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Company drives innovation despite challenges involved

An image depicting a Monitech XPX Controller

INNOVATING Monitech’s team of design engineers and product integration specialists for coal enable the company to continually improve on existing technologies

31st March 2023

By: Sabrina Jardim

Creamer Media Online Writer

     

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Coal-focused original-equipment manufacturers (OEMs) in South Africa are facing increasing pressure, owing to the loss of critical expert resources to overseas markets and the continued divestment of suppliers to the industry, says safety and monitoring solutions provider Monitech head of sales and marketing Stuart Murray.

OEMs also face challenges brought about by energy constraints in South Africa, to which Monitech has adapted its everyday operations to continue servicing its clients by implementing planned contingencies. Despite these challenges, Monitech remains committed to the coal mining industry, both locally and internationally.

Murray says OEMs are simultaneously afforded opportunities to innovate, whereby Monitech, for example, openly collaborates with clients and suppliers alike to address industry challenges by offering full turnkey solutions.

“We remain committed to the coal mining sector. This is evident in our continued investment in products we provide for the industry, new developments and our continual professional support.”

Further evidence of this commitment is its new appointment as agent-to-market for JH Fletcher & Co – a global leader in the design, manufacture and supply of roof bolting machinery. Monitech also partners closely with Alliance Resource partners, the second largest coal producer in the eastern US.

Murray

explains that Monitech’s team of design engineers and product integration specialists for coal enable the company to continually improve on existing technologies while working with clients and OEMs to develop new greenfield products.

Over the past two years, the company has focused on areas that Murray describes as crucial to the coal mining industry, which include water optimisation and dust management.

Monitech launched various products for the industry last year specifically to address these two areas of concern.

One such project included reducing dust in underground working environments as stipulated by a Mine Health and Safety Act amendment, which states that, by 2024, 95% of all exposure measurement results must be below the milestone level for respirable crystalline silica of 0.05 mg/m3.

Murray notes that the project deliverables included, in some instances, reducing operational water use by up to 92% and dust levels by over 55%.

Monitech also embarked on a reverse integration strategy in 2020, enabling the company to invest in extended engineering manufacturing capabilities to ensure security of supply in parts, subassemblies and systems for customers.

“Innovation is our lifeblood and remains a critical part of what we offer our clients. We have some very exciting developments in the pipeline that will continue to extend our products and services into new areas of value to our clients,” concludes Murray.

Edited by Nadine James
Features Deputy Editor

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