Aside from a range of distinctive quality products associated with Atlas Copco, innovation is another hallmark the company integrates to complete an industrial evolution. As manufacturing experts, they impart workshops on the use of all new Atlas Copco technologies, providing the necessary updates to direct operators on the best techniques when managing mega-equipment.
As major suppliers in the mining industry, Atlas Copco has set a plan of action every time a new product is incorporated into the portfolio, including post-sale services that ensure the longevity of the equipment.
"During workshops we not only introduce new technologies, but are aware of what these customers expect from us," said Andrzej Zablocki, Senior Business Development Manager for Atlas Copco and an engineer who has been part of this company for more than 45 years, through its branches in Poland, Finland and currently in Chile.
Following a developing trend, the company will optimize their human resource through the expansion of Atlas Copco Chilena Development Centre (Centro de Desarrollo de Competencias - CDC), which focuses on increasing major technical skills in mining and excavation, based on the Mining Skills Council methodology.
CDC plays a stepping role during the continuous training of Atlas Copco Chilena employees, and in the technical education of operators and engineers from other related companies in the country, forming some of the best talent in Chile and raising national standards.
"The CDC has training rooms, modern simulators for different types of equipment and real cabins. This type of training improves skills in mining equipment operators, which so many of our clients need to incorporate into their workforce. In the near future we expect more innovation from this center," said Zablocki.
These advances in human management, decreased staff turnover at Atlas Copco Chilena, which means that their employees are more than happy to work with a revolutionary company whose key to success is investing in human knowledge.
Another major participant in the formation of talent are their suppliers, who in alliance provide joint training.
Revolutionizing the Mining Industry with New Technologies
Although the mining industry ensue traditional procedures, Atlas Copco Chilena has evolved with solutions that maximize productivity, raise customer satisfaction, follow sustainable trends, and optimize deadlines at lower operating costs. To speed up this industrial modernization, the company has trained several technicians in various Atlas Copco locations.
"Three years ago we began transmitting this automation in mining, in both open pit and underground mining. Today we are developing several projects to introduce this new equipment with companies such as Codelco, Anglo American and Pucobre," said Zablocki.
Currently, Chile is experiencing one of the most important changes in the mining sector, with mega projects being redesign from open pit to underground mining due to the new environmental model.
Although Chile has some of the largest mines in the world, with 32 percent of the global copper production and 30 percent in global reserves of this mineral, only 35 middle-size mines have an underground operation, something that indicators translates into 12 percent, but by 2023 this could triple followed by a sustainable trend up to 40 percent.
"Companies are redesigning their projects with the new regulation of underground mining given environmental problems, so there is a high need for both vertical and horizontal mining developments," said Zablocki, indicating that in the case of rigs, the company has been recognized as a world leader for years.
In the next five years, Atlas Copco Chilena would increase demand mainly in Scooptram equipment, such as the new generation ST14 / 18 and low profile trucks 60 (MT65) or with more tonnes, to continue with big projects in Chile.
Q&A with Business Review Latina
Business Review America Latina, also had a second interview with the CEO of Atlas Copco Chilena, Charlie Ekberg. Ekberg is an economist from Swedish who began his career with Atlas Copco Group in 1986, since then he held various posts in the area of finance and business development.
"Since my incursion in Atlas Copco group I developed my international career in the US, UK, Sweden, South Africa, Chile and Ecuador. I was the controller for the Chicago Pneumatic (CP) division between 1999 and 2006, then I took over as CFO for Drilling Solutions (ADS), a division of Atlas Copco in Garland, Texas, since 2008 until my return to Chile," said the CEO.
Here are some of his answers and business projections.
BRAL: Which technological advances the company plans to launch in 2016?
EC: For the remainder of 2015 and 2016, Atlas Copco Drilling Solutions will be working on several automation projects with international mining companies operating in Chile, we are focused on obtaining performance indicators that directly benefit the productivity, safety and life of rigs. These projects include Pit Viper operative fleet and managed from the office, an operator managing multiple teams and to the full autonomy. Additionally, we are planning to Introduce a remote operation at about 300 meters, from a safe distance in high-risk areas.
