With a focus on research and development, major Chinese construction equipment supplier SANY is looking to expand its offering in Australia.
The Australian Government’s then-Chief Scientist gave a speech in 2013 drawing attention to the importance of research and development for the Australian construction industry.
Professor Ian Chubb said the industry is the fourth largest contributor to our gross domestic product and employs almost 10 per cent of Australia’s workforce. He said all of this is dependent on the strength of our construction industry and the science that underpins it.
Research and development is a high priority for one of the largest suppliers of road machinery products in China, SANY.
SANY heavily invests in this to strengthen its offering of equipment to the construction industry in Australia, leveraging applied science and new technologies to keep pace with the construction boom.
Around five per cent of SANY Heavy Machinery’s overall revenue is spent on research and development. As it is a worldwide company, this significant amount of funding is allocated to ensure it stays at the forefront of innovation.
SANY has spent 20 years working on road machinery to cover the entire process of road construction from cutting, asphalt mixing and paving through to compaction.
In Australia, for road construction equipment, SANY offers rollers, graders, excavators, mobile port equipment, cranes and the entire range of concrete machinery equipment.
Roads & Infrastructure speaks to SANY’s General Manager in Australia and New Zealand Nitin Khanna about the company’s research into products for the Australian market.
Mr. Khanna says SANY has been patient with its global plan to supply road construction equipment, ensuring it can offer the best equipment to the right markets.
“The past 10 years have been about research and preparation for SANY. We have taken our experience back to the factory and invested heavily in research and design across our product lines. We now see ourselves ready to grow dramatically in markets like Australia. It’s good timing for the brand,” he says.
Mr. Khanna says one of the most successful products from SANY has been its range of rollers.
Over the past 10 years, SANY has sold more than 100 of its large rollers to the Australian market and its looking to grow this segment even further.
The company began developing hydraulic rollers 21 years ago and the range now includes single-drum, double-drum and tyre rollers. These are used by all tiers of contractors on major construction projects, often for compacting soil.
The smallest SANY roller starts at seven tonnes and the largest, one of the heaviest in the world, is 36 tonnes.
Mr. Khanna says SANY’s approach to the Australian market has been slow, patient and deliberate.
“The emphasis needs to be on service, after-sales and product support as well as equipment configuration. We have spent time studying the market, ensuring we introduce the right type of models rather than introduce products we think the market will buy,” he says.
Safety was a main focus during research and development of the SANY single-drum rollers as it is one of the main factors contractors consider when buying equipment.
The machines were designed specifically with a low centre of gravity and stronger chassis design to give the best possible stability when compacting a range of materials.
Vibration flexibility was the key during SANY’s research on the double-drum rollers. To offer a point of difference to others in the market, operators can choose between double-vibration, single-vibration or static movement depending on the thickness of the project or its material type.
Following further research and development, SANY created one of the world’s first oil-spray systems for SANY’s multi-tyre rollers. This prevents asphalt from sticking to the rubber tyres to improve efficiencies on site.
“Over the past decade, SANY products have been well received by the Australian market. When you talk about the crane, construction, road and concrete sectors, there is no doubt that customers have full confidence in our equipment and brand,” Mr. Khanna says.
“For us, Australia is a mirror for other international markets, so if we are successful here, other global markets will look at SANY differently.
“We have done our due diligence and flown under the radar because we want our approach to be right from the beginning.”
SANY’s extensive research and development program has enabled the company to offer the correct equipment to help continue the construction market growth.
In the future, the company aims to maintain its forward-thinking research and development strategy, consistently improving its products to continue to offer its best to markets worldwide.
“We want to be market leader in each segment. That’s a clear goal in every segment including mining, construction and ports, concrete and cranes. There’s a mega construction boom in Australia for years to come and we want SANY to play a major role,” Mr. Khanna says.