Tag Archives: Austin Engineering

Austin Engineering makes milestone Mainetec dipper bucket sale in USA

Austin Engineering Limited says it has sold its first Mainetec-designed dipper bucket into the US market, with the Armadillo electric rope shovel dipper bucket set to be delivered to a large copper mine in the US by mid-2024.

These dipper buckets typically sell for between $1.5-$2 million each depending on configuration specifics, according to Austin.

Austin acquired dipper bucket specialist, Mainetec, in 2022. The Armadillo bucket will be designed in Australia, manufactured in Austin’s facility in Batam, Indonesia, and will be supported by Austin’s US business in Casper, Wyoming.

The Armadillo dipper bucket is a light, strong bucket designed to achieve consistently higher payload and improved fill factor, while using less energy to dig compared with the standard unit, Austin said. This reduces operating cycle times and thereby reduces overall fuel cost and carbon emissions.

The dipper bucket will be fitted with the latest version of Mainetec’s proprietary door latching and control system, iTrip. Already widely used in Australia, iTrip dramatically reduces maintenance intervals and increases the service life of the components, Austin says. The system has proven to increase the standard dipper service life between overhauls by up to 18 months. Under the contract, Austin will also supply spare components for the iTrip system.

A unique aspect of Austin and Mainetec’s global bucket offering is that all of the buckets are customised to individual sites and orebodies.

Earlier this year, Austin announced plans to grow its US business by focusing on increasing market share for haul truck trays and, in particular, mining buckets.

Austin CEO and Managing Director, David Singleton, said: “We are pleased to have secured the first sale of a Mainetec bucket to into the major US market. This sale also showcases Austin’s ability to leverage its global capabilities around design, manufacture, and delivery, under our Austin 2.0 strategy.

“The Armadillo is a new generation, high performance product designed in Australia by Mainetec, built in our manufacturing hub in Batam, Indonesia, and assembled and delivered by our business in the US. This integrated ‘hub and spoke’ approach to product delivery is becoming a standard feature of our international business.

“This sale is a synergy benefit related to the acquisition of Mainetec in 2022, where we can offer Mainetec’s buckets globally using Austin’s routes to market. We believe that the market for replacement dipper buckets in the Americas alone could be worth over A$100 million ($68 million) per annum in addition to bucket rebuilds and spares from the iTrip system.”

Austin Engineering delivers Indonesia-made truck trays into Pilbara region

Austin Engineering Limited has completed the first shipment of fully built and assembled truck trays from its Indonesia facility in Batam, which have been delivered directly into Western Australia’s Pilbara mining region.

The delivery comprised four truck trays that were shipped from Indonesia via Singapore into Port Hedland and then onto the customer site.

Austin recently completed a major expansion and upgrade of its Indonesian facility, which has doubled its manufacturing capacity to address increased demand.

The larger Indonesian facility is allowing Austin, it says, to mitigate the impact of ongoing supply constraints in Western Australia, particularly for skilled fabrication labour, which has been a limiting factor for production.

Alleviating these supply constraints has enabled the company’s local Western Australian facility to maintain more even operational output in line with local labour availability while ensuring Austin’s customers continue to have access to products, it said.

A return of freight costs to pre-pandemic levels has also enabled Austin to augment the shipping of sub-assemblies into Perth for final build (which has been standard practice for some time) with the delivery of full truck trays direct to the Pilbara.

Austin said: “The ability to ship directly from Indonesia to Port Hedland has the added benefit of removing the need for road haulage from Perth to client mine sites in the Pilbara. A reduction in overall transport and logistic requirements has safety, environmental and cost benefits. Specifically, a reduction in road haulage is favourable from a road safety and emissions reduction perspective.”

Further direct deliveries into the Pilbara are being planned with customers to augment Austin’s Australia-based supply, it said.

Austin CEO and Managing Director, David Singleton, said: “We are extremely pleased to see our design and manufacturing strategy starting to work in sync in the Asia Pacific region. The expanded facilities in Perth and Indonesia are allowing more flexibility from a manufacturing and delivery point of view. We have previously shipped truck trays, buckets and other mining equipment directly into Queensland, but it is the first shipment we’ve completed direct to the major mining centre of the Pilbara, and we expect this supply route to become a regular feature of our integrated supply chain.

