Ready Mixed Concrete (RMC) Gaining Pace
The use of Ready-Mixed Concrete (RMC) as a product vis-à-vis traditional and manually made Site Mixed Concrete (SMC) in the construction sector and infrastructure projects has come a long way ever since the first commercial ready-mixed concrete plant was established in Pune in the year 1992. Since then the industry is on a continual growth path.
Though, India being second largest producer of cement in the world, the Ready Mixed Concrete business in India is still in its infancy but it is having a steady growth in the last two decades. For example, 70% of cement produced in a developed country like Japan is used by Ready Mix Concrete business there. In Europe and USA, it is about 60%. Here in India, Ready Mix Concrete business used around 9-10 % of total cement production with another 10% estimated to come from project based captive RMC plants totally taking the mechanized RMC production to 20 % of the cement production in India and there is still a lot to catch up in terms of growth and conversion of site mixed concrete to ready mixed concrete.
RMC is the answer for today's construction where there is space limitation, shorter deadlines, labour shortage and need for mechanisation. RMC refers to concrete that is batched for delivery from a central plant instead of being mixed on the job site. Each batch of ready mixed concrete is tailor-made according to the specifications of the contractor and is delivered to the contractor's site in a plastic condition, usually by truck mounted transit mixers. RMC has opened a new vista in construction as they are available in all mix designs and volumes.
Advantages of using RMC
RMC is a readily available product any time and every time now a days in major metros and towns across India and it is replacing traditional site mixed concreting at construction sites across India due to its various advantages.
It has been proved many times over that the use of RMC brings in numerous advantages in terms of quality of the end product; its positives include the impact on the durability of the end product, environment-friendliness, the speed of construction it guarantees, cost-efficiency, and most importantly, the value addition it can bring with regard to the application and performance- based products as per the requirements of the customer. RMC plant is capable of programming different types of mixes for producing different grades of concrete depending on the need of the customer.
RMC is particularly useful when the building activity is located in congested sites where little space is available for sitting the mixer and for stock piling of aggregates. The use of RMC is also advantageous when only small quantities of concrete are required or when concrete is to be placed only at intervals.
RMC is being preferred over traditional concrete owing to ease of use, greater convenience, economy, and better quality. It also decreases labour, site supervising cost and project time, resulting in savings. Furthermore, wastage reduction, low inventory costs, and efficient utilization will lead to the lowering of the overall project expenditures which in turn will augment the product demand over the upcoming years.
Changing mindset & RMC Plant Penetration in towns
The RMC industry is witnessing a sweeping change in the customer mindset that large number of concrete users are migrating to the Ready-mixed concrete from the traditional site-mixed concrete across the country and not much importance is being given to the cost factor due to the product advantages and easy availability in all the important cities across India. Today ready-mixed concrete as a product is continuously evolving and moving forward by not only replacing traditional SMC but also giving a lot of value addition to the construction industry by offering new generation special green concrete products through continuous innovation, research and product development by the RMC companies in India and green marketing is gaining more significance day by day.
The entry of major commercial ready-mix concrete companies from India and abroad has made the industry grow leaps and bounds and today the industry is growing very fast and geographically spreading to all the corners covering metros, tier 2 and tier 3 cities and even major district headquarters of the country.
Also, space constraints, along with government and municipal bodies' initiatives to control pollution, have all encouraged the use of RMC.
Infraprojects and Government Initiatives
The RMC industry is expected to expand considerably on the back of upcoming infrastructure projects, a boost in construction activity and various government initiatives.
The biggest demand drivers for the country's RMC segment are the Indian government's large-scale infrastructure and housing projects. These projects include the Bharatmala Pariyojana, Sagarmala, UDAN, the Smart Cities Mission and the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana. Government initiatives on the dedicated freight corridors have also provided opportunities for setting up new RMC plants across the country. With rapid urbanisation, the Indian construction industry has witnessed a major move towards urban infrastructure & transportation, elevated driveways, coastal highways, bullet trains, etc., which has further fuelled the demand for high performance concrete.
The introduction of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) and Public Private Partnership (PPP) projects for the construction of infrastructure projects is expected to spur the demand for the product over the upcoming years.
Demand from Real Estate, Commercial and Industrial building
RMC demand is driven primarily by the real estate sector and supported by the infrastructure and industrial sector. Around 76 per cent of the concrete demand originates from housing construction. The infrastructure sector (roads, power, airport, urban infrastructure, railways, etc) accounts for 17 per cent of the total RMC demand.
Builders have traditionally preferred to use on-site mix rather than ready-mix concrete, though the use of ready-mix concrete is increasing as the industry dynamics are changing. The acceptance of ready-mixed cement is particularly strong in urban centres. The reliability of supply, and consistent quality of ready-mixed concrete are the main reasons for the increasing popularity of the product, as these product features improve the productivity of builders.
Growing population and increasing disposable income in India will drive residential construction growth, which in turn will spur the demand for RMC. Moreover, establishment of manufacturing facilities and power plants to keep up with the growing demand for energy on a global scale, will further stimulate the RMC requirement
Application based product
RMC plant is capable of programming different types of mixes for producing different grades of concrete depending on the need of the customer.
Various types of RMC are sold today based on different applications including decorative RMC for aesthetic look and feel, fibre-reinforced for structural applications, fluid-fill RMC as protective-layer for pipes or cables, rapid-setting type for precast works or early strength development, permeable RMC for bridges and tunnels, and antibacterial type for hospital buildings, laboratories or food-storage godowns.