Chinese heavy equipment manufacturer SANY Heavy Industries has been supplying equipment into the Australian crane sector for some time. Crane performance and customer feedback has been relayed to the factory in China to assist in the product development program and SANY is now ready for a major push into the market. Cranes and Lifting reports.
Many in the Australian crane sector may be surprised to learn that heavy equipment manufacturer SANY has been quietly going about its business for the last decade.
This low profile approach has been building towards the Chinese firm’s next step in the Australian market. Crane and Lifting recently spoke with two of SANY’s heavy lifters, SANY, Director of SANY International Headquarters, Wanchun Zhou and SANY, General Manager of SANY Australia and New Zealand, Nitin Khanna, to better understand this strategy and the company’s plans for the Australian and New Zealand markets.
“SANY is number one in China and our market share has been growing since the middle of 2016. We realise that if we want further dramatic growth, we must take on the international markets. Over the next five years, SANY will focus on these markets but we need to do things right,” Zhou says.
After a significant downturn in the domestic construction equipment market, the Chinese economy rebounded significantly in the second half of 2016 and local manufacturers began experiencing growth. SANY’s market share has improved significantly and it has been growing much faster than any other Chinese manufacturer, according to Zhou, who adds that SANY’s success is reflected in its logo and business philosophy.
“SANY’s business philosophy is based on ‘quality changes the world’ and we are committed to manufacturing a high-quality premium product, no matter what,” he says.
“When you examine the SANY logo, you will see that it consists of three ones. These symbolise the company vision, to be a first class company, to develop first class talent and to make a first class contribution to the world.”
Zhou says, last year’s combined sales revenue was US$7 billion ($10.4 billion).
“For the past 10 years, we have had products operating in mature markets like Australia, Europe and the US. This presence has not been to gain market share in a short period, we have to be patient in these markets. From an image and branding point of view, it takes time for the customer to gain confidence in a brand. We have excellent product, but we need to ensure it meets with local certifications and is compliant with regulations.”
Over the past decade, SANY has used its market experience to continue a development program across all product lines. According to Khanna, SANY has been patient with its global plan.
“The past 10 years has 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,” Khanna says.
SANY has cranes operating in Australia as well as the entire range of concrete machinery.
An example of this is the Chevron-operated Wheatstone Project, one of Australia’s largest resource projects. Located at Ashburton north, 12 km west of Onslow in Western Australia. The Wheatstone Project is a joint venture between Australian subsidiaries Chevron, Apache Corporation, Kuwait Foreign Petroleum Exploration Company (KUFPEC), Shell and Kyushu Electric Power Company (Kyushu) together with PE Wheatstone Pty Ltd (part owned by TEPCO).The initial phase of the project consists of two liquefied natural gas (LNG) trains with a combined capacity of 8.9 million tonnes per annum along with a domestic gas plant.
Two crawler cranes from SANY have been working at the construction site. One was operating on a 15m high concrete platform with guide rail. As the only equipment working at this height, the SCC8300 crawler crane assumes the lifting tasks of large steel frames, flagstones and other construction tools under the 59m main boom working condition.
The second SCC8300 was lifting the pipelines, and was the only crane conducting these lifts. Combined, both cranes were integral to the success of the project.
According to SANY, the project had a high safety standard requirement for the crawler crane and after installation and debugging, the excellent performance and stability of the SANY crawler cranes earned praise from the customer.
Zhejiang SANY Equipment is the global production base for SANY Heavy Industry crawler cranes. It boasts a testing yard capable of holding complete prototype tests, intelligent production lines and comprehensive testing and commissioning processes. SANY crawler cranes are utilised across a broad range of industries including nuclear, wind farms and civil construction in 40 countries across the globe.
According to SANY, the SCC3600A crawler crane is known as the number one crane in the world in its class with the maximum lifting capacity of 3600t. The innovative boom system of herringbone dual base ensures a strong lifting power which is especially good for super lift applications.
Powered by two water-cooled, fuel efficient and low emission 6-cylinder Cummins engines with rated power of 641kW/rpm, SCC36000A crawler crane shows great productivity and economical feature.
The four-track, eight-drive system of the main machine and counterweight produce a small, even ground pressure and is easier to transport. Moreover, the precise and reliable synchronised control system realises a synchronised rotary and walking control of main machine and superstructure.
“Over the past decade, SANY product has 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,” Khanna said.
“For us, Australia is a mirror for other international markets, so if we are successful here, other global markets will look at SANY differently,” he said.
“Our approach to the Australian market has been slow, patient and deliberate,” Khanna says. “The emphasis needs to be on service, aftersales 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 product we think the market will buy,” he said. “We have done our due diligence and flown under the radar because we want our approach to be right from the beginning,” he says.
“Chinese products are normally regarded as mid-ranged compared to European, US and Japanese brands which compete at the premium end of the market,” Lee says.
“From the beginning, SANY has developed a premium product range. From design through to performance, quality and reliability, customers acknowledge that SANY products are on par with premium products but we have a decided competitive cost advantage,” he said, “that is our unique position.”
SANY has divided the global market into regions including Latin America, Africa, the Middle-East, Australasia, Russia, Southeast Asia, US, Europe and India. To support the 10 plants in China, SANY has major manufacturing hubs in Brazil, India, the US and Germany.
“Over the next five years, we have big and dramatic plans for the Australian market. We want to be market leader in each segment. That’s a clear goal, not just cranes, but every segment including mining, construction and ports, concrete. There’s a mega construction boom in Australia for years to come and we want SANY to play a major role,” said Lee.