Equipping Terex MP Aggregates for a new business era

Crushing Static & Mobile / February 1, 2024
By Guy Woodford
Pat Brian, Terex Materials Processing's vice president, Aggregates Pic: Terex MP

Pat Brian has taken on the newly created executive role of vice president, Aggregates, within the Terex Materials Processing segment of Terex. He talks to Guy Woodford about big plans to enhance the wide range of globally renowned aggregates and mining industry equipment brands under his leadership to ensure they prosper in a new digitalised and alternative fuel era.


The Terex Materials Processing (Terex MP) business division within Terex has grown dramatically in the last few years through acquisitions, new facility openings, extension of existing facilities, and expansion of its brands' global distribution networks.

Such has been the size and speed of change, it had, says Pat Brian, made it harder for investors and customers to fully appreciate how Terex MP sat within Terex and what its increasing brand portfolio had to offer specific industries. 

A Powerscreen Premiertrak 600E jaw crusher at a Collen Bros (Quarries) Ltd, Ireland site. Pic: Powerscreen


"We've taken their valuable feedback and created five clear Terex MP business verticals. Under the Aggregates vertical are Powerscreen, Finlay, EvoQuip, Terex Mineral Processing Systems [Terex MPS], Terex Washing Systems [TWS], MDS, ProStack, Marco and Terex Conveyor Systems," he explains. "These brands supply equipment solutions to the aggregates and mining industries." 


The other four Terex MP verticals are Environmental, including Terex Recycling Systems, ZenRobotics, Terex Ecotec, and Continental Biomass Industries (CBI); Concrete, featuring Advance, Bid-Well and ProAll; Handling, home to the Fuchs brand of material-handling equipment; and Lifting, which includes Terex Tower Cranes, Terex Rough Terrain Cranes and Franna pick and carry cranes.  


Brian switched to his new vice president, Aggregates brief, in Q3 2023, having served more than three-and-a-half years as Terex MP's vice president and managing director of Mobile Crushing and Screening. "In creating the new business verticals, we have the opportunity for greater collaboration and to exploit synergies across more of our brands"


Strategic priorities


So, what are Brian's priorities for Terex MP Aggregates? "The digitalisation of the front and back end of the business is critical. By the front end, we mean digitally connecting with our dealers and customers. The back end is our internal operations, including factories and our management and administration offices. Getting our global factory footprint fully digitalised represents a huge financial investment, but one we feel is critical to our long-term efficiency. We've created a dedicated digital operations team to help with this work.

In November 2023, EvoQuip announced the delivery of 1,000 machines globally. Pic: EvoQuip


"The continuing electrification of the equipment range across Terex MP's brands is another big priority. Currently, 70% of our Aggregates brands' machines are available to customers in partial or fully electric form. The electric-powered plant represents around 10% of our current sales. However, this proportion is growing fast, especially among big customers in certain markets like Scandinavia, parts of Western Europe and California. Our factories must also be future-proofed to handle the rising demand for electric-powered machines."


Brian says he was recently talking to a representative of Molson Group (Terex MP Aggregates' biggest distributor) who told him that sustainability within the Group's ESG [Environmental, Social & Corporate Governance] work had taken on "critical" importance. "That will lead to them purchasing more electric crushers, screeners, and wash plants to sell to customers. The same customers are also recycling more and using fewer virgin aggregates. Larger customers are under pressure from their investors to show that they are putting resources into sustainable solutions. It's also the case that some contracts are only awarded to contractors who can prove the works will be done sustainably."


In September 2023, Terex, CATAGEN and WRIGHTBUS were awarded £6.27 million in funding by the UK Department for Energy Security & Net Zero through Phase 2 of the Red Diesel Replacement programme as part of the £1 billion Net Zero Innovation Portfolio (NZIP). 


