Product development new focus for DSI

NEWCASTLE-based roof bolt manufacturer DYWIDAG-Systems International will establish a dedicated product design and development team and expand local production as part of a company restructure.
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Derek Hird

Lou Caruana

Part of the program is a realignment of the company’s management team which will see the engineering team divested of its non-core activities, freeing up design staff and resources to concentrate on developing new products.

The decision to proceed with the new program is based on national and international research, customer consultation and a strong commitment to the local mining and construction sectors, DSI chief executive officer Derek Hird said.

“Like most suppliers in the sector we are seeing some softening,” he said. “But that’s no reason to stop planning and investing. The mining industry has been flat before and will, no doubt, be flat again as the business cycle ebbs and flows but we have a good business with products that are respected in the market place and we intend to keep supporting our customers.

“One of our goals with this new structure is working smarter. We know that goal also applies to our customers as they too grapple with the perennial cost versus profit equation.”

Hird emphasised the need for DSI to work with customers to help them achieve better levels of efficiency and says the key focus will be on the new R&D team.

“We are looking to develop products that will give our customers a productivity and profit edge. To do that we will need to supply new products that can be manufactured efficiently – which will mean us working smarter,” he said.

New technology and equipment are an important part of the plan. New hydraulic presses, along with purpose-built design and manufacturing technology, are on the way to the company’s Newcastle factory.

Hird said the mining-oriented product mix is changing but sees that as a positive for the industry and his company.

“The industry is dynamic,” he said. “Demands for new products are driving research which, in turn, delivers better products.”

In the coal sector, stress corrosion issues are becoming increasingly important along with long tendon support products. The demands by the hard rock miners are around dynamic support.

Hird is a great advocate for local manufacturing. Well aware of the potential for imported products, his mantra is consistent quality.

“We are making a big investment with an underlying theme of quality for our customers,” he said.

“We have gone for what we believe to be the best equipment. Our feedstock is carefully sourced. We have an enthusiastic and well-trained workforce. We are consistently producing quality products that are standing the test of time.”