Tag Archives: Austin Engineering

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.”

Austin Engineering ramps up APAC truck body expansion plans

Austin Engineering has announced what it says is a major expansion of its APAC truck body, final build and assembly locations with the establishment of six new partnerships located in Queensland, New South Wales and New Zealand.

In addition, Austin is to invest in additional sales and product support personnel in eastern Australia and New Zealand to support its expanded network.

Austin expects this new focus will give it a significant advantage in securing new customer orders and increase revenue in key locations across the Asia-Pacific region.

The company said it had successfully implemented the first stage of its global strategy to reduce operating costs across all operations, with this partnership expansion being the key next step to increase revenue through developing market share.

The partnerships are a continuation of the “hub-and-spoke” strategy being rolled out by Austin globally whereby Austin establishes a network of accredited “spokes” to support its major manufacturing centres, it explained. The partner firms are located close to key mining areas and will undertake the final assembly and customer delivery of truck bodies that are designed and partially built in Austin’s major APAC manufacturing facilities in either Perth, Australia, or Batam, Indonesia.

Austin has already established similar style partnerships and operations in North America, including a wholly-owned final assembly facility in Western Canada and a partnership with equipment manufacturer Melter in Mexico, to support its major US manufacturing centre in Casper, Wyoming.

In Austin’s 2021 financial year, truck bodies accounted for 63% of revenue in the APAC region. Under its Advanced Manufacturing strategy, Austin has completed significant design upgrades to its main line of truck bodies for its APAC markets to improve operational performance and improve shipping logistics, it said. The new hub-and-spoke partnerships will see overall shipping costs and supply chain complexities reduced, improving the performance and economics of Austin’s core offering, according to the company.

Austin CEO and Managing Director, David Singleton, said: “The reduction in operating expenses is already paying significant dividends and now our focus is moving to revenue enhancement.

“In this new phase of Austin – Austin 2.0 – we are looking at the world’s major mining regions to see how we better service our customers with market-leading products and enhanced customer support at commercially competitive rates. It is natural that we are now focusing on one of the largest truck fleets in the world, right on our doorstep in eastern Australia and New Zealand.

“Our newly established Canadian operation is already building its first seven truck bodies from kits built in Casper, whilst our partnership in Mexico was an essential element in securing new truck body orders in that region. We look forward to similarly rapid success in Australia and New Zealand.”

Milestone Austin 797 haul truck body set for Canada oil sands sector

Only 16 days after opening its newest manufacturing facility in Fort McMurray, Alberta, Canada, Austin Engineering says it has completed the construction of an inaugural massive haul truck body for a client in the region’s oil sands sector.

The Austin designed, built and supported body is a heated 797 model that weighs 48 t and has a payload capacity of circa-370 t.

These Austin truck bodies operate in minus 40°C temperatures for several months of the year, according to the company, with the large red load arrow (pictured) enabling sight of loading in regular blizzard conditions.

Austin says its Fort McMurray facility has more contracted 797 bodies to complete throughout December and beyond.

Back in August, Austin announced it was expanding its North American operations into Canada, signing a 10-year lease on a site with 23,000 sq.ft (2,137 sq.m) of manufacturing facilities in Fort McMurray.

Austin Engineering seals A$300 million contract with Rio Tinto

Austin Engineering Limited has signed a five-year mining products and service supply contract with Rio Tinto Services Ltd, less than a week after the two companies celebrated the manufacture of the 1,000th truck body for Rio’s iron ore division.

The contract is for the supply of dump bodies, lightweight trays for ore trucks, heavy machinery buckets, water bodies and other fabricated products. The contract also covers the provision of “Off Site Repairs” and other associated services for both Austin-supplied equipment and for other OEM supplied heavy machinery.

The contract, effective from December 16, covers supply from all of Austin’s major global facilities including those in Australia, Indonesia, North America and South America. It is an umbrella or call-off type agreement, allowing for the supply of equipment and services to multiple Rio Tinto operations around the world through individual purchase orders.

Austin estimates that the value of services under the contract over its life could be around A$300 million ($213 million), although it is dependent on individual purchase orders. The contract includes pre-agreed pricing for mining buckets and haul truck trays matching Rio’s global fleet, enabling rapid purchasing and order fulfilment. The contract also provides for annual price reviews to manage exchange rate, steel and labour rate variances and any other factors that the parties agree are relevant to pricing.

Under the contract, Austin will use its recently established “Innovation and Technology Hub” to continue to develop its products to help meet Rio Tinto’s objectives to optimise the safety, lifecycle and productivity of its global heavy machinery fleet.

Austin has supplied Rio Tinto Iron Ore (RTIO) operations with its heavy machinery consumable equipment, offsite repairs and other equipment for 33 years, initially servicing Robe River in the Pilbara. Austin delivered its first bucket to Rio Tinto 21 years ago and its first truck body 14 years ago. As mentioned, last week, the two companies held a ceremony in Perth to mark the manufacture of Austin’s 1,000th truck body for RTIO.

Austin CEO and Managing Director, David Singleton, said: “This contract extends our very successful and productive involvement with Rio Tinto for another five years. Rio Tinto is a key customer for Austin’s products and services, and I would like to thank the company for its support in helping to build a strong local manufacturing industry in Australia, and a leading business in this industry globally.

“As a result of this commitment by Rio Tinto, we have the confidence to invest in developing our Austin 2.0, strategy. As part of this, we recently announced a A$6.5 million investment in advanced manufacturing at our facilities initially in Western Australia and Indonesia that will bring new levels of quality, production capacity and flexibility. In addition, our Innovation and Technology Hub in Western Australia is focused on meeting the safety, mine site efficiency and decarbonisation goals of Rio Tinto and other customers in Australia and around the world.”