"There is no greater test of men and machines than an active runway construction," said Jerry Varghese, the founder of Tarmat, based in Mumbai. "It is tough, demanding work that requires meticulous planning and timely execution with stringent quality assurance."
The project required 3,000 tonnes of asphalt mix to be placed daily in a five-hour working window. The resurfacing also included a profile correction of the runway at the airport, located in the India south-west coast city of Kochi in the state of Kerala.
"We were issued a timeframe of eight months to complete the project but have managed to execute over 90 per cent of the work in four months," Varghese said.
The crew needed to be productive to accomplish so much in such a tight timeframe. Varghese pointed to plant and machine uptime as the force behind the required productivity.
"One of the key success factors is that we did not miss out on our productive hours by even a minute," Varghese said. "I would attribute this high productivity, which was instrumental to our success on the Cochin Airport runway project, to Ammann India and its employees."
Tarmat utilised several key Ammann products on the project, including two Ammann ABC 140 ValueTec asphalt-mixing plants and an Ammann sprayer.
Varghese said that "people make all the difference", and that the Ammann team offered help in some specific ways during the project.
He added: "The Ammann customer support team has been very cordial and co-operative in extending on-site parts support. Ammann India deployed trained operators and technicians at the site, which helped us significantly in becoming productive instantly. Ammann engineers have been monitoring the condition of ABC ValueTec batch plants and machines on a regular basis, almost daily. The plants and linked machinery were maintained pro-actively, thereby ensuring zero breakdowns. The best part is, the maintenance routines were scheduled by Ammann India in such a way that our productive hours were not impacted at all. The suggestions given by Ammann India towards pro-active maintenance were very helpful and gave our team a new perspective on how to achieve more with Ammann products."
Established in 1986, Tarmat is an infrastructure construction company that often engages in the building of highways and runways. The company is headquartered in Mumbai with operations spread across the states of Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Kerala, Mizoram, Gujarat, Delhi and Jammu and Kashmir.
Tarmat has mainly provided engineering, procurement and construction services for infrastructure projects sponsored by the central and state governments. In 1988 the company landed its first major contract for construction of roads and the container yard for the Nhava Sheva port. "We completed the project within the stipulated period of 24 months," Varghese said.
Tarmat has an abundance of airport project experience, including resurfacing, extending, strengthening and constructing runways, gates and aprons. Work has been completed at multiple airports, airbases and helipad sites across India.
Some of Tarmat's noteworthy projects are the MES Arakkonam Naval airport, which has one of the longest runways in India; Jamnagar Airport; AAI Mumbai International Airport and Delhi IGI International Airport.
More projects are coming – and some are already underway. "We are currently executing major runway and airfield construction works at Chennai, Tuticorn, Trichy, Rajkot and Pathankhot," Varghese added.