Earthmoving News, Komatsu

David Small smart appointment for Komatsu

 

David Small has assumed the position of executive general manager for construction and utility at Komatsu.


Drawing on more than 25 years of experience in the mining and construction sectors, he steps into the role amid the company’s heightened focus on electrification and smart construction.

David’s journey at Komatsu, which began in 2005 as the construction sales manager for New South Wales, has been dynamic. Progressing through various roles in marketing services, he soon reached general manager positions in areas such as new equipment, aftermarket, parts and key accounts, spanning both the mining and construction sectors.

In his current capacity, he aims to utilise his experience to analyse and navigate the trajectory of Komatsu’s customers, whether embracing hydrogen, battery or electric solutions. His overarching goal is to understand the underlying reasons driving these customer developments, ensuring that the company not only meets but exceeds expectations in a rapidly evolving market.

David Small.

“Additionally, I intend to focus on identifying the necessary support mechanisms required to align with these evolving customer preferences,” he said. “The broad end‐to‐end experience I’ve gained throughout my career at Komatsu enables me to assist customers in extending the lifespan of their equipment, including exploring rebuild and repair possibilities.

“While the mining sector has been more attuned to new equipment sales into the aftermarket for optimising asset expenditure, I am keen to reintroduce this approach to the equipment side of Komatsu’s construction business.”

Entering this new role, David’s focus extends to helping Komatsu’s customers integrate technology, specifically smart construction, to enhance equipment performance. The synergy between Komatsu’s technology and equipment serves as a force multiplier for customers – an area he is particularly enthusiastic about driving forward.

For instance, Komatsu recently acquired iVolve, a technology company that provides fleet management solutions for small to mid‐tier construction, quarry and mining operations. This addition complements Komatsu’s existing fleet management offerings, such as Smart Quarry Site, a fleet management system that enhances safety, increases productivity and optimises machine performance for quarry operations and large civil construction projects.

In recent years, David said the industry has witnessed the surging development of smart machines that enable monitoring, diagnosis and predictive maintenance, with Komatsu at the forefront of this evolution. Although machine components may still encounter failures, the purpose of these advances is to facilitate planned interventions, minimising the impact on adjacent parts and systems.

“Additionally, we are delving into smart learning, leveraging data to predict market size, market direction and enhance our forecasting accuracy, enabling us to better predict equipment needs, resource scheduling and parts requirements,” he said.

In response to this increasing demand, Komatsu is trialling several battery electric models in Australia, including the 3 tonne PC33e electric mini excavator and 20t PC210 electric hydraulic excavator. These machines are being put to work with a select group of Australian construction customers, generating valuable data for Komatsu’s engineering teams.

This data will be used to optimise the machines for the unique and harsh conditions of Australian applications and marks just the beginning of Komatsu’s expanding electric portfolio.

David led the construction team during Komatsu’s pioneering launch of hybrid excavators over 10 years ago, and emphasises the company’s innovative approach and commitment to sustainability.

“Since launching our first hybrid in Australia, we have expanded the range considerably to cater to the unique requirements of the Australian customer base, including the quarry sector, where reported fuel and emission savings reach up to 40 per cent,” he said. “Our customers tell us that hybrid is a great stepping‐stone technology, and with over 35 million hours globally, it is a proven technology that is available right now.”

 

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