AllightSykes pumps up its people to generate success


Gus Elliot (left) and Marcus West (right) walk the new production lines.

AllightSykes has transformed into a well-oiled machine both internally and externally in 2021, a transition complemented by upgrades to its range of lights, pumps and generators. 

After a company-wide culture survey towards the end of 2020, AllightSykes has focused on becoming an energising place to work and do business with.

From the survey feedback, a burst of new initiatives were born, allowing the company to outgrow its pre-pandemic position.

AllightSykes general manager of people, culture and safety Danielle Smith says the company is seeing a change with a renewed focus on its most important element – its people. 

“It’s been an evolution. In 2019, we did a similar company evaluation, and the outputs to support the feedback were focussed around the financials,” Smith tells Australian Mining. 

“This was a positive step forward, but what we learnt in the 2020 cultural survey feedback is our people’s focus had changed, and we needed to adapt our approach again.  

“It all came back to a real hearts and minds concept of valuing the whole person, instead of just seeing them as a vehicle to make the company successful. I’m a big believer that the former will lead to the latter.” 

Many AllightSykes employees celebrated
10 years of service in 2021.

From this ethos, ENERGISE was developed as the company’s latest employee value proposition.

The theme asks AllightSykes employees what they can do and what their team can do to deliver their best work every day, and feel satisfied that they had a positive impact. AllightSykes chief executive officer Gus Elliot says he wants every one of his employees to understand their own place in the wider company.

“If I know how I’m contributing then it should give me an improved sense of energy rather than simply coming to work to grind the stone and return home to my family,” Elliot says. 

“The feedback we received from the business in our previous cultural surveys indicated there was a desire for more information and regular communications around where we are headed. So, it’s become a vision for the business to allow everyone to understand their contribution.”

The cultural survey in 2020 came at a time when AllightSykes was adrift in the same position as many Australian businesses – forced to let staff go amid COVID-19.

Elliot says the company is now striving to show current and potential employees that the business is well recovered from these difficulties, with the pipeline to prove it. 

“We like to reinforce a message of ‘show me, don’t tell me’,” he says. 

“For example, we show our customers and our staff that the future is good. We’re doing this by winning the work that we are, having the inventory and the people, support and training all available to enable our teams to be successful. 

“This year, compared with the same time last year, we have three times the work in hand, so we’re able to show that the future for all of our people is bright.”

SmartGen lighting tower controllers up the ante on Gen3 lighting towers.

To accommodate a bright future of happy customers and a strong mining industry, AllightSykes has developed new products like its Gen3 light tower. 

The Gen3 builds upon the previous generation with a move to a new SmartGen lighting tower control panel. 

AllightSykes operations manager for light and power Marcus West explains how this allows for better communications and increased productivity. 

“This is about moving from our existing technology to being more in line with what you’re going to see in the future,” West says. 

“The addition of ModBus support means you’ve got the opportunity to read and write data to the machine, giving you the ability to leverage information for several functions.”

These functions include position monitoring, condition monitoring and fuel consumption. West highlights the benefit of remote monitoring on a lighting tower.

“Instead of having a service technician performing periodic check-ups, customers can be told remotely whether there is a fault or the machine needs refuelling,” he says.

“This is particularly important if they have a lot of these individual assets on site. You can actually use the data to better schedule maintenance activities.”

AllightSykes’ third generation lighting tower allows integration with any number of systems across a mine site. 

Additionally, West says a big change in the latest model allows for easier maintenance owing to its improved design. 

“Our old controller wasn’t field serviceable – if you had a failure, you removed it, installed a new one and disposed of the old,” he says.

“On this new model, if there is a failure within the controller, you can replace the component instead of replacing the entire unit.”

This extends to the light itself too. The Gen3’s light fittings have serviceable components that can be interchanged if a failure occurs, assuring those long nights on a mine site are constantly well lit. 

This is one of many significant changes for AllightSykes’ lighting towers, according to West. 

“From a performance point of view, we’ve gone from the standard HyperLume at 300 watts (28,000 lumens) to the 450-watt light fitting for 60,000 lumens per light,” he says.

“We can put up to eight lights on a tower depending on the customer’s request for a total of up to 480,000 lumens, which is best in class.”

To ensure these towers and all other AllightSykes products can be rolled out as fast as possible, the company has optimised its production line. 

The reconfiguration allows for better working conditions for those in the factory – thanks to a people-first approach – and faster lead times for AllightSykes customers. 

“Instead of a single production line we’ve built two parallel production lines based on the Toyota production system principles. These are organised in such a way as to make the production process visual for ease of performance monitoring, and assisting in work standardisation to enable in-process quality checks,” West says.

“On top of this, we’re working on some further developments in our production controls by presenting data to the production team on screens for them to optimise their work flow. This has the added benefit of reducing our reliance on paper.

“This leverages our theme of connectivity and communication across the company.”

WA Kaolin can vouch for AllightSykes’ reliable lead times after it received three P550 generators in three months from first enquiry to final tests. 

The emerging miner is developing its Wickepin kaolin project 220 kilometres southeast of Perth and these generators helped it progress stage one. 

WA Kaolin chief executive officer Andrew Sorensen says the company is putting in a renewable package at the project next year.

“Just what that looks like we’re not sure yet. So we really wanted to get our load established using the generators to understand our needs and right-size the renewable package,” Sorensen says.

“It was far easier for us to install the right amount of those technologies once a load profile is known and understood using the AllightSykes generators.”

Three FG Wilson P550 generators at WA Kaolin’s Wickepin project.

The operation will require approximately 700kVA (thousand-volt-ampere) and the three synchronised generators will comfortably cater to this using a lead-lag setup. 

Sorensen says he had heard great things about AllightSykes’ offering from across the Western Australian mining industry. 

“They’re a very strong unit with a lot of experience serving other major miners and during our acceptance testing the generators performed very well,” he says

“We called these major miners and the overarching response was the reliability of the units. The backup and availability of servicing of parts from AllightSykes was also a key consideration for us.”

On the pumps side of the business, AllightSykes is constantly evolving in conjunction with the mines it serves. 

General manager of pumps Glen Priestley says AllightSykes caters to a range of requirements from some of Australia’s leading mining companies. 

“AllightSykes is a leader in the design of hydraulic pumps for specific mining applications,” Priestley says.

“Our new models such as the upcoming XH250 are working on pumping higher flow at higher heads to grow with mines as they develop.”

To understand the specific needs of each mining environment, AllightSykes prides itself on being one worldwide entity with no barriers between countries. 

This allows for faster communication both internally and with customers for optimised service and product development. 

“I think the biggest thing that sets us apart is that we are a one-stop shop globally. We don’t have all kinds of businesses for each country, so we can provide for bigger customers consistently across their operations,” Priestley says.

“This affords us and our customers the ability to engage effectively on all levels. Whether it’s engineering, supply chain, executive or sales, we have a capable group of people which work together across the world.”

It would seem every business unit at AllightSykes finds synergies between its own people and with the people it serves. 

Whether one is in the market for pumps, lights, generators or a fulfilling place to work, AllightSykes has all bases covered.  

This article appears in the December issue of Australian Mining. 

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