm diameter, which are 32 per cent more efficient in filling the pipeline than its smaller counterparts, according to the company. The 'big mouth' solution reduces running costs, diesel consumption, maintenance cost on wear and tear parts etc, for every cubic metre pumped.

Another model, BSF 42-5 achieves success through its optimum flexibility, i.e. large reach on a four-axle truck and minimum footprint. The five-arm boom in the RZ-fold system has an impressive action radius of 41.6 m vertical reach for all requirements in building construction and 30.7 m reach depth, which is considerably more than with comparable four-arm version. This mobile five-arm boom provides the machine operator with more manoeuvrability under difficult conditions such as low buildings, tight inner city areas or in the event of obstacles between the truck and the site of concrete placement.

Concrete future
The trend emerging is a shift towards mobile boom pumps from stationary pumps. Says Sakthikumar, "Yes, we are experiencing a paradigm shift from the customer, migrating from stationary pump to mobile boom pumps. Also, a sudden growth in infrastructure projects is fuelling the demand for boom pumps. This demand will sustain, again based on further growth in real estate/housing projects. We are gearing up to meet the demand in the coming years, by scaling up our factory infrastructure."

Going forward, with many projects coming up in metro rail, roads, irrigation, and high-rise buildings, the use of boom pump and boom placers will grow further to see a consistent growth in the market in short to medium term.