While Fenner Dunlop isn't changing its focus on belts, it is placing more emphasis on the many services it can provide to customers, said Pan and Scott Frenz, vice president of marketing for Fenner Dunlop Americas.
“In the future, the game changer will be services,” Frenz said.
It's not simply about the best price anymore in the belting world, Pan said, noting that companies are looking for additional services, and Fenner Dunlop can provide them.
Its services include belt splicing and installation, conveyor system diagnostics and problem solving, belt condition monitoring and preventive maintenance, engineering services and training, and others.
“The objective of all services offered ... is to understand a customer's critical risks and inefficiencies and improve performance,” she said.
And though the company will continue to develop its coal business, it also is focusing on the industrial non-coal side of its operation. Target markets include aggregates, grain, power plants, ports/bulk material handling facilities, hard rock, ore mining and wood, pulp and paper, Frenz said.
He said wood and aggregate are growing because of the recent spike in new construction and highway projects as well as geographical expansion in Mexico and South America.
Because of the downturn in the coal mining industry and improved productivity, the company has trimmed its U.S. work force by about 10 percent. The same occurred at its plants in Europe and other parts of the world.
But it has been adding personnel on the service side, Pan said.
She noted that the company actually has been less affected by the drop in coal mining because about 85 percent of the company's business is in the aftermarket—replacing belts and supplying services.