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The Big Show

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The world’s largest working quarry show gets bigger and better. Quarry Management reports

Hillhead 2012 (June 19-21) was the fifteenth live demonstration show to be held at Tarmac’s Hillhead Quarry, near Buxton, Derbyshire. And with a record 459 exhibitors, not to mention a larger Registration Pavilion and additional outdoor plots within the showground, this year’s event, as one visitor best described it, had ‘more live demonstrations, more plant and equipment, and more exhibitors than ever before’. 

At the international trade show all sectors of the mineral products and construction industries, including quarrying, mining, recycling, concrete, asphalt and materials handling, were brought together giving the thousands of visitors from around the world a unique opportunity to see the latest plant, equipment, systems and services on static display and/or live demonstration. 

With outdoor stand space and demo areas fully booked and occupied, Hillhead 2012, as expected, was jam packed with new product and service launches, as well as key announcements throughout the three-day event. 

Size matters

Hillhead has always been, and continues to be, a highly popular showcase event where the main business of the day is the promotion of the exhibitors’ latest plant, equipment and services to a high-calibre international audience. A total of 17,083 visitors attended Hillhead 2012 compared with 15,500 in 2010, representing a 10% growth in attendance from the last show.  

The days (or weeks) prior to Hillhead 2012 had not been the best in weather terms, with heavy rain, thunderstorms and strong winds causing havoc across much of the country. Fortunately, exhibitors and visitors were blessed with some sunshine and mild temperatures on the opening day of the show.

Regular attendees may have noticed that at this year’s Hillhead, long-standing supporters of the show, most notably Finning/Caterpillar and Komatsu, made a welcome return to the event after an absence in 2010. 

Finning in particular made an eye-catching return with their ‘Trusted by Experts’ stand showcasing the UK’s first new Caterpillar 6030 mining hydraulic excavator to appear in public. Towering over other exhibits, the huge 300-tonne machine formed the centrepiece of a highly successful, new-look stand for Finning, incorporating customer experience zones, seminars, new machines and the official public launch of the ‘Finsight’ monitoring service designed to reduce unscheduled downtime, increase productivity and minimize the cost of repair. Expressing her delight at the show, Alex Andrews, marketing development manager at Finning UK, said the company had picked up 1,000 leads on day one and even more on day two. ‘It was a very good show,’ she commented. ‘The footflow on our stand on the middle day alone was about what we had expected for all three days! There were also a lot more international visitors than we had anticipated.’ 

Alex added that a lot of interest had been shown in the Cat 777G rigid dumptruck and the 300-tonne 6030 excavator, with some visitors queuing for up to an hour and a half for a chance to climb aboard the latter.  

Another attention-grabbing exhibit on show was specialist contractors AR Demolition’s Volvo EC700 high-reach demolition rig, which has been employed to carry out its first duties for Aggregate Industries at Croft Quarry in Leicestershire. The 100-tonne, 40m high machine complete with shear and grab attachments will be dismantling an on-site rail-loading facility comprising storage bins, feed hoppers and conveyors over a five-week period. 

Andrew Thompson, director of AR Demolition, said exhibiting at Hillhead provides businesses with an important platform to get their products and services into the quarrying market. ‘Having worked for construction firms for a number of years, we recently decided to change our business strategy and refocus much of our work with companies in the quarrying industry,’ he explained. ‘Hillhead gives us the perfect opportunity to promote our site-clearance expertise and services to the aggregates sector, which is why we came to the show, and the response since day one has been excellent with the potential to gain more work from new customers.’

Aside from business, Mr Thompson also shares the quarrying industry’s drive and firm stance on delivering health and safety best practice. ‘We always put safety first at AR Demolition, so I fully admire and endorse the industry’s ongoing commitment and success in improving health and safety standards in the workplace,’ he continued. ‘At the show we wanted to demonstrate our commitment to contractor safety on our stand, and there is simply no better event to convey this message to customers, whether new or old, than Hillhead.’ 

