The rapidly accelerating global procurement demand for raw materials also presents mining equipment manufacturers with ever-greater challenges. New technologies as well as ideas help meet the challenges of the future.Klaus StÃ¶ckmann and Rajesh Nath give us a German supplierâ€™s projection of future demand, customisation and safety.
Germany is among the most important suppliers for the Indian mining market besides the US and China. The Indo-German trade in mining equipÂment has a brilliant history: In 2003, equipment worth only â‚¬1.36 million was sold to India. In 2010 German manufacturers could dramatically raise the export of minÂing machinery up to â‚¬57 million. Mostly, longÂwall shearers and heading or tunnelling machines were sold.
This year, nearly 18 million tonne of copper will be consumed globally, which is set to almost double by 2050. It is
primarily the rapid degree of industrialisation in threshold and deveÂloping countries in Asia and South America that is
triggering the demand for raw materials. China alone increased its coal production of just under one billion tonne in 2000 to some 3.1 billion tonne last year, and in South America, a significant rise in the demÂand for raw materials is also being forecast. In India, coal consumption is expected to triple to two billion tonne over the next 20 years.
Much of the machinery and equipment that are required to meet this demand will be supplied by the interÂnational mining equipment industry. Therefore, the futÂure prospects of the sector are more than just good. Since 2007, manufacturers have been able to increase their turnover from â‚¬3.41 billion to last yearâ€™s figure of â‚¬3.81 billion. Success that is unquestionably due to the openÂing of new sales regions and the consistent fostering of existing trade links. However, this alone is not enough to convince the market.The key here is to offer the right products and services.Only when both fit the bill along with a fair price a company will be able to hold its own on the market long term.
But what will products and services of the future look like? What demands will be made of man and machine in five, 10-20 years, and how will comÂpetition on world markets evolve? The success of both the German and interÂnÂational mining equipment induÂstry will hinge on the answers to these questions. The German EngiÂneering Association (Verband Deutscher Maschinen-und AnlagÂenbau, or VDMA) grouping together most of the mining equipment manufacturers located in Germany, recently launched a series of events entitled â€œFuture Mining: What will the next generation mine look like?â€ The deliberations helped manufacturers recognise the challenges of the future and to find ways to address them.
The German mining equipment industry is well preÂpared for the challenges of the future and this is demonÂstrated primarily by its current success. Ultimately, this is because it simply provides the right answers to quesÂtions posed in the past. This year, manufacturers anticiÂpate further growth in turnover. In 2010, they were able to more than compensate for their orders shortfall in 2009 by achieving a two percent positive, up to â‚¬3.81 billion.
The impulses for this growth came primarily from threshold and developing countries as well as from India and China, the largest export market for mining equipÂment made in Germany. Turnover there last year rose by a substantial 38 percent from â‚¬233 million to â‚¬322 million. Thus, demand for raw materials continues to rise unabated. An end to the boom is not in sight. Nearly 80 percent of the energy generated in China and more than 65 percent in India comes from coal-fired power stations. In future this proportion, and therefore the demand for coal, will continue to see high growth.
Mining at Ever-Greater Depths
Some people are predicting the start of a long-lasting â€˜superboomâ€™ for the global coal industry led by China and India. The reason for this forecast is the vast energy demÂands that are to be met by the building of new coal-fired power stations. In the next five years alone, new power stations with total output of 390 GW will be comÂmissioned worldwide, and annual demand for coal will rise by appÂroximately one billion tonne. The trend is not focused on mining coal mining alone but also on other raw materials as well as mining at greater-than-ever-before depths. And with their vast experience primÂarily gathered on the domÂestic market in underÂground mining, German manuÂfacÂturers will benefit here. Only last year, German comÂpany Eickhoff Bergbautechnik GmbH brought the first fully automatic shearer loaders for underground coal minÂing onto the market, thereby making the long envisioned automatic long-wall mining a reality.
Growing Demand for Safety Engineering
German manufacturers see great potential in the developing and threshold countries of Asia and South AmerÂica. Even ahead of Australia, Indonesia, for example, has now burgeoned as the worldâ€™s largest coal exporting nation in the world. The reason for this lies in the fact that the distances and therefore transportation costs to major export destinations like China and India are lower than those from Australia. In key demand is safety engineering, and German manufacturers lead the field here.