Excon 2019 concludes on a positive note; showcases tech prowess
Keeping with its mission of not only providing a platform to showcase the best in construction equipment but also bringing together all the stakeholders of construction equipment industry, the five-day exhibition did not disappoint. There were plenty of future ready construction equipment & technology and networking with the end user.
We were bit sceptic. The economic downtrend is in full swing and it has affected the automobile industry the most. The ripple effect of downtrend in the automobile sector has started to percolate the construction equipment sector. The NBFC crisis has further aggravated the woes of automobile and construction equipment manufacturers with sales plunging to all time low.
Infrastructure, especially roads and highways and realty sector has hit a nadir and sales of construction equipment has decline drastically. A few of the leading players has already pulled out from the exhibition and a few were yet to book stalls. In these circumstances we were not that optimistic. For the past 10 years it has been our, sort of, bi-annual pilgrimage to Excon exhibition and this time too we did not want to miss the bus. Err flight! The last Excon was super success and it has rained in revenue not only for us, but for the entire fraternity; trickling down to the entire value chain of construction equipment industry.
We landed at the venue the Bangalore International Exhibition Centre (BIEC) and Excon 2019, the Largest Construction Equipment Event in South Asia, did not disappoint us. Long before, we alighted from the chauffeur driven car, from a distance of more than 5-kilometers we could see the spectacular line up of tower cranes, concrete batching plants, piling machines, hoisting machineries, boom pumps, crawler cranes, flags of leading construction equipment companies and as the distance got closer to the venue we could view the full spectrum of construction equipments – all types of excavators, the bull dozers, the compactors, various types of cranes for various applications, skid loaders, graders, crawlers, dozers, compactors, cold milling machines, wheel loaders, pavers, truck cranes, concrete mixers, shotcrete pumps, stationery pumps, drilling machines, among others.
After alighting from the chauffeur driven car with parcels containing the latest editions of EPC World magazines featuring articles on infrastructure outlook 2020 and highways, infrastructure and equipment finance, product launches in Excon 2019, product profiles, updated information on technology for construction equipment, and the latest update on the happening in the construction equipment world, we walked towards the registration counter to take possession of our stall. Here, while standing in the long queue, we had the opportunity to network with few of our existing clients as well as well as prospective clients.
After taking procession kit from the registration counter, a golf cart shuttle ferried us to our Hall. Once we completed putting all the displays at our Stall, we took a stroll to explore Excon 2019. Every square metres of the exhibition which is spread over 3,00,000 square metres of exhibition display area, was brimming with construction equipment and eager business visitors ready to negotiate a bargain. A few Outdoor Stalls Exhibitors we visited before the start of the inauguration, spoke highly of how they have integrated and incorporated the latest technology – IoT, wirelesses, Artificial Intelligence with their equipment. True to its theme of Excon 2019, ‘Smart i-tech- Next Gen India@75’, the OEM players have quickly adopted digitization and automation and have come up with construction equipment that are smart with artificial intelligence, innovative, internet and interconnected to help the operators manaeuvoer the rugged terrain be it road and highway construction, mining site, tunnel digging or construction piling.
Later in the day, Nitin Gadkari, Minister for Road, Transport & Highways, and Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises, inaugurated the five day event. Delivering his inaugural address, he said, “For the road sector alone, the Centre is investing Rs. 2 lakh crores this year. The amount of investment for the next year will increase to Rs. 3 lakh crores. Within the next five years, the total government spend on the road infrastructure will be about Rs 17 lakh crores.” The Minister urged the private players in the construction industry to focus on mechanization, adoption of advanced technologies and global best practices, usage of LNG and bio-fuels, and innovations in using waste materials as raw materials for their construction projects in order to reduce the cost of construction, and pollution. The minister was optimistic, that the Construction Equipment industry can hope to expect a 40 percent increase in sales in the near future, as the Government is pumping huge amounts of investment in road and other infrastructure projects such as the development of waterways, airports, ports, and smart cities.
