Tag Archives: Perth

Austmine to offer ‘complete’ industry access to conference and exhibition

Austmine is ensuring all participants from the Australian and international resources sector can gain access to the upcoming Austmine Conference and Exhibition in Perth, Western Australia, irrespective of COVID-19 travel restrictions.

The mining equipment, technology and services industry organisation is hosting its conference and exhibition from May 25-27, with expectations it will be one of the largest gatherings of the industry since COVID-19 emerged.

Austmine CEO, Christine Gibbs Stewart, said Austmine knows how important this event is to the industry and wants to ensure everyone is able to get complete access, even in these uncertain times.

“To make sure no one misses out, if borders close in your state during the conference, we will be providing an alternate conference experience virtually that will give you access to view and engage with the conference from your home or office,” Gibbs Stewart said.

“We understand virtual attendance is not quite the same as getting to experience the in-room atmosphere and opportunity for conversation and collaboration, which is why we are giving 25% refunds to all who are pushed to join virtually due to border restrictions.

“We are, however, encouraging everyone to purchase full-access tickets to Austmine 2021 to embrace the full experience as we hear from industry experts and explore the importance of optimising our technology, processes and collaboration across the industry.

“We are really conscious of the unprecedented times we face, and although travel is opening up and restrictions are easing, we are wanting to implement a solution ahead of time should any further restrictions arise.”

More than 80 exhibiting companies will attend the 2021 conference, along with a line-up of world-class speakers, interactive workshops, educational and networking opportunities, live demonstrations, the collaborative Ideas Exchange, Meet the Miners and the Austmine Industry Leaders’ Dinner and Awards, Austmine says.

International Mining is a media sponsor of Austmine 2021

Austin Engineering lauds APAC performance as it heads for FY21 guidance hit

Austin Engineering Ltd is on track to hit its earning guidance after securing new orders for more than 100 products, including truck bodies, water tanks and buckets totalling more than A$35 million ($26 million) in revenue over the past few weeks.

This order flow supports previously announced earning guidance of an underlying net profit after tax in excess of A$9 million for its 2021 financial year (to June 30, 2021), which remains in place, Austin said.
Recent confirmed notable purchase orders received include:

  • Seventy-eight truck bodies for a large global miner in the Pilbara region of Western Australia for delivery throughout the balance of the current and next Australia financial years;
  • Twelve truck bodies for a large global mining contractor for delivery into Queensland, Australia – manufactured in Austin’s Indonesian facility;
  • Eight truck bodies for a large global gold miner in Western Australia; and
  • Three stairway access water tanks for a large global miner in Queensland, Australia – manufactured in Austin’s Indonesian facility.

Austin’s order book and committed work is now in excess of 70% of expected revenues, in line with this time in 2019, it said.

The Asia-Pacific region is outperforming expectations with key workshops in Perth and Indonesia well positioned to remain close to capacity for the balance of the financial year and beyond, the company added.

The economic environment in North and South America is less supportive than contemplated at the start of the financial year, Austin said.

“The continued backdrop of the US election and ongoing COVID-19 position in the USA appears to have impacted customer confidence in deploying capital in the short term,” it added. “Austin expects an improvement to this position, post January 2021, with annual budgets of US customers replenished on a calendar year basis, along with a completed Presidential transition. Ahead of this, Austin is currently quoting on a large volume of work in North America with decisions expected early in the third quarter (March quarter) of this financial year.”

Business conditions in South America have been similarly impacted by COVID-19, which has delayed several tender decisions for long-term supply contracts for both new equipment and repair and maintenance in Chile, Austin said. “Austin is well positioned for a number of opportunities but has seen short term softness due to the deferment of decisions,” it added.

Austin Managing Director, Peter Forsyth, said: “The Asia-Pacific region is performing exceptionally well at the moment with a strong line of sight to keeping our two large facilities in Perth and Indonesia close to capacity, and I am very happy with the level of orders and further opportunities in this region. Offsetting this strength, the Americas are currently facing challenging operating environments, and this is a product of the broader economies in those regions. I am heartened by the scale of opportunities in the US, Canada and Chile and we remain confident that the tide will begin to turn early in the New Year in these regions.”

In other innovation-focused developments, Austin said it was recently asked to provide a solution for a Canadian customer that had two key requirements when sourcing truck bodies for their operation: first, to achieve the maximum payload possible; and second, to ensure that the truck bodies would not require any maintenance before replacement.

Austin designed an ultra-light weight body that offered a substantial payload increase on previous designs with sufficient structural integrity to remain maintenance free for a shortened design life of less than two years, it said. This solution will enable the customer to achieve a lower cost per tonne and provides Austin with a more regular replacement cycle of equipment in this mine.

