Tag Archives: Matt Thomas

Schlam to supply Fortescue with new Hercules EXO truck body

Schlam says it has been awarded a multi-million-dollar supply agreement with Fortescue Metals Group Limited for both its products (Schlam Payload Solutions) and services (Schlam People Solutions) divisions.

The contract will see Schlam Payload Solutions supply Fortescue with dump bodies and buckets – including the company’s newly-released Hercules EXO – while Schlam People Solutions will provide skilled on-site mechanical and fabrication services for a minimum of three years with options to extend, it said.

The agreement solidifies Schlam’s decade-long relationship with Fortescue, the company added.

Schlam Chief Executive Officer Matt Thomas said that he expected the agreement’s value to reach over A$90 million ($62.7 million).

“Fortescue will be one of the first operators to receive the Hercules EXO since its successful trial and market release,” Thomas said. “The Hercules EXO is a 240-t-class iron ore specific dump body that is 20% lighter than the company’s already class-leading Hercules. The decreased weight gives miners a greater payload potential, while a complete redesign and innovative material selection have resulted in a 100% increase in service life.”

Thomas added: “Like Schlam, Fortescue is a proud and innovative West Australian company. This relationship strengthened when we trialled a Hercules dump body suited to their fleet of 240-t-class trucks in 2018. At the time, it was the lightest 240-t body we had manufactured and, through working with innovative partners, like Fortescue, we’ve been able to develop the next generation of payload products, including the Hercules EXO.”

To date, Schlam has supplied almost 60 Hercules bodies to Fortescue’s fleet of mining trucks and will deliver a further 50 in the next financial year alone.

The agreement brings Schlam Payload Solutions and Schlam People Solutions under the same set of terms and conditions. The latter expands Schlam’s portfolio of Tier-1 clientele, for which it supplies heavy-duty mechanics, boilermakers, auto-electricians and other skilled labour.

“The agreement will underpin our journey to introduce the latest robotic technology to transform our manufacturing processes and develop a state-of-the-art advanced manufacturing facility right here in Western Australia,” Thomas said.

Schlam delivers 1,500th Hercules dump body in Australia

Schlam has now reached the milestone of manufacturing its 1,500th Hercules dump body in Australia, with the dump body in question delivered to Glencore’s Mt Owen complex in the Hunter Valley of New South Wales.

Now in its 14th incarnation, the Schlam Hercules has become the dump body of choice for many of the most significant Tier 1 operators, OEM truck builders and mining contractors in Australia, Schlam says.

Schlam Chief Executive Officer, Matt Thomas, said it was a team effort to reach this milestone.

“Our manufacturing division – Schlam Payload Solutions – is filled with some of the most dedicated and hardworking individuals I’ve ever met. And, when they work together, anything is possible.

“The pandemic and supply chain concerns have pressured our team, however, they have managed these challenges superbly while maintaining our commitment to quality and customer service.”

The first Hercules was manufactured in Australia in 2003, and it took 17 years to reach the 1,000th milestone. It took the company just 22 months to then reach the 1,500th mark.

Thomas says that long-term national supply contracts with BHP, Fortescue, Glencore, Northern Star Resources, Newmont and other significant miners mean that the Hercules is set to continue along this upward growth path.

“We are creating efficiencies in our manufacturing processes through robotics, automation and ‘LEAN thinking’ to support this growth while maintaining quality,” he said.

“We’re also growing our sales and aftersales teams, ensuring that customer service is exceptional at every step of their experience with Schlam. We pride ourselves on following our products into the field and believe this has been a critical element in our growth.

“I thank the whole team – no matter where they work in the company – for helping us reach this milestone, and I look forward to many more to come.”

Schlam offers iron ore miners higher payload potential, longer service life with Hercules EXO

Western Australia-based mining product and services supplier, Schlam, has launched the Hercules EXO, a next-generation mining dump body that, it says, offers iron ore miners both a higher payload potential and longer service life.

The Hercules EXO is a 240-t-class iron ore specific dump body that is 20% lighter than the company’s existing Hercules dump body. The decreased weight gives miners a greater payload potential, while a complete redesign and new material selection have resulted in a 100% increase in service life, according to the company.

Schlam CEO, Matt Thomas, says miners will no longer have to compromise between payload and longer service life with the arrival of the Hercules EXO.

“The Hercules EXO is an ultra-lightweight body that maximises payload without sacrificing body life or requiring the addition of wear packages,” he said. “It is the culmination of 20 years of continuous improvement and innovation wrapped into one high performance dump body.”

Schlam’s engineering department completely redesigned the previous Hercules to reduce weight in all non-wearing components.

“The team looked at the structural componentry individually to reduce weight so we can maximise steel thickness in the wearing areas, where it really matters,” Thomas said. “Using hybrid steel thickness, combined with Hardox® 500 Tuf steel from Swedish steelmaker SSAB in the wearing areas, means that the EXO has a service life more than double other lightweight options.”

