Sales boost for crane manufacturers
The majority of crane manufacturers have seen sales grow in the first quarter of 2018 compared to the same period last year. Tadano’s fiscal year results showed a decrease in sales, but the company anticipates a strong year ahead.
Tadano sales revenue for its fiscal year 2017, the twelve months ended March 31, stood at ¥173.7bn ($1.57bn), down 3.3% year-on-year. Over the same period, net profit dropped ¥2.5bn to ¥9.39bn.
Total sales of Tadano mobile cranes decreased by 9.7% from the previous year to ¥99bn. Mobile crane sales in Japan fell by 15.2% to ¥38.2bn. Outside of Japan, there was a decrease of 5.8% with sales totaling ¥60.8bn.
Sales of truck loader cranes were stable, up 0.2%, generating ¥19.68bn. Tadano’s revenue from the sales of aerial work platform increased 14.2% year-on-year to ¥24.68bn.
Net sales from other businesses, such as parts, repairs, used cranes and other products, amounted to ¥30.3bn: up 11.4% compared the previous fiscal year. Tadano said that sales of used cranes increased both in Japan and outside Japan.
For the fiscal year 2018, the manufacturer forecasts sales revenue to grow by 10.5% to ¥192bn. It anticipates a 25.7% increase in mobile cranes and 1.1% increase in truck loader cranes.
The Manitowoc Company has reported first-quarter 2018 net sales of $386.1m, up 26% compared to the same period in 2017. The increase was attributed to improved crane shipments across all regions, with the US and European markets generating the majority of the increase.
First-quarter orders rose by 10% year-on-year of $536m, while backlog totaled $756.6m on March 31, 2018, up 49% from the first-quarter 2017. The company reported a net loss of $10m, in the same period last year the net loss stood at $36m.
Barry Pennypacker, president and chief executive officer of The Manitowoc Company, said: “The global crane market is reaching an inflection point, and it shows in our order rates year-to-date. However, like many capital goods companies, we are beginning to see headwinds in terms of materials inflation and supply chain challenges.
“Also, foreign currency exchange rates are putting pressure on our margins, most notably on European produced cranes that we sell in the US. We are actively managing these challenges and aggressively taking pricing actions to ensure that we deliver our full-year EBITDA guidance of $100 to $120m. We are clearly making meaningful progress in transforming Manitowoc into a leaner, more profitable crane company.”
Terex Cranes has reported crane sales of $314m in the first quarter of 2018, up 19% compared to the same period in the previous year. The manufacturer said this was due to higher demand and a favourable impact of foreign exchange rates.
Operating performance improved compared to the first quarter of last year, however our results were negatively impacted by disruptions in the company’s mobile crane factories caused by supply chain challenges. Terex said it is working closely with its suppliers to address the issues.
Indications for future growth are positive, with Terex Cranes Q1 ending backlog up 58% versus 2017.
Steve Filipov, president, Terex Cranes said: “Global crane markets were fairly stable with pockets of growth as expected. We executed well in Towers and Utilities, and we continued to roll out exciting new products including our Demag AC 300-6 all terrain crane and Terex CTT 472-20 flat top tower crane.”
Overall, Terex Corporation reported a strong start to 2018 with first quarter 2018 sales of $1.3bn, up 25% compared to the same period in 2017.
Terex group as a whole, saw sales revenue climb from $1,01bn in Q1 2017 to $1.26bn. Income from continuous operations stood at $47.6m, compared to a loss of $60.3m in the first quarter of last year.
“Terex significantly improved its first quarter earnings per share compared to last year,” said John Garrison, Terex president and CEO. “This strong financial performance reflects the improvements made to our operations and capital structure, and broad-based improvements in our global markets.”
“Aerial Work Platforms (AWP) and Materials Processing (MP) are off to a great start. Our Cranes segment improved compared to the prior year, but performed below our expectations in the quarter.”
Load handling equipment manufacturer Hiab, subsidiary of Cargotec, has received orders totaling €307m in the first quarter of 2018, up 7% year-on-year.
“The demand for Hiab’s load handling equipment was supported in the United States and Europe by the construction activity, which remained at a good level. The demand continued to be strong in the US and accelerated in Europe,” said Hiab.
Hiab’s first quarter sales increased by 2% and totalled €276m. Service sales grew by 2% to €67m, representing 24% percent of sales.
Operating profit for Hiab in the first quarter decreased from the comparison period to €36.1m, mainly due to the weakening of the US dollar.
As a group Cargotec saw orders increasing by 1% in the first quarter of 2018, reaching €863m, while sales dropped by 2% to €773m.
The Palfinger Group’s revenue stood at €394.2m in the first quarter of 2018, 8.9% higher than the same period of the previous year.
The Land segment’s revenue increased by 13.6% year on year to €337.8m.
