Sunday, January 24, 2021

Interaction - Subhajit Chandra, Divisional Head- Mobile Crane Division, Liebherr India Private Limited


We at Liebherr, strongly believe that to any customer our first crane is sold by Sales Team / Personnel and the second crane is by our Service Team



A global major in construction equipment, Liebherr is an entrenched player in the Indian market. In an exclusive interview to CONSTRUCTION OPPORTUNITIES, SUBHAJIT CHANDRA, DIVISIONAL HEAD- MOBILE CRANE DIVISION, LIEBHERR INDIA PRIVATE LIMITED speaks about the latest trends, Company’s offerings and future outlook on the industry





Give a brief overview of the Cranes industry in India, latest trends and market dynamics.


The Mobile Crane Market in Indian Industry is segmented by different type’sof cranes like All Terrain Cranes, Rough Terrain Cranes, Crawler Cranes and Truck Cranes and further as per application in Construction, Mining & Infrastructure, Oil and Gas, Heavy Industrial sector, Power, Steel, Fertilizers, Retail etc. There is an increasing requirement for a broader range of higher lifting capacity, quality products, with long life expectancy and comprehensive After Sales Support. Mobile All Terrain Cranes are the most standard and versatile type of crane used in construction, mining ,defense, shipping, port building, rail, road, bridges , oil & gas industry, and others manufacturing industries. 


All Terrain dominates the market owing to growth in the construction sector across the globe and in India due to his versatility and operation efficiency. Use of heavy duty mobile crane in Indian industries is the sign of increase in investments in construction, cement, steel, wind and power sectors are factors for the market growth. The mobile crane consists of telescopic boom mounted on a mobile platform/ chassis, on wheel. It is being designed to facilitate easy transportation between different operating locations by road. Rough Terrain cranes are mainly designed for in plant operation and truck crane are useful with limition in smaller capacity segment up to 60MT-80MT. However, All Terrain Cranes is predicted to accelerate owing to the expansion of cement plants, construction industry, Infrastructure projects and the increased business potential of shipbuilding and repair industry. Also, the increasing competition in the market is expected to drive further the crane rental rates resulting in overall growth of All Terrain crane revenue share.




What has been the impact of Covid-19 on your business and what are your strategies to overcome these sluggish market conditions and expand market share.


Certainly, due to COVID – 19 (Corona Virus) pandemic the overall impact on construction business will remain for another two years. The overall CAPEX planning of our customer is changed due to this unexpected pandemic.We now forecast a steeper decline of mobile crane sales than we previously anticipated as the COVID-19 pandemic leads to a global recession. Overall, we expect GDP growth of India to fall gradually in 2020 implying a two-year income loss of over. Nevertheless, with the major corporate in India the majority of the share in the mobile construction cranes market remain concentrated among well-established companies like us i.e. Liebherr.


We, Liebherr, the leading players in the market are focusing on research and development activities. Many heavy-construction projects including flyovers, metro projects, power projects, and industrial projects will raise the demand for mobile cranes in India. As an economical option we are offering used cranes available with us from our Liebherr Germany Factory which is also a fundamental solution looking at the current situation.




Tell us of your various crane offerings their lifting capacities, Cutting edge technological innovations, applications and their demand in the Indian market.


Our Liebherr make 450T capacity All Terrain Crane – Model LTM 1450-8.1 features a very long yet powerful 85 metre telescopic boom with single engine. The Liebherr 8-axle crane has been designed for worldwide cost-effective mobility and fast, easy set-up on site, which has resulted in the LTM 1450-8.1 being capable of travelling on public roads with a 12-tonne axle load including its 85 meter long telescopic boom, all supports and a complete hoist winch. This means that it can be start working once it reaches on site.


Liebherr unveiled recently 650T capacity All Terrain Crane –Model LTM1650-8.1 at the Bauma 2019 event, the successor to the legendary LTM 1500-8.1, the best-selling large crane ever. Of course, this heavy-duty crane has the same genetic concept as its predecessor i.e. ultimate performance on eight axles. The result is that the 8-axle crane can complete hoisting work in the 700-tonne class or even higher with ease. It therefore has a nominal lifting capacity of 700 tonnes. In a lifting capacity comparison, the LTM 1650-8.1 exceeds its predecessor’s capacity by between 15 and 50 percent, depending on its equipment package. LTM1650-8.1 has got the max lifting capacity 700T @ 3m working radius with 80m main boom with single engine which is important factor considering the fuel consumption which affect the direct operation cost of the project.