“We remain committed to Australia as a manufacturing location, exemplified by our two factory units in Kewdale, Perth along with our two operating sites in Queensland. In addition, the majority of the steel we used in Australia and Indonesia is sourced from Australia.“

Austin Engineering receives IAF grant to boost advanced manufacturing program in WA

Austin Engineering says it has been selected by the Western Australian (WA) Government for a grant of up to A$5 million ($3.5 million) to boost its advanced manufacturing program at its Perth-based operations in Kewdale.

The grant funding has been allocated under the Government’s Investment Attraction Fund (IAF), which was announced in March 2022. The IAF seeks to bring further investment, jobs and economic diversity into Western Australia, increasing demand for local goods and services, securing trade in new sectors and within new markets.

The grant will support greater automation and production efficiency in Austin’s manufacturing facilities in Perth as part of the continued rollout of Austin’s global advanced manufacturing plan, the company says. Austin launched the program in 2021 under the Austin 2.0 strategy to transform the business through increased efficiency and capability across its major mining equipment production facilities.

The program has involved upgrades to its manufacturing equipment and processes in Perth using the latest technology and innovation to streamline and increase production, and improve quality.

To date, the manufacturing program has allowed for a lift in output and product suite expansion, according to Austin. The company recently launched its Western Australia-designed and manufactured, ultra-lightweight High Performance Truck Tray (HPT), which, it says, can carry additional ore tonnes per annum due to its lighter weight and increased volume efficiency.

Through the integration of the Mainetec business, Austin has expanded its manufacturing capacity space to produce and deliver Mainetec’s High Performance bucket range out of Perth as well. Additionally, Austin is now offering equipment condition monitoring software on its excavator bucket range and is upgrading it for suitability on truck trays for more accurate monitoring of repair and replacement requirements.

The terms of the grant, including the timing of any funding, will not be clear until a definitive agreement and project plan are agreed.

Austin CEO and Managing Director, David Singleton, said: “We are very grateful to be selected by the Western Australian Government for funding under the Investment Attraction Fund. The grant will allow us to continue investment into advanced manufacturing and technology in our Western Australia operations, to create more local jobs and deliver world-class designed and engineered products to our mining customers.”

Austin Engineering’s ultra-lightweight High Performance Tray finds its market

Austin Engineering says it has received orders for, or been notified of award of, in excess of 210 truck tray orders in the December 2022 to January 2023 period, improving the company’s order book and revenue outlook for the second half of 2023.

The orders over the period represent approximately 40% (approximately 500 expected in the 2023 financial year) of orders received in a normal full year.

These orders have come from multiple customers across the globe and will be manufactured and delivered from Austin’s four operating sites located in the Asia Pacific (Australia and Indonesia), North America (Wyoming) and South America (Chile), it said.

Production of the trays is either already underway or planned to commence shortly, with most of the deliveries scheduled through 2023 but with significant revenue to be booked in the second half of the 2023 financial year.

Approximately 120 of the truck tray orders are for the recently launched, ultra-lightweight High Performance Tray (HPT). The HPT can, according to Austin, deliver significant additional ore per year due to its lighter weight and increased volume efficiency. In an early application, the truck body design could deliver an additional 45,000 t/y of ore per tray compared with previous comparable truck trays developed by Austin.

Austin expects the market interest in the HPT to continue due to its attractive design and operational benefits, it said. Austin has received several proposals to tailor the design for different geographies, suggesting it will become a mainstay in the company’s global product portfolio, complementing Austin’s existing four truck tray types.

Austin has previously announced manufacturing capacity expansions to deal with an anticipated surge in demand, which has now occurred. The expansions, now largely complete, were in Indonesia, Chile and in Western Australia, where a specialised bucket facility for Austin and Mainetec buckets has been commissioned.

Austin CEO and Managing Director, David Singleton, said: “The increased orders reflect an increased win rate in contracts across the business aided by the release of improved product designs such as the HPT, which is receiving significant market interest because of its attractive operational efficiencies.

“We had confidence to commit capital to capacity expansions at some of our major manufacturing sites, namely Indonesia, Chile and Australia. We have also invested in upgraded equipment in the workshops to enable efficiency and quality improvements across our product lines.

“Pleasingly, the capacity expansions have aligned with increased orders ensuring customer delivery timeframes can be maintained. The continuing and increasing strength in the order pipeline suggests that high utilisation levels in all jurisdictions will continue.

“We believe that our commitment to product design and development, our focus on cost control and developing capacity to meet our mining customer needs is driving this improvement in workload.”

Austin Engineering makes management changes as it targets further North America growth

Austin Engineering Limited has announced changes to its senior management structure in an effort to grow its North American business.

