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Maintaining direction in confused markets - The right maintenance

Editorial
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In an increasingly overpopulated maintenance solutions market, innovating to meet the changing needs of clients' needs is key to the success of any business. 

But becoming a strong player in the market is no easy task as com­panies tend to stick to what they know when it comes to maintenance and repair solutions.  

This is especially true in the current climate; projects are being put on hold and so is the maintenance of machinery with which to get the job done. 

However, in this increasingly competitive market, investing in education and design technology is a way many companies are finding gaps in the markets to gain new opportunities into the mining sector. 

A company in Wollongong NSW, Leussink Engineering, has done just that, ignoring the negative press over how local industry slowdowns may affect the maintenance supply chain, and instead have focused on ways to meet the needs of the mining sector head on.  

After a client came to the company, asking it to manufacture a product on an OEM arrangement, an opportunity to service the unique demands of the mining sector presented itself.  

Director and design engineer, Jason Leussink said his company was perfectly positioned to provide the attention to detail that would give clients an added competitive advantage. 

"This is a product that has never been outsourced before by this large player in the mining industry, so to give the client a level of advantage and confidence in our methods we approached the task in a different manner to what industry normally expects," Leussink said. 

"We sent two of our engineers to one of their facilities in the U.S.A to thoroughly learn the manufacturing techniques and what the requirements were.  
"This global company has factories across several countries producing their own machinery. We have since begun to machine and repair these OEM parts successfully in our factory in Wollongong, NSW," he told Ferret.  

"A lot of this particular customer's requirements are for equipment used in cutting coal out of underground mines."  

Leussink Engineering has been operating in the Wollongong region for more than three decades and has traditionally provided industries with engineering services, prototyping, emergency repair work, machining, manufacturing and welding solutions.  

With so many years experience in the maintenance game, the mining sector was the natural next step for the company, with the scope of services offered wide.  

"We target the manufacturing of new and repairing of old mining equipment used to aid in the removal of the mining resource.  

"We also target any mechanical engineering component that requires repair, modification or replacement," Leussink explained.  

While the much publicised 'end of mining boom' has the potential to slow down trade for maintenance companies, Leussink says that 'providing reliable solutions to a client's problem at affordable prices' will ensure ongoing success as clients return for solutions they know and trust.  

"There will always be the need for mining in Australia and while mechanical solutions are used to extract the resource then we believe our diverse business model, as it has in the past, should fare well through to the next cycle," he told Ferret.
  
This is increasingly likely as more operations look to keep their current equipment running rather than purchase new capital equipment.  

And with a new investment in the education and training of staff, from apprentices right through to senior engineers, Leussink said the business in just growing in strength as a result. 

"The response has been overwhelming so far. "Our mining customers are now able to explain their engineering problems and Leussink Engineering has the ability to understand their needs, re-design and simulate software engineering changes, produce revised engineering drawings and then manufacture and assemble to world best practice," he told Ferret.
  
"This allows our customers to focus on what they do best, and that is mining." 

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