With contractor safety being a key industry priority, Hillhead 2012, fittingly, saw the launch of the MPA’s ‘Safer by Partnership’ initiative for members and their contractors to work more closely together to reduce contractor injuries and the incidence of ill health, and ultimately, achieve the target of Zero Harm.

Nigel Jackson, chief executive of the MPA, commented: ‘Members need to be able to demonstrate contractors’ and sub-contractors’ competence with the same degree of rigour as if the contractors were directly employed.  It is in recognition of the key role that contractors play in the achievement of Zero Harm, that we have developed and launched Safer by Partnership.’

Open for business

Sunshine and mild temperatures continued right through to the middle day of the event (Wednesday), and the general consensus by the end of the afternoon was that many exhibitors were reporting lots of potential business activity on their stands, none more so than Sandvik Construction who had no fewer than eight new items of equipment on display and demonstration. These included: a QH331 mobile cone crusher; QJ241 compact tracked jaw crusher; UJ440i jaw crusher unit; and WR screening media. 

Duncan McGregor, president production area, breakers & mobile crushers and screens for Sandvik Construction, said he was extremely pleased to be exhibiting at Hillhead once again. ‘The show is a significant event for our mobile screening and crushing range as we see it as a major platform for launching new products to customers from around the world,’ he explained. 

Kimberley Page, senior marketing co-ordinator for Sandvik Construction, also confirmed that the company’s stand attracted nearly 3,000 visitors during the show. ‘The response to our products and aftermarket developments has been immense,’ she said. ‘Our stand has been busy all day, every day – Hillhead 2012 is probably our busiest ever show.’

Co-exhibitors Total Bitumen and Total Lubricants also enjoyed a hive of activity on their shared stand. Demonstrating their ‘green’ credentials to new and existing customers, Total Bitumen showcased a wide range of asphalt products, including Azalt Eco2, a paving-grade bitumen designed for the production of warm-mix asphalt concrete; and Styrelf, which has proven to be one of the best performing polymer modified binders in the market following a long-term European study. 

‘Once again we’ve had a very successful and rewarding show,’ said John Tuite, sales manager for Total Bitumen UK. ‘With the lubricants side of the business exhibiting, along with the promotion of our heavy fuel oil segment, we have created a one-stop shop stand for visitors where we can discuss a broad range of energy issues on how Total can help meet their current/future business needs.’

Echoing Mr Tuite’s sentiments was David Udall, key account manager for the industrial lubricants division at Total UK Ltd. ‘We’ve had extremely positive feedback from prospective customers, especially on our Concept TP Star lubricant oils – Star Max FE 10W-30 and Star Max Trans 80W-110 – both of which have been designed to help off-road vehicles improve fuel economy and reduce carbon emissions,’ he commented.

‘Not only that, we are delighted with the location of our plot as it continues to attract a large number of visitors to the stand, particularly on the first day of the show. As a result, we have some very important leads to follow up which will, hopefully, help us make further inroads into the UK and Ireland lubricants market.’

Likewise Peter Mayr, managing director of Liebherr-Great Britain Ltd, described Hillhead 2012 as the best ever, particularly in terms of the quality of visitors. ‘The show has gone really well,’ he said. ‘We had a lot of enquiries about our new TA 230 Litronic articulated dumptruck and the new Mobilmix 2.5 concrete batching plant. More than a dozen orders for new machines were taken at the show – some of them quite unexpectedly – and we have a lot of other enquiries to follow up.’

Atlas Copco said their 20+ stand staff were completely overwhelmed at times during the show. According to Lucy Welsby, marketing & communications manager – mining, the stand was particularly busy on the middle day of the show but still experienced keen interest during the wet and windy spell of weather on the morning of the final day. ‘We generated around 400 leads from the first two days alone and arranged three or four customer demonstrations for our large MG MultiGrapple,’ she commented. ‘Although Wednesday was the busiest day, visitor numbers were still good on the Thursday, even in the rain.’   

