Terex Corporation's sustained strategic investments in product electrification and other areas have put its Terex Materials Processing business division in a strong position to grow and capitalise on global megatrends, such as the increasing importance of digitalised production to customer operations. Guy Woodford reports
Within minutes of the start of Terex Corporation's (Terex) press conference on the second day of the CONEXPO/CON-AGG 2023 exhibition in Las Vegas, John Garrison, Terex's CEO and president, highlights two key industry topics that are crucial parts of Terex's Materials Processing (Terex MP) business division's growth agenda.
"Electrification started three years ago, but it's picking up steam everywhere. Around 60% of our Terex Materials Processing business's products are offered in hybrid or electric form. That train is leaving the station, accelerating as we go forward. The world is also digitising, and we are not immune to that. We have to figure out how we utilise digitalisation to be successful."
The Terex Materials Processing (Terex MP) business division includes, among other brands, Powerscreen, Finlay, EvoQuip, Terex Materials Processing Systems (Terex MPS), Terex Washing Systems (TWS), MDS, Ecotec, and ProStack.
Emphasising its importance to Terex's overall trading health, Garrison says: "We are trying to grow as a company and improve our customer's product lifetime experience. I am delighted with the great work that our MP business segment has done in expanding the addressable markets and expanding into new spaces with new products and distribution channels.
"Team members are our greatest asset and most significant investment as we progress. It is a competitive global labour market. We must attract and retain the best, helping them realise their full potential with Terex.
"Purposeful innovation will then drive growth. It is a self-fulfilling prophecy. We think we are well-positioned to benefit from new megatrends, with the concept of sustainability front and centre. We all have to do things differently over the next five, ten, fifteen, and twenty years than in the past to help create a more sustainable world. That creates tremendous opportunities for the types of solutions our Materials Processing and other business divisions offer."
Garrison also stresses the benefits of Terex MP's wide-ranging product offer to customers working on new infrastructure projects, highlighting how the new $1.2 trillion US Infrastructure Bill offered huge growth potential for the business division in North America over the next few years.
Among many recently introduced Terex MP brand products on show at CONEXPO/CON-AGG 2023 (14-18 March) were Powerscreen's Titan 2300 screener and Gladiator MT1150SR wheeled crushing and screening plant, Finlay's C-1550+ tracked cone crusher, Terex Washing Systems' FM Pentium washing solution, EvoQuip's Cobra 230R impact crusher, and Terex MPS's Cedarapids CRC1350S portable cone crusher and Simplicity ESX620 'Extra Clearance' horizontal screen.
Speaking alongside Garrison at Terex's exhibition press conference, Kieran Hegarty, Terex MP president, says Terex MP sees itself as a diversified and specialised manufacturer for customers in industries including, among others, construction, quarrying, and environmental management.
"In the last three years, we have continued to evolve and grow. For example, in March 2021, we bought a factory in China to manufacture crushing, screening and environmental equipment, primarily for the Chinese market. That's been a really good long-term investment in a very large market. With the coronavirus and the timings of lockdowns, it's been a difficult transition. But the team have worked hard, and we are now up and running.
"In Ireland, we acquired MDS. It's a specialised manufacturer of heavy-duty trommel screens. It was, again, an excellent acquisition. We believe we can leverage what they offer on a global scale through our specialised distribution model.2
Hegarty also notes that Terex MP has recently bought a large Northern Ireland-based fabricator, allowing the business division to increase production capacity when required. He also highlights that Terex MP has further strengthened its Terex Advance business's leading position in North American concrete delivery by acquiring ProAll, a Canadian volumetric concrete mixer company. "We really believe we can internationalise that concept," he stresses.
Picking up on Garrison's comments on sustainability being at the heart of Terex and Terex MP's future business model, Hegarty says Terex MP is building a "significant position" in the waste processing sector. "We acquired a Finnish technology company, ZenRobotics, that automates waste processing. It fits perfectly into the environmental side of our business."
Hegarty continues: "Traditionally, Terex MP has been well known for its position in primarily mobile aggregates processing equipment. Within our portfolio are world-leading brands. We have the Powerscreen business, a crushing and screening pioneer, our Finlay business, and Terex MPS, an amalgamation of our Cedarapids and Simplicity brands. In 2016, we started our EvoQuip brand based on [compact plant] aggregates recycling and demolition materials processing. That's been highly successful. We also have a very strong position in wet materials processing through our Terex Washing Systems business."
Last year, Terex MP launched Terex Recycling Systems (TRS), specialising in the design and build of stationary and modular recycling systems, ultimately providing customers with a 'one-stop shop' to meet their recycling needs. Hegarty says introducing TRS was a key factor behind last year's ZenRobotics acquisition. "We are very bullish not just on the macro trends but on the global position and leverage Terex MP can bring to environmentally-minded materials processing."
Hegarty comments on Terex MP's digitalisation focus: "All the products we offer come telemetry enabled. But that data has to be translated and used by customers in real-world scenarios. We have various apps that customers can order parts on and determine the operating performance of their machines. There are also multiple data points on the apps that the customers can access to see their machines' CO2 emissions. Seventy per cent of Terex MP revenues go through distribution partners, so digitising our dealers is important to improve our [customer] end users' experience. Our CDI (Connected Dealer Inventory) interlinks data across all Terex MP systems, helping dealers, for example, see where parts inventory is globally at any given time."
Hegarty says about the growth of hybrid and fully-electric powered crushing and screening plants: "People are always talking about the demise of the diesel engine. It's a difficult one to call. If the customer wants an electric solution, we will provide one. As John has said, electrification is an important part of our [business] strategy."
Parts and service infrastructure is, says Hegarty, an area of "continuous investment" by Terex MP. "For instance, we have a new customer service centre in Hosur, India. We have expanded our Dungannon Business Park parts and service business and our Roosendaal, Holland, central European parts and service centre. This means we are investing in our digital tools and physical warehousing footprint to help us better serve our customers.
Hegarty continues: "People tend to talk about digital tools that are customer-facing, but if you walk around any of our factories today, you will see that over the last five years, we have continued to invest in the digitalisation of our manufacturing. It is helping our ability to produce products. Some of that is driven by practical realities, such as the challenge of getting skilled people, like welders, to work at your businesses in some parts of the world. You look at our factories today; robots are a common sight, particularly in fabrication. There is also a full digital flow regarding how we design a product and get it out to the customer."
Returning to the sustainability theme during a press conference Q&A following Garrison and Hegarty's presentations, Garrison says that Terex is committed to cutting the company's greenhouse gas emissions by 15% by the end of 2024. "It's a short-term goal. We will then take the next steps forward in looking at how we more efficiently use our resources."