A next-generation AggreSand 206 wash plant was a big draw for Terex Washing Systems at Hillhead 2022. Pic: Terex Washing Systems

The British Government funding is part of an £8.1 million project to decarbonise non-road mobile machinery, creating 15 highly skilled jobs and highlighting Northern Ireland's manufacturing and engineering expertise that is now being used to reduce emissions globally.


The project will result in a decarbonised end-to-end demonstration of a Powerscreen Premiertrak 450E crusher and Chieftain 1700XE screener powered by green hydrogen and e-diesel at a working quarry site in Northern Ireland in 2024. The Powerscreen equipment will be fuelled by CATAGEN's ClimaHtech E-FUEL GEN and COMPRESSOR technology, and WRIGHTBUS is supporting the development of a mobile hydrogen refueller.


Terex, CATAGEN and WRIGHTBUS aim to take a complete solution to a pre-production readiness level and demonstrate the full-systems approach at two demonstration sites during 2024. The benefits of this concept lie in integrating well-proven equipment with innovative technology that can deliver a fully decarbonised, robust solution for the industry.


"Participating in this wider British hydrogen-powered plant development project is a key part of our overall alternative equipment research and development," says Brian. "Powerscreen is probably our most high-profile brand globally, so it felt right that its machines should be used in such major research. We are excited about it. If the new technology is successful, it will also be used by other Terex MP Aggregates brands. 


"We are keeping an open mind when it comes to alternative fuels. We want to fully understand what Terex MP can do with hydrogen, but we also want to know about other alternative fuels we can use in our equipment.


"Current battery technology precludes its wide-scale use in aggregates and mining crushing and screening. Five years from now, if a small battery can power a big crusher, we would be open to its use."


What does Brian say about the future of diesel-hydraulic-powered crushing and screening? "While 65-70% of our engineering work has been around electric technologies, we will continue to design great diesel-hydraulic machines while there is demand for them."  


Robust footprint


As well as manufacturing machines in its ISO9001:2008-accredited Dungannon, Omagh, Ballymoney, Cookstown and Campsie facilities in Northern Ireland, Co. Monaghan in Ireland, and at its site in Coalville, Leicestershire, England, several Terex MP Aggregates brands make machines at Terex MP custom-built facilities in Hosur, India, Jiading, China and Oklahoma, Durand and Mt. Vernon in the US. Some Terex Aggregates brands also support customers from satellite offices and distribution centres in Thailand, Malaysia, Australia, and in the US out of Louisville, Kentucky.

Terex MP_Dungannon
Terex MP has a key manufacturing and management facility in Dungannon, County Tyrone, Northern Ireland. Pic: Terex MP


Additionally, all Terex MP Aggregates brands can utilise Terex Dungannon's state-of-the-art spare parts facility. The site has cutting-edge picking and packing technologies and tens of thousands of stock items available for same-day dispatch, ensuring excellent service to parts customers worldwide. 2024 will see the construction and opening of a brand-new parts facility in Louisville, Kentucky, to support its biggest market, North America.


Focusing on Terex MP's many acquisitions in recent years, Brian says that the 2021 purchases of Ireland-based MDS - a manufacturer of heavy-duty trommels - and an 18,000m² manufacturing facility in the Jiading district of Shanghai, China, were big aggregates-business growth-minded moves. Another was last year's acquisition of the Steelweld fabrication business in Northern Ireland.


"We bought the Shanghai manufacturing facility from Weir Minerals. It allows us to better supply Chinese and Southeast Asian customers with Powerscreen machines and those from other Terex Aggregates brands.


"Terex has a strong balance sheet, and further acquisitions will be made in the coming years. We can leverage our big global distribution network to provide a quick route to market for acquired equipment manufacturing businesses. It means we can take a business like MDS and quickly increase its sales.


"The acquisition of Steelweld has given us more secure and larger fabrication resources, enabling us to ramp up machine production more quickly. Fabrication is a critical part of our business, and the right combination of our capability and fabrications purchased from our key suppliers is a crucial part of our manufacturing strategy."


