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to the exhaust gases generated in an enclosed space? " We make modern machines that comply fully with the most stringent requirements," said Hnat. " The exhaust gases have greatly reduced levels of particulates, CO2 and NOx, and the exhaust is controlled. That's why it's allowed to work underground." Mine Master makes roof bolting and face drilling rigs and excavator drilling attachments, and supplies load/ haul dumpers and dump trucks made by its partner company, GHH Fahrzeuge. It can thus offer customers a full package of machines for mining and tunnelling works. The company has particular expertise in low and ultra- low seam equipment. " We make everything ourselves from scratch; everything is done in- house," Czajkowski said. " We have a strong and very experienced design team, who use ProEngineer for CAD. We buy components like axles, engines and transmissions from leading specialist companies- our engines come from Cummins and Deutz- but we design and build the chassis and the working attachments, such 62 www. bus- ex. com November 09

Mine Master Ltd November 09 www. bus- ex. com 63 as booms and multi- feeders, ourselves." Mine Master has become a very different company from the original joint venture, which was established at a time when old working practices were still prevalent. It has now adopted lean manufacturing techniques and has taken the principles into its culture. " There have been a lot of changes in the company," Hnat continued. " We adopted lean in 2002 and are continually improving and investing. We hold ISO certification and we are seeking to invest more, in order to improve quality and productivity." Mine Master acquired 3D software for its engineering department in 2005. " That was a big investment from our point of view and enabled us to make computer- controlled machines." One of those, the Face Master 2.8CC, is equipped with a fully electronic on- board control system, which is managed by specialist software but on the familiar Windows 2000 platform. " At the highest level it is fully automatic. The electronic system allows the operator to push a button and the machine does the work itself," he said. " We won an innovation award for the highly sophisticated electronics system, which was presented to us by the prime minister of Poland." Mine Master goes further than simply building and selling equipment. It believes in long- term relationships with customers, which is manifested in after- sales service and upgrading with a team of specialist engineers. Its employees are encouraged to upgrade their own qualifications and help the company to continually raise its own standards. " In five years' time I expect we will be much the same but with bigger production capacity and more advanced technology," Czajkowski said. " We are a modern company, with good conditions for our employees and good products. We estimate, when our expansion plans are in place, in about three years' time, we will almost double our production capacity, so we are moving forward with technology, capacity and quality." - Editorial research by Robbie Hodgson