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We see considerable opportunities in capital and aftermarket offerings - Venugopal Rajendra Basker, Head – Mining Sales, Subcontinental India, FLSmidth

We see considerable opportunities in capital and aftermarket offerings - Venugopal Rajendra Basker, Head – Mining Sales, Subcontinental India, FLSmidth

The Ports and Shipping sector has performed exceptionally in the last few years. How has your Ports and Shipping vertical performed in the last three years?

We have engaged with quite a few customers in the Port sector for our solutions in bulk material handling equipment and systems. There has been a steady growth of our business in the Port sector and our equipment and systems are very well accepted for their design, operational efficiency, high availability and our aftermarket support. We are now the only Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) in the market to provide solutions across the full value chain for ports. We offer the complete flowsheet with full range of equipment for bulk material unloading, conveying, stacking, reclaiming and loading solutions. This allows us to deliver value in every step of the customer’s process and work closely with the customer to find the best possible solutions, underpinned by a harmonized optimization from the pit to the port. Being active in the port side as well as the processing and mining side combines two very important aspects in the mining value chain. This gives our customers a single point of contact, which in turn helps to decrease interfaces and friction losses along the supply chain. Access to the complete range of key technologies all through the process simply allows engineers to digitalize the full value chain and improve the utilization of new and existing technologies. When monitoring the complete process journey, we strengthen the process flow, align our technologies and improve productivity. We also work with shore-based power plants, logistic solution providers and EPC companies for their requirement of port handling equipment and systems. We have developed design and engineering capabilities and maximized sourcing within India thereby supporting the “Make in India” initiative.
Which are the MHE products you have launched for the Ports and Shipping sector in the last three years? What are the features of these products? 
We offer complete mechanization of bulk handling facilities which include grab type ship unloaders, screw type ship unloaders, ship loaders, belt conveyors, pipe conveyors, stackers, reclaimers, stacker-cum-reclaimers, silos, pneumatic transportation and train/truck loading systems. These have a high degree of operating efficiency, which is a critical requirement for efficient port operation.
Please take us through the IoT, Telematics, wireless communication, artificial intelligence features of the products? How are these technologies helping the Ports and Shipping sector in efficient and fast transfer of materials? 
One example is FLSmidth’s BulkExpert™, a state-of-the-art technology which uses 3D laser scanner and GPS technology for 3D stockyard mapping and unmanned operations of stockyard equipment like stacker/reclaimers and train loaders. This helps in digitizing the stockyard to track different types and quality of bulk materials and improves the overall supply chain of the port facilities. The consistency of this automated operation, which is unmanned, increases the stacking and reclaiming rate. This means reduced waiting time for the hatches for unloading and thereby considerable savings in demurrages. We also offer other digital solutions like Condition Monitoring Systems, Downtime Analysis Systems for bulk material handling equipment/systems. They help in decreasing the downtime, efficient maintenance planning and improving the productivity of the port operations.
What are the safety features of the products?
Accurate Global Positioning System (GPS) based equipment positioning combined with other instrumentation and advanced algorithms for collision avoidance help prevent collision between equipment, equipment and stockpile, collapse of stockpile and so on. Added digital intelligence in our products also helps in improving human safety in the stockyard.
Apart from these, what are the solutions and services (maintenance and after sales services included) you provide for the ports and shipping sector? 
We offer operation and maintenance services, productivity enhancement services, engineered spares and other technical services like mechanical health checks/audits for bulk material handling equipment. We also provide operation, maintenance and safety training for the operators, technicians and engineers. FLSmidth has the state-of-the-art Remote Asset Management infrastructure at its Chennai facility. Here we do 24x7 remote troubleshooting and maintenance assistance and productivity improvement services. More than 200 plants across the globe are being supported through this setup. Our global expertise works as an advantage in providing strong offerings for our customers
Which are the major projects (ports and shipping) where your products are deployed and what role are they playing at the project site? 
We have supplied at the Karaikal Port, Mangalore Port, Ennore Port, Jaigarh port, Paradip port, Krishnapatnam port, through our customers. We have also supplied our equipment at the captive jetty of Tata Power, Trombay - the equipment covers unloading, loading, conveying and stockpiling applications. 
It requires special skills to operate MHE, what are the skill development programmes you conduct?
We provide operation, maintenance and safety training on site for the operators, technicians and engineers. This helps them to be aware of the latest technologies and ways to use it to improve efficiency and safety while operating and maintaining the equipment. 
With ports and shipping development going a notch higher the requirement for MHE too has to keep pace with the development. Keeping with this requirement what are the high end MHEs you are planning to launch for the ports and shipping sector?
We deploy environmentally friendly screw unloaders and BulkExpert™ for effective stockyard management. Our screw type unloaders in operation at captive jetty of Tata Power, Trombay significantly reduce dust emission and were opted for this reason. FLSmidth’s Bulk Expert is another such offering for efficient unmanned stockyard management, which supports the digitalization efforts of our customers.
How do you see the opportunities evolving today in ports and shipping sector and what would be your strategies to tap in these potentials?
We see considerable opportunities in capital and aftermarket offerings in the port sector especially with the Government led initiative “the Sagarmala Programme” aimed at unlocking the potential of Indian waterways and coastline. The proposed capacity additions in steel, power and other core industries has also generated the drive for improved logistics, efficient cargo handling and distribution network. Coastal shipping is being promoted to reduce transport cost from 15 percent to 9 percent. Make in India is also driving the mechanization of ports. We are geared up to take up upcoming opportunities with our range of product and service offerings. Our offices in Chennai and Pune together can handle multiple projects together with our sourcing partners. Our recent acquisition of Sandvik Mining systems has strengthened our portfolio to offer equipment of even higher capacities as desired by our Clients. Our equipment and solutions are in operation at many ports and coastal power plants.
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