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ADE celebrates 30 years in business

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Global Mining Review,

Australian Diversified Engineering (ADE), renowned for their successes in product supply and service, celebrated their 30th anniversary this month. ADE was founded in 1989 by Andy Igo. Based at Newtown Street, Virginia (USA), ADE was originally established as a provider of trade engineering services to the greater Brisbane region (Australia).

In the early 1990s, ADE diversified into the design, manufacture and installation of hydraulic services for mobile mining equipment (notably belly dump coal haulers). By the mid-1990s, this capacity had expanded to include the hydraulic services for belly dump bauxite haulers and water tankers for both rigid truck and tractor arrangements.

At the turn of the century, ADE commenced its machine assembly division with the contract to assemble euclid off-highway rear dump trucks for Hitachi Construction Machinery Australia (HCMA). Some 10 years later, ADE continues to support HCMA in this capacity.

By 2004, Igo was at a crossroads with the business he had nurtured over the past 15 years. Since its inception as an entrepreneurship it had made the transition to a small business, seeing out a number of economic cycles and was now in effect a medium-sized business. ADE had reached a new stage in its business life cycle and Igo recognised this.

It was now time to take stock and implement systems, develop processes, and engage people who could steward the company into the future. In October, 2004 Clive Gray joined ADE to fill the position of General Manager with a goal to rationalise the rapidly expanding machine assembly and fabrication divisions. This addition to the management team was followed soon after in 2005 when Danny Irvine assumed the newly created role of Engineering Manager. The following two years were a period of steep learning for Gray and Irvine as they developed the systems and processes that were needed to stabilise the company and support future growth.

In 2007, ADE was contracted by Rio Tinto to design and manufacture a comprehensive access system arrangement for a Grove GMK-5220 all-terrain crane that would manage their operational and maintenance ‘working at heights’ issues. The design methodologies and concepts that were cultivated during this venture laid the foundation for what has now become a core part of ADE’s business. In less than four years since the commissioning of the Grove GMK-5220 access system, ADE had built an extensive catalogue of mobile equipment access solutions. The company now has products for Caterpillar, Hitachi and Komatsu off-highway trucks and tractors, Caterpillar and Komatsu track type tractors, Caterpillar motor graders, Caterpillar, Komatsu and Le Tourneau wheel loaders and wheel dozers, Grove and Terex mobile cranes, as well as for specialised mobile equipment such as low loaders.

This diverse range of access solutions has seen ADE undertake a large amount of research and development activity, which in turn has cultivated a very high level of creativity and innovation. By late 2012, ADE experienced the full force of the end of the mining boom with key revenues streams rapidly tapering off. Inevitably ADE’s capacity had to reduce to be able to effectively operate in the ‘new’ business climate. The subsequent restructure was successful with its overheads reduced to a level where the operations were sustainable without compromising its capabilities.

With Australia’s mining industry actively shifting its focus to cost savings and operational efficiencies in the post boom era, ADE embarked on an R&D programme to deliver a revolutionary solution for the management of mine haul road generated fugitive dust. These measurable inputs, such as the ADE Spray system, help miners to better manage the risks of overwatering and underwatering haul roads and ultimately improve overall dust suppression operations.

Launched in 2014, ADE Spray and its suite of products and services enables mine management to effectively mine haul road generated fugitive dust through by the measurement of, maintenance and manage of haul road friction. Combining this with the implementation of the ‘Safe Road System Protocol – Mine Haul Road Watering Improvement Process’, and in addition to addressing haul road dust problems, mine management can now effectively manage water usage, reduce damage to and the maintenance costs of both mobile equipment and haul roads, and most importantly, maximise personnel safety. ADE Spray has already been implemented across more than 27 mine sites across Australia.

At the forefront of ADE Spray is the ability to control water output and its application to the ground. Operators simply select a water coverage rate, which is the amount of water applied to the haul road, and let the system manage the rest. ADE Spray and their latest innovation, the Dust Nomad, can also work collaboratively to measure outputs as the Dust Nomad identifies the high dust areas and ADE Spray applies the optimal amount of water. Over time, correlations can be made and predictive models deployed to identify more efficient water truck strategies to minimise the onsite airborne dust levels.

Over the past 18 months, ADE has seen a significant increase in the number of new or refurbished water trucks being delivered to mining operations, with more than 20 mining companies approaching the company for its innovative dust suppression technology. For existing water truck fleets, mining operators have chosen to upgrade to the latest ADE Spray system.

ADE’s successes in product supply and service over the past three decades has forged longstanding relationships with many of Australia’s leading miners and contractors, as well as mining equipment manufacturers and their dealers operating both within Australia and overseas.

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Australian mining news