OPERATIONS

Early success for Austin hub and spoke plan

AUSTIN Engineering has entered into an agreement with Mexico-based equipment manufacturer Melter to expand Austin’s product delivery and service capabilities in the US and the northern region of South America.

Staff Reporter
Austin's plan is aimed at streamlining its logistic efforts in North America and into South America.

Austin's plan is aimed at streamlining its logistic efforts in North America and into South America.

The agreement has already delivered a contract with a world-class miner with Melter to manufacture Austin-designed truck bodies for Newmont's Peñasquito gold operations in Mexico.

Melter will also provide local support and maintenance assistance to Newmont, supported by Austin's US-based teams in Casper, Wyoming.

The Melter partnership is the latest iteration of Austin's roll out of "hub and spoke" networks in Americas to support Austin's central US manufacturing hub in Casper.

Austin is establishing "spokes" closer to significant mining areas through either setting up facilities or through partnerships and preferred supplier arrangements.

The aim is to reduce the logistics cost and complexities of delivering truck bodies over large distances. Where transport costs are high the Casper facility will provide designs and kits for local assembly to the end user facilities.

This approach is designed to improve the competitiveness of Austin's Casper facility and grow market share.

The Casper base has been further supported by the lease of 1.6 hectare site with about 2100sq.m of manufacturing space in Fort McMurray, Alberta, Canada. That makes it easier for Austin to supply the oil sands industry near there.

The hub-and-spoke approach is part of an advanced manufacturing plan Austin is deploying following the strategic review of global operations it completed in July.

That review identified several business optimisation and growth opportunities.

Austin managing director and CEO David Singleton said the Melter partnership would allow it to grow its service offering in a market where it did not have manufacturing capabilities.

"Our partnership with Melter allows Austin to competitively deliver on its contract to supply Austin-designed truck bodies to Newmont's Peñasquito operations and we look forward to growing our partnership in the future.

"We are continuing to review other potential spoke locations to support our Casper facility and delivering on our US strategy to improve on our equipment delivery logistics and reduce overall transport costs, especially into remote areas, making our product offering more cost competitive."

Melter CEO Carlos Uribe said over the past 30-plus years the company had built a completely integrated manufacturing system for high-specification metal-mechanic components and a qualified 800-strong team

 

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