Manufacturers’ Monthly Endeavour Awards Finalists – Global Integration

As nominations close for the 10th Endeavour Awards, we highlight the finalists for each category, giving you an insight into innovation and excellence in the manufacturing industry.

Downer Rail 

The primary international partner for the Waratah Train Project is CRC, who partially manufactures the train's carriages. Other parts of the train have been sourced from partners in Germany, Czech Republic, Austria, Finland, South Korea, Switzerland and more. 

The decision to use global suppliers was not made based on price, but rather throughputs: the NSW Government contract terms meant that no Australian facility could produce trains at the speed required.

Prior to developing a relationship with CRC, Downer Rail investigated manufacturing partners in Japan, South Korea and Vietnam. 

Western nation had never purchased passenger carriages from China.

Did CRC have the skills to produce trains to the specifications and safety standards required by the NSW Government? 

Secondly, Downer Rail invested 12 months of time and travel building a relationship with CRC during the scoping and bid phase, prior to winning the project. 

Downer has overcome significant challenges during its relationship with CRC. Firstly, the initial trains received from China were of variable quality, with a high degree of incomplete scope. 

Secondly, Downer underestimated the importance of 'Guanxi', the complex system of building connections and relationships, a critical element of successfully managing business relationships in China.

Once these challenges emerged, Downer invested over $700,000 building face-to-face relationships with members of the CRC team; and instigated a significant employee relations program based on acknowledging the contribution of each employee via award ceremonies and celebratory events.

Downer also invested in its own team, employing a permanent Production Manager based in China; and regularly sending high-level team members, including CEO of Downer Group, Grant Fenn to China to meet with their CRC counterparts, including CRC Chairman Dong. During this process, Downer has transferred significant skills and knowledge to the CRC team that will assist them to attract future international manufacturing contracts. 

Downer also focused on improving interactions with its other global suppliers, with a view to reducing logistical inefficiencies such as preventable delivery delays, faults and breakages. It achieved this by building the right internal supply chain team and travelling to suppliers to build face-to-face relationships based on partnerships rather than simply supply and demand. 

Downer Rail will continue to work with CRC until 2014 to complete the delivery of the Waratah Train Project, and will seek opportunities to work with CRC on future rail projects. 


Vulcanite has been nominated for the Global Integration award for using its global success to build its reputation and markets locally. 

Although small compared to others in global markets, the company has an enviable reputation for quality, innovation and service in export markets in Asia, North America and Europe.  

Export success allowed Vulcanite to remain competitive at a local level.  

The export environment also makes a significant contribution to the company's pool of industry knowledge in a range of environments and cultures.

This in turn assists in maintaining strong local relationships and paves the way for the development and introduction of new products and provides a platform for new business opportunities.  

Import replacement activity provided an export capability that now accounts for almost 50% of turnover.  

By partnering with clients in the provision of flexible engineering solutions and using innovative software along with in-house mechanical testing resources,  

Vulcanite now has three of the world's four leading railway rolling stock builders as clients, and five of the world's six major vibratory piling hammer manufacturers as clients, which makes Vulcanite the largest supplier of isolation elastomers in the world.  

To support export markets we have focused on strong communication strategies, both within our company and also with our offshore clients.. We now find ourselves involved in complex designs involving computer aided solid modeling and finite element analysis skills. These technologies move back and forward freely between our client partners and us by email.

Digital photography and integrated export documentation also provide excellent operation export tools. 

Leussink Engineering

Leussink Engineering has been nominated for the Global Integration award. 

It has been nominated for its work with German bearings specialist Corts, where it sent six of its specialists from Unanderra, NSW, to various locations in Kazakhstan to machine six rolling mill stands for ArcelorMittal. 

The process combined the expertise of Corts-Leussink, surveyors, on-site machine operators and mechanical engineers to collect the relevant data and modify the current status back to OEM specification. 

Leussink's technical staff took a holistic approach that included a thorough laser-based survey of all components, including their current structural integrity. 

What followed was an extensive level of planning necessary to bring the facilities back to the level they were when brand new, as per the Original Equipment Manufacturer design specification. 

The Corts-Leussink partnership has quickly developed its capabilities and can make a complete refurbishment to even the oldest rolling mills (ferrous and non-ferrous) in the world to original specification and extend their lifespan to remain productive and work almost as if new. 

ArcelorMittal is among the five largest producers of iron ore and metallurgical coal (or coking coal) in the world and has a geographically diversified portfolio of iron ore and coal assets. 

Corts is a German precision flat bearings supplier; Leussink Engineering is a diversified engineering designer and workshop that handles OEM and prototyping, large engineering and manufacture, on-site and off-site refurbishment and maintenance of machinery and equipment, re-engineering and high precision work especially for mining, public works, general engineering and heavy construction. 

ArcerlorMittal has a network of steel plants worldwide. The company's goal is to produce 100 million tonnes of iron ore by 2015, and it is pursuing this aim through expansion of existing assets and acquisition of new, high-quality resources. 

As an indication of its size and global reach, ArcelorMittal has 29 mining operations, excluding two greenfield projects and other early-stage exploration projects. It claims to be the first company to have brought a greenfield iron ore project to operation in West Africa, with the first shipment of iron ore from its mines in Liberia made in September 2011.

Leave a Reply

Send this to a friend