Sustained excellence


How does Brian assess the Terex MP Aggregates brands' product offerings? Are there any gaps to fill? "I think it's comprehensive. We certainly don't have a strategy for filling every single gap. I think our portfolio should be under constant review. Each brand has its product portfolio strategy. I run commercial strategy sessions involving all the brands. Sometimes, a brand will be protective of a product concept; other times, we might choose to leverage that concept across some of our other brands."

Finlay business line director Matt Dickson speaking at the brand's 65th-anniversary celebration at its Omagh, Northern Ireland site. Pic: Finlay


Does Brian see domestic crushing and screening manufacturers in China, India and other emerging markets as competition for Terex MP Aggregates brands? "We don't take them lightly. We just need to do what we do as well as possible across all areas of our business – from manufacturing efficiency, equipment quality, and working with our specialist global distribution network. The latter, in particular, is very hard to replicate."


The commercial success of Terex MP Aggregates brands' compact crushers and screeners has pleased Brian. "We have EvoQuip as our compact brand, but some of our other brands' crushers and screeners would also come under the compact category, so all combined we make a pretty formidable player in that space. EvoQuip started around six years ago and has been a great success; it's one of our fastest-growing brands. The compact market is a great entry space for a crushing contractor who wants to start with a smaller plant and work their way up in volume and machine size."


Brian says from a sustainability perspective, Terex MP Aggregates brands are "absolutely focused" on offering the right range of machines for recycled-aggregates-processing customers. "We know that legislation will drive greater use of recycled aggregates. For example, in Germany, [infrastructure contract works] regulations are tightening. It is driving our product development agenda alongside electrification."


Customer-centric approach


Having first worked for Terex from 2007 to 2011, and before rejoining the business in 2019, Staffordshire, central England-based Brian worked for nearly eight years as chief executive officer for Trolex, based in Manchester, England, a major supplier of environmental- and condition-monitoring systems to the global mining, industrial and rail markets.

Pat Brian (pictured far right) at a Terex MP Future Leaders Programme event. Pic: Terex MP


"My work in Terex tends to be varied with so many brands and operations to cover. I spend around 40% of my time overseas visiting our facilities, customers, and distributors. Being with customers and distributors is the best way to inform our Aggregates business strategy, including what we do around engineering, filling a commercial need, and improving our overall operations." 


Focusing on Terex MP Aggregates global trading in 2023 and beyond, Brian says the business will benefit from significantly strengthening its supply chain after an extremely tough period during and in the aftermath of the coronavirus pandemic. "2023 will be a very strong year for us, with revenues up around 20% [Terex MP – excluding Aerial Work Platforms - revenues of US$1.9bn in 2022]. Demand remains robust in most areas, but we're not immune to global economic headwinds. We forecast that 2024 will see a softening [of demand] in some areas, but overall, we are optimistic about the global market in the next few years. There's demand in developed countries for refreshed infrastructure, and then in developing countries, infrastructure is installed for the first time. We are also well placed to meet the growing interest in recycling and plant electrification."


Brian thinks a huge part of the success of what is now the more clearly defined Aggregates element of Terex MP has been its peerless global distribution network's ability to handle a multi-brand line-up and the "sensitivities" that can come with that.

The Finlay logo on a C-1550+ cone crusher on show at CONEXPO/CON-AGG 2023 in Las Vegas. Pic: Guy Woodford


A key development within Terex MP Aggregates' global distribution network, says Brian, has been a more comprehensive push on crushers and screeners for rental customers. "Our US market has always been very rentals-heavy, but we identified when I came to Terex in 2019 that in other parts of the world, there were not enough distributors focused on rentals. We spent a lot of time encouraging them to embrace rentals, giving examples, like in Italy, of how distributors have used it to significantly increase their business, potentially making it more profitable. A lot of rental machines end up as outright purchases."


