Hunter Valley-headquartered Hedweld Group of Companies is a recognised global leader in the design, manufacture, and distribution of products for the mining sector. Its niche products have few market competitors.
With humble beginnings as a general fabricator in 1980, Hedweld made the business decision in the 2000s to focus on supplying products to the mining sector. Its aim from the get-go was to improve the safety of workers and operators, reduce machine down-time, and increase productivity in mine maintenance workshops. It has been a winning strategy.
Kristy Hedley, Managing Director, Hedweld Group of Companies in the Advanced Manufacturing Workshop.
Hedweld managing director Kristy Hedley (pictured) says the company’s core competencies of safety, efficiency, and innovation are evident in the Trilift® range of component-handling equipment, and the Safe-Away range of access systems.
“As the size of open-cut mining equipment gets larger, accessing the components for maintenance
requires greater reach and weight-handling capacity,” says Kristy.
“This is where the Trilift range of component-handling equipment offers unique solutions. New mobile mining equipment comes from the OEM factory and is supplied to site with a simple vertical rung or chain ladder to climb aboard to gain access to the operator’s cabin. Our Safe-Away access systems provide a safer way to access and egress.”
Hedweld has strong international patents on its Trilift products, allowing it to distribute them globally without fear of competition.
“The challenge is educating customers about our unique products and solutions, regularly described as ‘out-of-the-box’ thinking,” says Kristy. “We help sites understand the cost of performing tasks using traditional and often unsafe methods and assist them to calculate and understand that they can’t afford not to use Trilift products – for reasons of safety and cost-saving.”
Hunter Manufacturing Awards (HMA) appropriately awarded Hedweld the Export and Supply Chains accolade for 2022. The company has been exporting since the mid-1990s when it began selling into Indonesia. International success has grown and its biggest export market success in the past two years has been Brazil. Hedweld currently exports to more than 35 countries, having established agents/distributors in nine overseas markets along with domestic branches in Mackay, Queensland, and Perth, Western Australia.
HMA represents all businesses actively engaged in the manufacturing sector, including their allies, in the Upper Hunter, Lower Hunter, Central Coast, Lake Macquarie, Newcastle, Port Stephens, and Mid-North Coast regions. The awards inspire, encourage, and recognise vibrant and enduring manufacturing in these regions. In recognising the growth of manufacturing in the Hunter and celebrating the innovations and commitment, HMA 2023 places a spotlight squarely on global reach. The organisation is keen to push the message of international opportunities and its tagline for 2023 is “made in the Hunter, for the world”.
Hedweld’s Trilift TH15000 Workshop Tyre Handler in the First Quantum mine site – Panama.
Certainly, the Hunter’s industrial history and impressive transport infrastructure provide the region’s manufacturers with a compelling advantage as they make their forays into international markets. HMA encourages the growing and diverse base of established and emerging manufacturers of the region to use this advantage, look beyond Australia, and take their products and services to the international market.
Hedweld’s approach to new markets is to conduct a needs assessment and identify all the large mobile equipment on the open-cut mine sites. Its sales staff then prepares a product compatibility list.
“It can be a slow process,” says Kristy, “but being a 43-year-old company, we are patient as they jump through internal approvals. This export growth strategy has been so successful in Brazil that we now wish to replicate it in other international markets.”
HMA’s mission is to promote best practices and it has recognised manufacturing in the Hunter, Central Coast, and Mid-North Coast for the past 18 years. It collaborates with key regional organisations to acknowledge excellence in innovation, product design, technology, emerging talent, building workforce capability, sustainable operations, and collaboration.
In highlighting the achievements of the best, HMA aims to inspire aspiration. It encourages all
manufacturers in the Upper Hunter, Lower Hunter, Central Coast, Lake Macquarie, Newcastle, Port Stephens, and Mid-North Coast regions to enter the 2023 awards. There are 14 categories available.
For all enquiries about the 2023 awards, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 0438 242 899.
The registration and nomination period closes on 18 August. Entry is free and manufacturers can find all the information they need at www.hma.org.au/faq