What are the advantages of self-loading concrete mixers?
Self-loading concrete mixer (SLCM – AJAX ARGO model) can be a panacea in the concrete life to many odd jobs of varied concreting applications where the challenge would be to strike a balance between preparing optimal concrete batch quantity and maintaining homogeneity as well as transporting and driving directly to remote locations, inaccessible areas of a task site ultimately providing high degree of quality and efficiency.

ARGO, truly a concreting specialist driven by technology is a multi-faceted concreting legend that encompasses the operations of a wheel-loader, a mobile batching plant and a transit mixer equipping an ‘all-in-one’ integrated operating system (iOS) that self-loads aggregates, weighs batches, mixes, transports and places concrete within the site as per the mix design of concrete requirement for small to medium volume concrete requirements. These machines are equipped with a concrete batch controller (CBC) to obtain the required quality of concrete by allowing the operator to calibrate the quantity of aggregates into the mixer as per mix design.

What are the major applications?
Due to its fantastic mobility and excellent maneuverability, SLCMs are used in varied applications with its the wide spectrum of business segment expertise in CC Roadways –Highways, Driveways, Road and Rail-over Bridges, Irrigation Canals, Dams, Tunnels, Underground passageways, Railways, Airport Infrastructure, Power Transmission Projects, Buildings & Factories, Industrial Foundations, Renewables Energy projects – Wind farm and Solar Park projects, Urban Infrastructure Development – Skywalks, Metro Rails, Fly-overs etc.

What are the new developments in products and technologies?
Looking the way forward and growing with the Gen X and the new millennials, AJAX has also grown big and AJAX’s recent ARGO models are incorporated with technologically-advanced innovative solutions that encompasses the cutting-edge features providing product accuracy and reliability such as Load-cell based weighing system for greater accuracy of the fine & coarse aggregates weighing; Admixture dosing unit or superplasticizers unit are the final solution for reducing the water requirement to make concrete of higher workability, higher strength, and high modulus of elasticity, higher density, higher dimensional stability, low permeability and resistance to chemical attack; Vehicle reversing camera system provides wider field of vision that helps in monitoring the loading bucket operations from sitting inside the cabin and also helps in avoiding untoward incidents by increasing visibility behind their vehicles eliminating the blind zone as the operator backs up; Auto-cleansing system designed and developed with high-end technology providing the best cleaning services; IoT-Fleet-tracking & monitoring system through telematics that also ascertains fuel efficiency; Sliding gates for the bucket ensuring zero spillage on hopper discharge and the ‘S’ shaped loading arm provides ergonomic & unhindered operation during swivelling position that helps in producing the desired results; Swivel mechanism that provides operator better productivity & operator efficiency; Effective drum mixing with best homogeneity is achieved with the spiral design mechanism Wear resistance high superior corrosion resistant steel & helical spirals with end protection; Drum Control Solutions with effective hydraulic controls & ease of  lever operations inside the operator’s cabin; Truly an Off-roader acting as a tough terrain vehicle with good tight-turning radius and higher gradeability.

On an ending note, further added as a tangible perk to our customers’ money box is that the power to weight ratio of our SLCM is the greatest of all in this segment delivering greater fuel efficiency & demonstrating spectacular performance resulting in substantial savings…. thanks to light-weight but rigid & reliable vehicular structural frame… credit goes to the AJAX engineering research team who always looks at the buying behaviour and understands the pain points of the customers in hard-core research input in developing prototypes and coming up with new product solutions built-in for addressing the functioning constraints along with the practicability needs & operability requirements of the customers at real-time operational site conditions.

How is the market progressing for self-loading concrete mixers?
The Indian concrete equipment market is expected to register a CAGR of 5 per cent, during the forecast period, 2018-2024. There is a rapid growth in industrialisation and that would ensue good infrastructure network resulting in the need for stepped up surface connectivity measures favoring large-scale construction activities viz. roadways, bridges, tunnels, industrial foundations. This would further boost the demand for concrete equipment.

Demand for concrete requirements coupled with stringent project delivery schedules would contribute to the growth of construction equipment thereby stressing upon the need for mobile concreting equipments where self-loading concrete mixers play a vital role due to the nature of the construction sites’ under foot conditions that are not suited for concrete transit mixer trucks or labor availability is scarce or constrained.

What are the challenges and opportunities?
Substantial delays from the state & central budgeted outlays of the earmarked funds for the infrastructure development projects results in temporal complexity having a significant impact on the market growth of concreting equipments. Owing to these constraints, the concrete equipment market is witnessing a slow phase of growth during the start of this fiscal year but likely to see quantum leap after the electoral polls resulting in a stable government from the second quarter onwards providing a conducive environment that will help in smoother roll-out of massive infrastructure projects through increased investments schemes undertaken by the government.

Secondly, with the tremendous impact of technology on the labour market marked by continuous change, the work environment has also become more complex, requiring new skills and upgradation of existing skill sets.Leaving aside the complexities associated with the infrastructure projects as well as the technology disruption, the majorkey challenge would be the skilled-labour shortage that is getting reflected in the bottom-line of the industry. The ‘skill level’ of the operatorgreatly determines the high degree of quality and efficiency of the concrete batch throughput that gets achieved during the day-to-day operations of any concreting machine.

Debasis Bhattacharya, Head – Sales, Marketing & Product Support, AJAX Engg Pvt. Ltd.


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