Nautitech impresses award judges with mine safety product

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Nautitech CEO Mac Powolny

Australian electronics manufacturer Nautitech has capped impressive recent growth by being named 2022 New South Wales Supplier of the Year, with its “comprehensive solution for shuttle cars” impressing award judges at the state’s minerals council.

NSW Mining said the safety solution, developed with Komatsu, Centennial Coal and engineering company Androck, helped “improve communications, visibility and safety, through smart technology, including real-time monitoring, efficient light solutions, digital displays, safety cameras and fast-speed internet solutions”.

Formed as a two-man band in 2000, Nautitech has become a global provider of smart electronic and electrical solutions for original equipment manufacturers and underground mine sites. CEO Mac Powolny said staff numbers had almost doubled in the past 2-3 years. He expects Nautitech’s workforce in Australia and South Africa to exceed 50 employees by early 2023.

“We have focused our energies and engineering talent to providing solutions for specific applications in hazardous area mining,” Powolny said.

“This past year, we focused on a comprehensive solution for shuttle cars to improve visibility, communications, and safety through our products including Methane Master monitoring and shutdown, CUBEx intrinsically safe lighting, ExTREMECAM thermal and HD cameras, Hawkeye displays and Spitfire powerline modems.”

Despite COVID-related supply-chain challenges, Nautitech is said to have achieved year-on-year sales growth in fiscal 2022.

“We have overcome supply chain issues and parts shortages by sourcing materials from alternate suppliers,” Powolny said. “In some cases, the engineering team has found a workaround while still maintaining the integrity of the end product.”

The company sources 94% of its base materials and components from suppliers in NSW.

Nautitech offers up to four internships per year for students from local universities both directly and part of Australia’s national science agency CSIRO STEM Links program, which supports students studying STEM subjects.

“This has been a successful pipeline for us to add new talent to our engineering team,” Powolny said.

Nautitech spends 15-20% of its turnover on research and development.

The CEO said sales growth would be driven by mining companies’ safety and productivity needs.

“We are seeing growing interest in intrinsically safe equipment such as lights and cameras to minimise the potential for accidents in hazardous areas,” Powolny said.

“Electric vehicles and automation continue to be a growing trend as mine sites work towards higher yields and greater safety.”

 

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