North American Construction Group: Bigger is Always Better
In the heavy construction and mining industries, massive amounts of land must be cut out to make room for new projects. When it comes to the equipment needed to move this land effectively and efficiently, the term “bigger is better” certainly applies.
North American Construction Group is one of the largest providers of heavy construction and mining services in Canada. Founded in 1953, NACG specializes in the resource industries like oil, gold, diamonds, coal with an expertise in hard rock and oil sands mining, overburden removal, dam construction, roadworks, underground utilities, mine site development, and mine reclamation.
Coupled with an unmatched commitment to safety and training, the company has earned a reliable and trustworthy reputation by blending its knowledge and experience that clients seek with a fleet of equipment that match project needs.
Best of the best
NACG has a proven ability to meet customer requirements from consultation to completion. The company is able to do so because it employs one of the strongest workforces in all of Canada. With a staff of over 1,500 (sometimes exceeding more than 2000 at peak times), the company has earned a reputation for acquiring some of the best talent in the industry. It’s one of the main reasons clients continue to work with NACG.
“We do a lot of prescreening, fitness for work test, drug and alcohol testing, and police record checks,” says Lambert. “We try and use as many tools as we can to make sure the person we’re hiring matches the skills and physical requirements of the job.”
In addition to matching the right workforce to the job, NACG employs a robust safety regime that is second to none in their field. The company’s motto – Everyone Gets Home Safe – is integrated through a healthy work environment as well as extensive training and leadership programs.
“From the top to the bottom of our business, we see safety as a core value,” says Joe Lambert, chief operating officer at North American Construction Group. “In the markets we work in and the clients we have, safety is a license to operate. It’s a moral obligation to our employees besides just making good business sense.”
The company is committed to developing and maintaining the strongest safety systems and training programs available. A shining example would be its Leadership for Safety Excellence program.
“The Leadership program works to improve skills and leadership throughout the company with particular focus on front line supervision,” says Lambert. “Front line supervision has a tremendous amount of influence on the overall safety of the company. So, investing in the development of those people and safety programs is core for us.”
The difference between North American Construction Group and others is simple: they have the corporate expertise to help companies meet their goals, and the right employees and equipment to get the job done on time, on budget, and safely.
Big, bigger, biggest
If that wasn’t enough, NACG maintains one of the largest independently owned equipment fleets in the region. The fleet includes over 400 pieces of modern equipment, including haul trucks, shovels, excavators, dozers, graders, loaders and related earthworks machinery.
“Our fleet is one of the largest in Canada. There aren’t a lot of other companies that can compete at that scale of equipment,” says Lambert. “Our mining equipment gives us an advantage, especially with high volumes of earthmoving.”
The company’s diverse collection of equipment gives it the ability to respond quickly to changing client requirements, while also providing clients with the most efficient, timely and cost effective blend of equipment possible.
“We keep a balance of small and large equipment. There’s seasonality and changes, and so we might have a lot of smaller civil works in the summer and more bulk earthworks in the winter,” says Lambert. “It’s just a balance of keeping everything busy.”
In addition to being one of the largest fleets in Canada, it’s also one of the most advanced. The company integrates a wealth of technological components to ensure equipment is as efficient as possible.
“We have real-time monitoring on all equipment that allows us to receive notifications of what’s occurring in the machine,” says Lambert. “It helps us in measuring and monitoring equipment performance and the mechanical capabilities.”
According to Lambert, the company heavily invests in equipment failure analysis.
“We have major components that can cost hundreds of thousands of dollars. When a component fails early, we have reliability teams and maintenance technical experts that can identify those failure mechanisms and work with our vendors and suppliers to get design changes.”
The future of North American Construction Group will see the company expand into new markets, including hydro-electric, infrastructure, and civil.
“When we look to diversify whether roadworks or infrastructure jobs, we’re looking for areas that have a large volume of earthworks,” says Lambert. “We offer a competitive advantage in that area compared to most.”
Along with diversifying their portfolio and positioning themselves across multiple regions in Canada, North American Construction Group is going to continue doing what’s it’s been doing for the last 60 years – being a heavy civil and mining contractor.
According to Lambert, the company will continue doing what it’s been doing for the last 60 years despite the lower-than-expected oil prices.
“In our business, being safety focused, cost-conscious and driving efficiencies is something we do every year, whether boom or bust in the oil pricing.”
Coal India Secures First-Of-Its-Kind Digital Deal
Coal India Limited (CIL) has appointed Accenture Solutions to digitally transform seven of its open-cast mines as the company strives to improve performance and increase coal production. Accenture is due to lay down digitalisation groundwork until March 2022.
The deal aims to increase coal production by 100 million tonnes (MT) by the end of FY’23. Once the minimum quantity has been surpassed, an agreed sum will be paid to the consultant for every additional sum of coal produced. This success fee will only be paid on the procurement of the minimum assured quantity.
The move will see heavy earth moving machinery (HEMM) fitted with digital sensors to monitor performance efficiency at all levels. Additionally, modern data analytic techniques aim to increase mine productivity and project monitoring through functional system management and effective observation.
An Exciting Venture For Global Mining
CIL, which aims to provide energy security in an environmentally and socially sustainable manner, hopes the move will help transform the entire business of mining operations and ensure higher volumes of coal are acquired at a lower cost.
“This is a first of its kind initiative by the company utilising digitalisation to ramp up coal output,” CIL has said.
A Digital Step Towards Enhanced Performance
Digitalisation is expected to take place at open-cast mines in Kusmunda, Gevra, Dipka of Southern Eastern Coalfields (SECL), Migahi, Jayant, Dudhichua, and Khadia of Northern Coalfields (NCL). Nearly 32% (188 MT) of CIL’s 596 MT output in FY’21 was accounted for by the seven selected mines. However, this new deal is set to see a large increase following the subsequent digital changes due to be made.
“Learning from the outcome and success of this model, we may replicate it in our other large mines,” says CIL, optimistic about the future following the modernisation of their mining.
It is expected that the move will help address roadblocks and guarantee corrective measures are put into place, ensuring the company is able to move forward with its aim of increasing output whilst remaining sustainable and eco-friendly.