In 2016, we will consolidate multipurpose equipment, designed for diamond and reverse air exploration, and we will finalize the construction of water wells.
In terms of equipment for underground mining, the Underground Rock Excavation division is launching in late 2016 or early 2017, the new rig Boomer S2C, with Rig Control System (RCS) technology, which will replace Boomer 282.
In drilling surface, we plan to fully incorporate between the remainder of this year and 2016, the BenchREMOTE (remote control) technology in D65 SmartROC equipment.
These innovations in exploration launching in 2016, are mainly related to the incorporation of technology in telecontrol equipment. Such as Rod Handler (RH) technology for Christensen CT-20 equipmente; Rig Control System (RCS) and RH (Rod Handler) technology for Diamec, plus equipment for underground operations and we are also launching Christensen CS-140 machinery.
BRAL: Regarding added value, what can you offer to your clients?
EC: In addition to the technology we have, our teams in Chile have first class infrastructure that allows us to meet the requirements of our customers. We have headquarters in Santiago, where we perform service workshops in the areas of mining, construction, compressors, etc.
We also have a modern distribution center located in 5,000 m2, keeping in stock 9,000 sow products and spare parts. Our logistics capabilities allow us to ensure optimal delivery times to our seven branches throughout the country.
And to complement the work we do every day with our customers, we have a modern Skills Development Center, which allows train technical staff from both the company and customers. Inside a center larger than over 1,700 m2, we offer state-of-the-art equipment such as simulators and technical laboratories that allow maintenance and operational training in similar real environments.
BRAL: As a major supplier of mining equipment, what makes a competitive difference in logistics?
EC: Clearly what made the difference in our service and has been transformed into a fortress, is the efficiency of our supply chain, this refers to the response times, supply factory lead time and delivery time in Chile.
Also the human resource is vital, and it is this resource that gives life to the supply chain. The training and education of capital in Atlas Copco has been vital in this respect.
The company's success depends not only on how well you play, but also how well you compete throughout every channel.
BRAL: What are some of your sustainable initiatives?
EC: One of the core values of our company is to provide market-friendly products and services to the environment.
In Chile we have triple certification under ISO 14001, ISO 9001 and OHSAS 18001, these are worldwide standards that has put Atlas Copco in the 23rd position among the latest Global 100 Index, which includes the 100 most sustainable companies in the world; and it has been built consecutively in the index of sustainability of Dow Jones, so that the commitment to sustainable productivity is not only on paper but also put into practice every day. Our teams are looking to meet this commitment in sustainability by generating significant savings in energy consumption; and by using machinery that delivers a maximum operating safety, either through ergonomic designs for better performance, or simply by incorporating new technology and equipment that can be handle completely by the operator.
We have further developed products that take advantage of renewable energy such as solar lighting towers, which have an excellent performance in mining.
BRAL: What is the importance of suppliers, local partners and strategic alliances in the success of Atlas Copco Chilena?
CE: Our suppliers are very important for business continuity; they collaborate in services provided by Atlas Copco and are customer focused by meeting deadlines and delivering a product or service quality. Additionally, our suppliers are always thinking about the satisfaction of our clients, they are very important in each process; they function as a significant link to complete all objectives of the group Atlas Copco. All this is reflected from the company that makes the toilet, to the ones that maintain cleanliness and order in every job or workshop, etc.
As we know, the delivery of a product or service to buyers requires building relationships not only with customers but also with key suppliers in the supply chain of the company. This chain consists of superior partners (group of companies that promote raw materials, components, parts, information and expertise to create a product or service) and lower members (are marketing or distribution channels customer focused).
From the above we can discern that the suppliers, local partners and strategic alliances are vital to the success of Atlas Copco.
BRAL: What is your feeling after receiving performance recognition in the sub-segment Quarry of the fourth ranking of suppliers made by the mining industry in Chile?
EC: This recognition, which is delivered through the good comments made by our clients, make us realize that we made a first class job in the country and through the concrete proof of technological advances with improvements applied to equipment, and good after sales services that make the difference in the relationship with our constituents. To appear in this ranking is undoubtedly a reflection of the success we've had with our operations in Chile.