Please share your views on the approach of technology and its influence in moulding the CE sector.
While digital technology has penetrated every possible industry across the globe, the one sector that joined the party very late is the CE sector. In the recent times, the CE sector adapting to such technologies has peaked. This is evident in contractors and their businesses digitizing every aspect of their construction and site management. Digitizing the technologies has been extremely beneficial. Approaching newer technologies means higher profit, efficiency, productivity, reduced cost and this will revolutionize the conventional practices of the CE sector.
How much has the tech-penetration supported and boosted the sector to meet the market dynamics?
We are in the beginning of adaptation and a long way to go. Companies which are open minded to try technology and companies which figured out technology is the only solution to increase efficiency are the ones which are adapting in this space and we have to travel more distance to see the real benefits of tech penetration.
Tell us about the future technologies needed and those which would be explored for the betterment of the CE industry?
Artificial intelligence and machine learning, IoT, predictive analytics, virtual reality / augmented reality, autonomous equipment, advanced renewable biofuels helping with zero emission, connected jobsite, self-healing concrete, sustainability, modular and prefabricated construction are being explored for the betterment of the CE industry.
Briefly throw light upon the tech-innovations planned for your products to enhance productivity and meet market dynamics. Do you have any tech-partners or are the techs created inhouse?
Schwing Stetter India consistently works on delivering products that are user friendly and robust. Schwing Stetter India is the first in India to have an in-house team for both panel building and software development and to that extent the customization is done based on the customers’ requirements.
Our advanced control systems help the customer right from initial quotation to production planning, the production of the concrete itself and the management of mixer and pump fleet, right through to the issuing of the invoice for the concrete delivered. Besides this the system can be integrated with peripheral equipment like weigh bridge, cement feeding system, etc, which helps the customer in correlating of various statistics for production and accounting management inventory management / control, etc. We have not only the capability of linking our system with the customer’s ERP system, but also we provide own ERP solution for smaller customers. All these are possible because of our in-house capability.
Presently, Schwing Stetter India’s focus is on providing cloud service and leveraging the usage of IoT for all its range of equipment. As of now, these IoT features have been provided to some of the corporate customers and we are still working to make it available for all the customers. With this technology, the efficiency, utilization and proactive maintenance of the equipment can be done effectively. Still there are some challenges that we face due to lack of resource and infrastructure at some of the customer’s site. Still there are places where our equipment reaches but the network does not.
The basic requirement to troubleshoot a problem or to analyse the root cause is database. Once more data is gathered, one can go deep to analyse and provide a solution. The telematics is what that helps the manufacturer like SSI in achieving that. The equipment fitted with telematics solutions provide process data by which we can analyse the behaviour of the equipment and also introduce some algorithms which could play a vital role in machine self-learning. Through this system, the machine could learn to correct itself without human intervention. The telematics has also played a vital role in figuring out the efficiency of the equipment and provides base data which helps in rendering quick service to avoid breakdown.
Where do you see the tech-driven CE industry headed towards in the coming future?
There is a general shift in the construction industry approach in accepting newer technologies in their various operations. Notable examples include integrating smartphone with the machine through IoT, GPS tracking, cloud computing based solutions, virtual reality based training, robots, artificial intelligence, mobile technology, virtual reality wearables, drones, 3d printing, self-healing concrete, building information modeling, building roads with solar panels, building roads with plastic mix and building water absorbing roads to increase groundwater table are the emerging trends in construction equipment industry globally and in India. However, a word of caution that the industry and the user should plan for the changes organically. Overdoing can create frustration if enough people who understand the advantages of service and maintenance are not available in the system.