Setting up shop near your customers makes good business sense, and that’s exactly what B&D Manufacturing did more than 35 years ago when it opened its doors to the mining community in the Sudbury area.
In fact, since the company was founded in 1980 by two underground mine machinists, Gerald Dubois and Wolfgang Bauer, its location in Chelmsford, ON., on Regional Road 15 just west of Sudbury has been the place where customers from the mining community have come to find answers to their equipment problems.
Originally established as the OEM of a product known as the Portable Align Boring Machine, a product that Dubois and Bauer identified as something the market needed to help reduce the amount of downtime involved with align boring machinery underground, the company gradually expanded its products and services to include other support equipment for the mines and mills, open-pit trucks, open-pit shovels and other construction tools and machinery.
B&D field services are available where customers need them.
To further explain the founders’ invention, the portable align boring machine eliminated the need to bring the larger underground equipment to the surface for re-boring and re-aligning (something often taking upwards of a week to accomplish).
The new device enabled mine operators to perform repairs on-site, underground, in as little as one day. Within three years, the company was exporting the machines throughout North America.
In keeping with innovation and moving forward, the company expanded through the acquisition of Alo-Tech, a fabrication company, to manufacture aluminum products, such as lightweight, heavy-duty stands, wheel chocks, stairs and platforms, built to meet or exceed industry standards and improve safety.
The company also has two dedicated Field Service departments.
The Field Mechancial department specializes in crusher evaluations, installations and repairs, while the Field Machining department specializes in portable align boring and on-site bore welding. Combined, the two Field Service departments provide on-site millwrights, welders and machinists.
The company continues to invest significantly in new product development, manufacturing fully engineered and certified complex component handling equipment and fabricating custom-designed aluminum products to meet customers’ unique needs for safety solutions and increased efficiencies.
Its OEM line supports large haul trucks and heavy shovels at surface operations, as well as heavy equipment operating in underground mines. This includes the B&D Super Jack, developed to provide industry with a machine that not only lifts, but supports the entire end of a haul truck.
Before this, air jacks were used to lift only one tire at a time, creating potentially unsafe conditions for maintenance personnel because the truck was not securely balanced.
It was this call for safety that resulted in the development of the company’s Swing Shaft Changer, a platform to perform repairs on large shovels. Similarly, a Wheeled Multi Handler, and a Tire Handler Station offers safer alternatives to performing work on open-pit equipment.
As mentioned earlier, the company continues to enter new international markets through a team of sales professionals and a broad network of distributors in several countries, including North and South America, South Africa and Australia.
Since day one, employees have been the company’s number one resource, and safety is of utmost importance.
In fact, the company has a full-time Health & Safety Manager on staff, which is not common in many companies, and its employees are encouraged and supported by management to engage in continuing education in order to further their knowledge and increase their skill sets.
Proof of this commitment to safety came in May 2014, when B&D Manufacturing reached a milestone by surpassing 1,000,000-manhours worked with no lost time.
In addition to being safety conscientious in the shop, the company has also been recognized by clients in the field for operating a very safe working environment at their sites.
Beyond the actual work site, being a good corporate citizen ranks high in the company’s business plan and that’s why it has an Environmental Management System in place to make certain that it complies with all environmental legislation and regulations governing its operations.
When it comes to impact on the environment, the company strives to manage all aspects of its business.
For instance, in the design of its new facilities in 2007, it took many steps to decrease the environmental footprint, including the installation of a solar wall to help reduce natural gas consumption by nearly 35,000 cubic meters.
In order to reduce water usage, it also refrains from watering or using pesticides and fertilizers at its property. Rain water from the building’s roof is captured in a holding tank and recycled as grey water.
The entire 47,000-square-foot facility operates under high-efficiency lighting.
In all of its endeavours, B&D Manufacturing of Chelmsford, Ontario, obviously puts “improving safety” at the top of its list. and regardless of whether it’s in the design and manufacture of new and innovative equipment and products, or in the way it works on the mine site, it’s one company that deserves recognition for its contribution to the Canadian Mining Industry.