Our Crane Model LTM1750-9.1 (2 (two nos. )has excellent success in India. The key feature of the 9-axle LTM 1750-9.1 is that, it can carry its entire telescopic boom on public roads. Its high load capacities and variable boom Systems enable it to cover a wide range of uses. In terms of its construction, this Liebherr make 800T capacity All Terrain mobile crane is designed for particularly short set-up times. The lifting capacity 800T @3m working radius with 52m main boom and 91m strong luffing jib makes the crane the best in the world in 800T capacity class.


Liebherr make 1200T capacity All Terrain Crane Model LTM1200-9.1 the 9 axle crane delivers maximum load capacity and one of the longest telescopic booms in the world. Various lattice extensions are also available. The Y telescopic boom guying delivers significant increases in load capacity. The 9-axle chassis includes active, speed-dependent rear-axle steering developed by Liebherr. When it comes to other types of mobile cranes in India, there has been a marked increase in interest but a significant drop in rental rates over the last couple of years due to intense competition and the large quantity of machines flooding the market. In India, we can easily notify many customers with Mobile cranes capacity range 100T- 200T and Crawler cranes capacity range 150T – 300T and the rates have come down substantially. However, In Mobile cranes capacity range 450T- 1200T and in Crawler’s capacity range 350T-1350T we can still expect some good movement of crane in future.




Detail us on the USP’s of your crane Vis-à-vis competition


With increased investments in infrastructure projects and entry of global players in construction and project execution, safety norms are now of the utmost importance and becoming more and more stringent. As a result the market is moving towards larger capacity cranes i.e. 300T capacity to 800T capacity All Terrain Cranes since the end user is looking for more stability in material handling. Customers in India are now looking for much safer operation while working and concern about human loss.


Liebherr manufactures crane as per EN13000 as a manufacturing standard. In EN standards, The European conformity Machinery Directive (ECMD) gives the essential health and safety requirements for machinery. The number of mobile and crawler cranes accident over the past many years remained fairly constant and it has been analyzed that the mobile cranes were the largest contributor. The worldwide accepted and technologically highly enhanced standard EN 13000 which guides the safety norms for the mobile cranes especially operating within a functional plants, has a widespread effect on the safety concerns, and has reduced the numbers of accidents in modern day cranes almost to nil. The EN13000 calls for few important criteria’s which are to be strictly followed and concerns only safety features of the cranes thereby minimizing the casualties and fatal accidents caused by petty faults of the operators. As this is to be kept in mind, that an operator is only an operator. Hence, Liebherr offers the Override switch and data logger, Variable Outrigger placements and Fleet Management system such safety features to avoid the accident and human loss.




You can notify our following additional features of Mobile Crane which are unique:


Liebherr Patented VarioBase® (Variable Outrigger extension) System: VarioBase® means the maximum load capacity is calculated directly in the crane control. Thereby the crane control considers the current working position of the crane. It helps to considers unequal extended outrigger beams, e.g. at constricted job sites and provides higher load capacities and lager working areas. VarioBase® calculates for each job situation the maximum load capacity and makes crane jobs more secure. VarioBase shall have the capability to work on outrigger with extension of individual outrigger to the extent of available space without any step (continuous). Individual outrigger extendable arbitrarily to each other. The Crane system is able to calculate the relevant capacity according to each arbitrary outrigger position which should be displayed in the operator cabin.


Innovative measuring technology of VarioBase®: The in-house developed systems can only provide accurate results if accurate values are available. Liebherr provides maximum safety. Eco Mode: With the help of Eco Mode an automatic adjustment of the diesel engine speed, fuel is saved and noise emission is reduced.


BTT (Bluetooth Terminal): By wireless remote control & display unit operating hoist and luffing winches to detach/attach hook block from/tofront bumper for better safety, engine start/stop & speed regulation, electronic level display and automatic levelling.




Detail us on the Safety features in your products.


Our Liebherr Models of All Terrain Crane LTM1450-8.1 i.e. 450T capacity & LTM1650-8.1 i.e. 700T capacity cranes is 8 axle crane with single engine. Single Engine has enough power to supply both in Superstructure and Carrier and they are well equipped with all the new upcoming emission norms in India. Due to one engine maintenance cost reduced. Definitely two engine maintenance cost is more. The best benefit customer can get in India is fuel-efficient operation. The strong luffing jib is best suitable for Plant operation and in real estate for lifting the jib of tower cranes at higher reach, our strong luffing Jib makes the crane at the best in the 450T class capacity crane.


