Tag Archives: Austin Engineering

Austin seals truck tray tie with ‘global truck OEM’

In a market update, Austin Engineering has confirmed its Chile-based operation has been awarded the first tranche of purchase orders for “OEM-style” truck trays worth circa-A$7 million ($4.6 million) to be delivered in the remainder of its financial year to June 30, 2024.

This is the initial order in a program discussed with the customer to last for up to nine years and was first announced to the market in February 2024 with the award of a test tray.

This test tray was approved by a major OEM, acting as an important step before the OEM placed further orders, Austin said back in February. It added: “Our discussions with the OEM are encouraging, and there is potential for it to place significant multi-year orders, commencing the second half of our 2024 financial year, dependent on a favourable decision by the OEM.”

In today’s update, Austin said the program was expected to be the first in a series of ongoing orders from the customer in several of Austin’s jurisdictions, with manufacturing to occur in Chile and Indonesia.

“The Chile trays subject to these purchase orders will be manufactured and delivered as part of the ‘first fit’ of trays for a global truck OEM,” it clarified.

Austin will source the required steel through its bulk procurement program, AustBuy, which is now supplying its operations in Chile, in addition to Australia and Indonesia.

Austin in USA, meanwhile, has signed an extension for up to five years (three years upfront and two one-year extension options) for its biggest ongoing single supply arrangement for truck trays, with deliveries into the US, Canada and Chile. “Austin’s track record of innovation and reliable supply, leading to positive returns on investment for the customer, was a key rationale for the extension,” it said.

“Initial purchase orders have now been placed which will lead to deliveries starting in this financial year and continuing into the 2025 financial year. This program is likely to be worth circa-A$20 million per annum subject to customer demand.”

In other developments, Austin in Indonesia has now delivered the first two refurbished haul truck chassis frames to its customer at the start of what is expected to be a multi-year, production program that will increase over time, the company said. A further frame is expected to be delivered this month with eight more now on order.

“In addition, the customer has provided initial purchase orders for new matching truck trays for the refurbished truck fleet which are expected to form the start of an ongoing production during future years,” Austin added.

The purchase orders for chassis frames and truck trays placed to date are worth approximately A$3 million. Additional larger purchase orders are expected shortly and are likely to be ongoing. “This is a new and valued program for Austin, which is expected to further increase the already high utilisation of the two manufacturing units in Batam,” it added.

The company concluded: “It is important to note that all three programs highlighted above are expected to provide regular recurring income over several years. However, as is usual for Austin customer arrangements they are subject to the regular placement of purchase orders. The programs do not commit the customers to minimum orders.”

Austin Engineering eyes US expansion with Wyoming government-backed grant, loan package

Austin Engineering says it has achieved a significant development milestone and moved a step closer to undertaking a major rebuild and expansion of its US manufacturing base in Casper, Wyoming, after securing the benefit of a $20 million grant and loan package through the City of Mills, Wyoming and the Wyoming Business Council.

The funds are designated for the construction of a proposed new circa-69,000-sq.ft (6,410-sq.m) manufacturing facility and a 15,000-sq.ft paint and blast building on the site of Austin’s existing manufacturing facility, on land already owned by Austin. The grant and loan facility is made to the City of Mills, which will build the facility to Austin’s requirements, and lease it to the company.

North America is Austin’s strongest performing business unit on a revenue and margin basis, the company says. The expansion of the Casper facility would significantly increase the manufacturing capacity for Austin’s customised mining haul truck bodies primarily for the US and Canada. It will also be capable of manufacturing other product lines such as mining buckets, water tanks, and tyre handlers.

The $15 million grant and $5 million loan package application was approved by the State Loan and Investment Board. It requires final approval from the Wyoming State Attorney General and the Austin Board after a full review of the business case. The Austin Board does not expect to give final development approval for the new facility until the end of the year after a full business case has been completed and assessed.

If final approval is given, construction could commence sometime in late financial year 2024 (to end-June 2024) following board approval, final facility design and permitting, with the build forecast to take up to two years. The construction will not affect the existing production output and it is envisaged that it would create circa-50 new permanent jobs in addition to the current 110-strong staff base.

As part of the investment, Austin would need to commit a further $5 million capital funding for the facility, the majority of which would need to be spent during its 2025 and 2026 financial years.

As part of the package, Austin has agreed to donate approximately 25 acres (10.1 ha) of land, that is mostly industrially unusable, due to being part of a floodplain, and not required for production or storage, to the City of Mills for future community development projects and public facilities.