Con Gallagher, sales and marketing director for Northern Ireland-based Anaconda Equipment International Ltd, manufacturers of mobile screening and conveying equipment, was also very pleased with the way the show panned out. ‘Although the quality of the visitors on the first day was very good, we didn’t think the numbers were particularly spectacular,’ he said. ‘But the next day there was a huge explosion in visitors, including many from overseas. Many came from as far afield as Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and South America, some of whom we already knew, as well as lots of others who we were not aware of.’ 

Action stations!

As always at Hillhead, the main attraction for many visitors is the multitude of equipment on live display in the showground’s three working demonstration areas, and this year there was certainly no shortage of machinery taking part in the action. Nowhere was this more evident than in the ever expanding quarry face area where around two dozen of the latest wheel loaders, hydraulic excavators and dumptrucks from all the major manufacturers, plus various other items of machinery and equipment, were put through their paces in front of an enthralled audience.

Situated at the heart of the action and carrying out primary separation duties in the face area was a 500 tonnes/h Hercules HT182M mobile trommel screen from Stelex. It was fed with run of quarry material by a Komatsu PC700LC excavator which was recovering material extracted from the freshly blasted rock pile by a Liebherr R 974 C Litronic operating on the upper bench. Meanwhile, down below on the quarry floor, various loaders and haulers were going about their duties, demonstrating their capabilities and carrying material to the other demonstration areas for further processing.

Wheel loaders taking part in the action included, among others, a Case 1021F, a Doosan DL450-3, a Hyundai HL780-9, a JCB 457, a Liebherr 586, a Komatsu WA470, a New Holland W300C and a Volvo L120G. Hydraulic excavators working in the demo area included a Case CX370C, a Hyundai R520LC-9A, a JCB JS360, a Komatsu PC350, a New Holland E385C and a Volvo EC360C. Hauling demonstrations were provided by a range of articulated dumptrucks including Bell B30D and B40D models, a Doosan DA40, a Komatsu HM400-3 and a Volvo A40F. Also making regular appearances in the face area was one of Scottish Coal’s Terex TR100 rigid dumptrucks equipped with an ASL360 all-round vision system.

At the opposite end of the showground, various JCB machines, including a 436E front-end loader, a 531-70 telehandler, JS220 and 290 excavators, a 722 ADT and a 260 PowerBoom skid-steer, were engaged in their own demonstration routines as well as helping out in the recycling demonstration area, where tasks included feeding a Hammel VB950DK waste shredder and a Maximus 516 triple-deck screener.

Other machinery and equipment taking part in the action in the recycling demonstration area included the brand new Terex Finlay I100 mobile impactor, which will be available for delivery later this year. This was working alongside a Terex Finlay J1170 mobile jaw with hydraulic release mechanism specially designed to deal with the vagaries of C&D waste, while in action nearby was the new Herbst Compac S52 tracked screener and a Rubble Master RM70 crusher equipped with an OS80 oversize screen. Additional equipment demonstrated in this area included various hitches, buckets, breakers, shears and other attachments from leading brands such as VTN, FRD Furukawa and Engcon. 

Meanwhile, over in the rock processing demonstration area there was no let up in the live action, with the most extensive show of crushing and screening equipment provided by the Terex Group in the form of Powerscreen and Terex Finlay. Activity in the Powerscreen section was provided by an XA750 primary jaw crusher feeding a Warrior 2400 screen, while a second separate demonstration comprised an XH320X impactor feeding a Warrior 1400X screen. Also in operation was the new XA400S secondary jaw crusher. Next door in the Terex Finlay section, a J1480 jaw crusher could be seen in action alongside a J1170 jaw crusher feeding the new 684 Supertrak four-way-split screen, which was on show for the first time in the UK. 

