India is a big market for construction equipment manufacturers and there are many asphalt plant manufacturers in India. Notable thing is that very few manufacture the batch type and few of them are successful with the same. Atlas is one such manufacturer who is old enough in this field and has successfully introduced the batching plant for the Indian customer since February 2014.
As I write this post, it has been almost 16 months since our first plant was installed. The first machine that we gave was of capacity 80 tph and with wet dust collector. This equipment was installed near Ankleshwar, Gujarat and we had a lot of problems in the initial 45 days. But the issues have been resolved and the machine has been running nicely. Till date the plant has done more than 100,000 tons of hot mix asphalt and the customer is very happy with the decision he took. Customer had the option to go for a used Apollo plant or to buy a new plant from Atlas. The cost of the used plant was almost equal to the new plant that we offered. Customer took the risk of giving us the first order for this machine and never regretted. At that time the customer had seen many other asphalt plant suppliers in India and also seen a half done machine at our factory. This was their first batch mix plant and they wanted to be sure that they took the right decision. The configuration was very basic with two direct heating bitumen tanks, wet dust collector and with our PLC control panel.
Almost 16 months from the first plant that we manufactured and installed we have orders for 12 machines, most of them successfully installed in various parts of India. Out of the equipment sold, three machines have clocked more than 100,000 tons of mix asphalt without any major requirement for spare parts or any major breakdown. This is quite an achievement for a company coming with a new product and making it a success.
This post is about the fourth machine that was manufactured by us and sold to our old customer from Punjab state in India. The customer was a new road contractor in the year 2006 and had already used our portable asphalt mixing plant in the same year. The growth of the company has been tremendous as they were looking to buy batch mix plant by 2014. The proven design and top quality of the first drum mix plant from Atlas had made clear to the customer that ours is a no nonsense company and we meant business. When they were looking to make such a heavy investment I meant serious business and since they were aware that we had some of the equipment running in India they just had to meet to understand the product and get a hand on the specifications. They finally decided to go for 120 tph plant with two bitumen tanks, bag filter and PLC control panel. The order was placed and machine was ready as per schedule. Somehow the project got a bit delayed and the customer took the delivery of the machine a bit late. The machine was installed in the month of June 2015.
Our visit to the site was for a few days just to assist the customer with the proper starting and calibration of the equipment. Since the dust percentage in the mix design was more say 47% we had to adjust the pulleys so that the bag filter performed optimally. After initial few days of use, the bag filter of the asphalt batch mixing plant started getting stuck. There were three major reasons for the same: percentage of dust with moisture was high, aggregates had high percentage of moisture and fuel used was not clean i.e. it produced sulphur when burnt. It is not possible for the bag filter to easily get rid of the impurities or moisture which gets stuck on the bags thus spoiling the bags faster.
However, successful trial was done to the satisfaction of the customer after cleaning of the bag filter and the customer was very happy. Four of our technicians stayed there for another week because they were planning to run the machine and our technicians would help them in case any thing fails.
The excellent hospitality of the customer put our people at ease as they were very comfortable staying at site for a few more days without any hesitation. The customer made sure that the technicians were provide with everything they needed and even the quality of food and beverages given to them was top class.
Atlas will always try and build strong relations with customers after selling any equipment so that customers remember us for quality product, quality service and more important honest relations.