Secret to Ontrak Engineering’s export success

Born and bred in Australia, Ontrak Engineering believes it has set the industry standard for the past 20 years.

The company specialises in the design and manufacture of heavy-duty mining machinery and equipment and most recently added services such as feeder rentals and electrical engineering to its growing portfolio.

Due to the mining downturn on local shores, Ontrak Engineering looked across borders to help sustain its business through the export trade.

“Our first export customer in India was introduced to us by a local supplier with whom we have a great relationship with. India had an emerging coal market to help service their power and electricity requirements, and we were brought on board to assist with underground flameproof feeder breakers,” says Steve Lewry, managing director for Ontrak Engineering.

“Closer to home, we received an enquiry for assistance on an open cast mine in Indonesia. This was a new development and to date, around 4.5million tonnes of coal has been processed in just twelve months – without any breakdowns”.

Competing on an international scale

Steve believes that relationships with its partners is vital to the company’s export success.

“While the Australian labour rate is exceptionally high, we look to strong partnerships, service and adaptability to help us compete internationally,” says Steve.

Steve believes that part of their success lies in their ‘can do’ attitude. “Say you can do it and do it properly the first time”.

To enter the international realm, Ontrak Engineering took on a fierce competitor that had owned the market for over 35 years. Ontrak proved their capabilities to the customer by delivering a product based on good engineering practices, quality parts and backed by solid support and technical expertise.

Ontrak Engineering / Bonfiglioli: 14 years of partnership and counting

Ontrak builds its business on relationships – and this rings true for their suppliers as well.

“In 2006, we formed a relationship with Bonfiglioli. Initially, I was impressed by their response time and design ability to assist us in developing the perfect solution for our customers,” says Steve.

“The relationship is built on service and trust. Their products such as the HDO series, A series bevel helical gearmotors, and 700 series track drives, backed by their engineering and global footprint is unbeatable. They’re also able to service our export customers around the world due to their global presence – this is a really great selling point”.

Alex Kolc, sales engineer for Bonfiglioli seconds this saying that the company’s ongoing, long-standing relationship with Ontrak Engineering is invaluable. “We work well together and always strive for customer satisfaction. Our companies share the same values, and this stands us in good stead”.

Locally, Bonfiglioli custom-designed a range of products to suit Ontrak’s business needs.

“We engineered an Alignment Free Drive (AFD) bell housing and low-speed hollow spline shafts in conjunction with HSS clutch coupling supplied by a local supplier. This provides an extensive level of gearbox safety to the motor and the machine itself in case of overloading,” says Alex.

This heavy-duty product has been assisting Ontrak to achieve their milestones in the mining industry due to its reliability, lifespan, and a nearby service facility.

“In the case of a breakdown or rushed order, gearboxes can be serviced in a matter of hours. There aren’t many competitors in this market who can compete with this level of service.”

For the latest project, Bonfiglioli supplied the HDO series bevel helical gearbox (torque range of 28210Nm) for Ontrak’s breaker feeder drive and A90 bevel helical gearbox (torque range 14000Nm) with hydraulic motor to suit the breaker conveyor. A 700 series track drive to make this complete feeder fully mobile for underground as well as above ground mining applications across various sites within Australia and overseas.

Thanks to this thriving partnership and their ability to deliver quickly, efficiently and within budget, Ontrak Engineering has seen an increase in export sales and the company has plans to expand its product range further.

“Bonfiglioli has been on this journey with us – all the way. You need a supplier who sticks by you through the good and bad and helps you work through those difficult moments. It isn’t always easy but it’s about how you get past the problem that helps to build a successful working relationship,” adds Steve.