"Customers are now asking what we are doing to decarbonize them, because ultimately, with respect to the mining houses, they can only bring so much. It is up to the OEMs and the technology partners to solve the decarbonization topic."
How does Liebherr intend to transform its business in Canada over the next three years?
The three year vision at Liebherr Canada is to diversify ourselves in order to be active in some of the markets where we currently are not. The key for Liebherr is to bring our capabilities to the surface and market that expertise to the industry. We want people to know that Liebherr is not just a little offshoot. We are serious and the people that are brave enough to take the plunge with us will reap the rewards.
How is Liebherr innovating and incorporating technology into its product offerings?
Liebherr has its digital suite and we have made enormous strides thus far. We have field validation studies that are currently happening on a number of product lines and we have seen their efficacy. The last 12 months has been an absolute hotbed for additional concepts that Liebherr had not considered previously. While zero emission mining has always been a topic of discussion, in the last 12-18 months it has been a recurring theme.
To what extent is Liebherr involved in decarbonizing the mine?
Customers are now asking what we are doing to decarbonize them, because ultimately, with respect to the mining houses, they can only bring so much. It is up to the OEMs and the technology partners to solve the decarbonization topic. Pretty much every company that we are talking to in Canada has decarbonization in their top five priorities, with some placing it right at the top because of ambitious commitments made. Each has a slightly different perspective on the direction they want to take their business in terms of achieving their objectives. As a result, OEMs have to hedge themselves in the way in which they bet on technology.
For Liebherr the decarbonization question is solely around how we pair our equipment. For the longest time Liebherr has had an electrical option. As the technology on the electricity generation front becomes more mature and therefore attainable, the electrification of equipment becomes a very interesting topic of discussion.
We have already invested in the electrification of things. Liebherr is now considering what does the non-electrified solution look like for us. We have made some progress in terms of where we are going with this and we are very well placed to meet the demands of the market, whichever way they want to go.
The panacea that everybody is waiting for is in battery technology. If I look at our equipment right now, every single one of Liebherr’s mobile pieces of equipment has the capability to adapt battery power in some way shape or form. The trouble is the power density versus weight and size of the battery. We are not currently looking at developing our own battery tech. Instead, we are looking at partnering with people.
How would you characterize Liebherr’s aftersales approach?
Any OEM can sell a piece of equipment once – supporting it is a totally different equation. If you do not have the trust of your marketplace, they are never going to buy anything from you again. Therefore, quality of service, capability and depth of service is absolutely fundamental to any of the Liebherr businesses in mining and beyond. It is of critical importance that we continue to develop and invest in this area and I am happy to say that, whilst we may not be overly represented in the marketplace in Canada, the fundamentals and DNA of our team and our business are there. Liebherr can scale very quickly with what we have today as a core group of people.