The Australian subsidiary of Germany's major longwall equipment manufacturer, DBT, expects to finish construction of its new Mackay workshop and offices next month. Andrew Richmond, managing director of DBT Australia, said the company's "substantial investment" in the Queensland workshop represented an investment in its future and demonstrated the group's support of the Australian market.
Richmond said DBT's Australian operations had grown considerably in recent times, despite a downturn in local coal industry investment, and the company expected continued growth.
He said the new workshop was well equipped with a 52t crane and two 10t travelling cranes. "A lot of thought has gone into the workshop and office layout with a view to expanding the facility in future within the two hectare grounds.
"We would like to highlight that the purpose of the workshop is solely to repair and overhaul DBT equipment. This will be our only focus," Richmond said. "The workshop will serve as the point at which major equipment is dismantled, assembled and commissioned. Repairs to large sub- assemblies or large repetitive jobs will be sub-contracted out to our preferred suppliers in Mackay to DBT quality standards.
"Our intention is to build up a highly skilled factory workforce which concentrates on only DBT equipment and in particular the key technical areas of the equipment."
Richmond said a recent overhaul of key staff responsibilities within DBT had been completed with this year's focus on after-sales business substantially in mind. Business units had been established to concentrate on product and cost centres within the Australian organisation and to enable the company to efficiently measure the "true performance" of each of its activity areas.
Kim Eglin has been appointed to the new role of group manager - after sales, with responsibility for repairs, overhauls and spare parts, while Wolfgang Meier has been seconded to Australia for up to three years to help develop the Queensland service team. Previously in charge of DBT's global service activities, Meier will work closely with DBT Australia's George McClymont and will carry the title, senior manager service.
Richmond said two other German service engineers with extensive experience in Australia would also be joining the company's service team.
Another new DBT Australia division, account management, is being headed up by Tim Clarke, who is now group manager of the division. Phil Vignes has transferred from DBT Australia's Rooty Hill headquarters, in Sydney, to Mackay to manage the new workshop, while Peter Forshaw has joined the company as manager of Rooty Hill workshop electrohydraulic service activities.