Sandvik also had a major presence in the rock processing demonstration area with a QJ341 jaw crusher feeding a QH440 cone crusher, which, in turn, was feeding a QA450 four-way-split screen. In addition, working independently alongside these three machines was a QI240 impactor. 

Elsewhere in the rock processing demonstration area visitors were able to watch a Tesab 1012TS tracked impact crusher with integral double-deck pre-screener at work, with its output being discharged on to a Telestack tracked stockpiling conveyor. Nearby, a McCloskey J44 mobile jaw crusher was feeding an S130 mobile screener, with any oversize from the screen being recirculated, via a C38 cone crusher, in a closed-circuit arrangement.  

Overseas interest

Hillhead is widely acknowledged for having a major international presence at the show. For overseas companies the show also offers an ideal platform to break into the UK and Ireland markets. Edward Milosevic Pepper, who is responsible for marketing at Talleres Nunez, Spain’s leading manufacturers of screen media for the quarrying and mining industries, was delighted with the positive response from British visitors at this year’s show. 

‘As a first-time exhibitor, the number and quality of visitors to our stand has been excellent,’ he enthused. ‘Unlike Bauma and Intermat, Hillhead represents specific industry sectors and this has helped us to make direct contact with potential new customers from the UK mineral products industry.’ 

Likewise, Bruce Bricknell, managing director of Corgin, the UK agents for Duztech mobile mist cannons, was equally impressed with the scale and quality of visitors to the show. ‘Our mist cannons are mainly used in construction and waste applications around the world, but we now want to focus our efforts in the wider UK quarrying industry, and the level of interest in the Duztech range at Hillhead has been phenomenal.’  

Mr Bricknell continued: ‘The large-scale mobile dust-suppression units have two key advantages over similar products currently on the UK market: a built-in silencer when running; and they are remote controlled. I am exceptionally happy with the UK response as we have received more sales leads than we had expected.’

Reaping the rewards

Returning to Hillhead 2012 after an absence at the last show, Marubeni-Komatsu displayed their new HD785-7 rigid dumptruck which, according to marketing manager Edward Prosser, attracted a high number of enquiries, together with the company’s Komplete after-sales customer support package. ‘This year we’re celebrating our 40th anniversary, so we are very happy to be back at the show as it gives us the opportunity to celebrate with our customers as well as meet potential new customers,’ he commented. ‘We had a busy Tuesday but Wednesday, as expected, was by far the busiest show day. We are already looking forward to exhibiting again at Hillhead 2014.’

Many visitors to the show also visited the Case stand to see the latest machinery for the quarrying and minerals extraction industries. Among the new machines on display were the 1021F wheel loader and CX250C and CX370C excavators.

‘This year’s Hillhead was a real success for Case,’ said Phil Marshall, business manager for Case Construction Equipment. ‘We were able to welcome more customers, both old and new, to our stand throughout the show and had plenty of updated machinery and new technology to meet their requirements. In particular, our leadership in Tier 4 Interim emissions technology was a major talking point with visitors, as we were able to demonstrate how Case equipment is both more productive and increasingly environmentally friendly.’

So much so, Case dealers Warwick Ward concluded the largest deal on the stand, selling the CX370C model on display to PC Excavations. Also enjoying a highly successful Hillhead were New Holland Construction. The company confirmed its credentials as a low-emission leader with a number of machines on static display and demonstration, all of which featured Tier 4 Interim technologies.

‘Our main focus at Hillhead is to show visitors our full offering of Tier 4 Interim-compliant heavy crawler excavators and wheel loaders,’ said Henrik Starup, CNH vice president, construction equipment Europe.

As expected, products such as the E215C and 305C crawler excavators and W190C, W270C and W300C wheel loaders – all featuring selective catalytic reduction (SCR) technology to meet Tier 4 Interim emissions standards – took centre stage on the New Holland stand.

