“We Also Conduct Operator Training Programs On A Regular Basis, In Collaboration With Our Dealer Partners”
Volvo CE India
Civil Engineering & Construction Review: India’s Ministry of Road Transport and Highways has for the first time introduced non-road Bharat Stage (CEV/Trem) IV and V emission standards for regulating both agricultural and construction equipment. What is your opinion about this and what is your preparation in regard to the forthcoming norms?
Dimitrov Krishnan: It is clear that with the notification of the CEV IV and V emission standards for implementation in 2020 and 2024, India is now clearly a highly regulated market. Going forward, the safety related regulations are also being rolled out in two phases with the same timeframes. This is good for the industry and also for the society in general, with higher technology products coming into the market.
Volvo Construction Equipment (Volvo CE) has invested in development of newer products to meet these regulations and we will launch CEV IV compliant products in later part of 2020. We will continue to lead the industry.
CE&CR: How do you look at the latest market trends for diesel engines in the Indian construction segment?
Dimitrov Krishnan: Indian CE Industry has currently BS3 regulations for roadable products (machines that could go on the road and hence registrable) and no regulations for non-roadable products like excavators and larger wheel loaders. In the next 3 years, the industry will move towards stage 4 regulations for all types of products.
The diesel engine technology will follow the regulation changes. Most manufacturers are currently updating their products to meet the regulation deadline. Volvo CE is also ready to launch the products on time.
CE&CR: What is Volvo CE’s strategy at a time when technological disruptions are rapidly redefining businesses?
Dimitrov Krishnan: At Volvo CE, we are constantly pushing the boundary when it comes to equipment fuel efficiency, performance and maintenance; for example, our work exploring electric construction equipment. We are at the forefront of technological development and, each year, our parent company, the Volvo Group, invests billions of dollars in research and development to drive new innovations. Volvo’s pursuit of electrically-driven vehicles could be a game changer.
Volvo CE is delivering on its commitment of ‘Building Tomorrow’ with the unveiling of its first commercial zero-emissions electric compact excavator and wheel loader at bauma Munich 2019. The machines, which are the first to be shown from a new electric range of Volvo branded compact excavators and compact wheel loaders, deliver zero exhaust emissions, significantly lower noise levels, reduced energy costs, improved efficiency and less maintenance requirements, compared to their conventional counterparts.
CE&CR: What are the various products offered by Volvo CE, which have helped automate the construction process?
Dimitrov Krishnan: Our success in India comes from not only offering construction equipment with high uptime, fuel efficiency, but also strong aftermarket support in the form of safety, fuel efficiency, financial and productivity services.
For example, our CareTrack telematics system, which gives equipment owners access to a wide range of machine monitoring information that can help save time and money. The system generates a wide range of reports with data on aspects such as fuel consumption, operational hours, geographical location and more. These reports are available via a web portal or can be received via SMS or email alerts.
CareTrack can also be used to manage machine servicing and wear parts. This allows fleet managers to reduce fuel costs, optimise machine and operator performance, as well as proactively manage service and maintenance to maximise uptime.
Customers say they like the insight CareTrack provides, which supports them with maintenance, invoicing, fleet management and operator training. With CareTrack, customers can monitor load efficiency, number of cycles, overload percentages and identify operator training needs. For example, CareTrack can tell owners what time the machine operation starts, takes a break, and ends. What’s more, CareTrack allows owners to tap into a wealth of actionable data including fuel consumption, idle time, machine location, fluid levels and service alerts. With the time and labor savings CareTrack offers, customers say they view it as an investment rather than extra costs.
Contractor SS Chhatwal and Co. uses CareTrack to gain insights and data on the eight Volvo excavators working at the Gondegaon coal mine in India. Through CareTrack, the company has reduced machine idle time and downtime from repairs or breakdowns.
“We subscribed to CareTrack because it provides us with an all-round understanding of our Volvo machines”, Chhatwal said. “CareTrack makes it simple for us to track performance indicators such as fuel consumption and idle time.”
CE&CR: Do you offer lease/rentals of your equipment? Are you associated with any equipment financing companies to assist probable buyers with equipment purchases?
Dimitrov Krishnan: For smaller contractors, or those leasing from us for the first time, we offer a range of attractive financing options through our Volvo Financial Services arm in terms of attractive finance proposals and extended warranties.
CE&CR: To what extent does India’s manufacturing policy promote expansion of Volvo CE?
Dimitrov Krishnan: The company’s plant in Bangalore was acquired in 2007 as part of Volvo CE’s acquisition of the road construction division of Ingersoll Rand. This not only increased its manufacturing capability in India but also its workforce and wealth of expertise. Today, excavators as well as pavers and compactors are produced at the facility. With its focus on high quality products and the latest technology, machines are built in Bangalore in line with the unique Volvo Production System manufacturing program, and sold throughout India and a number of export markets.
CE&CR: After importing metals and machineries from developed countries, India is now importing skilled labour for infrastructure projects to meet the perennial shortage of skilled construction equipment and mining equipment operators. According to you, what needs to be done to fill the gap?
Dimitrov Krishnan: We provide continuous training to our dealers, operators and technicians that work at the dealerships. We offer events such as the Masters competition, a demanding skills competition that tests technicians on their knowledge of construction equipment. In addition, we host events like Boots-On training that updates dealers on segment knowledge, machine models and product differentiators.
Volvo CE recently received 2 awards – ‘Best IESC Training Partner OEM Award of the Year’ at the Yellow Dot Awards and ‘Best Large Scale Private Organization for Training’ at the Summit-cum-Awards on Skilling India by Assocham, where we were recognised for our efforts in skill development and improving employability of operators.
We also conduct operator training programs on a regular basis, in collaboration with our dealer partners. For instance, Volvo CE India organised an operator training cum Infrastructure Equipment Skill Council (IESC) certification program earlier this year. This was for wheel loader and excavator operators, who completed the training to get certifiedby IESC, which is aligned with the government’s Skill India initiative. The training was conducted by our Volvo CE operator trainer authorised by IESC, and further supported by teams from Volvo CE and Pollutech Engineering, the local dealer.
“Through this event, we will turn into better operators, the focus was on learning how to improve fuel efficiency and raise the machine productivity”, said Tarun Sen Manto, a L220H wheel loader operator from a local customer team. “We also learnt about safety points like the right way to enter the machine, importance of seat belts, how to stay safe and keep the machine safe as well.”
Over 600 operators attended the training program, which raised awareness of machine safety, operation and maintenance to optimize productivity. The program also emphasised the importance of environmental care and machine quality, which are the key focus areas for Volvo CE.
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