Austin Engineering has placed second overall and also awarded the Peoples’ Choice Award at the prestigious 2019 Swedish Steel Awards for its unique two-piece excavator bucket.
First awarded in 1999, the Swedish Steel Prize is an international award for companies, institutions and individuals in the steel industry. For 20 years it has been recognising and rewarding those that have developed a method or product that fully utilises the potential of high-strength, wear resistant and other premium steels. The 2019 competition attracted 64 entries from 23 countries around the globe.
An independent professional jury assesses the entries by considering their applicability, profitability, environmental benefits, performance, innovation and creativity.
Austin Engineering has taken a significant leap in innovation for the design and maintenance of excavator buckets. With a modular approach, they have developed an innovative concept that combines low weight with optimal use of the complete product before scrapping. The solution utilises the characteristics of high strength and wear resistant steel and has extremely low barriers for implementation.
– According to the jury
The two-piece bucket was developed and manufactured in Australia by Austin Engineering from a concept design by Supply Chain Manager Johnny Greer, following a request from a customer for a safer, linerless bucket.
The new bucket features a reusable upper section and a consumable lower segment designed for quick and safe bucket change-outs during scheduled maintenance intervals. The reusable upper section has been designed to maintain overall structural integrity of the assembly for a predetermined service life through multiple change-outs of the lower, consumable, section.
Baseline service life for the upper section service is anticipated to be in the vicinity of 30,000 hours; approximately 4-5 years based on industry expectations of conventional one-piece buckets of similar size and capacities. This could reduce total cost of ownership of the bucket by 25-30 percent.
The two-piece bucket is a game changer,” said managing director Peter Forsyth “and shows the mining industry around the world that we, as a company, have the skills and technology to design, develop and produce world class equipment.
Austin Engineering was up against some exceptional technology in this year’s competition from world leader steel fabricators including Kampang from Brazil for its feeder modules for axial grain harvesters used in soybean farming, metal solar roofs that produce electricity by Roofit Solar from Estonia, and the Shape Corporation from the US for its robust manufacturing process for 3D shaped tubes.