Safescape soars above expectations with Laddertube installation

Traditional means of escapeways have played a valuable part of the past but as the mining industry grows and innovative thinking steers the industry in a new direction, conventional designs are being replaced with systems that are built specifically for the harsh mining environment.

All mines are affected by corrosion to some degree, with Safescape Laddertube escapeways designed using polyethylene and stainless steel so they are not subject to the same corrosion issues traditional ladders face.

A fully-enclosed product, the Laddertube is not impacted by water, salt or other mineral deposits, Safescape says. It requires minimal upkeep, fits comfortably within a 1.1 m raisebore and provides for the ultimate in user safety, according to the company. To date, over 42,000 m of Safescape Laddertube has been supplied to over 120 mines across the globe.

“While the introduction of Safescape to the industry has not been without its challenges, the opportunity to work with innovative and progressive clients to provide a safer product for miners has been, in itself, rewarding,” the company said. “Additionally, Safescape has been able to work with its clients to solve challenges above and beyond day-to-day challenges.”

Following a routine inspection at a client’s mine site, a 160 m section of the site’s oldest steel ladder, extending from the old open-pit mine down into the underground workings, had been deemed unsatisfactory due to excessive corrosion. It is at this point the mine began searching for suppliers to replace the existing compromised steel ladderway. Most options were either unsuitable for the length (over 150 m of ladder) or would take up to six weeks to fabricate and deliver. As the mine was forced to close until the ladders could be replaced, a short turnaround to replace this ladder was critical.

As a supplier of escapeway ladders, Safescape is adaptable to the needs of mining companies in terms of tight delivery windows because escapeways are often installed on the critical path to production, the company said. In this case the mine was on standby until a new escapeway could be delivered and installed.

Fortunately, a similarly sized order for another Safescape customer was awaiting shipment and, therefore, the ladders were available to be delivered within days. The production team at Safescape’s Perth, Western Australia, facility worked through the weekend to replace the initial order to meet the sailing date as planned for the other customer. Safescape installers were immediately allocated to the job and mobilised to site along with the installation equipment.

The next step for the Safescape installers and the mine site was to install the Laddertube safely and efficiently. However, a further challenge for this project was that no vehicle access existed to enable delivery of the Laddertube modules into the pit.

“Sometimes to get a job done it requires thinking outside the box,” Safescape said.

Site personnel searched the country and found a helicopter that was both capable and available to lift the ladders and installation equipment into the pit. The helicopter delivered five Laddertube modules at a time into the pit for installation. While this work was going on, site personnel undertook the dangerous task of removing the compromised ladderway. They did this by undertaking a risk assessment and re-securing the old steel ladderway from top to bottom and then removing in sections, bottom up, thereby mitigating the risk of a major failure occurring during the removal process.

“During this downtime on site, all personnel involved in re-instating the ladderway worked as a well-oiled machine to deliver this incredible feat,” Safescape said. Meanwhile the rest of the site team worked to get ahead of maintenance, planning and training so that none of the time taken away from production was wasted.

The Chief Operating Officer on site commented: “This was a truly exceptional outcome and provided a classic example of the support needed from time-to-time in this industry.

“We were fortunate that the ladders were available and are relieved that Safescape were, with the assistance of their dedicated workforce, still able to meet their original order for the ladders sent to the US. It was not only the ladders that they provided but a full installation system to Australian Standards, meeting all the regulators requirements and saving further time.

“A big thanks also goes out to United Aero Helicopters, who were able to supply the helicopter required to lower all equipment and infrastructure into the pit, and to all those involved and providing support in the installation process. Nine days from order to installation complete under normal circumstances is a great effort, but under the circumstances for this job, it can only be described as fantastic.”

The Safescape team pride themselves on their ability to complete fast and safe installation of Laddertube and this situation was no exception. The Laddertube escapeway was installed safely and efficiently in nine days and site was permitted to continue with normal operation.

Schlam Engineering, DT HiLoad and The Pilbara Clean Machines unite

The Schlam Group – Schlam Engineering, DT HiLoad and The Pilbara Clean Machines (TPCM) – has been amalgamated under one name, Schlam.

The move, which will unify the three companies under the one banner, purpose and set of principles, the company says, was initiated to better to reflect Schlam’s status as a “globally relevant company wholly focused on making mining equipment more productive”, it said.

Schlam Chief Executive Officer, Ryan Schlam, said the move would provide a stable platform for future growth.

“Bringing the group together under the one name will better position us to achieve our purpose of ensuring that the customer experience is exceptional,” he said.

