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Sandvik Rock Processing

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Business & Finance

New business goes from strength to strength

On 7 September 2001, 14 months after launching their £69 million cash bid, Metso finally received approval from the US and European competition authorities for their takeover of Svedala. However, because of a potential product monopoly, a condition of this approval was that a significant part of Svedala's crushing and screening range would have to be divested - the so-called 'remedy package' .

This package, which included several well-known Svedala crushing and screening products, as well as the company's production facilities in Svedala and Arbra in Sweden, and Chauny in France, was acquired by Sandvik Mining and Construction (SMC), who together with Sandvik Tooling and Sandvik Specialty Steels make up the Sandvik Group, one of Sweden's largest export companies with annual sales of around US$5 billion.

Already leading global suppliers of drilling, excavation and materials handling machinery for the mining and construction industries through established brands such as Sandvik Tamrock, VA-Eimco, Driltech Mission and Roxon, SMC say the products acquired fit well with their existing product range, allowing them t o offer customers a complete programme for drilling, loading, crushing, screening and conveying.

SMC's first task following the acquisition was to consolidate all their mining and quarrying products into a new product and service area called Sandvik Rock Processing. Some of the best known products in the market are now a part of the Sandvik Rock Processing range, including Hydrocone, Jawmaster and Impactmaster crushers, as well as Nordberg-designed gyratories and the latest Svedala-designed mobile crushing and screening stations. In addition, most of the experienced personnel previously responsible for Svedala's crushing and screening lines have transferred to Sandvik, ensuring a seamless continuation of business and customer service.

In the UK, Sandvik Rock Processing have established their headquarters in offices rented from Sandvik Tooling at their Torrington Avenue facility in Coventry, with parts supply effected through Sandvik's central warehouse based at Eimco's facility in Gateshead. A total of 14 sales and field service engineers have transferred to Sandvik Rock Processing from Svedala, together with UK and Ireland manager, Adam Orr, former technical manager with Svedala Ltd in Rugby.

He was faced with the challenge of getting the new operation up and running in just two weeks, in order t o begin trading on 1 October 2001. 'Sandvik Rock Processing had to be a credible competitor from the start, so getting training in place before day one and keeping our set-up costs low was crucial,' he said. 'Coventry was the logical place to base ourselves, being so close to our previous location, but we are also making savings by having parts shipped direct from Sweden to Sandvik's existing Eimco stock centre and refurbishment workshop in the North-East.'

'However, our objective is not to be a one-stop-shop, but to be good at what we are best at. We are building a structure which will make us a local organization with national and international resources, which is why we have set up service centres in Hamilton, Scotland, and Ballymena, in Northern Ireland, close to existing Hydrocone populations. And by taking on some of the best staff from Svedala, we have put together a focused and experienced team to look after the needs and interests of all our crushing and screening customers.'

In central and southern England, Hugh Glandfield and Stuart Baillie will look after crushing and screening sales, while Joanne Harding, Dave Jenkins, Paul Marshall and Robert Dewar will handle spares and service. Sales in Scotland and northern England will be the responsibility of John Duncan, with Charlie Hepburn, Graham Mitchell, John Carmichael and Gordon Anderson looking after spares and service, while in Ireland Mark Fekkes will look after sales with Billy Mclnlay and Alan Clyde responsible for service.

In their first eight weeks of trading, Sandvik Rock Processing saw sales figures climb from zero to nearly £1 million, with sales including the full range of Hydrocone secondary and tertiary variants, a JM1312 primary jaw crusher and a crawler-mounted CM 1208 jaw crusher, as well as a significant five-year repair and maintenance contract covering the complete inventory of crushing and screening equipment at Aggregate Industries' Duntilland Quarry in Scotland. This includes an S6000, two H4000s and one H3000.

Adam Orr says he is pleased the new division has made such an encouraging start and he hopes it will continue at the same pace. 'Support from the marketplace has been outstanding and these figures are cause for considerable satisfaction,' he said. 'This achievement reflects the emphasis customers place on accessibility to experienced and reliable personnel. We are able to provide a combination of proven, effective parts supply from our central warehouse in Gateshead and first-class local service and maintenance from experienced and familiar engineers.'

The company's commitment to service was put to the test recently when the main shaft on the S36 secondary crusher at Aggregate Industries' Ghyll Scaur Quarry suffered a traumatic failure. Sandvik made immediate arrangements to have the unit transported to Gateshead where it was stripped, cleaned, measured and assessed. Replacement parts arrived from Sweden within two days and the unit was returned to site, reassembled, repainted and put back into full production in under a week.

Commenting on the job, Steve Ward, quarry manager at Ghyll Scaur, said he was very grateful for Sandvik Rock Processing's quick response, and for the experience and tenacity of their service engineers. 'Sandvik Rock Processing have said that they intend making service and maintenance one of the cornerstones of their new business. This job was well done with the minimum of disruption at the quarry. They have set themselves a high standard,' he commented.

Since 1 January 2002 Sandvik Rock Processing's crushing and screening line-up has been augmented by Brøyt, BPI, Driltech Mission and Tamrock drilling and loading machines, as the former arrangement whereby these SMC products were distributed in the UK by Metso Minerals - now Sandvik Rock Processing's main competitors - was clearly no longer viable; the only exception to this being Rammer products, which will remain with Metso for a further two years owing to existing distributor agreements.

As a result of this latest change, a further five employees have transferred back t o Sandvik Rock Processing with the drilling and loading products. Mark Haywood and Peter Weinrich continue to be responsible for capital equipment and rock tools sales respectively; spare parts controller Carol Goodyer is now based in Coventry, Dave Walker remains as drill rigs service technician, and Brian Johnson continues as service technician for Brøyt loaders. Sandvik Rock Processing's service manager in
Coventry, Dave Jenkins, will be responsible for integrating crushing and screening with drilling and loading service support to make best use of all the resources now available within the UK and Ireland.

Adam Orr is confident that the expanded division will further improve the range of products and services available in the UK and Ireland. The addition of Sandvik drilling equipment means that we can now offer customers products for each major stage of the quarrying process,' he said. We are well placed to take advantage of the recent developments in down-the-hole equipment and rock tool technology, which are particularly suited to the UK and Irish markets.'

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