What new construction equipment will 2022 bring?

“Our present infrastructure is already bursting at the seams, with GDP growth the pressure on critical infrastructure will only continue to grow,” observes Blesson Varghese, Managing Director, Asia Astec. “A clear vision, purpose-driven governance and policies built around growth would mean that the market in India would more than double in the next five years.”

“Recently, the Indian Construction Equipment Manufacturers Association said that India should become the second-largest market for construction equipment by 2030,” reports Deepak Shetty, CEO and MD, JCB India.

Rapid urbanisation and infrastructure activities will help spur the Indian construction equipment market beyond $4.7 billion by 2025, estimates Dheeraj Panda, Chief Operating Officer (Sales, Marketing & Customer Support), Sany Heavy Industry India. “Higher budgetary allocations to roads, metro rails, flyovers and commercial complexes will further boost the market over the next few years. Major projects include the bullet train, metro rails in urban areas, Bharatmala and Sagarmala. Increased mining activity and foreign direct investment are also boosting demand.”

“Research forecasts 11 per cent growth in 2021, and if a third wave of the pandemic doesn’t hit the country, 15 per cent growth in 2022 and 11 per cent in 2023,” shares Jalaj Gupta, Business Head, Commercial Vehicles, Mahindra Group. “The general election will reduce sales by 8 per cent in 2024, but the market should recover by 11 per cent in 2025.”

Newness in 2021

A very active road sector saw Wirtgen India launch three CEV stage IV products in 2021—a Hamm soil compactor HC119i, a Hamm tandem roller HD99i VV and a Voegele paver S 1400i. “Simple operation, high performance, operator-friendly, excellent output, fuel-efficiency and robust engines are the main differentiators for these machines,” says Ramesh Palagiri, MD & CEO, Wirtgen India.

The year 2021 also saw new models of India’s most popular equipment, the backhoe loader.

JCB India’s launches during the pandemic included the industry’s first dual-fuel CNG backhoe loader in November 2020, a range of CEV Stage IV-compliant wheeled construction equipment in July 2021, and the all-new access range consisting of four electric scissor models very recently.

With the advent of new emission norms for construction equipment, Mahindra launched a BSIV range of Mahindra EarthMaster backhoe loaders and Mahindra RoadMaster motor graders. These tough and reliable products have been designed and developed in India. “Our BSIV range will have a robust iMAXX telematics solution for better fleet management, and offer superior performance, higher uptime and lower operating and owning costs,” says Gupta.

Environment-friendly equipment that recycles materials was high on manufacturer’s agenda. Wirtgen India offers cold milling machines and soil stabilisers / cold recyclers. Astec has a new range of recyclers and stabilisers.

“India needs to recycle a lot and so we are very excited to introduce new technologies that will help road building professionals reduce their costs and be able to deliver better quality pavements,” says Varghese.

Other new products from Astec included the Shuttle Buggy 3000 material transfer vehicle, the all new hyper mobile Ventura series of asphalt plants, and products in crushing and screening and concrete equipment. Mobile dry bulk material handling products from Telestack have been helping various ports and mines increase their outputs this year.

Driving sectors

What sectors do equipment companies propose to focus on, and following on, what classes of equipment are likely to see the highest growth and development? Topping the list is roads and highways, one of the most happening sectors in the infrastructure development space.

“Roads and highways will continue to be a main driver for us because the consistently performing sector has been instrumental for the overall growth of construction equipment, says Shetty. “So backhoe loaders, tracked excavators, wheeled loaders and telehandlers will have strong opportunities. 

“The National Highway Authority of India is transitioning to a digital approach for construction operations and the capital spending in the road sector is expected to increase by 18 per cent so there may be an increase in the use of technology and automation in that sector,” says Sandeep Mathur, Brand Leader, New Holland CASE Construction Equipment, justifying CASE’s focus on roads and highway.

“Bigger projects will require smart and excellent quality machines for efficiency and safety,” continues Mathur. “New highway projects are some key demand drivers for good quality machines. The National Infrastructure Pipeline and the recent Gati Shakti Plan will spur growth.”

“As global safety and productivity best practices come to India, material handling applications are also set to rise,” observes Shetty. “Products such as telehandlers are finding great utility in applications that require material or aggregate to be lifted or handled at heights.”

The recent focus on urban rejuvenation, building smart cities and improving the quality of life across leading cities will improve the prospects for moving and construction equipment, adds Shetty. He is also emphatic about the need for more demand drivers. “These could be irrigation, mining, railways and power generation. Additionally, solid waste management has significant potential and rural India continues to hold great promise as infrastructure (schools, hospitals, offices) is being developed.”

Mahindra’s Gupta attests to focusing on small contractors both in road construction and infra development. “Everything, from roads to railways, from aviation to agriculture, various ministries and departments will be undergoing development,” says Gupta. Consequently, he believes that sales of all types of equipment will increase with respect to 2020, except irregularly sold machines such as articulated dump trucks, crawler loaders and wheeled excavators which cannot be predicted.

