Austin's African partnership

AUSTRALIA-based Austin Engineering has signed a partnership agreement with South African company Engineering Top Tech that will give it manufacturing, sales and support in the African market.
Austin's African partnership Austin's African partnership Austin's African partnership Austin's African partnership Austin's African partnership

An ETT float.

The deal also gives Austin access to some handy products it can sell into other markets too.

Austin Engineering global manager market development & innovation David Pichanick said ETT had good manufacturing capability out of Richards Bay in South Africa.

"The most important thing is they have a sales and support team on the ground," he said.

It gives Austin a capability in Africa it did not have before.

ETT also has a range of products that Pichanick is keen to sell into other markets.

One is an underground ejector body that he sees as a good expansion opportunity for Austin.

While Austin does have an underground truck body, the company is much better known for its surface mining offerings.

However, growing its underground offering is growing as a priority for the company.

One example Pichanick  cites is the company's South American copper mine customers starting taking their massive surface operations underground.

Adding the ETT underground offering to Austin's own underground product will help it there.

ETT also has a lube truck offering Pichanick sees merit in.

He said Austin used to have its own lube truck offering, however, its dump bodies business overtook it.

Then there is the 360t float that ETT and Austin are developing for an Australian customer.

"The US market is requesting we also have a float," Pichanick said.

"They are also working on a rope shovel dipper."

Pichanick said it was nice to find a good partner.

"In this industry if you do the right thing and continue to add value, things usually go the right way," he said.

"We both have very similar cultures.

"We want people who add value to our product lines.

"They really understand steel and how to get the most out of it."
Pichanick said the process of choosing a partner in Africa had been a long and careful one.

He said the other partners Austin had considered had been fabricators, whereas ETT was an engineering house.

ETT managing director Andre McDuling said ETT's manufacturing and innovation record, as well as its strong presence and product supply into Africa, were key reasons why the partnership was formed.

"We are confident that the industry is ready for a partnership like this that will provide the widest range of mining attachments and support products in the world," he said.