The growth achieved in the Land segment was based on the significant expansion of business in the regions EMEA and Americas. In Europe, the acquisition of the Danish distribution partner Palfinger Danmark AS, which took place at the end of January 2017, generated positive momentum as well.
In North America, Palfinger recorded “pleasing increases” in business in recent months. “In Asia, particularly in China, the good partnership with Sany has proved to be the foundation for continued business expansion. In Russia/CIS, local value creation facilitated additional growth in the first quarter of 2018, despite the challenging economic environment,” the manufacturer said.
In the first quarter of 2018, the Sea segment’s revenue decreased to 56.4m, which corresponds to a decline of 12.7%.
BIM’s benefits are clear, but it’s still confusing GCC construction
Building information modelling (BIM) is seen as vital for the engineering and construction industry as it looks to digital transformation to tackle inherent challenges such as budget overspend, project delays, and quality control issues.
Governments have been mandating the use of BIM on infrastructure projects throughout Europe and beyond, to streamline major development projects and, in turn, increase productivity in the industry.
Job titles such as BIM manager, BIM co-ordinator, and BIM specialist are even starting to become more common, as the industry embraces the methodology.
Despite all of this attention, however, there are still the common misconceptions that BIM is simply 3D modelling, only for experts, and only used by a fraction of the teams on a development project. But why do these misunderstandings persist?
Undervalued and under-utilised
One of the challenges for BIM is that it is surrounded by myths that deter certain teams that are involved in a development from adopting it.
While some still see BIM as simply a 3D modelling tool that is used primarily by design and construction teams, modern BIM is so much more than that. It forms a key part of a common data environment – capturing, storing, and sharing key information across an asset. And a connected BIM solution can also be used to link data and documentation, enabling an audit-like trail for objects within a model.
Even the long form of the acronym is confusing, with some uncertain whether the ‘M’ stands for modelling or management. The confusion likely results from the way in which the methodology has evolved and is now being used much more widely across a development.
BIM is also challenged by issues common to other software solutions, such as the reduced productivity that arises while people are yet to be trained on its proper use, the additional costs it entails, and the belief that it is here now but could be obsolete by tomorrow.
These are reasonable concerns: people do need to get used to the software, and data may need to be ported across from other systems, and this can take time; and there will be a financial cost associated with any new software. But these things need to be considered over the longer term. The time and cost savings – and other benefits – that these solutions provide far outweigh the initial pain and price.
Here to stay
In the specific case of BIM, the data captured should provide a vital repository for information related to clash detection and asset handover, and also create a baseline of information to use when planning or preparing for future developments. Its obsolescence is negated by how BIM has evolved over time, as well as how it is being mandated as the solution of choice by governments, and increasingly by owners and clients globally – there is no doubt that BIM is here to stay.
Modern BIM is all about accessibility, extendibility, and collaboration. A connected BIM solution should help manage all the information about a development.
BIM must be able to be used by teams across the development, no matter how big or small. It needs to be able to work with multiple data sources, file formats, standards, and industry-recognised tools. It should also be accessible on numerous devices, whether the users are in the office or on site.
Overall, there needs to be better education about BIM and its many uses. This will be driven by the ongoing influx of digital skills into the industry, which will see a greater reliance on technology for a number of different functions. However, the onus is also on BIM solutions themselves to evolve and to keep pace with requirements.
Modern BIM solutions need to provide the security, certifications, and disaster recovery needed to instil confidence in users. They need to be fast, reliable, and able to integrate with other solutions in a company’s technology ecosystem, regardless of where they are being used. Perhaps most importantly, BIM needs to be easy to use, so you do not have to be an expert to get what you need from the solution. Taken together, these attributes can encourage wider use of BIM across the industry.
Immensa says first UAE firm to submit 3D printing patent
Patent sought for innovation that aims to revolutionise the way regional construction companies and engineering firms approach urban design
mmensa Technology Labs has said it has submitted the first 3D printing related patent from a UAE-based company.
The patent – an Immensa proprietary method for the production of moulds for concrete and other aggregates using 3D printing – is an exclusive innovation that aims to revolutionise the way regional construction companies and engineering firms approach urban design.
Fahmi Al-Shawwa, CEO of Immensa Technology Labs, said: “We are proud to represent this great nation by filing the first 3D printing related patent from a UAE-based company.
“This process being patented is at the forefront of engineering innovation, and aligns with Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum’s Dubai 3D Printing Strategy. At Immensa, we constantly encourage our engineers to surpass their potentials, and we strive to offer them a positive and reinforcing environment for them to create and work in.”
The Dubai 3D Printing Strategy is an initiative that aims to exploit technology for the service of humanity and promote the status of the UAE and Dubai as a leading hub of 3D printing technology by the year 2030.
Engineers Edem Dugenboo and Elias El Dik of Immensa developed the proprietary process behind the patent.