Growth in infrastructure and construction activities are the key factors driving the growth of the compactors market. The introduction of stringent regulatory policies, is also fuelling the demand of this market. Whether it is asphalt compactors or soil compactors, the thrust from manufacturers has been on machines that will achieve optimum compaction with the minimum number of passes. Compactors come with few added advantages. The compactors market can be segmented based on product, type, application, and region. Based on product, the compactors market can be classified into landfill compactors, trash compactors, and others (wheeled, vibratory plate compactors, etc.). Based on type, the compactors market can be classified into stationary and portable. In terms of application, the compactors market can be segmented into municipal, industrial, agricultural, and others (construction, residential etc.).
Discussed below are a few of the trends of the compactor market.
Better waste reduction through the compactor
Waste is an unavoidable by-product of most human activity and compactors are used to dispose or to make it compact. Compactors are highly efficient since the amount of energy consumed by a compactor is low. In the current scenario, the major problem is the transportation of waste, which can be reduced by compacting or reducing the size of specific waste. A compactor can be used to reduce the volume of waste streams. The waste weight remains the same; hence, there will be no savings from the total amount of waste produced. However, savings will occur because the waste volume will be reduced. Economic development and rising living standards in the Asia Pacific region have led to an increase in the quantity and complexity of generated waste. Countries in this region need compactors to decrease the volume of waste. India and China, which are the top two populated countries, produce huge amounts of waste. A large amount of waste is processed by municipalities, for which compactors are used.
A move towards a quality vibratory system in compaction
Compaction is the single most important process in soil construction. Its job is to reduce the volume of pores in the soil to be compacted, which are filled with water and air. Compaction will give the soil the desired properties: Its resistance to stresses induced by traffic and climate will be improved by increasing its stability while simultaneously reducing its tendency to swell due to water absorption. The latter will additionally make the soil resistant to frost. Manufacturers are also focusing on coming out with machines that are fuel-efficient and require minimal maintenance, all adding to the good news for contractors. With competition, intensifying suppliers are concentrating on coming out with machines that would ideally suit Indian working conditions, where typically these machines would be put through more number of work cycles, as compared to the developed world. With articulated and pivot-steered tandem rollers of between 1.5 and 14 t, manufacturers are offering a large range of machines for practically any application in asphalt construction for all markets. This includes double vibration rollers, rollers with vibration and oscillation drums), combination rollers, vibration rollers with split drums and rollers with split vibration and oscillation drums.
A move towards high-performance compaction
Hydrostatic travel drive system enables the compactor to have smooth directional changes between forward and reverse, without scuffing the material surface. Hydraulic motors are mounted directly to the rear wheel assembly, driven by a variable displacement hydraulic pump. Hydraulic power steering provides precise steering to maximize surface coverage with uniform tire coverage. Maintenance-free hydrostatic drive enables a smooth transition between forward and reverses direction without damaging the mat. Isostatic leveling cylinders keep the front tyres in even contact with the material surface at all times. Irregularities in the material are removed and excellent surface sealing is achieved. Manufacturers are offering eight-wheeled pneumatic tyre rollers that offer the smoothest compaction yet designed for roadway applications. High-performance compaction aids you to finish your job on time and within budget.
Productive compactors for a better volume of work
Designed for productivity, manufacturers are providing a roller compactor range suitable for various projects, depending upon the volume of compaction work. Whether it’s a single drum soil compactor or a vibratory tandem road roller, every Compactor offers an efficiency which is more than what you expect. The single drum road roller models Besides, the machine is equipped with LiveLink and Compaction Coach – a Compaction Monitoring System that has been introduced to strengthen the roadways industry. It optimizes the number of passes and enables you to monitor the operator’s performance with real-time compaction alerts.