Current Chief Operating Officer (COO), Graham Backhouse, has been appointed to the new role of Chief Strategy Officer. The role will primarily concentrate on developing a growth strategy for Austin’s North American business where Austin is focused on increasing market share for haul truck trays and, in particular, mining buckets, following the company’s acquisition of Australia-based Mainetec in 2022.

In the last 18 months, following several operational changes, Austin’s North American business has seen much-improved EBITDA margins, which are now at record levels, Austin said. The North American order book has nearly doubled since a similar period last year, further reflecting the success of those operations and highlighting the potential in this region.

Austin’s central North American hub is located in Casper, Wyoming. It is a large manufacturing facility supported by multiple final assembly partnerships. North America is a major global market for mining equipment and Austin sees the potential for further substantial revenue growth across its existing equipment offering, plus Mainetec’s products, including in its high-value dipper bucket products.

Vincent D’Rozario has been appointed as the company’s COO. He will continue to drive the Austin 2.0 growth strategy across the business and further embed the operating model that has seen substantial increases in delivered margins and order book growth across the business, the company says.

D’Rozario has held a number of executive positions and senior roles in a diverse range of sectors including engineering, commercial aviation, major project delivery, and environmental and waste management solutions. Most recently he was the Regional Managing Director APAC for CHC Helicopters, overseeing services to mining and energy companies and State and Federal Government entities. He is currently a Non-Executive Director of ASX-listed The Environmental Group, which provides waste and environmental solutions to the resources, health and heavy industry sectors.

Both appointments are effective January 20, 2023.

Austin CEO and Managing Director, David Singleton, said: “We are very pleased to strengthen the capabilities of our executive team with these two appointments, which will drive the next and substantial phase of our growth plan. We have made big strides across all business units over the last year and a half, with focused attention on our Australian and Indonesian businesses. We are very pleased to appoint Graham to develop and roll out a new growth strategy in North America. It is our second biggest market, and we are seeing substantially improved profitability and growth opportunity ahead. Central to that focus will be deploying more products developed in Australia into that region.

“We warmly welcome Vincent to the team as our new Chief Operating Officer. Vincent brings added capability to Austin through his diverse range of international experience in growing companies. We look forward to his contribution to Austin as we continue to grow our global business.”

Austin Engineering eyes multiple operational benefits with Mainetec acquisition

Austin Engineering Limited says it has successfully completed the acquisition of Australia-based mining equipment manufacturer, Mainetec Pty Ltd for an initial amount of A$19.6 million ($12.3 million).

The acquisition, Austin says, provides it with numerous operational benefits, both immediately and in the long-term.

Mainetec’s premium range of “Hulk” buckets will complement Austin’s JEC-HP high performance and standard bucket ranges, as well as bolster the company’s presence on the East Coast of Australia by leveraging Mainetec’s existing strong market share in the region, it said. This is anticipated to have a cascading benefit to Austin’s Austbore Mackay repair and maintenance service business.

Beyond Australia, Mainetec’s electric rope shovel dipper bucket is a high-value product that Austin is already progressing plans to offer across the US, Canada and Chile markets, which are markets that have a high demand for large dipper buckets and where Austin already has an established presence, it says.

Additionally, Mainetec’s condition monitoring software system, ‘Mainetrack’, will be used across the Austin’s fleet to maximise productivity.

Austin CEO and Managing Director, David Singleton, said: “It is very pleasing to finalise our acquisition of Mainetec which will deliver significant and tangible value to Austin. This acquisition ticks all of the right boxes; it will complement our core product range, enhance our market presence in Australia and beyond, and is set to deliver enhanced earnings.

“I am looking forward to working with the founders of Mainetec and their workforce as we collectively strive to achieve a phase of prolonged growth.”

Austin Engineering to add Hulk mining buckets to its offering with Mainetec acquisition

Austin Engineering Limited says it has entered into a binding agreement to acquire Australia-based mining equipment manufacturer, Mainetec Pty Ltd, for an initial amount of A$19.6 million ($13.4 million), funded through cash reserves and debt.

Three further earn-out payments will be made if Mainetec achieves agreed performance hurdles in the three years following completion, Austin clarified.

The acquisition will give Austin access to Mainetec’s Hulk range of high performance mining buckets, increasing the potential customer base in all of Austin’s markets, it said. The Hulk buckets complement Austin’s recently-launched JEC bucket range and the dual product offering will increase Austin’s bucket market share in Australia, especially on the East Coast where Mainetec has a well-established presence.