Comprehensive training


Brian says what is now classified as the Aggregates side of Terex MP has been implementing several major internal training initiatives over the past year. "We initially identified the need for us to develop a broader talent pool of general managers and created a Future Leaders programme for selected delegates from across Terex MP. We have since followed this up with similar programmes for operations and commercial leaders.


External Terex MP Aggregates training focuses on its brands' dealers. This included sessions involving Powerscreen distributors at the brand's World Dealer Conference staged in Varese, Italy, in September 2023. "We need to help our brands' distribution networks as much as possible across various business areas, including how best to meet the increasing demand for electric-powered crushers and screeners and service them, as well as helping enable them to connect with their customers digitally.

An MDS M515 heavy-duty trommel at work. Pic: MDS 


"We strongly encourage our distributors to focus on the parts and service side of their businesses. This includes embracing digital tools such as the use of the myTerex Portal App to order replacement parts for customer machines or schedule a crusher or screener service based on telematics data. Servicing and replacement parts are an increasingly key part of a distributor's revenue. 


"The servicing of machines also really drives product development. It's when you see the nuances of a machine and ask whether a design works. A service technician might say, 'I'm in the engine canopy and look at the wiring here. I just can't get the access I need.' We feed that back, tweak the design and make servicing easier, faster, and cheaper."


Are aggregate customers looking for more automated processes in their crushers and screeners? "There's a dichotomy on the equipment side. Customers want more sophistication in one way but simplification in another. We can learn from other industries in many ways which develop products that are at the same time very technically sophisticated but also intuitive and easy to use. Making our machines intuitive and simple to use, with fewer buttons to press and screens to navigate, is important. How you write software code to simplify things for the machine user is now so important. It will become a point of difference if we make our equipment even easier to use."


Success factors


Does Terex MP Aggregates plan to extend its manufacturing footprint? "We've planned significant new investment in our Northern Ireland manufacturing sites over the next two years. There will be a big expansion of our fabrication facility in Ballymoney, County Antrim. We're further extending our new Campsie site, and in around the third quarter of 2024, we are looking to start an extension of the crusher factory at our Omagh site. We will create a new hall dedicated to diesel-electric hybrid and fully electric machine production. They will be Powerscreen, Finlay, and EvoQuip-branded crushers. The build will take around 12 months. We'll also put in new office space and a training suite."

A ProStack Ranger 6-24TR tracked radial conveyor being deployed on a quarry site. Pic: Terex MP


What are Brian's ultimate goals as Terex MP vice president, Aggregates? "A big part of my job is working closely with our HR [Human Resources] people to ensure we have the right teams in place and retain them. I have a staff retention team that meets every quarter, looking not just at employee remuneration and benefits but also training and development. We have an annual staff survey which 85-90% of employees respond to. We get robust feedback, and it's my job to listen and act upon it."


Brian says that while Terex is "financially metric-driven", other things matter more. "Safety is absolutely the Number One priority. Furthermore, always looking to improve quality is a major focus for me. People spend a lot of money on their equipment. We introduced a Total Quality Management programme when I joined Terex. The first pillar is Quality Matters, covering our machine-build quality and not passing on any defect further down the production line. If you go round our factories, you see quality gates. It means we are not left picking up on things at the end of our process during a final inspection but build quality throughout. We then have Design Matters, where we focus on ensuring our designs meet our customers' demands and ensure industry-leading reliability. We have Supplier Matters to ensure our component partners are part of our quality improvement journey. Finally, we have a Customer Matters element to support our distributors, given they are often the face of our brands in the market."


I end by asking 58-year-old Brian, a married father-of-three and passionate Leicester Tigers rugby supporter, what he likes most about working in the crushing and screening industry. "It's a great industry, and I like the people in it. It tends to attract big characters, and there's honesty and often a directness. You can argue at times, but it gets forgotten. It is like a family: people tend to stay in the industry long-term. There's always another challenge to embrace, and I feel privileged to work in this great environment."




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