ENGAGING MINE OPERATORS
Brian Yureskes, Director of Sales and Global Accounts, says direct conversations benefit mining customers
Brian Yureskes, Director of Sales
and Global Accounts,
QUESTION: Customer engagement is a key element of Komatsu’s commitment to helping them run more productively, and it gains valuable feedback for machinery improvement. What role does it play for Komatsu Mining?
ANSWER: We are engaging both current and potential customers by going into the field more often in order to better understand their operations, requirements and what they expect from us. We want them to know how Komatsu can meet their needs with a variety of innovative and technologically advanced trucks that move massive amounts of materials, as well as with the support to ensure that they do so in the most efficient manner possible. These direct conversations also provide valuable feedback as we look to the future.
This year is the 10th anniversary of our Autonomous Haulage System, or AHS. During the past decade, the system has moved around 2 billion tons of material. Mines that are not utilizing AHS vehicles are seeking information about the benefits, which are outstanding. In the past, there may have been some reluctance on our part to talk about these advantages beyond our AHS customer base. We are more actively spreading the word to customers through various means, such as inviting them to our proving grounds where we field test the trucks.
Brian Yureskes, Director of Sales and Global Accounts, Komatsu Mining, says customer engagement provides valuable feedback that can have a direct impact on new products.
Komatsu’s Peoria Manufacturing Operation produces seven of the largest electric-drive mining trucks in the world, ranging from the 200-ton-capacity 730E to the 400-ton 980E, as well as autonomous versions of some models.
QUESTION: The Peoria Manufacturing Operation (PMO) focuses on mining trucks. What specific products are produced there?
ANSWER: We manufacture seven of the largest electric-drive mining trucks in the world, ranging from the 200-ton-capacity 730E to the 400-ton 980E, as well as autonomous versions of some models. Every Komatsu mining truck ordered worldwide is built and shipped from the PMO. In addition, all global engineering support, research and development, parts and testing for the products manufactured are handled here. That’s unique compared to other Komatsu manufacturing operations in North America.
QUESTION: What is the state of the mining industry?
ANSWER: There has been some overall volatility lately. After a down period, all the markets experienced a surge, then stabilized a bit. Trends look positive going forward, and analysts are predicting growth for mining during the next five years. Komatsu is taking a proactive approach to further expand its footprint in the mining sector.
QUESTION: Do you encourage customers to visit the PMO?
ANSWER: Absolutely. It’s a fantastic experience for people to see how these massive haulers are manufactured. If the timing is right, visitors may even watch their own trucks being built. We also view it as a great opportunity to showcase the quality that Komatsu builds into its products and the world-class support behind them.