Prok gets ready for the future of mining

Prok Conveyor Components is entering a new phase of growth under the ownership of Nepean Conveyors.

Since taking control through its acquisition of Sandvik’s conveyor business last year, Nepean has been developing a strategy for the next expansion of the Prok business.

The transition initially focused on making the change of ownership as seamless as possible for customers to ensure minimal impact at their operations.

With the quality of Prok’s output and services maintained, Nepean has launched a long-term strategy to invest in its local production and expertise to support the Australia materials handling sector.

It has already breathed new life into Prok by providing it with access to manufacturing facilities in Mackay, Queensland and Sydney, New South Wales. Prok is also benefiting from Nepean’s sales offices in Perth, Sydney, Mackay and Indonesia.

Prok is taking advantage of these facilities to bolster the strong reputation it has built in Australia since 1948.

Its mining products, which include a range of quality rollers and pulleys commonly found on conveyors within the materials handling industry, are being equipped to support the modern-day demands of mining companies.

Prok engineering and product line manager Ray Anderson said the business would continue to specialise in products for the “future of mining” under Nepean’s guidance.

“Our team has significant experience in designing conveying solutions that are safe, reliable and enable maximum productivity levels,” Anderson said.

Prok’s mining products have an emphasis on performance and reliability. They are offered as original components or as replacements for existing systems.

A standout product is the Prokomposite roller, which Prok describes as a low-weight, low-noise innovation that delivers value when compared with competing steel rollers or general market plastic rollers.

The product is as strong as comparably-sized steel rollers and capable of carrying the same loads. It also makes 50 per cent less noise and weighs 55 per cent less than traditional steel rollers, while saving 20 per cent in costs due to easier maintenance and lower energy demands.

Prok also offers poly disc rollers that operate by utilising high-abrasion resistance and high hydrolytic stability polyurethane discs.

The poly discs avoid the build-up of material that can be deposited onto the roller surface, something that causes the roller diameter to develop an irregular worn surface and change shape.

“This is often a major cause of belt mistracking and roller shell wear,” Anderson said. “Highly effective, Prok poly disc rollers are a reliable and simple maintenance solution to this common belt conveyor problem.”

Prok has the capacity to manufacture more than 5000 pulleys a year, with assembled masses upwards of 45t. Its pulley refurbishment services team can provide significant cost savings against the purchase of a new pulley.

The business established a pulley refurbishment service to provide an original equipment manufacturer-grade service for finished product capable of meeting the same standards of design and build quality as an OEM pulley.

Anderson said the pulley refurbishment services team developed a solution for a top tier client that desperately wanted to take advantage of an unplanned outage to change-out a competitor’s pulley with a bearing fault, but couldn’t as there was no spare on site.

However, Anderson added, Prok’s refurbishment services team had a built-up pulley on hand, which was days away from being shipped.

“So, realising how important it was for the client the team had a final year apprentice work back to finish the pulley and prepare it for transport on the client’s specialised transport cradle,” Anderson said.

“By nightfall the pulley had been loaded onto a truck and the following morning it was on the road heading to site for installation.”

Anderson believes Prok’s approach to “go the extra mile” like this shows how the business makes a significant difference to its customers and why it has become known as a conveyor company the industry prefers to do business with.

Importantly for Nepean, the Prok team has embraced its new ownership and is determined to add to the reputation established by the company over the past 70 years.

Anderson said the entire workforce was united and passionate about the change and value of the Prok brand.

“The positive feedback and comments from the team has made the transition all the more rewarding. A long-term strategy in investing in local production and expertise to support local industry has been very well received from the team,” Anderson said.

With this tick of approval, Prok remains a focused player in the material handling sector that is ready to cement its place as a leading manufacturer in the Australian market.

This article also appeared in the May edition of Australian Mining. 

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