Austin also plans to offer Mainetec’s high value dipper buckets into its global markets, particularly North and South America, where there is high demand and a large dipper bucket market.

Mainetec is a leader in the design and manufacture of high performance, customised excavator mining buckets and currently supplies several blue-chip mining companies, according to Austin. It builds and upgrades dipper buckets, and supplies the majority of dipper bucket systems in Australia. It also manufactures rope shovels, and offers bucket repairs and spare parts.

Mainetec is expected to have revenue of more than A$40 million (on an annualised basis) for the 2023 financial year (to June 30, 2023), with the acquisition expected to deliver significant synergies through the lower supply chain costs Austin is able to provide, and optimised operating costs.

Austin CEO and Managing Director, David Singleton, said: “The key benefits of this acquisition for Austin are the ability to expand our mining bucket offering in Australia and then to offer that into our other markets around the world. Mainetec is a technology-led business that has developed the Hulk range of buckets suited to demanding applications and has also become a key supplier in Australia for dipper buckets used on rope shovels. Dipper buckets are typically the largest used in the industry and we will be able to introduce these upgrades through our operations in the much larger Americas markets. Mainetec’s presence on the East Coast of Australia will also support our re-energised activity in that region.

“The acquisition has clear synergies for both companies. Mainetec complements our core business offering and Austin is able to integrate more competitive supply chain economics and cost synergies into the Mainetec business.

“Additionally, in Mainetec we gain a very talented team as well as some leading design IP. I am pleased to welcome the founders of Mainetec and their workforce to Austin, with the determination that Austin will assist them to continue product development that will enable further growth and success in Australia and beyond.”

Austin increases competitiveness as ULTIMA 2.0 truck tray and JEC High Performance buckets gain traction

Austin Engineering Limited has continued to report strength in its order book across all its business units, with a notable uptick in mining bucket sales.

The current order book now sits nearly A$50 million ($36 million) ahead of the same time in its 2021 financial year, the company said.

Austin has spent the last 12 months developing and implementing the three phases of its ‘Austin 2.0’ strategy aimed at improving business competitiveness while also investing in new product innovation to align with customer requirements and demand.

The strategy’s initial stage incorporated a large reduction in business overhead costs – a process that has now been fully implemented, it noted. The second phase of the strategy was focused on implementing a step change in operations through the introduction of advanced manufacturing into select facilities. Advanced manufacturing is currently being implemented in Australia and also at Austin’s Indonesian manufacturing facility in Batam. Already, this approach in Batam, has improved business resilience particularly as Western Australia navigated through a period of COVID-19 restrictions, Austin said. The implementation of manufacturing process improvement is at an early stage and so will continue, through the 2023 financial year, to unlock further cost and capacity benefits, which will prove to be highly material to competitiveness, it added.

The third stage of the ‘Austin 2.0’ strategy was to invest in innovation and technology. Recently released products from this program, with updated and improved designs to meet customer needs, have benefited Austin’s sales through increased market share. These products include an upgraded ULTIMA truck tray designed specifically for the Australian eastern states market and the new JEC High Performance bucket range. Austin says it has sold more than 60 truck trays to the eastern states markets since the ULTIMA update was completed with a significant further quantity now being bid with several customers. In addition, the business has seen a big upturn in sales of mining buckets already at four times the sales levels compared to 2021 financial year.

Austin CEO and Managing Director, David Singleton, said: “It has been a rebuilding year for Austin and we are very pleased to have made highly significant and lasting gains across the business both financially and structurally. We have had a strong second half and the order flow sets up a good base and outlook for full year 2023.

“We are particularly pleased with the increase in sales and bid wins right across the business, which have been supported by our efforts to optimise the business under our ‘Austin 2.0’ strategy.”

Widespread demand for truck trays and buckets boost Austin’s order book

Austin Engineering Limited says it has received A$82 million ($61 million) of new orders across its business in the three months until end-February 2022, as orders for its specialist truck trays and buckets continue to come in.

This boost represents a 100% increase in its order book level compared with the same period of its last financial year.

Austin says it is now confident it has received sufficient orders to cover its 2022 financial year revenue guidance. In addition, Austin has also received a very encouraging level of orders for its 2023 financial year pipeline. Overall, enquiry levels and contract win rates remain strong in all home markets, it noted.