2022 launches

In 2022, we are coming up with an accurate, cost-effective motor grader RoadMaster G75 Smart, which is aligned to the country’s road construction ambitions, shares Gupta. “Small contractors will find this new product very economical for smaller PMGSY rural road projects. We are also gearing up with an improved range of backhoe loaders.”

Sany Heavy Industry India plans to introduce a range of equipment for the three sectors it is focusing on—mining, ports and roads, the three sectors that are the core drives of the Indian economy and which contribute to the country’s GDP, says Panda. “Mining has seen remarkable growth after the reforms, which have also spurred demand for mining equipment. Increasing seaborne trade globally is prominently driving the demand for port equipment in India. The Government of India is planning to expand the national highway network to over 200,000 km thus opening a huge opportunity for construction equipment. These sectors cover machinery such as trucks, loaders, diggers, cranes, forklift, reach stackers, etc.”

CASE has innovative product launches lined up for 2022 in the excavator, compactor, grader, dozer, skid steer loader and tractor loader backhoe categories, shares Mathur. “We will soon launch our renowned ‘EX series’ loader backhoes in an all-new BS4-compliant avatar with a new engine. These machines are well known to be workhorses.”

Our focus is on manufacturing machines that offer higher fuel efficiency, adds Mathur. “Our FX range of loader backhoes is BS4-compliant with the world-renowned FPT engine that delivers more power, performance and fuel efficiency. With the use of innovative techniques, construction equipment will become smart, intuitive, and vigilant, providing vast information to the user.”

Varghese looks forward to customers using Astec’s BG series of asphalt plants, and BMH and CON-E-CO range of concrete machinery. “India being in the building stage, it will need larger equipment and technologies that will help it reach its infrastructure goals,” foresees Varghese. We at Astec are well-positioned to help users in the subcontinent reach their quality and productivity targets.”

Astec is a premium brand offering premium products and technology to consumers looking for advanced and sustainable solutions, explains Varghese. “Energy-savings, reduced emissions, safety and user-friendliness are some of the key focus areas of our R&D. Our tie-up with CarbonCure also helps our end-users reduce their carbon footprints and increase their sustainability.

Digitisation appears to be high on the radar of manufacturers.

“We plan to introduce a new range of technologically advanced construction equipment in 2022 in keeping with the general shift towards newer technologies and digitisation,” shares Panda. “With special designs based on the different applications, our new range will offer tremendous scope in terms of versatility, reliability and overall performance.”

Considering Excon 2022 and future launches, “a sustaining focus area of JCB India is integrating more digital technology into products while improving customer profitability,” says Shetty.

Creating efficient and sustainable solutions is already our top priority, says Palagiri. “Wirtgen Group machines feature intelligent control systems and clever automatic functions to achieve lower life cycle costs, maximum productivity with low fuel consumption and minimal emissions.”

Make in India

Why does it matter if a manufacturer makes in India? Equipment designed and developed in India, and made locally, is more likely to meet users’ needs, and be available at attractive price points.

For instance, supporting ‘Make in India’, Sany Heavy Industry India launched its first ‘Made in India’ piling rig SR235 this year. “We believe in developing innovative products that suit local needs while maintaining international quality,” shares Panda. All our new generation machines will also be manufactured in India.”

Most Sany products such as truck cranes, piling rigs, concrete boom pumps, transit mixer, trucks and excavators are manufactured at its state-of-the-art unit at Chakan, Pune. “Localisation has been our prime focus since day one, so today we manufacture around 45 models in our Indian facility,” adds Panda.

JCB India has been manufacturing in India for about four decades. Today JCB has five factories serving not only the domestic market but also exporting to over 110 countries. A sixth export-focused manufacturing facility is coming up at Vadodara and will be operational by early 2022. Additionally, a design centre in Pune has contributed to almost every product developed in the JCB group, adds Shetty.

Wirtgen India has been manufacturing in Pune for the local market since 2011. In 2015, the company started to manufacture Kleemann screens which are now exported globally.

“Wirtgen India is one of very few companies that have been able to encash the opportunity to make India a manufacturing hub for construction equipment,” opines Palagiri. “We are currently the largest exporters of track-mounted screens from India.”

CASE India has been making in India, for India and the world, for more than 30 years in a state-of-the-art manufacturing plant in Pithampur, Madhya Pradesh.

All Mahindra products are 99 per cent made in India and the profit remains in our country, says Gupta.

Astec manufactures a wide range of crushing and screening equipment, continuous and batch type asphalt mixing plants with proprietary technology for high recycling content, high efficiency storage tanks and solutions for large storage terminals along with other material handling products in India.

Here’s to this wide range of locally made models.

Courtesy: Construction World