-  Andrey Aleksandrovitch, what is the core activity of your company?

-  We have a vast range of high-tech hardware, from differently designed high-temperature and vacuum furnaces up to the experimental facility to create and research controlled thermonuclear fusion. Being a part of scientific and research activity, as well as the implementation of the large-scale nuclear energy and space projects the NPO GKMP at the same time develops and serially produces the hardware for machine building and road industry. One of the most developed activity is the production of road building machinery. Currently the company produces serially road pavers, towed machines pothole patching machines, 100 class auto graders and integrated road building machines.

-  What are the characteristic features of your product? Do you have any unique machines?

-  NPO GKMP is the only Russian manufacturer of road building machines. The product line is presented by two wheeled and two tracked road pavers by “Irmash” and developed with the help of the Ministry of Trade of the Russian Federation. The tracked paver АСФ-Г-4-04 with efficiency over 700 t/h is in line with the highest road building requirements. The hardware is capable to operate continuously in the most complicated service conditions. Six-cylinder motor ensures the proper power (154 kW) to pave the bitumen-concrete mixture up to 9 m wide without any limitations whatsoever. If selected by customers, the road paver is provided with hydraulically extendable screed plates capable to pave asphalt-concrete mixture 2.5-5 m wide, and even wider with mechanical expanders – from 4.5 up to 7 m or from 6.5 to 9 m. The screed plates can be equipped with gas or electric heating systems of smoothing plates. In order to reach the required paving smoothness and thickness of bitumen-concrete mixtureall screeds are equipped with vibration and paving systems. All road pavers produced are compatible with different levelling systems (analogue, digital, laser, 3D). The tracked paver АСФ-Г-3-01 of lesser efficiency (up to 400 t/h) enables to pave bitumen-concrete mixture from 2 to 4 m wide. When equipped with mechanical expanders the paving width reaches up to 5 m with the same efficiency as its more advanced counterpart АСФ-Г-4-04 in terms of operational quality. Relatively small dimensions and handleability render these machines perfectly fit for operating within small neighborhoods and construction sites. Wheeled paver АСФ-К-4-02-2 is an upgraded version of the classic road paver by “Irmash” that is proven leader among road engineers. New design of the universal screed plate enables to expand the width of a hydraulic screed extender;therefore, the basic configuration enables to pave bitumen-concrete mixture from 2.5 to 5 m wide, and from 4.5 to 7 m wide with expanders. Two tow bars and 95.6 kW engine ensure the required pull force of the paver; paving and vibration plate along with the levelling system equipped with ACS MOBA ensure the proper performances when paving the bitumen-concrete mixture.


Wheeled road paver АСФ-К-4-02-2 in service

АСФ-К-2-07-1 – is the most recent road paver in “Irmash” family. Wheel drive, small dimensions, simple design and easy handling, gas heating of the working screed, engine operational economy (60 kW), hydraulic screed with the basic paving width up to 4.5 m, as well as availability and maintainability – those are the main advantages of this machine. These features ensure high demand of the product in housing services while municipal land improvement, as well as for roadway repair.

-  Do you have any other machines, apart from road pavers?

-  Our motor gradersГС-10-08 produced in-the-house differ from classic ones, as they are based on tractors “Belarus”, the model 892.2, 92П, 82.1/35. This is the element that renders these machines highly reliable and maintainable. A mechanical all-wheel drive provides higher pull power for 100 class machines of more than 4.5 tons. Our tracked machines Р-310М designed for porthole repair operate for more than 20 years all over Russia, as well as in Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kirghizia, Moldova, Armenia. The jet-injection repair method applied ensures a quality, prompt and efficient filling of pits, holes and cracks with the bitumen-concrete mixture. Having its own hopper (4.8 m3) with auger conveyed crushed rocks excludes the necessity to use a dump truck (crushed rocks of two fractions, bitumen emulsion, water). Any tractor of 1,4-2,0 class can be used as a tow.


Tracked road paver АСФ-Г-4-04 in service

Apart from that NPO GKMP produces integrated road building machinesКДМ-316 based on chassis КамАЗ-65115. The latter enables to mount hardware for pothole patching (similar to Р-310М) as removable withquick-detachable kits of sanding and sprinkler devices mounted directly on the basic dump track body.

- How much your production depends on imported components etc.?


Integrated road building machine КДМ-316 with a set of sprinkler devices

- When designing “Irmash” road building machines NPO GKMP experts did their best to apply domestically produced components. Nevertheless, in order to reach competitive performances, we had to involve European purchased components as well. Such decisions were taken in case there were no similar products on the Russian market. For instance, axial-piston hydraulic motors, proportional control pumps and Danfoss controllers. Once the sanctions had been introduced by several “unfriendly” countries we boosted the search of alternative suppliers of similar products, particularly among Asian companies. At the same time jointly with the NCO “Agency for technological development” we launched production of required components in Russia. On the other hand, the sanctions significantly decreased the flow of European equipment that flooded the Russian market for the last 15 years. This factor along with ever growing scope of road construction enables to predict a reorientation of subcontractors towards domestic machines, as well to count on substantial government steps in terms of financing and guarantee the market share, at least for the sake of state and municipal orders.

- Do these changes affect your pricing policy?

- As for the prices for products manufactured, one should not expect them to decreasedue to involvement of alternative components, as equivalents produced by different manufacturers are in general do not differ very much in terms of price, quality and performances. It is to be noticed that such transfer will not affect warranty period for our product in any way, for example the special emphasis is given to the external incoming inspection of new modifications of the purchased hardware by the factory. Our experts studied thoroughly the possible manufacture of critical components using production capacities of thecompany group. Nevertheless, the development and management of manufacturing of complex critical hydraulic components requires significant investment and upgrade of technological lines. Such expenses are reasonable only in case of substantial increase of the machines which in its turn related to guaranteed realization of the end product on the market.

- Is it possible to count on state support in these circumstances?

- In this rather complicated economic conditions NPO GKMP hopes for substantial help to be provided by the government of the Russian Federation specifically in terms of mechanism to ensure the abovementioned guarantees. In fact, the Decree No. 1601-р dated June 20, 2022 that provides for investment in road construction industry of over 13 trillion RUB in the coming 5 years (including funds from federal budget). The implementation of this program will result in more frequent usage of road machinery by subcontractors and therefore, aggravate normal wear-and-tear conditions. As a result, it would boost the demand for new equipment by road construction engineers. Therefore, it is crucial that this demand is satisfied by domestic manufacturers, as the multiplication effect is well known: one workplace in machineconstruction industry create seven of them in related ones. The objective is to strengthen economic and technological independence of Russia, to ensure transport integrity of its territories. This is the reason why since Persian and Roman empires well-developed roads were the pillars of power of any nation. Thus, we have a deal of creation ahead of us but we look in the future with optimism.

The interview was prepared jointly with press department of the NPO GKMP and the magazine “Roads. Innovative construction”.