The Swedish Steel Prize, which celebrates its 20th anniversary this year, aims to recognise the good engineering, cooperation and steel innovations that lead to a better and more sustainable world. Austin is one of the four finalists for this year’s prize, which will be awarded during a ceremony in Stockholm, Sweden on 14th November.
Austin’s two-piece mining excavator bucket uses a defined joint configuration between the upper and lower assemblies of a bucket, which allows for quick and efficient change-out during maintenance intervals. The two-piece bucket also has a modular design with inserts that can be customised to suit specific operations and easily removed and replaced if required.
“To minimise wear and increase a bucket’s lifetime some people weld liners to the inside of a bucket,” explains David Pichanick, Global Manager, Market Development & Innovation at Austin Engineering. “A few years ago, a customer approached us after an accident on the mine site, where there was a fatality due to spring back while replacing a bucket liner. The tragedy sent shockwaves through the mining industry and the customer challenged us to find a safer, liner-less bucket solution.”
The upper structure for the two-piece bucket is made from Strenx 700 steel as it is tough, easy to weld and has high strength. The lower bucket assembly is made from Hardox steel, which was chosen for its ability to withstand hard wear and tear.
“The two-piece excavator bucket is the game changer that the industry has been looking for. It will be revolutionary because it is safe and efficient,” says Pichanick. “It really is an awesome product with an unbelievable result that makes us proud to stand up and say we have made a difference to society and set a benchmark for the future.”