Conveyors, Transfers, Chutes, Engineering, Equipment & Technology, Mining and Heavy Industries

In conversation with Bonfiglioli

ABHR’s Charles Macdonald spoke to Malcolm Lewis and Matt Ryan of Bonfiglioli Transmission Australia about market conditions and their long time support of the Australian Bulk Handling Awards.

Gears, motors and drives specialist Bonfiglioli has poured many millions of dollars into facilities and stock in Australia in recent years, with particular focus on the heavy duty and mining market segments.

“We invested in a brand new piece of land with 10,000 square metres for a purpose-built greenfield facility,” explained Malcolm Lewis, managing director of Bonfiglioli Transmission Australia. “We designed and built our own factory, the way we wanted it, with a 12.5 tonne crane suitable for the heavy duty assemblies. So we have a great facility.”

Lewis sees the facility at Glendenning in NSW and the company’s investment in heavy gearboxes as vital to its ambitions in the sector.

“It’s a big part of our ongoing business and we want to be in that sector,” said Lewis. “If you want to be in it you have to have the stock available because when things get busy the delivery requirements of the customers are less than the time we can get it from Italy, so you have to invest in local stock of some of the big gearboxes and we have done that over the years. We have secured good customers on the back of that from the quick service we are able to give.”

Like every mining supplier, Bonfiglioli faces demanding market conditions.

Lewis described the market for power transmission products as “fierce” and Bonfiglioli’s sales manager Matt Ryan said that “the main drivers that we are seeing more and more of are cost, service, and delivery. There are few new projects out there and they are very keenly contested.”

Despite this, Ryan is hopeful that the recent uptake in iron ore and coal prices will translate to new business.

“That’s where we see the potential; commodity price rises should see production ramp up to meet demand and higher prices,” he said.

When new projects do start appearing, Bonfiglioli is well-placed to capture opportunities in the bulk handling sector, particularly around demanding high-power high-torque applications involving apron feeders and conveyors.

“That’s where we are quite fortunate as we have our planetary and our helical ranges which we can couple together to provide the higher torque capabilities,” explained Ryan.

Lewis agreed: “A speciality for us is anything low speed, it’s right up our street because we have the planetary which is ideal for that.”

Bonfiglioli is a long term supporter of the Australian Bulk Handling Awards. It is sponsoring the next event, to be held on November 24th in Sydney, as it has done since 2008.

It has also fared well in terms of winning awards. It emerged with trophies in 2011, 2014 and 2015 and was highly commended in 2008 and 2010.

Asked by ABHR about the company’s long term support of the event, Lewis said that “it’s the right time and place to showcase what we do because obviously a lot of the people that we need to get to are in the room. If they are seeing our product up in lights every year it gives them a little bit of confidence that we are a supplier that they should be looking at.”

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