Volvo CE products have been the mainstay of the mining contractor.

Dimitrov Krishnan ,
Vice President and Head ,
Volvo CE India.

 

 

We plan to expand our distribution reach across all states and segments, particularly in mining.

– Dimitrov Krishnan
Vice President and Head
Volvo CE India

 

Volvo Group is very well invested in the Indian market with three manufacturing plants for Volvo Trucks, Volvo Bus and Volvo Construction Equipment. “We plan to expand our distribution reach across all states and segments, particularly in mining,” states Dimitrov Krishnan, Vice President and Head, Volvo CE India In a free-wheeling chat with EQUIPMENT TIMES Krishnan speaks about the opportunities from mining sector and solutions provided by
the company.

What contributory role Volvo is playing in the Indian mining sector?  

Demand for efficiency in mining operations is not new but with increased competition due to outsourcing to mining contractors, the need for more fuel efficient and reliable products is growing. Volvo CE products have been the mainstay of the Indian mining contractor looking for maximising operational efficiencies both from our products and service solutions which deliver maximum fleet uptime.

For Volvo Construction Equipment, our growth plans focus on launching India-specific products for construction and mining. We plan to expand our distribution reach across all states and segments, particularly in mining. We are seeing good growth from the coal and cement industries and will continue focusing on these segments for our business.

Volvo, being a major player in data-driven technologies, how do you leverage your prowess in the mining sector?

Essentially, big data refers to extremely large data sets that may be analysed using technology to reveal patterns and trends, therefore resulting in actionable intelligence. One way that Volvo seeks to leverage big data is through our CareTrack telematics system. We think more Indian customers are beginning to realize the usefulness of telematics in delivering insights to machine performance and health. What CareTrack does is to give equipment owners access to a wide range of machine monitoring information, and this can help save time and money. The system generates a variety of reports with data relating to fuel consumption, operational hours and more. It helps fleet managers proactively manage service and maintenance to maximise uptime.

How do the growth prospects for heavy earthmoving equipment demand look like in the mining sector?

We see opportunities for growth in the mining segment, specifically with coal, because the government is opening coal mining for private companies. Even though it is still in the early stages, these projects will increase production capacity. Over the past few years, iron mining production has been lower, but we expect the government to address legal bottlenecks, which should lead to higher production volumes in India.

We are also expecting further development in the irrigation segment and increased demand to upgrade and expand sea ports.

What are the positive trends and growth opportunities in coal and mineral mining sector?

Coal mining remains the most important followed by iron ore and limestone. Although the government is currently reviewing Coal India’s production target of 1 billion tonnes by 2020, the company’s coal output nonetheless increased 11.9% year-on-year for April to August.

The long-term prognosis for all mining sectors remains positive. Over the course of the next three to five years, we expect a compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) of between 5% and 7%. This is a very positive outlook if you compare it to the relatively subdued levels of activity in the Indian mining industry over the last 20 years.

It is clear that greater investment will be needed at mine sites given the increasing activity and ambitious targets that the industry is planning. Mining remains a focus for the government (in terms of coal) and private firms (in terms of coal blocks, cement, iron ore and other minerals). There is widespread recognition that new technology and equipment will be required to meet the proposed growth plans.

What is the range of solutions offered by Volvo in the mining sector?

Most of our equipment is sold to opencast mines for use in specialized underground mining applications.

Volvo excavators that are suitable for open cast mines include the 30T EC300D, 38T EC380D and 48-tonne EC480D. In the larger classes, we offer the 75T EC750D and the 90T  EC950E. For mining applications, Volvo excavators are typically deployed for coal, iron ore, chromite and limestone.

Customers can reduce traffic in mines and improve efficiency with higher-capacity wheel loaders and trucks from Volvo, like the L150H wheel loader and the FMX 460 tipper from Volvo Trucks. Indian customers appreciate the L150H wheel loader because it makes the whole mining cycle more efficient. The L150H has a bucket capacity of 2.7 m3 to 9.5 m3, an operating weight of 24,100 kg to 25,600 kg, and maximum static tipping load at full turn of 15,970 kg.

