Crushing Quarrying World – July 2021

Quarring world

With vaccinations for COVID-19 in progress, we expect the Indian construction equipment manufacturing industry to catch up pace and achieve pre-pandemic levels in next six months to a year. Puzzolana India is geared for the expected demand and has added new manufacturing and refurbishment plants and machines to its offerings and aiming for key highway construction projects,” says Abhijeet Pai, President, Puzzolana India in an interview with Jyoti Verma, Managing Editor, Crushing & Quarrying World

How has the ongoing pandemic affected the construction equipment manufacturing industry, globally and in India?

As with the rest of the world, the Indian construction equipment manufacturing industry too has been adversely affected due to the sudden lockdown last year where all activities came to a complete standstill. As all transporters were forced to suspend operations, this directly affected raw material supplies. The mass migration last year also affected operations as many factory workers left for their hometowns. However, as the lockdowns were gradually eased, manufacturing did pick up. Orders have since then improved substantially from almost nil though not yet to the pre-pandemic levels. Infrastructure construction activities being one of the key drivers of the economy, restrictions were eased early for resumption of work, of course with precautions in place & limited personnel & permitted working hours. While they haven’t reached hours. While they haven’t reached the levels prior to the pandemic, the levels prior to the pandemic, the silver lining is that as the vaccination drives make progress, the belief & hope is that progress, the belief & hope is that in the next 6-12 months manufacturing activities will return to pre-pandemic levels. The other encouraging factor is that tenders & awards for national highway construction work have continued at almost the same pre-pandemic levels.

How has the Covid-19 pandemic and the following lockdowns affected the following lockdowns affected your operations, products and services in India? What plans do you have for the forthcoming months?

As with other manufacturing sectors, our operations were severely affected due to the lockdowns as manufacturing activity came to a complete halt during the lockdown. Existing orders couldn’t be executed, thus affecting not just manufacturing activities but cash flows too. While manufacturing activity & after-sales service have picked up, they haven’t reached normal levels as many states still have certain restrictions in place. 

One of the major issues that has affected not just construction equipment manufacturing is the abnormal steep rise in steel prices, which have almost doubled in the past five months. Compounding this are galloping fuel prices, which have contributed to further increasing the landed price of raw materials/ components. This has put tremendous pressure on margins as executing firm orders becomes challenging with rapidly increasing raw material prices. While the union government has been seized of the issue for the past several months, we have yet to see any cooling off on these prices.

What has been Puzzolana’s advancements in terms of R&D, technology adoption and new products/services/ programs in recent months? Any product launches expected in coming months?

Puzzolana, a homegrown, indigenous organization, believes in continually improving the design & performance of its crushing equipment & the last few months have been no different. As with every product, consumer or industrial, the customer expects & rightly so the best return for his / her purchase. It is this driving force that inspires us to look at ways and means of improving the productivity of machines. Towards the end of the year, we are planning to launch some new models into the market. 

To consolidate & expand our facilities, we have added a new foundry and a and a rubber belt manufacturing unit in North India. To cater to our customers in the north, we are also in the process of setting up a refurbishment centre. The rubber belt manufacturing unit would significantly add to our in-house capabilities as conveyors are an integral part of the crushing & screening plant. 

We have also introduced a new jaw crusher of 1000 TPH & cone crusher of 500 TPH capacities, which would enhance our offerings for large capacity plants. The 1000 TPH jaw crusher model The 1000 TPH jaw crusher model is already successfully operating & has created quite a buzz in the market place, Puzzolana has also successfully introduced long distance barge loading conveyors.

Tell us about the company’s SOP- COVID-19 measures and ways these have benefited the organisation and its supply chain.

The company has put into place the best practices possible in dealing with the Covid 19 pandemic with all the standard sanitizing, social distancing, etc. practices in place, viz. hand Relevant posters have been put up at all important locations, especially in shop floors & washrooms. Daily checking/recording of temperature at the time of entering the office/shop floor premises have been diligently carried out for more than a year. Vaccination for employees & their eligible family members have also been completed. For employees who unfortunately contracted the virus, necessary assistance was provided for hospitalization, oxygen support, etc. Puzzolana has also ensured that employees of their vendors & sub-contractors have been vaccinated.

Share this:
Previous ALL News Next

View our expansive machinery

With Puzzolana, you have the chance to work with the brightest professionals in the field and be a part of our expanding global footprint. We are looking for motivated professionals to join our team.