August 14, 2014
The departure of a large green shipping container at noon today from a yard in Kingaroy will mark the start of the South Burnett’s latest export industry.
Kingaroy businessman Michael Magnussen has secured an exclusive export supply deal for his unique safety access systems for heavy mining machinery.
Eight units – the first of a 100-unit deal – are heading from Michael’s company, Access Innovations, to Indiana in the United States to be received by a major US mining supply house. This US company services mining companies in North and South America, Indonesia and the UK.
The units – for D8, D10 and D11 Caterpillar dozers – are manufactured under sub-contract by local engineering companies. They are even sandblasted and painted locally.
“This export deal will generate a much-needed injection of local South Burnett jobs within these companies,” Michael said.
Michael’s designs – which have global patents and licences – have gone through three generations since they were first launched during the 1990s.
They incorporate special handrails and non-slip stairs and walkways, permanently attached to the machinery, that greatly increase safety for operators. They automatically fold away when not in use.
Michael said his very first grader access system was built in 1996 for Tarong Coal and installed on a CAT 16G motor grader.
“Rio Tinto / Tarong Coal endorsed the product and then purchased four grader access systems, fitting their entire fleet with the locally produced engineering product,” he said.
This first generation design won a Queensland Premier’s Safety Award in 2002.
Michael said Access Innovations had grown from humble beginnings, and had struggled to find the much-needed finance to cover the huge patent and engineering costs.
“We produced just over 100 of these first grader access-patented designs to mid-2010,” he said.
“Rio Tinto, BHP Mining and Newmont Mining globally rated the company’s product as number one for grader safety access.
“These first generation systems were purpose-built, simple and, unlike competitors, made to last!”
In mid-2010, Michael developed a new second generation product line, the “Universal Step Actuator”, using a rack and pinion drive.
Initially it was installed on motor scrapers working on western Queensland gas lines and the Curtis Island gas port.
“Every scraper on this gas project had our product on it,” Michael said.
All up, 57 scraper access systems were built and supplied by the end of 2011 to major gas line construction companies.
“They all sold by word of mouth only,” Michael said.
In 2011– 2012, the second generation range was expanded to cover motor graders. These were sold into the mining boom areas of Western Australia (iron ore) and Queensland (coal).
Next up, excavators and loaders were also fitted with the rack and pinion step drives.
“Local earthmoving company K & D Plant Hire were one of the first contractors who fitted excavators with our access systems which was a great local endorsement and support to us,” Michael said.
Early last year, the third generation of products was engineered, developed and globally patented.
This was a side and rear “around the cab” modular dozer access system.
Michael said Downer EDI Mining’s Mackay and Rockhampton divisions purchased grader access systems in 2010-2012 .
“Since winning the Tarong Coal mine major contractor role for Stanwell, Downer EDI Mining have continued purchasing our mining safety access product line,” he said.
“In early 2013, Stanwell – in conjunction with Downer EDI Mining – purchased the first Dozer Side Access System which was fitted to a Cat D10T.
“This genuine support of a local business was pivotal for us now today, in late 2014, winning this export supply deal.”
He said it demonstrated the “community first ideals” of both Stanwell and Downer EDI Mining and their importance in the South Burnett.
“As a local business owner, I appreciate both these two corporate citizens who are continually active in the district contributing to local industry, community growth and major events,” he said.
Michael also praised Member for Nanango Deb Frecklington.
“With Deb’s support, and the Queensland Government’s pro-active trade programs and initiatives such as the Treasurer’s Trade Mission to Indonesia in early 2013, I was able to establish the idea and platform to travel to the USA and Canada in 2013 and 2014 to create a sales network in North and South America,” he said.
Mrs Frecklington said it was fantastic to see a local company establishing international networks which would ultimately have an enormous economic benefit for the South Burnett, providing jobs and a positive flow-on effect for many other businesses in the area.