An immense number of high-tech industries worldwide depend upon natural resources such as minerals and metals; coal is still being one of the leading global energy resources. Due to a global overproduction in coal, the coal price eroded in the years after the global financial crises of 2007. Metal prices fell due to the financial crises and also took some time to recover (mainly excluding rare earths). Producers had to dramatically cut costs and/or shut down entire operations. The bottom of the coal mining market was hit in 2015-2016 and has been recovering since. However, many mine operators have started investing again and even old mine sites are put to operation again. Digitization has also arrived in the market and is driving technological advancements.
Headquartered in Friedrichsthal, Germany, the Becker Mining Systems Group is a system supplier for
mining infrastructure. It is the only worldwide supplier of complete energy, automation, communication, and transportation infrastructure for the mining industry. In addition to Germany, the company has its subsidiaries in France, Poland, Russia, China, South Africa, Australia, the USA, Canada, Mexico and Chile. Since the middle of the 1980s, Becker Mining Systems has followed a consistent internationalization strategy and thus countered the receding mining market in its home country.
The Founder and the Story of Evolution
The Becker Mining Systems Group was founded by Walter Becker in 1964 in the German Saar Region in South- West Germany. Walter Becker started the business as a repair and overhaul service to the local mines, but soon began to develop his own products – mainly in the field of underground transportation and safety equipment.
In 1980, new product developments in the field of communication and energy distribution started off and the business was established as one of the main suppliers to the German national coal industry.
In 1983, Walter Becker and his son Franz Becker began to expand the company into other countries. The first subsidiaries were founded in South Africa, Poland and China.
Between 2003 and 2006 further growth was achieved with establishments of subsidiaries in Russia, Australia and Canada. The further acquisitions in Australia, Chile, South Africa and the USA complete the structure of the current group. Adding to these expansions, a partnership with Lasec Telecommunications led its owners to establish yet another subsidiary in Mexico in 2013.
Today the Becker Mining Systems Group delivers a wide range of products in the five fields of Energy Distribution, Communication, Automation, Transport and Roof Support. It is a technological leader in all of its product fields who maintains the highest quality and safety standards in their markets.
Since 1990 the company has been led by Prof. Dr. Franz Becker who holds a PhD in Mechanical Engineering and is also a professor for automation in mining at the Technical University of Rhine-Westphalia in Aachen, Germany.
The Amazing Services and Digitized Products
The products of Becker Mining Systems provide solutions for higher efficiency and safety in the mining sector for the recovery of natural resources. These products are divided into two segments- Electrical and Mechanical. The segment Electrical consists of the three product divisions- energy distribution, automation and communication. Becker Mining Systems offers complete, tailor-made energy infrastructure solutions that yield maximum output even under the most difficult conditions.
In the area of automation, the company offers flexible solutions that guarantee the comprehensive control and monitoring of all work processes at all levels of a modern mine.
Another contribution is mobile radio solutions that enable uninterrupted communication throughout the entire underground mine. Apart from voice transmission, these solutions help to transmit data and video signals underground and the main mine control above ground.
Transportation and Roof Support are the two components of the Mechanical segment. The company has been developing transportation systems for men and material underground since the time of its initiation. The product portfolio ranges from traprail, floor-mounted and overhead monorails to chair lifts and conveying systems.
Standing Apart in Global Market
The Becker Mining Systems Group’s products lead their respective fields in technology and quality. All of the products are designed to maximize security and productivity through highest safety standards, powerful architecture and intuitive controlling. Adding to this, the company also can provide comprehensive service and training in every major mining in the global arena.
The main aim of the company is to create long standing partnerships with its customers. In this way, the innovative company creates and develops products in collaboration and makes sure the solution is appropriate for the specific needs. The products are of higher acquisition cost than its competitors, but set TCO (Total Cost of Ownership) benchmarks. Over 87% of the customers that have deployed its products at one point would like to maintain a long-term relationship. Safety is a crucial aspect in mining, and the products of Becker Mining Systems mostly exceed the standards.
The Becker Mining Systems Group in partnership with the RWTH Aachen, Fraunhofer Institute, DFKI (all Germany-based) and others, develops new applications for mining companies, which use AI analytics to provide greater insight and retain experiences from big volumes of data.
The Future Roadmap
Reflecting on the future prospects, the CEO says that the company will work towards setting the industry standard in underground mining infrastructure equipment and integrate emerging technologies like AI, VR and AR and digitalize the complete process of a mining operation in the upcoming years. In this way, the team will continue to provide its customers with products that insure and create a high value for their operations.