The new contract wins have resulted in a significant order book lift from December 2021, when Austin reported an increase in orders of 35% year-on-year.

The order book improvement is across all of Austin’s home markets but dominated by the US, Chile and Indonesia.

Austin explained: “The truck tray business has remained strong but is now widespread across more jurisdictions and has been supported by a much stronger level sales of buckets and other equipment. Austin’s new JEC High performance bucket range has attracted considerable attention and, with four months to go in the current financial year, the company has already achieved a record level of sales of mine buckets compared to recent years.”

Austin has previously announced a series of measures aimed at improving its competitiveness by sharpening its focus on the needs of its customers, both in Australia and overseas. As an example, this approach has led to an update to its core Ultima truck trays to meet increased demands around safety and weight carrying capacity.

The design updates have been coupled with cost efficiencies from the advanced manufacturing approach and the hub-and-spoke build strategy, increasing Austin’s product quality and cost competitiveness in the market, it said. This action has already delivered a material level of new order wins, strengthening the current financial year order book, and driving momentum into the next financial year.

Austin is now rolling out the initial phase of its advanced manufacturing plan, following an intensive design phase, which aims to increase production efficiency, safety and quality, thereby reducing costs and increasing productivity. The company is now initially rolling out the new production system in Batam, Indonesia, because that facility is running at an elevated level of throughput in a trend that is expected to continue.

The company flagged in its first half 2022 financial year results that it was entering a challenging period in Western Australia, which is currently under Level 2 Government restrictions due to rising COVID-19 cases in the state. Potential risks, which to a limited extent are now being experienced, include loss of productivity due to staff shortages and shipping delays, which could impact scheduling and deliveries for Austin and its suppliers. The current level of restrictions is not anticipated to remain in place for long, with Western Australia’s COVID-19 caseload peak expected in the next few weeks. Contingency planning continues to reduce risks where possible.

Austin order book swells with mine truck body, bucket, water tank and chute contracts

Austin Engineering Ltd saw out 2021 with a bang, receiving over A$60 million ($43 million) of orders during November and December and ending the first half of its financial year with a strong order book, the company says.

At the end of November 2021, Austin’s order book was 19% higher than at the same time the previous year.

The new product orders are for over 100 truck bodies, excavator buckets, water tanks and mine chutes, in addition to repairs and maintenance works received across Austin’s operations in Asia Pacific, and North and South America.

Delivery of new products will be to Canada, the US, Mexico, Chile, New Zealand, Indonesia and both the West and East Coast of Australia.

The increased sales activity comes as Austin continues to progress a number of initiatives across its operating regions, it said.

Austin’s new facility at Fort McMurray in Alberta, Western Canada commenced operations on December 1, 2021. Four of seven truck bodies being manufactured on site have been completed and are ready for delivery to customers in the region. Alberta has one of the largest concentrations of heavy haul trucks in the world thanks to the nearby oil sands, and the new facility is ideally placed to provide a much enhanced local level of customer support to what was previously possible, according to Austin.

Austin will undertake a A$450,000 expansion of its La Negra facility in Chile to accommodate an anticipated increased workload in the second half of its 2022 financial year. The facility has been operating at high utilisation rates for some months now and a capacity expansion is deemed necessary. Austin expects the investment to be fully paid back in the second half of the financial year.

A recent expansion of truck body, final build and assembly locations in Eastern Australia and New Zealand has led to a competitively-won new order with global gold miner OceanaGold Corp in New Zealand with deliveries to commence shortly. The order for over 20 bodies uses Austin’s recently developed modularised truck body designs developed to overcome shipping logistics issues, with final build to be undertaken close to the mine site.

In addition, Austin’s previously announced partnership with Melter in Mexico has led to further orders for a large dragline bucket and other equipment, further reinforcing the strength of this regional relationship under Austin’s “hub and spoke” strategy being rolled out globally, the company said.

Austin CEO and Managing Director, David Singleton, said: “We are pleased to see increasing momentum in sales activity across the board for both new products and repairs, and the recent uptick in orders sets Austin up for a strong sales performance in the second half of financial year 2022. With a strong order book, and strong commodity prices, our facilities are operating at high levels of throughput as we start the new year. I am particularly pleased that our recent initiatives aimed at improving cost competitiveness and driving sales have so rapidly led to an increase in orders. It gives me confidence in our approach and forward strategy.

“In addition, we will be launching some updated products in the current half with improved efficiency and safety features which, we believe, will further cement our leading position in the mining products industry.”