“Being Part of the Zoomlion Group, comprehensive global manufacturer of construction machineries, ZOOMLION-CIFA EUROPE addresses the requirements of logistical and concrete businesses all over Europe. Its solutions, consisting of a wide range of truck-mounted pumps, forklift trucks, aerial working platforms, tower cranes and mobile cranes, are all designed specifically for the European market. But, that’s not all. The company business in Europe is supported by the sister-company ZOOMLION CAPITAL which provides tailor made financial services exclusively to Zoomlion and CIFA commercial partners”.

Interview with Marco Polastri, Sales, Aftersales & Marketing Director ZOOMLION-CIFA EUROPE.

Easy Engineering: What are the main areas of activity of the company?

Marco Polastri: Zoomlion is a global company with 13 production plants in Asia, and operational R&D centers of excellence in Europe (Italy, Germany, Netherlands), Brazil and the United States, sales & service subsidiaries in Africa and Middle East and a consolidated worldwide distribution network. Within this organisation, ZOOMLION EUROPE (headquarters in Milan) is the most important European hub for the group whose mission is the local manufacturing of high-end all terrain cranes and the distribution of forklifts, AWP, tower cranes and concrete pumps business lines.  Starting from 2018, the strategy of the group is to enter in the most advanced market worldwide as Europe is, starting from the lifting and logistics business. Thanks to reliable, performing products, mature for Europe, to know-how and to the experience developed in the european market, the company is now able to offer to its partners top value services. The project for Europe involves either the design, manufacture and selling of “All & Rough terrain cranes” tower cranes for the European market, as well as the distribution of a complete line of forklifts and articulated working platforms.

The philosophy of Zoomlion Group is to build cutting-edge products, together with constant research for new solutions respecting the tradition of a group that sets us apart with special importance given to the services offered to our clients.

E.E: What’s the news for 2021 about new products?

M.P: It’s the year for a new City Crane concept by Zoomlion: RTC2040, is a new and fast two axles unit of 20tons gross weight with a maximum load capacity of 40tons with a four sections 36meters telescopic boom. This year will be a testing year with through selected Italian customers before official market release at Bauma 2022 trade show. We see a strong potential in this segment of the market as we experience a fast-growing demand for fast, light and multi-purpose small cranes for liftings in urban environments.

E.E: What are the ranges of products?

M.P: In the cranes sector, ATC 960 and ATC 1000 are the two and very Italian Zoomlion mobile’s all terrain cranes manufactured specifically for the European market. The prototypes of the two machines were presented for the first time as demo units to the European audience at BAUMA 2019 and now they are on the field. Whit our ZL36, ZL40. ZL49; ZL56 dedicated to the truck mounted sector we offer a complete range of machines mounted on Mercedes Benz Arocs, Astra, Iveco or Renault trucks includes a range of models with complete configuration even in the standard version, electronic management with control on the pumping unit, stabilization and operating parameters, distribution arms that guarantee strength, lightness and less oscillations during the work phases.

Here some details:

  • ATC 960, “all terrain” mobile crane on three axles with a load capacity of 70 tons;
  • ATC 1000, “all terrain” mobile crane on 4 axles with a capacity of 110 tons.

The new ATC 960 and 1000 today represent the synthesis between the Italian design history and the technological future that the market requires.

These new solutions are, in fact, the result of the desire to offer not only technology, but also respond to the needs of those who work every day with these means: reliability, flexibility and fast return on investment.

We wondered what the user of a mobile crane was looking for “besides” the technological content. To find an answer to this question, during the pre-design phase, we conducted numerous interviews with opinion leaders from small and medium-sized organizations, as well as internationally renowned, in order to condense as much as possible, the needs of all application fields and design multipurpose solutions. It emerged that the market requires a sort of return to the past with high-tech and safe machines that bring the operator back to its operational centrality. For these reasons, simplification was the guiding star that inspired our designers, but pursuing the technological rate required by the European market, which is the highest in the world, with components of the highest level. We went back to basics by building a mobile crane designed to be what it is called upon to do, that is, a solid, efficient, functional, simple and, above all, affordable construction site machine.

We have, therefore, built machines that respond to what has been asked of us by the market: components with a high technological content but with the simplicity of the past. ATC 1000 (100 t of maximum capacity on 4 axles with 55 m telematic arm), which made its debut at Bauma 2019. It boasts top quality components: Mercedes-Benz 340 kW Stage V engine, ZF Taxon automatic transmission, Hydac suspension system, Kessler axles and Wabco brakes with ABS system. And about forklifts, Zoomlion has covered all types of handling machines: electric front forklift trucks with 3 and 4 wheels and stackers – efficient and compact products, designed to work indoors – and endothermic front forklifts, more solid and robust, ideal for working outdoors. In particular, the diesel range includes models from 1.5 to 16 t, while the LPG range consists of 2 units and the 3.5 t with 3 to 6 m. The electricity sector (48-80 Volt) consists of 3 models ideal wheels for those who work in spaces restricted with limited possibilities of maneuvering, and with 4 wheels, from 1.6 to 2 t, that offer reliability at a cost of content management. Space then a all cars properly from warehouse: electric pallet trucks, order pickers, reach trucks, pedestrian stackers o with man on board.

In fact, we offer a complete range for each need. Whit our ZL36, ZL40. ZL49; ZL56 dedicated to the truck mounted sector we either have a complete range of machines mounted on Mercedes Benz Arocs, Astra, Iveco or Renault trucks includes a range of models with complete configuration even in the standard version, electronic management with control on the pumping unit, stabilization and operating parameters, distribution arms that guarantee strength, lightness and less oscillations during the work phases.

E.E: At what stage is the market where you are currently active?

M.P: According to Global Market Insights heavy liftings, including tower and mobile crane, were valued at over USD 3 billion in 2018 and will grow at a CAGR of nearly 7% from 2019 to 2025. The global shipments are expected to reach over 40 thousand units by 2025. Construction investments after the pandemic will certainly be on the rise with an increasing construction activities & development of high-rise commercial & residential structures that will globally driving the tower crane market growth. Heavyweight lifting capacities of these machines as compared to other conventional options will support their usage, majorly in urban building operations. Increasing global population & rapid urbanization across the globe will create the need for efficient infrastructure facilities, residences, and buildings.

The flat-top models offer easy & fast erection as compared to other models due to fewer jib interferences, leading to huge cost savings. These machines are suitable for multi-crane worksites and application areas with height restrictions. These cranes can be easily dismantled and will reduce interference in cases of overflying cranes. in the tower crane market, the 6 to 20 metric tons segment is anticipated to grow at 8% CAGR from 2019 to 2025. The segment is gaining traction owing to the availability of flat-top, hammerhead, and luffing jib machines with these specifications. These are the medium-range machines that can lift loads ranging from 6 to 20 metric tons. Several load handling & transporting operations in the oil & gas and energy sector is adding up to the demand for these machines.

E.E: What can you tell us about market trends? What estimations do you have for 2021?

M.P: According to international sources, the outlook for the next 5 years is positive and we should see an increase in Europe for construction business up to 7%. In the second half of 2021 we will be in full production to kick-off the industrial production of ATC’s cranes in Italy. We have a quite interesting pipeline of potential customers interested to test our units.

E.E: What are the most innovative products marketed?

M.P: As aforesaid, for sure we are going to introduce something new and unexpected in the market with the new city crane RTC2040. As for the moment, there are just few similar units present nowadays in European market with technical performances far different from our unit. We hope we could be the “game-changer” in this segment.