Faster, Safer, Simpler Mining Processes
More than three years after receiving just under $600,000 in matched funding from the Australian Government, Davies Wearplate Systems have been acquired by global mining technology & services company, Metso Outotec.
Efficiency meets Economy
Davies applied for the Entrepreneurs’ Programme in 2017 to support the commercialisation of their complete, integrated wear plate system – which incorporates a wear side only attachment and real time wear monitoring for the global mining industry.
The product was inspired by the swift pit stops you might see in Formula One racing, where modern technology allows tyres to be changed mid-race in under two seconds. Davies wondered whether they could apply this principle to the attachment of ceramic liners in large mining assets, which require regular replacement due to the heavy abrasion and erosion caused by ore as it moves and changes direction.
The task of removing old liners and attaching new ones has traditionally been heavily time-consuming and expensive, so Davies saw an opportunity to change the way these processes occurred.
To solve the problem, they developed a system which only requires attachments to occur from the Wearside of the liners. In doing so, their product reduces labour by up to 50%, takes up to 80% less downtime and has a 30:1 return of investment.
The Road to Market
Prior to their grant submission, Davies had generated a lot of interest in the industry through field trials, but with a small team of just 16, they knew they needed support to tackle the commercialisation of their products and maintain business as usual. This led them to the Entrepreneurs’ Programme.
Cathy Hewett, Manufacturing & Product Development Engineer at Davies, said that the Accelerating Commercialisation was valuable beyond funding in that it forced them to view the commercialisation of their product as a set of discrete steps.
“Often research and development can be quite successful but never make the leap to a fully-fledged commercialised product. There are many parts, steps and learnings still to be had during the commercialisation process”.
– Cathy Hewett, Manufacturing & Product Development Engineer
Cathy also noted that the networks their Facilitator had in the industry allowed them to connect with other companies who assisted with various phases of the project.
In the years of growth since their Accelerating Commercialisation grant, the team at Davies realised they wouldn’t have the resources to focus on further expansion of their products globally. This led to their August 2020 acquirement by Finland-based global mining technology and services company, Metso Outotec, whose chute lining business will be significantly enhanced with the use of Davies wear side only attachments and WearSense technology.
When asked where the team were heading to from here, Cathy said:
“Going from 30 people to becoming part of the global Metso Outotec family of over 15,000 will take time to get accustomed to. But the world is now open to us.”
AusIndustry’s Accelerating Commercialisation service helps Australian businesses take their novel products to market with funding and guidance from its experienced facilitators. To read more about WearSense and Davies’ new home at Metso Outotec, visit their website here: Metso Outotec acquired Davies Wear Plate Systems – Metso Outotec (mogroup.com)