B S Yediyurappa, Chief Minister of Karnataka was the Guest of Honour at the Exhibition. In his speech he highlighted the huge business opportunities Karnataka offers for the construction industry, as it is embarking on major infrastructure development projects in roads & flyovers, industrial infrastructure and power. Vikram S Kirloskar, President, CII, motivated the industry to face the tough market situation prevailing now by focusing on being ready for Industry 4.0 and reinventing itself.
Delivering his theme address, Vipin Sondhi, Chairman, CII Trade Fairs Council, said the construction equipment industry is witnessing a digital influx with the advent of artificial intelligence, telematics, Internet of Things, and Big Data making construction equipment intelligent and connected. These developments would increase the site efficiency and productivity of the construction projects in India. Chandrajit Banerjee, Director General, CII, was hopeful that the focus this year on AI, and IoT will transform the construction sector.
The inaugural session also celebrated women in infrastructure by introducing, “Women Building India- Equal Opportunity Awards” and recognized companies from the Infrastructure sector who have taken proactive steps to enable women to participate in the workforce.
The inaugural session also witnessed the signing a MoU between the Education Department (Higher) of Government of Karnataka and Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) on Industry Institute Connect. The MoU will focus on creating a taskforce of Government and CII on facilitation of skilling and teaching content in the construction equipment sector.
The inaugural session was followed by Product Launches. True to the theme of Excon 2019, ‘Smart i-tech- Next Gen India@75’, JCB India, at its huge stall, showcased its strong focus on Digitisation and Innovation. The company’s machines are equipped with with JCB’s ‘IntelliPerformance’ and ‘IntelliDig’ technology which will give customers real time information about the performance of the machine.
Schwing Stetter India too keeping with the theme of the exhibition showcased Internet of Things (IoT) solutions of Schwing IoT In, Schwing IoT Ready, Schwing IoT abled, Schwing dashboard for batching plants, Schwing Stetter India gateway device, hitech weighing system, Schwing smartrack and Stetter concrete transit mixer with mobile app and unveiled 22 innovative machines.
Putzmeister rolled out advanced fleet management capabilities with Putzmeister Machine Cockpit to its range of concrete pumps. Customers were given a live demo of its various features including real time information on the status of pumps at the jobsite, critical status alerts, remote diagnosis capability to identify faults and implement appropriate measures, key figures for delivery rate, machine use and fuel consumption, alerts when machines are on the move and reminders for maintenance. Putzmeister and Sany Concrete Solutions also introduced three new products. Batching Plant MT 0.35, SYG5180THB300C-8 Truck Mounted Concrete Pump and Truck Mounted Boom Pump – BSF 47 – 5.
CASE Construction Equipment unveiled Crawler Excavator CX220C to its product portfolio. With the launch of this product, the brand has become a full liner in India. The company also displayed it complete line-up of vibratory compactors, backhoe loaders, crawler dozers, motor graders and skid steer loaders.
Caterpillar introduced new Next Gen Cat®120 Motor Grader which was displayed alongside Caterpillar’s existing range of products - excavators, wheel loaders, backhoe loaders, skidsteer loaders, off-highway trucks and generator sets. Eaton’s technology showcase included a diverse range of products for construction segment, which includes all piston product portfolios, the various electro-hydraulic products such as the HFX range of electronic controllers and VFX display, along with state of the art CMA valves. Gates launched the next generation of premium hydraulics MXG 4K for first fit, industrial and automotive replacement markets.
KONE Elevator India showcased their cutting-edge solutions and experience centre in the Artificial Intelligence Pavilion. Visitors to the stall had a first-hand experience of smart people flow solutions like E-link, info screen, destination control system and elevator remote call system. TIL introduced two new cranes, RT880 - an 80 tonne Rough Terrain crane and Mobiload 415- a Pick n Carry crane. Shell India displayed newly launched range of B2B services - Machine Max, Lubricants Management Programme and LubeMaster. JK Tyre & Industries launched new V-Compact R3 tyre designed especially for soil compactor application. The 23.1-26 V- Compact R3 tyre comes withs heavy-duty nylon carcass construction using high denier fabric which gives exceptional casing strength and reliability during operation.
