The BICES exhibition held in Beijing, China on 18-21 October gave yet more evidence of the speed at which Chinese manufacturers can develop and launch new products. Murray Pollok and Chris Sleight report from the Jiu Hua International Exhibition Center.
China exports ‘good
for whole industry'
Su Zimeng, secretary general of the China Construction Machinery Association (CCMA), said construction equipment exports by Chinese manufacturers have stimulated demand for the whole industry in emerging markets.
He said manufacturers should use the current lull in the Chinese market's break-neck growth to improve quality.
"Exports are good for Chinese manufacturers and good for international players", said Mr Su, "Why? My personal opinion is that Chinese exports have helped to stimulate demand in emerging markets for the whole industry."
Commenting on the current dip in demand in China he added, "The industry has returned to a more normal speed, having benefitted from the government's stimulus measures during the global financial crisis.
"Domestic demand and the demand from emerging markets has been so high that Chinese manufacturers have found it hard to develop new products. I think they need to take the opportunity of the slowdown to work on their quality and technology. They have profits from the last few years to invest in R&D and better management."
CCMA is the main partner trade association for the BICES construction equipment exhibition, held in Beijing.
"I think the show is better than last time for its size, visitor numbers, the company participation and its internationalisation", said Mr Su, "Hopefully in the future we will have more European exhibitors." The exhibition was larger than ever this year, with more than 1000 exhibitors from 30 countries taking in excess of 200000 m2 of space.
Mantall Heavy Industry, a privately owned aerial platform manufacturer based in Jiangsu, China, used the BICES show in Beijing to promote its range of booms, scissors, personnel lifts and material lifts.
Company president Lee Shen, who before founding Mantall five years ago was an independent access equipment dealer, told IRN that the company would produce around 600 machines this year of which 30% would be exported to markets in Asia, South America and Australia.
The product range includes self-propelled booms up to 32 m working height - a new 20 m model was shown on the stand - scissor lifts up to 18 m, and truck mounted platforms, including models using booms from Italian manufacturer Oil & Steel.
Mr Lee said Mantall will launch articulated self-propelled models in January next year, probably a 23 m model, but will eventually have a range of six knuckle booms.
Also next year the company will introduce its own range of truck mounted booms to complement its Oil & Steel machines. Shirley Li, Mantall's vice general manager, told IRN that this would give it two ranges at different price points.
Ritchie Bros targets 2012
for first China auction
Ritchie Bros Auctioneers has applied to establish a wholly-owned Chinese subsidiary and hopes to be granted a licence to hold auctions in the country, with the aim of holding its first Chinese auction in the second half of 2012.
Chris Edwards, a long-time Ritchie employee in Asia who has been chief representative in China since 2004, told IRN that current market conditions in China - with a slowdown in new equipment sales and growing inventories of used machines on the books of OEMs and dealers - were conducive to holding auctions. He said auctions would provide manufacturers and dealers with a good way of raising cash and reducing inventories.
"This is what the auction channel does in other markets", he said, speaking to IRN at the BICES exhibition, "It provides cash flow, creating bigger markets for owners...We hope that we can create a transparent, open marketplace where sellers and buyers can meet and compete to maximise the value of equipment, like we do in other markets."
If its licence is granted Ritchie Bros hopes to hold its first auction in Beijing and target buyers and sellers within a 1000 km radius of the city.
While the sellers will be OEMs and their dealers in China, the buyers being targeted by Ritchie are the vast number of small owner-operators who typically have fleets of between one and five machines. Many of these privately owned companies cluster on ‘rental streets' in Chinese towns and cities, providing equipment to local contractors.
first ‘Asian' scissor
JLG Industries has introduced its first ever ‘Asian' scissor lift, a low cost, basic machine built in China and for sale in Asian markets.
The 10 m platform height model - launched at the BICES show and to go into production in February at JLG's Tianjin facility - has been redesigned from the ground up, said Bill Dovey, product manager for aerial work platforms at JLG.
"Customers in Asia said they were looking for a basic scissor, with a lower cost to acquire, own and operate", Mr Dovey told IRN at BICES.
Although offering the same platform height as the ES3246, it differs in many respects. It uses five scissor stacks rather than four to reduce the transport length from 98 in to 90 in, which means that nine can be loaded in a standard 40 ft container.
It has a passive pothole protection system instead of the active system found on the ES models (and most other modern electric scissors), thus eliminating 17 moving parts and two switches.
The scissor uses a rear wheel electric direct drive and front wheel steer, which means that cables don't have to flex while steering - another measure designed to reduce service and maintenance requirements.
Likewise, there is no pull-out tray for the battery pack, and the hydraulic system has been moved away from the lift cylinder (as it is on the ES scissors) and placed inside the chassis, making it simpler to service.
The lift is expected to be around 15% less expensive than the equivalent ES scissor, and Mr Dovey said landed costs for machines shipped outside of China will also be lower still because of the reduced freight costs resulting from its shorter dimensions.
"The whole design is about being easy to maintain", said Mr Dovey, a 35 year JLG veteran. He said that they had tried to remove anything that wasn't related to essential drive, steer and lift functions.
Liugong unveiled three new machines at the BICES exhibition, a 47 t crawler excavator, 42 t capacity rigid dump truck (pictured) and a 391 kW wheeled loader featuring a 6.4 m3 bucket as standard. The dump truck is the SGA 3722, which features a 392 kW 6-cylinder Cummins engine. Meanwhile, Liugong and Cummins have agreed a joint venture partnership to manufacture engines for construction equipment in China. The joint venture business, known as Guangxi Cummins Industrial Power Co, plans to produce engines at a new facility to be built in Liuzhou City, Guangxi Province, in 2013. The engines will be based on Cummins MidRange engine family meeting Tier 2 and Tier 3 emissions legislation. The range currently starts at 185 hp (136 kW) and tops out at 350 hp (257 kW).
Sany unveiled the world's largest concrete placing boom at BICES, with the truck mounted SY51100THB 86 offering a maximum height of 86 m. Mounted on Sany's own nine-axle chassis, the on-board concrete pump has a maximum output of 240 m3 per hour. The boom itself is a seven-section design, which Sany also says is a world first. It is the second time that Sany has claimed a world record for the world's largest concrete placing boom. In 2007 it launched a 56 m machine, which at the time was said to be the largest in the world.
Skyjack is investing in its Chinese operation and aims to establish several locations for stocking parts and machines in the near future. It will leverage the Chinese presence of its parent company, Linamar, which has a production plant at Wuxi, west of Shanghai, and another under development in Tianjin. Skyjack hopes to stock machines at both of these locations. Pictured at BICES is Skyjack's Chinese team, from left: Allen Shi (sales), Candy Chen (parts), Johnny Shen (operations manager), Jennifer Huang (dealer coordination) and Simon Cao (sales).
Shantui used BICES to launch its largest ever dozer, the 67.5 t SD52-5. According to company vice president Li Dianhe, dozers will continue to be the first priority for Shantui's export efforts. The new machine is powered by a 392 kW Cummins QSK 19 diesel engine, and has a blade capacity of 18.5 m3 and Mr Li said it has been launched in the face of difficult market conditions in China. "From this April, the market for construction equipment dropped a lot, especially for earthmoving equipment. The fall was around 30% to 40%. The Chinese government tightened monetary policy, so people can't get loans to buy equipment and some large projects are also short of funding", he said. However, the company's exports have risen some 60% this year, providing some cushion to this drop-off.