Heavy-duty mining machinery specialist Ontrak Engineering has set the industry standard for the past 20 years. Born and bred in Australia, the company designs and manufactures mining machinery and equipment.
More recently, Ontrak has added services including feeder rentals and electrical engineering to its growing portfolio.
The mining downturn on local shores forced Ontrak Engineering to look across borders to help sustain its business through exports.
“Our first export customer in India was introduced to us by a local supplier with whom we have a great relationship,” says Steve Lewry, managing director for Ontrak Engineering.
“India had an emerging coal market to help service their power and electricity requirements, and we were brought on to assist with underground flameproof feeder breakers.”
Around the same time, Ontrak received an enquiry for assistance on an open cast mine in Indonesia.
“This was a new development, and to date, around 4.5 million tonnes of coal has been processed in just 12 months without any breakdowns,” he says.
Competing on an international scale
Lewry believes that relationships with business partners is vital to Ontrak’s export success.
“While the Australian labour rate is exceptionally high, we look to strong partnerships, service and adaptability to help us compete internationally.”
Part of Ontrak’s success, he says, lies in its ‘can do’ attitude: “Say you can do it and do it properly the first time.”
To enter the international realm, Ontrak Engineering took on a fierce competitor that had owned the market for over 35 years. Ontrak proved its capability to the customer by delivering a product based on good engineering practices, quality parts and backed by solid support and technical expertise.
Ontrak Engineering and Bonfiglioli – 14 Years of Partnership and Counting
Ontrak builds its business on relationships; this rings true for their suppliers as well. In 2006, Ontrak formed a relationship with Bonfiglioli.
“Initially, I was impressed by their response time and design ability to assist us in developing the perfect solution for our customers,” Lewry says.
“The relationship is built on service and trust. Their products, such as the HDO series, A-series bevel helical gearmotors and 700 series track drives, backed by their engineering and global footprint is unbeatable.”
Lewry also points to Bonfiglioli’s ability to service Ontrak’s export customers around the world due to their global presence as a great selling point.
Alex Kolc, sales engineer for Bonfiglioli, says his company’s long-standing relationship with Ontrak Engineering is invaluable.
“We work well together and always strive for customer satisfaction,” he says.
“Our companies share the same values, and this stands us in good stead.”
Locally, Bonfiglioli custom-designed a range of products to suit Ontrak’s business needs.
“We engineered an Alignment Free Drive (AFD) bell housing and low-speed hollow spline shafts in conjunction with HSS clutch coupling supplied locally,” Kolc says.
“This provides an extensive level of gearbox safety to the motor and the machine itself in case of overloading.”
This heavy-duty product has assisted Ontrak to achieve their milestones in the mining industry due to its reliability, lifespan and a nearby service facility.
“In the case of a breakdown or rushed order, gearboxes can be serviced within a matter of hours,” Kolc says.
“There aren’t many competitors in this market who can compete with this level of service.”
For the latest project, Bonfiglioli supplied the HDO series bevel helical gearbox (torque range of 28210Nm) for Ontrak’s breaker feeder drive and A90 bevel helical gearbox (torque range 14000Nm) with hydraulic motor to suit the breaker conveyor.
A 700 series track drive makes this complete feeder fully mobile for underground as well as above ground mining applications across various sites within Australia and overseas.
Thanks to this thriving partnership and their ability to deliver quickly, efficiently and within budget, Ontrak Engineering has seen an increase in export sales and the company has plans to expand its product range further.
“Bonfiglioli has been on this journey with us all the way,” Lewry says.
“You need a supplier who sticks by you through the good and bad and helps you work through those difficult moments. It isn’t always easy but it’s about how you get past the problem that helps to build a successful working relationship.”