Innovative mining companies clean up at HMA awards

FOUR mining industry manufacturing companies received awards last week for their innovation in different areas, with Inbye, Macquarie Manufacturing, DYWIDAG and Razer Industries recognised at the Hunter Manufacturing Awards. International Longwall News spoke with some of the winners.

Angie Tomlinson

There are several thousand small, medium and large manufacturers in the Hunter, which contribute to the economic sustainability of the region; and through the sponsorship of like-minded businesses and regional bodies, HMA actively promotes manufacturing excellence through the annual awards ceremony.

Longwall mining products manufacturer Inbye said the company supplied its first complete longwall system to the $12 million longwall project at Oaky Creek. The system included a new design for a longwall armoured face conveyor, which formed a central part of the package of equipment.

Inbye’s unique longwall design for Oaky Creek Mine won the company the HMA innovative product design (medium) award.

“The project ran extremely well, met its delivery and cost targets and since commencing production in Jan 2006 has delivered excellent results for the customer,” Inbye general manager Mark O’Toole said.

“This high profile project proved to be a watershed in the development of Inbye's design and manufacture capabilities and has spearheaded the rapid growth of the business over the last 12 months.”

Another deserving winner, Macquarie Manufacturing, develops and supplies mining products for Australian mines and internationally.

Recognising the increased production rates in longwall panels and manual handling injuries, Macquarie Manufacturing designed, developed and manufactured the Rapid Advance Development Monorail System to improve safety, productivity and operating costs in the maingate development unit. The company’s efforts won it the HMA innovation in technology (medium) award.

Macquarie was able to demonstrate to the judges the success of the product through its application at Centennial Coal’s Newstan Colliery.

According to company CEO Ed McDonough, Newstan has dramatically increased its development rates, improved ventilation and cut manual handling following the installation of a services management monorail system implemented in June 2005.

“The Development Monorail System has revolutionised operation of the development section at Newstan, with future possibilities for all Australian and global mines,” he said.

Also featuring at the awards, DSI Dywidag came away with the HMA Innovation in Marketing (large) award, while Razer Industries received the HMA Innovation in Marketing (medium) award.