STANDING TALL

Construction Week|June 2020

STANDING TALL
Cranes are ubiquitous what with India marching ahead with infrastructure and development
MOLLY R

Cranes - a familiar sight today as countries around the world go on a building spree. Different kinds of cranes dot the sky as projects get more advanced and complex. Some of the cranes often spotted at construction sites are crawler, telescopic, boom, overhead, loader, tower, etc. However, for some time now most of the cranes have been lying idle due to the Covid-19 pandemic that brought most parts of the world to a halt.

While that may be so now, crane manufacturers in the past have come up with some innovative designs and technology to match up to modern projects. Anil Bhatia, VP, sales & marketing, TIL, says, “With projects getting larger and more complicated, project management should ensure risk engineering and project controls along with safety, speed, energy efficiency, remote access to monitor machine performance and a coordinated approach to project completion. To this end, right machine and skilled resource are the two basic pillars that make a huge difference.”

PLANS DON’T STAY

The Covid-19 pandemic has definitely put every plan in disarray. As per a report (OHR), the lockdown is expected to see the industry lose production of more than 8,000 units of construction equipment – that amounts to 10% of the number of machines produced in 2019. VG Sakthikumar, MD, Schwing Stetter India; member of governing council, ICEMA; and chairman of mechanisation committee, BAI, says, “March turnover was not as per plans due to sudden lockdown of factories, construction activities in India. April was completely at a standstill and the extended lockdown is likely to hit the May turnover also. The economic hardship has affected right from the daily wage workers to corporate companies, small businesses, MSMEs and practically every commercial establishment. As the construction equipment (CE) sector is affected since 2019 dues to issues like reduced demand, NBFC problem, automotive slowdown (BS4 – BS6 issues), etc., this sudden lockdown has further added to our woes.”

It is difficult to predict when the virus will be contained. The recovery is majorly based on this, even though the demand in the market is quite promising. However, there are rampant fears of customers cancelling orders placed earlier on.

Prashant Suryawanshi, MD, Manitowoc Cranes Potain India, says, “At Manitowoc India, we are fortunate that none of our customers cancelled their orders during the lockdown period. But, like other companies, we expect to see additional headwinds in Q2 and Q3 as we transition out of the lockdown and into the new normal.”

Their factories are officially producing again, including the Chakan plant, which restarted on May 6.

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June 2020