Smiley Monroe: Breaking new ground
Family-run company embracing latest technology and exhibiting independently for first time at Conexpo
SMILEY Monroe will be breaking new ground in more ways than one at Conexpo-Con/Agg in Las Vegas. As well as exhibiting independently for the first time at the North America’s largest construction show, the family-run company will also be embracing the latest technology on their outdoor booth, to give visitors a truly immersive product experience.
Following success at bauma in Germany and the UK’s Hillhead show during 2016, Smiley Monroe will be showcasing their ‘endless’ conveyor belts and custom rubber parts – their core product offering for the North American market, where the company has continued to grow its exports to OEM customers in the mobile ‘portable’ equipment sector.
Vaughan Monroe, managing director and co-founder of Smiley Monroe, explained: ‘Despite all the uncertainty out there, we’re investing heavily for continued growth and anticipating an exciting year ahead.
‘I’m particularly looking forward to having conversations with our customers at Conexpo about how the US’s planned infrastructure investment will positively impact all our businesses – and with the strength of the dollar against sterling, Smiley Monroe represent even better value today to their North American customer base.
‘At Conexpo 2014, we began to explore the feasibility of a US hub and, with guidance from Invest Northern Ireland Americas, I’m happy to say that we’ll be unveiling our plans in the coming months.’
Tim Monroe, Smiley Monroe’s marketing director, said: ‘Our applications experts and experienced problem-solving engineers will be well equipped to communicate the benefits of Smiley Monroe’s product offering for the North American market, using not only physical displays, but also virtual displays comprising 3D demonstration videos, interactive product animations and a virtual reality (VR) pod. So, in the spirit of this year’s theme – ‘Imagine What’s Next’, we’re breaking new ground in our own use of technology.
‘On our booth, we’re offering visitors a more personal and immersive product experience, and, for the first time, a self-service option, which means you can choose how to interact with us. Hopefully visitors will find it hard to miss our large-scale graphic banners, proudly displaying our 2016 production numbers: 250 miles of ‘endless’ conveyor belts, the equivalent of 900 Empire State Buildings placed end to end, or 3,667 football fields.
‘We appreciate that not everyone has time to stop and talk or slip on a VR headset, and others just want to be able to explore a bit more by themselves, so on entering our booth, an iPad in each of four zones allows visitors to quickly browse our products and simply email information to themselves or share it with their colleagues.’
Chris Monroe, Smiley Monroe’s global sales director, said: ‘At Conexpo, our team will be focused on conveying to the market the unique selling points of our tried and tested core product – ‘endless’ conveyor belts. We’ll be surrounded not only by our world-class manufacturing customers, who rely on our conveyor belts and custom rubber parts, but by their customers too, whose crushing, screening, washing and recycling machines rely on our products to do a real ‘job of work’ and keep the show on the road every day.
‘A lot of our customers are in Northern Ireland, where Co. Tyrone has a highly successful cluster of quarrying equipment manufacturers accounting for a remarkably high proportion (40%) of the worldwide marketplace – that means names such as Terex, McCloskey International, Sandvik, Telestack, Edge, Maximus, Anaconda, Portafill, Tesab and CDE Global. Beyond Northern Ireland, Smiley Monroe export to European and North American OEM brands such as Keestrack, Metso, Kleemann and Astec Industries.’
In addition to producing conveyor belts and custom rubber parts, Smiley Monroe have also started supplying the environmental and road construction sectors with ‘Special’ belts – launched at bauma 2016 in Munich – having invested in new equipment and processes to customize ‘endless’ belts by adding features such as hot moulded rubber cleats, side rails and side walls to the belt’s carrying surface, to suit a customer’s specific application.
Moreover, new high-pressure presses allow Smiley Monroe to manufacture heavy-duty rubber wear liners for hoppers, which they say are exceeding customer expectations.
As part of their ‘Giants of Belting’ theme at Conexpo, inspired by Northern Ireland’s Giant’s Causeway, Smiley Monroe will be running a ‘Giant selfie’ competition to win an all-new Apple Watch Nike+. And having posed with the Giant of Belting, visitors can recharge their smartphones or tablets at the Smiley Monroe charging zone while enjoying the company’s ‘legendary’ hospitality.
Northern Ireland- and India-based Smiley Monroe are global market leaders in the production of ‘endless’ conveyor belts and custom rubber parts for the global materials processing equipment manufacturing sector, serving OEMs in seven segments: crushing, screening, recycling, washing, bulk material handling, environmental and road construction.
With almost 40 years under their belts and a passion for ‘lean manufacturing’ methods based on reducing waste across the entire business spectrum, Smiley Monroe’s reach is now global, with a new logistics hub in Lisburn for faster loading of exports to more than 40 countries worldwide – from the west of Ireland to the Midwestern US.