Thunderbird users will now have access to CR Digital’s Orion platform as well as its technical support.

CR Digital announced it will acquire Thunderbird Mining Systems in a transaction that expands CR Digital’s product offering, IP, sales/marketing and technical support activities.

Damian Assaillit, head of CR Digital, welcomed the move. “Thunderbird Mining Systems were highly regarded in the mining technology sector, providing world-leading blasthole drill optimization technologies to mining customers for more than 30 years,” he said.

Thunderbird founder John Vynne reported his team has pioneered Measurement While Drilling (MWD) technologies since founding the company.

“I am really pleased to see that our technologies will be part of CR Digital’s range,” Vynne said. “There is immense appetite for digital knowledge of drill planning and blast outcomes, and the Thunderbird technology combined with CR Digital’s Load Haul Optimization creates a unique and compelling combination that our mining customers will be able to leverage,” he said. “Thunderbird’s technology is proven to increase mine productivity, reduce drilling costs and improve blasting effectiveness.”

The addition of blasthole drill optimization and rock knowledge systems reflects a strategic move by CR Digital to expand its product range across fragmentation through to load and haul optimization, the company reported.

“Thunderbird Mining Systems products complement our existing CR Digital product range, including our market-leading Titan 3330TM Load Haul Optimization technology,” Assaillit said. “Optimized fragmentation is a key variable in the productivity of load haul circuits and being able to offer our customers more real-time knowledge is a great opportunity to further enhance mining productivity using technology.”

Thunderbird Mining Systems’ customers will benefit from the enhanced capability of the global CR group, CR Digital’s proactive technical support, the data analytics capability of its Orion platform, and access to a broader technology portfolio providing enhanced value to their operations.

Austin Partners With ETT

Australian-based Austin Engineering has signed a partnership agreement with South Africa’s ETT to market and support their combined mining-oriented product ranges throughout Africa.

The agreement will bring together two of the southern hemisphere’s largest mining equipment design and manufacturing entities.

With headquarters in Brisbane, Austin Engineering has more than 50 years of experience in engineering and manufacturing equipment for the mining industry with operations in Australia, Asia, North and South America, and now South Africa.

“We are looking forward to growing this partnership,” Austin Engineering Managing Director Peter Forsyth said. “It gives both companies a solid and reliable platform from which to offer customers, throughout the continent, proven world-class products backed up by world-class service.”

ETT, a privately-owned South African company based in Richards Bay, with product already distributed in more than 20 countries around the world, celebrates 25 years of engineering excellence this year.

Signed and sealed: Peter Forsyth, Austin Engineering managing director (L), with ETT Managing Director Andre McDuling.

ETT Managing Director Andre McDuling said, “ETT’s manufacturing and innovative record as well as our strong presence and product supply into Africa is one of the key reasons why this partnership was formed. We are confident that the industry is ready for a partnership like this that will provide the widest range of mining attachments and support products in the world.”

Both companies are well-established and acknowledged globally for their unique, engineered mining equipment. The combined product range of the new partnership will include customized dump truck bodies, water trucks, diesel lube trucks, gooseneck-equipped recovery vehicles, tire handlers, lowbed off-road trailers and excavator buckets.

Modular Opens Customer Experience Center

Modular Mining, a leader in computer-based mine management solutions, unveiled its new Customer Experience Center (CEC) during a ribbon cutting ceremony in late January. Located in the company’s corporate headquarters in Tucson, Arizona, USA, the CEC’s opening coincides with Modular Mining’s 40th anniversary.

“Our new Customer Experience Center is designed to showcase how mine management solutions can improve the safety, efficiency, and productivity of mining operations, and help our customers do so sustainably,” President and CEO Jorge Mascena said. “Today’s announcement marks our third major renovation project in six years at this facility. Tucson is evolving into a key mining technology hub, and this expansion demonstrates our commitment to leading this transformation as a long-term member of this community.”

Established in Tucson in 1979, Modular Mining advanced technology for the open-pit mining industry with the development of the DISPATCH Fleet Management System. It was the first of its kind in the industry and served as the springboard for further innovation, including the ProVision High-Precision Machine Guidance system, the MineCare Maintenance Management system, and others.

North Shore Acquires Ford Steel

North Shore Steel, based in Houston, Texas, USA, acquired Ford Steel in early December. The latter will keep its name and continue operating in its current locations in St. Louis, Missouri, and Elko, Nevada, USA.

Leadership at North Shore Steel described the move as strategic. Ford Steel leadership described it as a great fit for both companies. “Ford Steel can now offer more extensive processing capabilities and a full complement of structural steel products to our customers,” Tony Morrison, general manager, Ford Steel, said.

Ford Steel was founded in St. Louis in 1945 and specializes in abrasion and impact resistant plate, bar, and other steel products and services.

Pictured from left to right: Richard Fimbres, Tucson city councilmember Ward 5; Jorge Mascena, CEO, Modular Mining; Greg Lanz, vice president business development, Modular Mining; Ramón Valadez, Pima County supervisor District 2; and Tom Murphy, mayor of Sahuarita.

Double Coin Adds to Two Warehouses

Double Coin and CMA, a leading supplier of tires, expanded two warehouses located in Rancho Cucamonga and Riverside, California. With the expansion of these two warehouses, it places the total west coast square footage at approximately 338,000 ft2. The two warehouses added 225,000 units to Double Coin’s capacity. The total inventory is estimated at 90% for Truck & Bus Radial (TBR) and 10% for Off-The-Road (OTR)/Individual (IND) tires. The warehouse square footage for the east coast located in Memphis, Tennessee remains at 160,000 ft2.

“Opening two new warehouse locations this year allows us to meet the growing demands of Double Coin tires,” said Tim Phillips, vice president of marketing and operations for CMA/Double Coin. The company opened its first west coast distribution facility in 2014 in Rancho Cucamonga. The center supports the dealer and end user supply chain with shipments of the Double Coin brand and other products marketed by CMA.

“We forecast Double Coin’s TBR and OTR/IND unit capacity will increase by 50% this year. There are also plans to add more warehousing sometime in 2021. In addition, our state-of-the-art Thailand manufacturing facility has not been impacted by the Coronavirus in China and is currently doing a great job meeting the demands of our North American market. Our top concern remains the welfare and safety of our Double Coin family in the affected areas of China,” Phillips said.

The company has a total of
seven warehouses within North and Central America, Canada and Mexico. In addition to the four located
in the U.S., other centers are located in Airdrie AB, Canada, Querètaro, Mexico, and San Josè, Costa Rica.