Our Telescopic boom is a puncture proof and torsion resistant construction made of high strength fine grained structural steel. The oval boom profile provides maximum stability during bending and torsion. All telescopic sections are extended or retracted by a double-acting hydraulic cylinder. With the rapid-cycle telescopic system TELEMATIK, the various extension lengths can be positioned fully automatic or manual. All telescopic sections can be telescoped hydraulically under partial load. The telescoping process is monitored by the LICCON control on the monitor with telescope images. The telescope length is displayed on the LICCON monitor in the crane cabin.


The Crane Control: The control system consists of a LICCON monitor with central computer and operating unit, operating and control unit, input and output modules, two keyboard units and four hand joysticks. All crane movements are continuously electronically controlled. The data transfer is managed by the Liebherr System Bus (LSB) and the Controller Area Network (CAN). The maximum working speed of the hoist, luffing, telescoping and slewing gear can be limited at the LICCON control.




Tell us about the indigenization efforts undertaken by the company to meet the market requirements.


We are manufacturing and supplying the cranes from Germany and right this moment we are yet to start any manufacturing facility in India for Mobile Cranes.




To what extent are aftermarket services a strategic differentiator?


We at Liebherr strongly believe that to any customer a first crane is sold by our Sales Personnel and the second crane is by service team. We have a strong and well experience and knowledgeable team of service managers and engineers who are available 24 x 7 to help customer by sorting out queries / breakdown if any 




Your strategy in this price sensitive market.


The first eight months of this year were dominated by COVID-19.  India, rather the world was ill prepared for the impact and scale of this pandemic which has led to lockdowns and a still to be determined impact to country growth. The lockdown has resulted in various infrastructure project sites staring at closure as it is mainly due to an effect on the labor movement due to the lockdown and also due to supply chain disruptions that may contract further as more states enforce COVID-19 lockdown. The mobile crane equipment rental market holds considerable potential for future growth. Hence, the front running organizations are constantly updating their equipment fleets with advanced technologies. Crane players stand to benefit from increasing government investments in infrastructure development in emerging economies. The Indian government is expected to increase its spending on public infrastructure to meet its ambitious development plans. Furthermore, the government’s plans, such as ongoing Bharatmala Project, 100 smart cities, are expected to boost construction activity in the country and increase the demand for construction equipment. These increased investments and the growing construction sector are expected to drive the Indian crane market further in the future. Providing used crane option to price sensitive market for retail segment and for corporate, providing the better lifting solution to small capacity crane with additional attachment shall be helpful in saving cost and with additional finance arrangement through finance organizations shall certainly help the customer.



Emerging trends in the equipment finance and rentals of cranes. To what extent is consumer behavior influenced by cost.


India is always a price sensitive market especially for high capacity cranes and certainly an equipment finance come in to the picture. The ROI (Return on Investment) taking much longer time for the retail customers and hence to invest on new crane is a matter of questions to them. Hence, we are offering used crane from Liebherr, which are cost effective, and at the same time having a quality and updated technology to all capacity cranes.



Future outlook for the industry and from a company perspective?


Being a developing country i.e. India, Particularly for Infrastructure segment is still in high demand of mobile cranes and certainly the operating a crane can be a high-risk activity at a job site. Beyond the potential for serious injuries or death, a crane accident can result in significant property damage and impact the project’s budget and schedule. Crane accidents also can harm a construction company’s brand and reputation. Having a well-trained operator can help and possibly eliminate, some of the risks associated with using cranes. A safe lift depends on a number of people filling roles including operators, riggers, signal persons, crane owners, crane users, lift directors and site supervisors, and the communication between those people. Making sure all members of the team are qualified to do their jobs should be a priority. Training can help increase the awareness of risk and jobsite safety associated with crane operations. Liebherr can assist companies in educating employees from the company owners to the operator and even those working nearby.


In India, the operators are getting certificate from few third party private agencies who certifies the operator but which are not valid by the Government authority. To overcome this and make the situation stream line the above mentioned initiative is important. The operators training shall be provided together by OEM’s (Original Equipment Manufacturers) i.e. Liebherr Werk Ehingen GmbH Via Liebherr India –MCD and authorized body. By taking such trainings crane operators will be able to maintain and trouble shoot without external support. This training shall be given on crane simulators from Germany and proper completion of the course would enable them to understand crane and get confidence to do trouble shooting if requires. Due to increase in infrastructure in India number of cranes in future will increase which will result in recruitment of trained operators. Hence we came up with the idea of training them on simulator alongside with classroom training’s with proper training materials.


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