In the last 12 months, Austin has undertaken expansions of its Indonesian and Chilean-based facilities, enhancing both output and manufacturing efficiencies across the business. However, this investment would be the biggest undertaken to expand capacity.

Austin CEO and Managing Director, David Singleton, said: “We are extremely pleased to have been awarded this funding package from the Wyoming Business Council to undertake a much-needed rebuild of our existing facilities. As well as being part of the local community in the City of Mills since 1940, and Wyoming since 1938, our Casper facility is the hub of our rapidly growing North American operations.

“North America’s financial year 2023 revenues were up 13% year-on-year. We had recently taken a short-term lease on a facility to meet increased orders in the region. A larger, permanent facility would enable Austin to increase its output further in line with expected growth.

“This rebuild will also ensure Austin US stays at the forefront of designing and building customised truck bodies, mining buckets and other equipment. The determination to improve mining efficiency in North America has seen a strong growth in demand for trays and buckets, particularly in recent years, and is expected to continue.

Austin banks A$25 million truck tray order destined for Western Australia

Austin Engineering says it has now received all the purchase orders expected following a successful tender process last year, plus a further 25% in additional orders, under a single contract for truck trays to be delivered to Western Australia.

The value of the orders received to date is approximately A$25 million ($16.7 million).

The first three trays under this order were delivered ex-works 10 days ago for onward shipment to the customer site. The remaining trays are in, or scheduled for, production at Austin’s facilities in Batam, Indonesia and Perth, Western Australia.

Austin announced in May 2023 it had received 85% of the outstanding purchase orders related to this contract and was awaiting receipt of the final orders, which has now occurred.

Overall order book growth has been maintained. Austin’s group order book to the end of May 2023 is up 21% year-on-year to A$146 million and more than double from the same time two years ago, it says.

Austin CEO and Managing Director, David Singleton, said: “We are very pleased to have received more purchase orders than expected under the financial year 2023 tender contract and can confirm that most of the revenue will be booked in financial year 2024. Further, we have continued to build our financial year 2024 order book, driving an improved revenue outlook.

“Our recently expanded Batam manufacturing centre continues to provide the extra capacity and flexibility we need in our business. With deliveries now scheduled across the world including US, Australia, Europe and India, we are expecting a strong performance for our Batam operations in financial year 2024.”

Austin makes inroads in India with customised ULTIMA truck tray order

Austin Engineering says it has received purchase orders for four haul truck trays from a major iron ore producer in India, potentially opening up a substantial new market opportunity for its Asia Pacific business.

Austin has not sold truck trays into India before.

The truck trays in this order will be used in iron ore operations to demonstrate the benefits of the Austin design, however there is no commitment at this stage from the customer for further orders, the company said.

The customer’s full order requirement is for up to 165 trays across its various iron ore and coal mines. Iron ore truck trays are expected to have a service life of around four years before they will be required to be replaced.

The orders follow nine months of engineering work with the customer to develop a customised ULTIMA tray designed to be used without a steel wear liner and can, therefore, outperform the OEM unit in this application. The Austin tray is designed to deliver an additional circa 66,000 t/y of ore per truck with less downtime for maintenance to replace wear liners. This equates to a significant lift in overall tonnage delivered across the full operation per year, and additionally leads to a reduction in fuel and tyre usage, thereby reducing carbon emissions per tonne of ore delivered.

Austin’s Mainetrack condition monitoring software will be used to monitor the performance of all Austin trays deployed at the sites allowing wear rates to be accurately evaluated, the company said. Austin added the digital wear monitoring system to its service offering through its acquisition of Mainetec in 2022. Initially used on Mainetec’s excavator and dipper buckets, Austin has now configured it for deployment on its truck tray range.

The four trays are being manufactured in Austin’s facility in Batam, Indonesia, and are expected to be ready for delivery in the next six weeks. Austin has established a small team on the ground in India to oversee the delivery and assist with the use of the Mainetrack digital monitoring system.

The order for the four trays is expected to be completed by the end of July and will be settled ex-works Batam. The customer will organise transport from Batam to India using its own logistics system.

Austin CEO and Managing Director, David Singleton, said: “We are very excited to have this entry point into India as we continue to broaden our customer network across the Asia Pacific region. India is the world’s third largest iron ore producer, and we are pleased to have secured an order with one of the country’s major miners. It presents an important opportunity for Austin to market its customised equipment and the potential advantages it could bring the country’s iron ore sector. We also see India as a logical market expansion opportunity given our existing experience in the Australian iron ore sector.

“The Australian Government has vastly improved business access and trade opportunity with India through an elimination, reduction or phase out of tariffs, and we see a long-term future potential for Austin in this market.”

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.”