Ammann India Will Continue To Pursue Sustainability, Productivity And Connectivity
Sunil Sapru, Region Director, Ammann India shares how through innovation, Ammann India has maintained to remain a business leader having completed 150 years, in a short interview with Civil Engineering and Construction Review.
Civil Engineering and Construction Review: Our country, on its path to development, demands adaptation from the construction equipment fraternity; what changes that you have implemented, has allowed Ammann to still be a part of the ever-evolving construction industry here?
Sunil Sapru: Ammann India Private Ltd. has been able to remain relevant through our commitment to the Indian construction industry. That has been proven through our support of “Make In India” and our 2018 investment in a new, state-of-the-art facility.
This facility keeps us responsive to our customers’ needs. It puts manufacturing and after-sales support decisions in close proximity to our customers, too.
The transformation of the Apollo facility in Mehsana, near Ahmedabad, began in 2014 and was completed four years later. All told, the location now houses manufacturing facilities, administrative offices, a training centre, a compactor testing centre and a painting and sandblasting shop. The 120,000 m2 facility employs hundreds of workers.
The first phase was initiated with the partnership of Ammann and Apollo and included construction of two halls for the manufacture of asphalt-mixing plants for the Indian market. That portion of the upgrade was completed two years ago.
The second phase, which was completed last year, has been even more extensive. Old production halls were removed and replaced with new buildings. Additional structures were built to house administrative staff and accommodate key product training for customers.
All production is now occurring in the new, state-of-the-art facility. The expansion also provides an opportunity to include several outside operations into a single location.
Manufacturing for both local and export markets includes all Apollo asphalt-mixing plants, pavers and related products. Ammann products manufactured at the facility include ARX 91 and ARS 121 compactors; AFT 500 pavers; ValueTec, UniBatch and EcoBatch asphalt-mixing plants; and core plant components.
In addition, Apollo/Ammann Elba concrete-mixing plants are manufactured at the facility.
The production facilities feature better layouts, and therefore higher efficiency. The processes are more technologically advanced as well, with modern robotics used for welding as one example. Customers are seeing products delivered even more quickly because of the increased efficiency. The robotics processes, as well as a new paint shop, have improved quality.
CE&CR: Despite the growing demand in the market, there is still competition, completing 150 years and going strong, what has been your strategy all these years to retain customers while adding more to your name?
Sunil Sapru: The history of Ammann is one of innovation. The dozens of patents we have secured in our 150 years of existence prove this point. To continue to compete, we will look at what helped us to arrive here: Innovation. The pursuit of innovation was already underway in 1908, when Ammann was granted a patent for a macadam machine - essentially a combination of an asphalt-mixing plant and a paver. The machine used what was a revolutionary technology at the time to eliminate an emerging health hazard - dust kicked up by automobiles.
Today’s progress rests solidly on that foundation, established decades ago. Technology is developed and continually improved to produce the machines, plants and services that help customers find solutions to daily challenges.
In today’s world, those solutions increasingly involve sustainability to safeguard our planet and its resources for future generations.
Sustainability makes good business sense, too. It helps customers’ profitability. Compaction equipment is built to reach targets in the fewest passes, thereby minimising fuel burn and machine wear. Pavers feature automation to optimise material usage. Ammann asphalt-and concrete-mixing plants utilise technology to enable production with extremely high percentages of recycled materials.
CE&CR: What are some of the key features in your plant(s) which might have contributed in strengthening and maintaining your stronghold within the market?
Sunil Sapru: Ammann India has focused on using high-quality components that are engineered and manufactured to fit together perfectly. This cohesion creates efficiencies across the plant, and that reduces fuel usage. The components also drastically reduce maintenance costs.
Our plants also can use several different types of fuel, depending on the customer’s preference. That means access to whatever fuel is the best local option. In addition, our control system helps operators work efficiently and adjust quickly. This is another significant fuel reduction tool.
We have exceptional portable plants with low capacity as well. Such products are essential to our customers’ businesses. Many times, projects require a small amount of mix and are at remote locations – often in very hilly or mountainous areas and along borders. We have designed the plants, with various customized options, for easy transport to any part of the country.
CE&CR: Having completed 150 years, what is in hold for Ammann this year?
Sunil Sapru: Ammann India will continue to pursue sustainability, productivity and connectivity. Ultimately, we offer customers solutions. In fact, Ammann is a pioneer in the total solution concept. We are the experts in the field and can achieve optimum results with our equipment. We can always offer customers a total project solution and discuss this during the sales process.
There are significant after-sales support efforts as well, which helps customers bring out the full value of the plants and machines. This allows contractors to focus on the actual project, and not securing equipment and worrying about proper training and other support.
Productivity, operational efficiency and skill development can only be achieved when we train the end users to make maximum use of the equipment. Therefore, we have a dedicated training facility and specially designed training courses for all levels of expertise to ensure the plants and machines are always reaching their full potential.
We also will offer educational and training opportunities to help youths develop operational skills essential to the future of the road building industry. Both the students and our customers benefit greatly from this schooling.
Civil Engineering & Construction Review is a leading monthly news journal, launched in 1988, at New Delhi, India by Trend-Set Engineers Pvt. Ltd. Its dedication to reader satisfaction and also towards fulfilling the ever - growing needs of the construction profession, makes CE&CR the first choice of all those connected with the construction industry.