We speak to Eric Green, General Manager of Mining at Hitachi Construction Machinery Australia, about the company’s mission, values and business developments
Writer: Marcus Kääpä | Project Manager: Thomas Arnold
“The industry has evolved over the years. Looking back to the mining contracting space in the 1980s, the largest piece of equipment you would work with was around a 50-tonne truck along with a matching excavator or shovel. Today, the sector in Australia has ramped up tremendously.”
For Eric Green, General Manager of Mining at Hitachi Construction Machinery Australia (HCA), the growth of the country’s mining equipment and contracting space has matched, and in many cases led, the fast pace of globalisation over the past four decades. HCA is a subsidiary of the globally renowned Hitachi Construction Machinery (Hitachi), in turn part of the internationally spanning Hitachi Group.
For 20 years, HCA has been at the centre of facilitating mining operations across Australia, providing customers with high quality mining, earthmoving, material handling equipment and aftersales product support, having built a reputation founded on the reliability of Hitachi products.
“This supportive maintenance and ongoing product support is a key aspect of HCA,” Green tells us. “We have a national network of 23 company-owned branches, equipped with service and parts facilities.
Across these branches, our factory-trained technicians provide maintenance, repair work and field service for onsite support.
“For decades, we have serviced the mining, construction, recycling, forestry and quarrying industries, providing solutions underpinned by reliability and our overarching vision of ‘total customer satisfaction’.”
HCA embodies a safety-first culture in which the welfare of staff, customers and the end-users of machinery takes priority over everything else.
“We keep promises and aim to be an industry leader, providing true value to our customers,” Green says. “Our goal is to strive for and achieve total customer satisfaction; our promise is to be the best solutions partner.”
“Our goal is to strive for and achieve total customer satisfaction. Our promise is to be the best solutions partner”
LEADING THE WAY
HCA has grown since Green joined in 2001. At that time, the company had a total of around 700 staff, a number that has risen to 1,250 across the whole country today.
“We are based in every major city and territory in Australia. Additionally, we operate three parts distribution centres and customers are also supported by our 24/7 Customer Support Centre, specialising in parts ordering and processing,” Green informs us. “To further support our customer base, we operate three re-manufacturing facilities to recycle components, providing customers with an exchange service. All components are remanufactured to OEM specification and the scope of work is supported by warranty. This gives our customers product confidence at a reduced cost compared to new replacement. With our stock holding, it is an almost instant replacement option.”
HCA has in excess of 200 field service staff who venture out to customer sites tasked with diagnosing, repairing, and maintaining equipment. This efficiency and support sits at the heart of HCA, alongside its innovative nature as a company that utilises the latest technology in the field.
HCA makes use of the Wenco International Mining Systems’ (Wenco) fleet management system, a product designed to redefine mine standards of productivity and efficiency, through managing hauling, loading, tracking progress and providing an insight to help users realise the value of an operation.
Wenco is a Canadian based technology company that manufactures, develops, and distributes computer systems to manage and control surface mining equipment. They are a provider of fleet management, asset health, machine guidance, and industrial safety technology to the mining sector.
“Wenco helps us gain the maximum benefit and utilisation out of our operations,” Green tells us. “They have also helped us branch further into the realm of data management regarding machine health. The capture and use of data, and ability to analyse such data, has become an invaluable aspect of our business.
“And on top of this, Wenco is vital in Hitachi’s movement towards autonomous haul truck systems.”
“We keep promises and aim to be an industry leader, providing true value to our customers”
WORKING WITH THE COMMUNITY
Where reliability and innovation stand as two key pillars of the company, the third core component of HCA’s mission exists beyond the business itself.
Corporate social responsibility is a key principle in the wider Hitachi Group’s operating strategy, to enhance the synergy between society and business.
“We are proud to be actively involved in the communities that we share in our national network, making a difference through our support in healthcare, education and societal connectedness,” Green continues. “We commit to enriching communities toward improved and sustainable futures though our support of The Humpty Dumpty Foundation, Roy Hill Community Foundation, Clontarf Foundation and Beyond Blue, Cancer Research as well as university internships.”
The Humpty Dumpty Foundation provides a means for hospitals to donate much needed medical equipment to paediatric wards across Australia. HCA is proud to partner with The Humpty Dumpty Foundation and provide positive contributions to the communities in which it operates. Since 2012, HCA has had the privilege of donating more than 142 pieces of equipment valued at over $800,000 to paediatric units nationally, to help improve the lives and outcomes of children in hospital and their families.
Western Australia’s Pilbara Region shares a great business mining partnership with Hitachi, which Hitachi extends to support its community. In 2015, Hitachi proudly became one of The Roy Hill Community Foundation Inaugural Partners, whose mission is to provide lasting outcomes for indigenous communities through delivering technology in medical care, better futures through education and mentoring, and supporting indigenous arts and culture.
“Collectively, HCA’s policies and initiatives contribute to ensure we leave the world a better place for future generations”
Hitachi is also committed to reducing the environmental impact of its day-to-day business activities, to help leave the world in a better place. This includes steps to decrease energy usage, minimise the burden on landfill, increase the fuel efficiency of its machines and offset the effects of company emissions. For almost 10 years, Hitachi has been investing inbiodiversification initiatives, offsetting over 38,000 tonnes of CO2 produced from its fleet vehicles, business travel and national energy consumption.
“Our branch facilities are fitted with energy efficient installations including LED lighting, rainwater harvesting and solar power at selected sites,” Green states proudly. “The introduction of fuel-efficient vehicles ensures that our fleet runs with minimal emissions. Additionally, improved waste management and recycling practices together help reduce our carbon footprint.
“Our Reman facilities offer cost saving options on quality components. With the added benefit of saving on materials, production resources and environmental burden, Hitachi’s Reman facilities have the capability to remanufacture used components to OEM specifications. Collectively, HCA’s policies and initiatives contribute to ensure we leave the world a better place for future generations.”
Looking ahead to the future, HCA is focusing on two main areas of development. The first is to continue prioritising the safety and wellbeing of its employees, and working on the efficiencies within the company to provide total customer satisfaction.
Secondly, HCA is working on new product development, including the increasingly expanding area of alternative and renewable energy. Highlighting its own recognition of the mining industry’s impact on the environment, electric vehicles (EVs) and trucks fuelled by batteries are an aspect of operation that is on the cards for the company.
“That reality is an area of development for our mining market,” says Green. “Hitachi is well aware of environmental concerns and is driven to help limit negative impacts. We are currently working with multiple partners to facilitate an electrified future.”
Fuelled by this recognition of a need for sustainable means of operation, HCA exists as a key leader in making the mining industry of Australia more environmentally friendly. While it holds these aims, the core of the company will remain focused and unwavering in its dedication to reliability, innovation and safety above all else.