A global innovator of premium conveyor belt cleaning and sealing systems has announced the creation of its newest factory-owned manufacturing facility in Queensland, Australia. Martin Engineering has been a supplier of premium components since 1944, providing bulk handling solutions and flow control equipment in the region through a licensee since 1978. Opened for business in September, 2017, the new facility will provide direct sales, service, training and manufacturing to the continent, serving key industries such as mining, cement, sugar, quarrying and bulk handling ports. The move will provide factory-direct customer access to locally-manufactured products, as well as technical service from experienced and factory-trained technicians.

Company officials say that having local production will also allow Martin Engineering to supply its products at lower prices, reducing the overall cost of ownership. Among the manufacturing capabilities are the firm’s proprietary technology for producing belt cleaner blades, using its custom-built work cell. The manufacturing cells are designed, engineered and constructed by Martin, and the unique processing technology is being implemented at Martin locations on six continents to deliver premium-quality components around the world with unrivalled consistency and wear life. The system is believed to be the only one of its kind dedicated solely to producing belt cleaner blades.

Martin Engineering’s supplier for the chemical components of its urethane formulations is BASF Corporation, one of the largest chemical companies in the world, with more than 110,000 employees operating in 80+ countries. As a result, customers receive blades with the same quality and guaranteed performance, regardless of their location.

Partnering with BASF brings the benefit of the chemical company’s extensive and reliable supply chain, allowing Martin Engineering to continue innovating polyurethane blade production and quickly deliver products worldwide. Further, the global pricing agreement in place between the two companies means customers will see an uncommon consistency in blade price from one country to another.

By mixing, forming and curing its own belt cleaner blades in the modular work station -- rather than subcontracting the production as most suppliers do -- Martin Engineering takes complete control of the entire process, allowing one-day turnaround on most orders and even same-day shipping in many cases. As a result, customers in Australia and Asia will benefit from ready access to freshly molded belt cleaner blades meeting the highest quality standards.

“Our computer-controlled molding operations around the world are monitored at global headquarters,” observed Chief Technology Officer Paul Harrison. “In fact, we’re able to remotely monitor functionality from any location that has an Internet connection, anywhere in the world,” he said.

“Even the suppliers that are manufacturing their own blades are typically using pre-mixed urethane formulations and just pouring them into molds,” Harrison added. “This system delivers precise control and quality assurance, and remote monitoring allows technicians to investigate the causes of any faults and offer fixes to operators without having to travel to the site.”

The Australia Business Unit will be led by Managing Director Terry Thew, who has more than 30 years’ experience in bulk material handling, along with Commercial Director Chris Wilson, a veteran of 10+ years. They will be joined by Financial Controller Bo Hu and Flow Aids Specialist Grant Goodey, who will focus initially on applications for air cannons and engineered vibration.

Founded in 1944, Martin Engineering is a global innovator in the bulk material handling industry, developing new solutions to common problems and participating in industry organizations to improve safety and productivity. The company’s series of Foundations books is an internationally-recognized resource for safety, maintenance and operations training—with more than 10,000 print copies in circulation around the world. The entire 500+ page volume can also be downloaded as a PDF from the Martin web site. Martin employees take an active part in ASME, SME, VDI, CMA and CEMA, and the firm played a pivotal role in writing and producing the 7th edition of the CEMA reference book, Belt Conveyors for Bulk Materials. Martin Engineering products, sales, service and training are available from factory-owned business units in Australia, Brazil, China, Columbia, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Mexico, Peru, Russia, Spain, South Africa, Turkey and the UK.