Scott Freeman, business director of New Holland Construction, added: ‘Our stand was very busy throughout the show, with visitors interested in the SCR technology and how it could benefit their business with lower running costs – especially on the larger wheel loader models. We received a high number of sales enquiries on our wheel loaders and excavators and we are delighted that these new machines were so well received at the event.’

Other newly launched products unveiled for the first time at Hillhead included Metso’s new generation of fuel-saving Lokotracks – the LT106 tracked jaw plant and ST2.4 mobile screen. The company’s stand also featured the all-new Lokotrack LT120 jaw plant, Nordberg C120 jaw crusher and HP3 cone crusher. 

Adam Orr, equipment sales manager for Metso, expressed his delight with the huge interest shown in the company’s newest products. ‘It’s been an excellent show for us as we have received a significant number of positive leads. We’ve even finalized a sale of the HP3 cone crusher during the course of the event, while the C120 crusher has attracted a lot of enquiries which is very encouraging.’

Among the other exhibitors enjoying a highly successful Hillhead 2012 were Volvo CE, who displayed a wide variety of equipment which, again, attracted strong interest from visitors. These included: new G-Series wheel loaders, the L60G and L220G; an A40F articulated hauler, an EC250D crawler excavator; and an EC300D model featuring a three-piece demolition rig with a 21m reach and 2.5-tonne tool capacity. 

Rob Stewart, sales director at Volvo CE, commented: ‘It is very important for us to come to Hillhead because it is the premier event for the quarrying and construction equipment industries. Improving energy efficiency and driving operational costs down are becoming increasingly important, and at Hillhead we want to help our customers meet those demands with Volvo’s aftermarket solutions and next phase of engine technology.’

Showing just how far the Phoenix-Parker Group has risen in recent years, the Leicester-based company booked its biggest-ever stand at this year’s show and filled it to the brim with an impressive line-up of plant and equipment, including the RoadStar 1500 asphalt batching plant from Phoenix Transworld, and the new ConStar 750 and 1500 concrete batching plants, and JR1165 mobile jaw crusher and SR165 mobile scalping screen from Parker Plant. 

‘Our stand presence has grown each time we’ve attended the show,’ said a spokesperson for the company, ‘and the quality of visitors, both from the UK and overseas, has increased each time too. This year, in particular, we saw a lot of interest in the new JR1165 tracked jaw crusher and the ConStar 1500.’

Ben Coleman, general manager – national accounts with JCB Sales Ltd, said the company’s investment in the show had easily been justified with some 90 sales leads generated on the first day alone, and around 120 on the second day. ‘We are absolutely delighted – this has been a very good show for JCB,’ he commented, adding that the live demonstrations of company’s LiveLink telematic system, which is fitted as standard on JCB mid-range and heavyline products, had generated considerable interest on the stand.

Matt Waters of DUO (Europe) plc claimed Hillhead 2012 was perfect for bringing people up to speed with the company’s recent appointment as dealers in England and Wales for newly formed Terex Washing Systems. ‘We generated a lot of strong leads – more than we expected,’ he said. ‘Visitors came from all parts of the country, including Kent, Cornwall and Cumbria, and we expect to close several deals within the next month or two.’ Mr Waters was also impressed with the number of international visitors who visited the stand. ‘Wednesday was very busy,’ he commented, ‘we had customers on the stand from as far afield as Estonia, Chile and Australia.’


QMJ Publishing Ltd, the organizers of Hillhead 2012, would like to express their gratitude to Tarmac Ltd, for the use of the Hillhead site; Tata Chemicals for the supply of calcium chloride dust-suppression agent; Turnkey Instruments for the use of Simret brake-testing equipment; JCB and Komatsu for the loan of earthmoving machines; Barry Wood Plant Hire and ACE Plant for general support; and Edson Evers for the Hillhead website video. Thanks are also due to all the other companies and individuals too numerous to mention who helped to make the show such a success.

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