“How we will do this is by solving the whole of equipment maintenance and payload challenges that keep our customer’s mines from being better tomorrow than they were today.”

The new brand has been partitioned into three distinct but related divisions covering Payload Solutions, People Solutions and Engineering Solutions.

According to Ryan Schlam, the roots of the company are secured deep within the People Solutions division.

“For almost 25 years we have been providing the industry with superstars in equipment maintenance, rebuilds and shutdowns,” he said.

“Be it mechanical, electrical or fabrication, our people are ready to join your team for as long as you need them, or to bring their expertise and field equipment to your site at a moment’s notice.”

Previously known by the name DT HiLoad, the Payload Solutions division will continue to manufacture and develop products such as the Hercules and Bullant trays, and Barracuda buckets for Tier 1 clients on six continents. Hercules truck trays are currently in place on the Cat 793s at BHP’s Eastern Ridge (Newman East) operation in the Pilbara. These trucks have just started to move to autonomous mode.

Ryan Schlam says the company’s growth was only possible due to its engineering mindset and holistic view of equipment productivity.

“Engineering is at the heart of everything that we do,” he said.

“Productivity problems don’t solve themselves and our Engineering Division will give customers access to people and technology that will enable them to help them rethink and reinvent how they’re currently doing things.”

The three divisions will be headquartered at the company’s offices in Forrestfield, Perth, in Western Australia.

Worley to help sustain Alcoa of Australia’s mines, refineries and smelter

Worley says it has been awarded a three‐year services contract with Alcoa of Australia for the company’s integrated mining, refining and smelting operations.

Under the contract, Worley will provide engineering and project delivery services for Alcoa’s site‐based sustaining capital program of works.

The contract continues the existing relationship between Alcoa and Worley, and establishes Worley as the preferred engineering services provider for baseload works across the Wagerup, Pinjarra and Kwinana alumina refineries, Bunbury port terminal and the Willowdale and Huntly (pictured) bauxite mining operations in Western Australia, it said. Worley will also support Alcoa’s Portland aluminium smelter in Victoria, Australia.

The services will be executed by Worley’s Australian teams in Perth and Geelong and supported by its global integrated delivery team, the company added.

Chris Ashton, Chief Executive Officer of Worley, said: “As Australia’s leading energy services company, we are pleased to continue supporting Alcoa’s Australian operations. This portfolio is one of the largest in our mining, minerals and metals business and includes our specialist alumina, bauxite and aluminium teams.”

Austin Engineering robotic welder to boost efficiency, productivity and output

The commissioning of a custom-designed dual-arm robotic welding system at the Austin Engineering facility in Perth, Western Australia, will lift efficiency, productivity and output, the company says.

Austin said these are all benefits that “underpin the specialty customised designs the company manufactures for the mining industry worldwide”.

For more than 35 years, the company has designed and engineered unique production and maintenance equipment including dump truck bodies, excavator buckets, water tanks and tyre handlers.

“Austin-designed equipment has given their customers significantly improved productivity and increased output through designs that have enhanced the operational efficiency and availability of site production equipment,” the company said.

The new robotic welding system, along with the advantages of modern robotic welding technology, includes features to improve overall efficiency and product capabilities. A mobile gantry carrying two six-axis articulated arm robots, each interfaced with a digital pulse welding module, heads up the system. Mounted on rails, the double gantry provides 14 m of longitudinal travel and 10 m of lateral travel to service the two new side-by-side production cells. Vertical travel is 2 m.

The system includes both online and offline programming capabilities. “Whereas the previous robot could only be programmed once the component was loaded into the cell, all necessary programming can now be completed prior to the job being loaded into a production cell,” the company said.

“The online/offline programming feature, combined with the system’s laser tracking feature, increases arc time as the robot can weld without having to stop for any adjustments to the program or the job. An ‘out of position’ weld feature also maintains uninterrupted job progress.”

Geoff Collins, Operations Manager at Austin Engineering Perth, said: “When fully operational, the new system will lift efficiency, productivity and overall capability throughout the facility.”

The new robot welds marginally faster, but Collins said this is only one of the production improvements the system will deliver. He emphasised that overall improvement will be a combination of a number of productivity inputs, with the new robot able to work on all products in the Austin Engineering range (the previous robot was restricted to truck floors).

“As well, access to the latest robot welding technology and software, the two side-by-side production cells which can be loaded or unloaded without interruption to the robot’s work schedule and advance planning functionality will all add to overall productivity improvement,” Collins added.

He said the benefits to customers will come in the form of shorter lead and turnaround times. “And that should ultimately improve their operational efficiency and productivity,” Collins added.