Balkrishna Industries (BKT) displayed its newly launched cutting-edge tires in size 33.00R51Earthmax SR 46and 45/65R45Earthmax SR 53. 33.00R51EarthmaxSR 46 an all-steel radial OTR tire is specifically designed to carry heavy loads with superior resistance to cuts and chips and for an improved life while while size 45/65R45EARTHMAX SR 53 is designed for loader and dozer operation in severe rocky conditions, underground mines and scrap yards.
Doosan Bobcat India choose Volvo Penta engines to power two of its new air compressor models. A 13-litre, 536-hp Volvo Penta D13 diesel engine is providing power to Doosan Bobcat India’s new PA536 air compressor, and an 8-litre, 320hp Volvo Penta D8 diesel engine has been installed in its SHP750 air compressor. While Atlas Copco unveils next generation portable air compressors and Elgi Equipments launched its future ready, energy-efficient range of electric and diesel portable air compressors. BEML launched a new Hydraulic Excavator model BE210LC and showcased its other upgraded construction equipment such as Motor Graders models BG605-I and BG405A, Bulldozers models BD65-1 and BD85-1 and Wheel Loader model BL30-1. Scania displayed its new generation truck NTG Heavy Tipper at the Exhibition along with BS-IV CEV-ready industrial engines and solutions.
Apart from plenty of products launch and innovative and future ready products on display, the organisers of Excon 2019, organized a series of Conferences and Seminars on, Defence & Paramilitary; MSMEs; Components & Parts; Green Buildings; Smart Cities; Urban Development; Logistics among others. As part of this series, the “Artificial Intelligence IOT & Automation” session focused on the paradigm shift from machine training through programming to achieve automated solutions with AI and IoT under the Industry 4.0 wave. In An Interactive Session on ‘Construction Equipment Industry : Challenges and Opportunities’, Dimitrov Krishnan, Vice President, ICEMA & Vice President-Sales & Marketing, Volvo Construction Equipment, S.K Mishra, Executive Director (Infra), Ministry of Railways, R. K Suryawanshi, RO- Projects, NHAI, Sandeep Singh, President, ICEMA & MD, Tata Hitachi Construction Machinery and others stalwarts participated, discussed and enlighted the dignitaries the : Challenges and Opportunities India’s infrastructure sector offers for the construction equipment industry. On the fourth day of CII Excon 2019 conducted a Session on “Over Dimensional Cargo (ODC) and infrastructure for Armed Forces” where the industry experts shared their insights on efficient project cargo movement and emerging requirements & Smart Technology Solutions in defense. And then there was like always the unforgettable Elephant Nights hosted by Putzmeister India where local artists and DJs from Bangalore entertained the visitors with energetic performances and foot thumping music.
Excon 2019 gave us an opportunity to interact with the decision maker of the construction equipment industry, in fact the higher echelons of the industry. We could sense an envelope of optimism amongst the echelons, in spite of screaming headlines in newspapers forecasting the GDP to fall below 5 percent. They have faced the challenges earlier and this time too they are hopeful of sailing through. What the construction equipment industry need today are infrastructure projects, especially roads and highways and realty to keep going, sufficient funding, a firm government policy and a proper direction from the government which will lead them to see light at the end of the tunnel.
Budget 2020-21 is round the corner and we (media) as well as the construction equipment industry is keeping fingers crossed. EPC World will be analyzing the fine prints of Budget 2020-21 and enlighten the readers as well as the construction equipment industry the path ahead for them.
We left Excon 2019 with fond memories and souvenirs.
@EPC World Media