The extra service life has three added benefits: cost, safety and the environment, Schlam says.

Compared with heavy-duty products on the market that use liner packages, the payload potential of the Hercules EXO is far more significant, according to the company. It also does not require the labour-intensive wear plate replacement events needed to achieve target body life.

“When you factor in stored energy, working at heights, craneage, welding and more, liner replacement is high-risk work,” Thomas said. “The Hercules EXO removes these risks making it a safer option for miners.”

The EXO project was completed in close consultation with Schlam’s customers, who revealed carbon impact is increasingly coming to the forefront of their concerns, the company said.

“It’s no secret that steel production creates a lot of carbon,” Thomas said. “However, having a dump body that uses less steel in the original manufacturing process and only needs to be replaced every eight years rather than every four has a massive net benefit on carbon production.”

Schlam books Hercules dump truck body order from BHP

Mining products and services provider, Schlam, has been awarded a multi-million-dollar national contract to supply its Hercules dump body to BHP Minerals Australia.

The tender will see Schlam continue to supply dump bodies to BHP Western Australia Iron Ore (WAIO) sites and BHP Mitsubishi Alliance (BMA) sites in Queensland and New South Wales with its world-class trays.

The contract will generate revenue in excess of A$110 million ($79 million) for Schlam, it said.

The Hercules dump body was selected due to its lightweight design and durability, according to the Western Australia-based company.

“Our engineering team was challenged by their counterparts at BHP to push the limits of the Hercules’ design to lower its already light weight and increase payload further,” Schlam CEO, Matt Thomas, said. “This resulted in the development of a new Hercules design that is 20% lighter than other already class-leading Hercules models and is maintenance-free with up to six years of service life due to steel innovations.”

The contract gives Schlam confidence to push ahead with its national and international expansion plans in both the product and service side of the business, the company said.

Thomas said the award would see Schlam transform its manufacturing processes to use the latest technology and robotics, redefining the production methodology for the business.

“We are delivering on our promise to make mining equipment more productive,” he said. “Supplying the highest quality buckets and bodies in parallel with the talent we provide through our mechanical and fabrication services division, the business is going from strength to strength. As we edge closer to the end of 2021, the outlook for Schlam has never looked better.”

Schlam to provide MEM support to Rio’s Pilbara iron ore ops

Schlam says it has been selected to sit on a panel to provide mining equipment maintenance (MEM) support for Rio Tinto Iron Ore (RTIO) across its operations in the Pilbara of Western Australia.

The company is one of three firms tasked with providing support to the major, with the three-year contract incorporating various trades, including heavy-duty mechanics, auto electricians, light vehicle mechanics, boilermakers and more.

Schlam Chief Executive Officer, Matt Thomas, said being invited to the panel was a fantastic opportunity for the company.

“Being invited to sit on this panel would not have been possible without our team putting in the hard work on-site that they have done up until now to show what we’re capable of,” he said.

“Over the past six to 12 months, our team has demonstrated a commitment to safety and quality, world-class trade skills and excellence in customer service. I thank everyone who has contributed to this win for the company and hope that it’s one of many more to come soon.”

Schlam names new CEO, CFO as it focuses on three-year growth plan

Mining products and services provider, Schlam, has appointed a new Chief Executive Officer, Matt Thomas (pictured), and new Chief Financial Officer, Ron Kurniadi. Current CEO and Founder, Ryan Schlam, will continue as Executive Director on the Schlam Board.

Thomas is an experienced CEO who has previously held similar positions with Coffey International, ASCO Group and hard-rock mineral seismic exploration company HiSeis, Schlam said.

Ryan Schlam said: “Matt brings to Schlam the capacity to lead and drive our three-year strategic plan with a heightened level of organisational governance and operational discipline. His experience building and mentoring high-performance teams, knowledge of the mining and minerals industry and a commitment to our ideology, makes him a great fit for a company on the growth trajectory such as ours.”

Kurniadi joins Schlam as CFO having gathered extensive experience from similar roles in both Australia and Southeast Asia at companies such as Clough, AGC and UGL. In his role, Kurniadi will act as Company Secretary for all Schlam entities.

Ryan Schlam said: “While Schlam already has products on six continents, we believe that to achieve our goal of being on every mine site in the world we need a CFO with international exposure and knowledge. Ron gives us this and more in spades.”

The new CEO and CFO will focus on Schlam’s three-year strategic growth plan, allowing Ryan Schlam to concentrate on efforts beyond this timeline, the company said.

“Schlam has grown from a small manufacturing business in Western Australia’s south to a company of global significance. While I am immensely proud of our achievements to date, I also believe that Matt and Ron are the right people to steer us into the future,” Ryan Schlam concluded.