Asphalt-mixing plants are a significant investment. Making such an acquisition requires a great deal of time and money on behalf of a business.
Yet any knowledge gained during the vetting process is worth the effort. Choosing the best manufacturer and plant model can help a business boom. Making the wrong decision, conversely, can lead a business to doom.
Tatavtodor, a Russian-based producer of asphalt mix, made the correct decision in 2002, when it purchased its first asphalt-mixing plant from Ammann. The acquisition went so well that Tatavtodor has purchased eight more plants since then – all from Ammann. That includes its recent acquisition of an Ammann ABP Universal Asphalt-Mixing Plant.
How can a business ensure it makes the proper initial purchase? And what should such a successful customer-supplier relationship look like?
Ildus Irfanovich Faskhutdinov, Deputy CEO at Tatavtodor, and Evgeny Nikolaevich Brodnev, Deputy Technical Director of Tatavtodor, agree that it starts with the making the right choice from the very beginning. In the case of Tatavtodor, that goes back 17 years.
“We began to work with Amman in 2002 when we needed to buy our first mixing plant,” Faskhutdinov said. “We did market research to find out who was the best manufacturer. We also visited asphalt-mixer manufacturers in Russia and Europe, and chose Ammann in the end.”
It wasn’t an easy process, with exhaustive research and on-site reviews. Ammann personnel provided specifications, materials and answered any questions that arose. They also arranged plant visits so the company could look closely at the products at work.
In the end, that research helped Tatavtodor make the most informed decision – which continues to have an impact to this day.
The company chose the Ammann Global Asphalt-Mixing Plant in 2002. That plant’s success made future acquisitions less complicated.
“We did not buy the plants all at the same time – it was in 2002, 2008, 2012, and 2019,” Faskhutdinov said. “The fact that we are repeatedly going with Ammann says something, doesn’t it? Quite frankly, there are a lot of mixer manufacturers who would like to work with us. But we are not planning on changing our course.”
The plants’ reliability made sticking with Ammann an easy decision, Brodnev said. “Since 2002, when we signed the contract for our first plant, and until now, our plants have operated continuously,” he said. “No matter if it’s summer, spring or winter, we always start without any problem. They are always operable.”
Tatavtodor did adjust the types of Ammann plants it purchased as its business grew. “The first Ammann plant, assembled in 2003 and successfully working since then, was a Global 160,” Faskhutdinov said. “In 2008, we signed a contract for the purchase of six ABP Universal plants, which were assembled and successfully started in 2009 and are also still in operation. In 2012, we assembled a second Global 160 in Kukmor.”
The most recent addition was an ABP 240 Universal that was installed in Buinsk. Hans-Christian Schneider, Ammann CEO, was at the plant’s grand opening.
“Now we are on plant number nine, based on trust, based on a true partnership with state-of-the art products and with people who want to make a win-win,” Schneider said.
The ABP Universal is capable of producing a great deal of mix types, which makes it a great fit for Tatavtodor’s evolving business.
“Basically, that is why we chose the ABP Universal,” Brodnev said. “It has its obvious advantages in terms of the number of decks, or the amount of ready hot material mix. The Universal allows us to produce more mix without replacing sieves or other parts. It is easier to control the plant and select the necessary material to produce asphalt concrete.”
Plant assembly is essential, and Tatavtodor has learned a great deal on that front as well. First and foremost is the importance of consistency.
“Assembly is getting easier and easier with each new plant,” Brodnev said. “When we bought a plant in 2002, we were quite afraid of assembly and prepared thoroughly for it. We are still preparing thoroughly now, but we already know now what it will look like, what will happen. One and the same installation supervisor does it for us. Assembly is well-optimised and very fast.”
There is more to assembly than erecting a tower, he said. “The finalisation – full commissioning, preparation of the entire program and weighing equipment are completely different,” Brodnev said. “Even this work is fast and problem-free with Ammann.”
Staying ahead of environmental regulations is another factor. “Environmental requirements get tougher each year,” Brodnev said. “A special environmental organisation arrives at our site and measures all parameters. They check our emissions and dust levels each quarter. There has not been a single penalty or an environmental issue with these Ammann plants. Plants by other manufacturers have them (penalties). But that’s not the case with Ammann.”
Faskhutdinov complimented Ammann on its distinguished history and its management’s commitment to continuing to evolve. “They look young and are always developing,” he said.
Tatavtodor certainly has a great history of its own.
“Our company is the oldest in the Republic of Tatarstan,” he said. “Still sponsored by the government, it was incorporated in 1929. We perform road maintenance, repair and construction. Quite naturally, the company has undergone a number of reorganisations and modernisations since 1929.”
Ammann’s CEO believes both companies can pin their longevity on two key factors. “I think the companies in many aspects are quite similar,” Schneider said. “Two of the key elements that I see personally for long-term success are innovation on one side and investment of people on the other side.”