Australia has been a focus of Rema Tip Top’s growth aspirations in recent years, a strategy the company plans to maintain with its latest solution for conveyor systems.
Bauma may be staged a long way from Australia but the message Rema Tip Top conveyed at the 2019 event directly supported its strategy in the country’s mining industry.
Rema Tip Top presented its system for digital, proactive monitoring and maintenance of conveyor systems at the trade fair, a modern sensor technology known as Rema MCube.
The system focuses on the cycle of ‘monitor, maintain and manage’ to help mining companies and other operators prolong the lifetime of conveyor belts.
Rema Tip Top supported MCube with the associated CCube software, which delivers reporting based on the ‘command, control and communicate’ phases.
Karsten Bartnicki, Rema Tip Top Australia chief executive officer, says the solutions exhibited at Bauma reflect the direction the company is taking in Australian mining with some of the country’s leading companies in iron ore and coal.
“Our smart solutions across the conveyor provide valuable performance data so we can strategically plan maintenance activities and schedules with our clients to get the most out of their equipment,” Bartnicki tells Australian Mining on the sidelines at Bauma in April.
“When we bring this new product innovation to the table with our Australian clients the surprising response is that we are more than a service provider but also a solution provider.”
The digital and cloud-based monitoring enables operators to detect and eliminate critical loads at an early stage to prevent belt damage.
In addition to the service life of the material, Rema Tip Top believes productivity can also be increased through this process.
With Rema MCube, downtime caused by unexpected damages such as longitudinal rips can be significantly reduced.
Rema Tip Top aims to limit the length of the damage and perform repairs within a reasonable period through fast, automatic shutdowns.
The company views this approach as a decisive factor in securing availability and productivity of the entire conveyor system.
Bartnicki, who grew up in Germany, but has worked intimately with the Australian mining industry for many years, was appointed as Australian CEO last year.
He says Rema Tip Top will continue to provide Australian miners with initiatives like MCube under his watch, an approach focused on innovation that has progressed since the company’s acquisition of ConvaTech three years ago.
Bartnicki says data and analytics are an instrumental part of the solution Rema Tip Top offers in this way.
“This is our approach and the next business step for us,” Bartnicki says. “Our clients have the same idea. There is already an expectation to create smart plants.
“We provide smart solutions for conveyors and then help them optimise these systems to increase their productivity.”
Rema Tip Top is combining its technology initiatives with a focus on developing the company’s people to complement this direction.
The company has around 500 permanent employees in Australia, a number that ramps up significantly with contractors or casual workers during shutdown events.
To develop its next generation of workers, Rema Tip Top has introduced a training academy that is being rolled out across Australia.
The first crop of Rema Tip Top trainee belt splicers graduated from the program in October last year and were mobilised to a customer site in the Pilbara, Western Australia to work alongside experienced mentors.
A second group of trainees started the program in mid-January in Western Australia, followed by a third intake on the east coast, with further courses planned throughout 2019 across the country.
Rema Tip Top Asia Pacific chief executive officer Benedikt Schneider believes the focus on technology and people will drive the company’s culture in the region.
“That’s what we are building at the moment, a culture. It is a Rema Tip Top culture, but also an Australian culture, and that combination is important,” Schneider tells Australian Mining.
“We are striving to be an employer of choice which is key in attracting people, especially the next generation workforce. That’s an exciting challenge for a modern business.”
Schneider says diversifying and attracting new talent will be essential for Rema Tip Top as it pursues growth opportunities in the Asia Pacific region.
“Mining is our core focus, but there is also a place for different and emerging industries to benefit from our products and innovations,” Schneider concludes.
This article also appears in the June edition of Australian Mining.