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Maclean Engineering expands global footprint

December 1, 2010
by Norm Tollinsky
In: News with 0 Comments

Maclean Engineering, an Ontario-based underground equipment manufacturer, is expanding its footprint across Canada and overseas, and introducing several new products in response to customer needs.

In addition to its head office and manufacturing facility in Collingwood, 150 kilometres north of Toronto, and its sales, service and distribution facility in Sudbury, the company now operates customer support and service locations in Thompson, Manitoba; Val d’Or, Quebec; Creighton, Saskatchewan; and Phalaborwa, South Africa. Additional customer support and service branches are in the works for Perth, Australia, and Parys, South Africa, 110 kilometres southwest of Johannesburg.

A complementary push on the sales side has resulted in the hiring of several new business development managers in Eastern and Western Canada, and South America. The Santiago-based business development manager will be responsible for drumming up business in Chile, Peru and Brazil, while the company’s Western Canada rep will be based in Saskatoon. In Mexico, Maclean has negotiated a distribution agreement with P&H Mine Pro Services and there are also plans to hire a business development manager in Perth.

While best known for its Maclean bolter, the company also manufactures a wide selection of utility vehicles.

Its newest product, the Profile Series Utility Vehicle, or PUTV, was specifically designed to meet the unique needs of potash, platinum and phosphate mining applications. Mine management at Mosaic’s potash operations in Saskatchewan required a utility vehicle designed for speed and operator comfort “because of the distances the equipment is expected to travel,” explained Alicia Woods, director of sales for North America. Unlike most utility vehicles used in hard rock applications, the Profile Series UTV is equipped with nitrogen charged cylinders and hydraulic dampening shock absorbers for a comfortable ride.

Low headroom

To accommodate the low headroom typical of potash operations, the vehicle “has been designed for 82 inches up to the top of the ROPS/FOPS canopy, and can be lowered by a further 10 inches for potash mines that have an even lower room height,” said Woods.

The PUTV is capable of speeds of up to 17 miles per hour (27 km/h) when equipped with a Dana Clarke 20,000 Series Powershift transmission and features a front-facing operator seat.

Two units are currently operating in the field – a mechanics vehicle and a fuel/water tanker – and more are in the production pipeline.

“Initially, we’re targeting potash operations, but we’re also looking at other mines requiring faster speeds and lower profile vehicles,” said Jenna Corvinelli, the company’s Sudbury-based sales and marketing coordinator.

Maclean Engineering has also launched a new product line of MineMate Attachments for its SL-3 Scissor Lift. The first in the series is a fan handler that attaches to the deck of the scissor lift.

“It’s hard for a mine to justify spending money on a dedicated fan handler unit, so by offering this MineMate Attachment Series, it’s a lower price tag and it gives the scissor lift more versatility,” said Corvinelli.

It allows one person to safely install, remove or replace a fan, and quick connects to the scissor lift deck in 20 minutes. A pipe handler will be added to the MineMate Attachment Series in December and additional attachments for changing tires, loading anfo and applying shotcrete are under consideration.

Upgrade

The company will offer kits to customers with existing SL-3 scissor lifts to upgrade the deck to accept the attachments, but new scissor lifts will include the quick connect system, “so if a customer takes possession of a scissor lift today and a year from now wants a fan handler attachment, the deck will be able to accept it,” said Woods.

The idea for the Mine Mate Attachment Series was customer-driven.

“We saw a need for some kind of attachment to assist our customers with installing and removing fans in a safe and efficient manner,” said Woods.

“Our engineering and product management groups spend a lot of time in the field with our customers looking for issues or challenges they’re facing and working with them to provide solutions.”

Meanwhile, the company’s flagship product, the Maclean bolter, continues to flirt with new sales milestones. In March 2008, it celebrated the delivery of its 250th bolter and it’s now closing in the 300 mark.

www.macleanengineering.com

 

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