Komatsu have a venerable reputation in relation to their electric drive AC haul trucks. As the first manufacturer to introduce AC drive ultra-class trucks in 1996, Komatsu's pedigree in AC rigs is second to none.
Their mining diggers however have not fared as well in Australia. Despite their reliability, they have been much maligned and never quite achieved the critical mass that their competitors have in our country.
Be it discrimination by colour, operator acceptance and/or efficiency in application, they have largely failed to win over the hearts and minds of Australian miners.
Hailing from their Demag heritage the Komatsu digger has always carried a reputation for reliability. A simple 'mechanical' machine, these hydraulic excavators have sported some of the best mean times between failure in the industry however, in a market where cash is king and time is money, these diggers have quite simply failed to keep up with the pace.
With the Hydraulic Excavator/Shovel increasing becoming the primary digging tool of choice, this has affected Komatsu's deployment rate of their machines in Australia versus that of their competitors.
Komatsu however, are no dummies. Japanese owned, they are the second largest manufacturer of construction and mining equipment worldwide that have perfected the art of mining through organic growth and strategic acquisition.
Following the purchase of Demag completed in 1999 and more recently Joy Global in 2017, they have through a culture of continuous improvement, continued the incorporation of technology and know-how in sound operating platforms. With their indigestion now in check, I suspect that we will be seeing more of Komatsu's 'canary yellow' before too long.
This article was originally published by the Components Only team in the June 2019 issue of "@ The Coal Face" magazine.Published 17 June, 2019