Atlas Copco strengthens its leading role in rock reinforcement
Worldwide growth in mining activities in combination with an increased presence in civil engineering has put Atlas Copco in pole position with its strong focus on rock and soil reinforcement. The company’s product portfolio, characterized by a wide range of rock bolts and self-drilling anchors, is designed to meet every ground engineering challenge.
The division is headquartered in Märsta, Sweden, and with manufacturing facilities in North America, Europe, Africa, and Asia. All the plants are currently running at full capacity and forecasts show that the trend will continue, at least for the first half of 2007. The outlook is especially positive for the division’s ground engineering sector which is showing more stable, consistent growth.
Hans Lidén, divisional President, attributes this strong growth to: “Atlas Copco’s long-term dedication to the business and our investment in quality, which has resulted in the most reliable and well-reputed rock and soil reinforcement products. Furthermore, our customers highly appreciate the constant support given by our own customer centers, which provide complete solutions for a large variety of applications, from deep hard rock mining to tunnelling and slope stabilization.”
Quality and reliability
To cope with the increasing demand, a new production plant is to be established in North Bay, Canada, where Atlas Copco is already established with a factory specialized in drilling rods, ITH tools and diamond bits for mineral exploration. Having excellent transportation and logistics facilities, North Bay is strategically located to serve the North American mining industry. The new Swellex plant will have the capacity to manufacture one million bolts per year, mainly for the mining markets of Canada and the USA. As a result, Swellex will not only expand its market penetration but also its scope, from the traditional field of gold mining such as Val d’Or in Quebec and the Elko region of Nevada, into new application areas such as the diamond mines of the Northern Territories.
Since 2002, MAI self-drilling anchors have been integrated into the Atlas Copco rock reinforcement package of solutions. Particularly useful in soft, unstable formations, MAI SDAs have gained the confidence of customers working in a large variety of applications and are now distributed world-wide. In order to satisfy the constantly increasing demand, a third production line is also being set up to increase the production capacity for these SDAs. In addition to the present two production lines, this new line is located in Feistritz/Drau, Austria. It is estimated that the company’s present capacity will expand by some 30 percent in order to meet the growing needs of the worldwide tunnelling and ground engineering market.
The new plant is dedicated to large diameter products (from 38 mm up to the new 150 mm self-drilling micro pile). This will increase the range of products, expanding into the large diameter self-drilling micropiles – an increasingly appreciated solution for speeding up productivity in foundation work and stability enhancement projects.