Importance to the operator’s flexibility of compactors
Compactors are now specially designed with operator comfort in mind. With its closed HVAC cabin and a more powerful engine, the compactor is highly suitable for heavier application usage. It is a product that will cater to activities as diverse as urban construction, road building, infrastructure, and mining. The soil compactor is also featuring a turbocharged aftercooled engine with an internal Exhaust Gas Recirculation system for ensuring the best-in-class fuel economy. Additionally, the optimized HVAC Cabin gives an excellent front and rear drum/nozzle visibility, making the drive and compaction process easier and safer.
Intelligent compaction oscillation system
With oscillation, two unbalanced shafts rotate synchronously. The unbalances are offset by 180°. This causes the drum to carry out a rapidly alternating forward-backward rotary movement, with the result that the compaction energy is directed into the soil tangentially to the front and rear in the form of shear forces. In contrast to a vibrating drum, it acts dynamically on the soil all the time. Because the drum is always in contact with the ground, there is also a constant static load due to the weight of the machine. Manufacturers are using this technology of oscillation drums for tandem rollers and compactors. This means that intelligent compaction technology can be employed in both asphalt construction and earthwork.
Attention to operator safety of compactors
An operator’s efficiency is paramount about optimizing the output. Comfort and safety of an operator are of paramount importance as it not only ensures safe operations at the construction site but also increases the efficiency of the operator. Manufacturers took special cognizance of this requirement and invested heavily in designing machines that offer the best-in-class safe operator environment. The in-built Compaction Meter is now being placed ergonomically for operator comfort thereby, helping in achieving the desired output, The steering wheel and console are designed to ensure fatigue-free operation and The cab platform is mounted on viscous mounts, to isolate it from any vibrations and to make the operator feel comfortable even during high amplitude passes. Moreover, compactors are now provided with isolated operator platforms, there is no feeling of vibration of the machine. This improves the stress-free operation of the machine & improves the operator’s efficiency. Hamm soil compactors are built with the patented design of three-point pendulum articulated joints. The three-point articulation joint connects the front & rear ends of the compactor & enables excellent directional stability and steerability & provides driver safety on difficult terrains and for the driver’s comfort.
Extra care on the fuel efficiency of compactors
Manufacturers are also focusing on coming out with machines that are fuel-efficient and require minimal maintenance, all adding to the good news for contractors. With competition, intensifying suppliers are concentrating on coming out with machines that would ideally suit Indian working conditions, where typically these machines would be put through more number of work cycles, as compared to the developed world. Global players who have entered the fray in India have been getting feedback from end-users and have been focusing their R&D towards machines that are specifically suited for India. A rapidly evolving market, India is today on the radar of almost every leading global manufacturer of compaction equipment. Competition is getting intense by the day and suppliers are banking on innovative product features and technology to woo customers. A lot of focus is also on offering environment-friendly and fuel-efficient engines these days.
Compactors for tackling tough terrains
The biggest challenge of Indian construction especially tough terrains provides resistance and is always hard work for operators. Therefore the machines have to be stringent enough to address the rough terrains. Volvo in this regard is doing an efficient service. Soil compactors are being manufactured now which can efficiently compact varying soils and aggregates in applications such as highways, utilities, water retention structures, as well as in the preparation of large residential, commercial and industrial sites. There are many features on each compactor which help them deliver more productivity and efficiency to users.
While recent times may have been tough on construction equipment manufacturers, the industry still is brimming with optimism. With competition becoming intense manufacturers too are faced with challenges to innovate. The entry of several global leaders in the field is a welcome development since it brings in the latest technology into the market. With major players having gained a solid presence in the Indian market, the next few years could see them further consolidating their position by bringing out newer models. With increased collaboration among construction equipment manufacturers and rental fleet owners, the products are being designed as per the customer’s needs. Despite the presence of competition problems, due to the global recovery trend is clear, investors are still optimistic about this area and the future will still have more new investments entering the field. Some of the manufacturers dealing with compactors are JCB India, Writgen, Hamm, Volvo CE, Escort, Case Construction, Ammann, Atlas Copco and many others.