With an unparalleled portfolio of mining products and services, Mitch Tanzer, Global Commercial Director of Wabtec Digital Mine, speaks to us about how the company is revolutionising the way the world moves for future generations.
ACCELERATING THE FUTURE OF TRANSPORTATION
With roots dating all the way back to prominent names like George Westinghouse, Thomas Edison, and Louis Faiveley, Wabtec Corporation is a leading global provider of equipment, systems, digital solutions, and value-added services for the freight and transit rail sectors, boasting over 150 years of industry experience.
Mitch Tanzer, Global Commercial Director of Wabtec Digital Mine (Wabtec), has been working in and around the mining industry for over a decade and has never lost his sense of curiosity and excitement when it comes to the people, processes, and technology that make up this unique sector.
“In general, Australia is seen as a leader when it comes to the development and implementation of new cutting-edge technology,” opens Tanzer.
“Many other mining jurisdictions are seeing what is being done and are trying to emulate the way in which we operate. Right now, we are seeing a surge in the adoption of new and proven technologies, and Wabtec is a beneficiary of this.”
With solutions that are catered specifically to meet business objectives in a productive and efficient manner, Wabtec is an unparalleled technology leader.
The company operates in three distinct technologies: collision avoidance systems (CAS), underground measure while drilling (MWD), and software, analytics, and services. With approximately 150 people based in seven different countries, the company supports Tier 1 and Tier 2 customers in every major mining jurisdiction.
To date, 20 percent of the world’s freight is moved by Wabtec locomotives which travel, on average, 1.5 billion miles per year in some of the harshest conditions. Additionally, Wabtec has helped to slash 3.8 million metric tonnes of CO2 with its dedicated sustainability mission.
With the core mission of unlocking each customer’s potential by delivering innovative and lasting transportation solutions, Wabtec is continually at the leading edge of technology and responsible operations across the world.
Recently, Wabtec has seen immediate success in the launch of the Generation 3 CAS, a clear indication that safety has never been more important and will be a significant growth engine for businesses across all major mining jurisdictions.
“Safety continues to be one of the most important initiatives for mining operations, and the Generation 3 CAS solution is recognised as the only solution capable to meet the requirements of industry standards set by the Earth Moving Equipment Safety Round Table (EMESRT),” notes Tanzer.
Wabtec further sets itself apart from the competition with solutions that no one else in today’s market comes close to offering.
“For CAS, we have the only solution that can curve beams around corners, provide instant heading on take-off, offer software that introduces cutting-edge human factors in design with no beeps or buzzers, and monitor the system’s health in real time.”
Being at the forefront of safer, smarter, and greener solutions, Wabtec incorporates advanced technologies, including machine learning (ML), data analytics, digital twins, and remote monitoring, allowing mines to gain valuable insights into their individual operations and make data-driven decisions that ultimately help increase output and reduce costs.
“Our drill guidance solution (DGS) product is the only tool to achieve IECEx certification and, therefore, we are the only choice when it comes to safe drilling,” further expands Tanzer.
Additionally, Wabtec is close to launching a brand-new product for DGS customers, which will provide a change in mobility for underground coal mines, along with opening a new remote monitoring centre in Johannesburg with the aim of supporting customers across all product lines.
Wabtec’s vision of revolutionising the way the world moves for future generations is evident in the day-to-day decisions and actions that it consistently makes.
DECARBONISING GLOBAL TRANSPORT
With the commitment to sustainability at the heart of everything that Wabtec does, the company is leading the way in creating a more sustainable freight and passenger transportation network.
Additionally, since operational excellence and environmental stewardship are among its main priorities, Wabtec ensures that its business is conducted in a way that is sustainable for employees, customers, and the communities in which they live and work.
Recently, Wabtec published its Reconciliation Action Plan. “This is the result of a partnership with Reconciliation Australia and is an important step in our journey towards supporting the long-term socioeconomic empowerment of First Nations peoples,” Tanzer tells us.
Along with the various social responsibilities that are at the core of what drives Wabtec as a company, recognising its various staff members and their contributions is significant to Wabtec’s inclusive culture.
“Recognition is a core part of the Wabtec DNA, so a lot of emphasis is put on recognising those that are living and breathing our vision, mission, and values. An initiative that has been really well received by the broader organisation has been Wellness Days,” notes Tanzer.
Wellness Days encourages the prioritisation of physical and mental health by blocking out work activities and allowing the people who work hard day in, day out to energise and empower themselves in order to be able to continuously deliver meaningful outcomes for customers.
More than just the world-class products it offers, Wabtec is proudly guided by its values of safety, customer focus, excellence, innovation, and teamwork, all contributing to the diverse thinking that leads to innovative ideas which best meet the needs of clients.
MOVING THE WORLD FOR FUTURE GENERATIONS
With an outstanding year under Wabtec’s belt as a direct result of the dedication of its international team, there is nowhere else to go but up.
“We anticipate that we will continue to grow, and we have a lot more exciting news to come in the near future,” acclaims Tanzer.
“A key ingredient to our growth is also expanding from our core, and we are busy examining some options that will see us expand our capability further into underground, artificial intelligence (AI), and mine productivity.”
This will be underpinned by Wabtec’s continued investment in the development of its data management platform.
In North America, the market is maturing in its approach to managing vehicle interaction, and the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) is regularly publishing updates on the incidents and fatalities that are occurring. Like Australia, there is pressure on the industry as a whole to make meaningful improvements to safety.
Similarly, in South Africa, Wabtec is experiencing tailwinds due to the level nine mandate introduced by the Department of Mineral Resources and Energy (DMRE), entailing that all mining operations must comply with the relevant sections of the legislation or risk being shut down.
Mining is undeniably an important industry that plays a vital role in the global economy, but as with any major sector, there are always challenges to be faced. However, with the extraordinary collective talent of the people who make up Wabtec, these hurdles are faced head-on and without hesitation.
Always promoting a safer, smarter, and greener approach, Wabtec is a reliable and time-tested corporation that allows mining companies to directly address problems and position themselves for a successful and long-lasting future.