We also offer bigger wheel loaders like the L220H and L350H, which are popular with large mining companies. The L220H has a bucket capacity of 2.7 m3 to 9.5 m3, operating weight of 31,200 kg to 33,100 kg, and maximum static tipping load at full turn of 20,980 kg. The L350H has a bucket capacity of 6.2 m3 to 12.7 m3, operating weight of 50,000 kg to 56,000 kg and maximum static tipping load at full turn of
34,780 kg.

What is demand-supply scenario for Volvo articulated trucks?

Demand in India is limited for our articulated hauler range, although globally we remain the world leader in this equipment category. Historically there has been a preference for rigid trucks in India, but as the mining industry evolves we expect increased interest in our articulated hauler range. In terms of manoeuvrability and performance nothing comes close to a Volvo articulated hauler.

How geared up is Volvo in the aftermarket support space?

For our aftermarket service, Volvo CE offers a range of Customer Support Agreements (CSA), ranging from the standard White CSA up to our most comprehensive Gold CSA. This gives customers the ability to choose the right support package for their needs and underlines our commitment to providing the very best support in the business.

How do you assess the scope of incentivizing investments in the mining equipment sector?

Volvo already manufactures some machinery that is used in mining at our factory in Bangalore. As a global manufacturer, we are always trying to balance our production to ensure we meet the needs of our customers, no matter where they are. India remains an important manufacturing hub and we intend to strengthen our presence here, not only in terms of serving the mining industry, but other markets such as construction and road building.

Volvo CE has a long history in India. Our factory here will be celebrating 40 years of production in the very near future. We have a large and experienced team at Volvo CE that understands the market, and the needs of our customers. We manufacture about 10 different models of construction equipment in Bangalore and some of our models are constructed from 95% of locally manufactured components.

What are major challenges that the mining sector faces?

The government needs to speed up some policy decisions when it comes to the growth of coal production in India.

On the iron ore side, the government needs to solve legal bottlenecks that exist. There are large mining opportunities that are under-developed and the industry is struggling to cope with it.

Another potential challenge, which we can never rule out, comes from global developments; for example, a spike in oil prices, which could impact economic growth in India.

Why a client should come to Volvo?

Increasingly our customers need to do more with less, which is why Volvo continues to push the boundaries in terms of delivering the best levels of fuel efficiency in the industry. Beyond that we are also looking to the future of the industry and investing heavily in concept technologies, such as electrically-driven vehicles.

At Volvo CE, we have introduced two new range topping machines in our excavator and articulated hauler lines. The EC950E is Volvo’s new flagship crawler excavator and it has already proven to be extremely competitive in its 90 to 100T weight class.

Similarly, Volvo’s new 60T A60H, the world’s largest articulated hauler, sets new productivity standards for open cast mines and other large infrastructure projects. While both machines offer state-of-the-art performance individually, it’s when matched together that mining customers can experience the unprecedented productivity and ownership advantages these units offer.

The EC950E will move around 35% more material than the EC750D which was previously the largest machine in Volvo’s excavator range. For the A60H hauler, it will move 40% more material than the Volvo A40G.

In India, we have sold EC950EL excavators in segments such as the cement industry (to M/s Sagar Cements) and for coal over burden work (to M/s VPR Mining Infrastructure). These customers have been impressed with the machine’s class-leading fuel efficiency and technological capability.

The EC750DL has been sold into a variety of sectors, such as coal over burden work, mining for iron ore, bauxite, zinc and barite; as well as applications serving the cement industry. It is undoubtedly the preferred choice in the 70- to 85-ton class.

By using these highly-productive machines our mining customers can get more done with fewer machines, allowing them to optimize their fleet sizes. This delivers better operating efficiency, particularly in mine management. Having larger machines also means fewer operators and less maintenance, delivering further resource optimization.

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