Asphalt plants like every other capital equipment has a life. The average in India is around 5 years or roughly 6-800 000 tons, then the plants become so expensive to maintain, that its better to give them a good burial.
However a Marini, is a different breed, they are born to last. For those who haven’t used a Marini it may be difficult to believe what you are about to read, but then it doesn’t change the facts.
The Life of MAP
The MAP140 as it is popularly known among the engineers at L&T was commissioned in December 1998 on India’s first road under the privatization scheme embarked by L&T, the Coimbatore by pass project in Tamil Nadu.
This MARINI was an object of amazement, most leading contractors have visited the plant since its commissioning, since it was one of the first
fully automatic plants being commissioned in India,complete with a fully automatic hot mix storage silo and dual filler metering arrangement.
The plant with a nominal capacity of 120 Tph, during its performance till date, has even produced above its ratings, when required. Till date this Marini has produced over 2.2 Million tons of hot mix asphalt and is still counting.
We have created some historic records with this Marini, states Davinder Singh Head P&M at L&T. “I ve produced over 200 000 tons in less than six months with this Marini. It was a remarkable achievement for us at L&T, then. It is such a reliable machine and performs so consistently round-the-clock”.
The cost of the asphalt plant is only realized once the project is completed and the performance of the road is tested. Asphalt plants do play an important role in the performance of the roads, specific features on a Marini, do ensure a high mix quality, delivering top-notch performance to the flexible pavement.
Built to Last
The Marini MAP 140 is presently fulfilling its requirements at the Krishnagiri Walajahpet Road project, a 148 km project on the NH 46 in the state of Tamil Nadu.
This is the eight road project where it has been relocated. Often relocation reduces the life of a plant. However high quality steel and robustly built structures ensure the plant survives the pressures during relocation. L&T’s P&M team’s deft care to maintain the Marini is equally laudable.
The mixer, the bag house filter or the dryer drum, have never had a problem during all this production and relocation. The components are so well designed and dimensioned that relocation is quite quick and effortless.
Cheap Investment vs Smart Investment
A cheap plant looks attractive & cheap at the first look, however in real life there are no cheap investments. Each investment has a return and one must be prudent to make a wise investment. Asphalt plants just cant be chucked away when it fails to perform or becomes expensive to maintain.
A wise investment is always a smart investment. In retrospective, the investment for a MARINI by L&T back in 1998, really has really worked wonders. The cost of the plant based on the production life compared to a cheap alternative proves to be a very smart investment made by L&T. Today, the equipment costs works out to be around three times economical compared to the cheaper alternatives then available with L&T. The plant has been long back amortized and we are still half way of the product life.
This Marini was the first plant in India to have an automatic skip silo, to store hot mix. The storage silo is always a matter of concern and worry for many customers using non- Marini brands, but L&T produces millions of tons of asphalt each year, with Marini’s having dedicated storage silos. The decision of L&T was so visionary and right, that today, every L&T site, boasts of a Marini with a storage silo.
Marini’s hot mix storage system helps reduce transportation cost; increases efficiency and arrest mix segregation while working with coarser mix designs.
More Action and more life
The plant I believe has not even reached 50 % of its life, states Soundar the Plant Care manager. We have never changed the dryer or the bag house filter during this production tenure. Marini wear parts give fantastic life and reduce the downtime on the plant. The automation system around an year back had got outdated since some of the electronic parts were no longer manufactured by the OEM’s. We then decided to replace it with the latest available electronic control station and it is living its next phase of life.
Modern day add-ons are very easy with the Marini’s future ready designs. We would like to see the plant process high content RAP and warm mixes in the days to come, adds Blesson Varghese.
A decision with such capital investment cannot be reversed immediately and the consequence of a wrong choice has a lasting effect on the company’s performance & future. We have all understood that there are no quick fixes, which can last forever. A reliable product, future ready, efficient and productive is the only route to building a sustainable growth path, states Blesson varghese MD Marini.