Mining company, SVA Blue Metals, produces about 3,500 million tonnes of aggregates a year in India, using a fleet of Volvo excavators.
Karanampettai is a small village in Palladam Taluk within the Tirupur District of Tamil Nadu State. It’s one of the 28 states of India – located 471km from the state capital – Chennai. The state is known for its ancient Hindu temples and classical form of dance.
SVA Blue Metals was founded three decades ago by the present owner, R.Ramakrishnan’s father, who handed over the business to Ramakrishnan 15 years ago. The company operates the 60-acre Karanampettai mine close to the bustling industrial city of Coimbatore and has a license to mine 12.5 of the site – with a view to expand the mining capacity in the future, depending on market conditions and demand.
The company excavates large chunks of blue metal rock, also rather surprisingly known as jelly, which is a coarse particulate material used in the construction industry. It’s among some of the most mined materials in the world and is indispensable to building foundations and road building because of its predictable, uniformed properties and its value as a low-cost reinforcement material that binds well with cement to form concrete.
It has been used for several decades to manufacture concrete but is also used in road base, railway ballast and many other civil construction and commercial building materials. The byproduct is also used as a substitute for sand.
“You will find our aggregate used in numerous construction applications,” says Mr.Ramakrishnan, owner of SVA Blue Metals. “Because the ore extract is crushed and mixed with other materials it doesn’t keep its colour but it’s in high demand because of its versatility. It strengthens metals’ molecular structure for construction use.”
Assisting SVA Blue Metals in its mining operations is five Volvo machines including, two Volvo EC210 BLC, two EC210 B-Prime and one EC290 B-Prime excavators. They excavate the blue metal rock, which is then transported from the quarry and sent to major customers in India. The company bought its first Volvo excavator in 2007 and plans to extend its Volvo fleet. The machines work 12 hour shifts, 25 days a month for 10 months out of the year.
“The business grows by the day, so it makes sense to invest in Volvo machines in order to meet the ever-growing demand,” says Ramakrishnan. “The machines are extremely productive and fuel efficient, which is why we use this quality brand of equipment. I also believe that Volvo excavators have a longer life cycle than other brands of machinery, meaning less machine down-time and more value for money.”
The Volvo EC210B-Prime excavator 110 kW (150 metric hp) has a low-emission, turbocharged diesel engine with water cooling, direct injection and after-cooler system, especially developed for excavator use. The machine is suitable for any job site, contributing to good fuel economy, low sound level, less wear and a longer life. The automatic idling system also reduces the engine speed to idle when levers and pedals are not being used.
SVA is also pleased with the personalized service and attention it gets from Volvo CE’s local dealer, Advanced Construction Technologies. The dealership has been running for 25 years and is a leading provider of construction solutions and equipment in India.
“Our dealership always goes the extra mile and is professional and efficient,” says Ramakrishnan. “If there is a service issue, the guys will sort out the problem as quickly as possible and are always there to help our operators.”
Ramakrishnan is the president of the Karanampettai Blue Metal Quarry Owners Association, which helps to promote the blue metal industry. With strong recommendations from the association, many other quarry owners in the area now own Volvo equipment.
“We are proud of what we have achieved over the 65 years – and are extremely satisfied with our Volvo equipment,” says Ramakrishnan.
Picture 1: A bird’s eye view of the Volvo EC210B-Prime excavator
Picture 2: The blue tinted rock loses its colour in the smelting process