By Steve Fiscor

As more mining companies announce coronavirus (COVID-19) plans to protect employees by continuing to operate or temporarily suspend activities, several industry suppliers have emerged with similar plans.

Komatsu said it’s working with its global teams, distributors and supply chain partners. As an “essential business,” Komatsu’s factories, service operations and parts distribution businesses remain open and committed to providing the equipment, technology and services miners depend on, while prioritizing health and safety measures at its facilities and for its employees worldwide, it said.

In addition to offering remote work for all who can, the company is rotating and segregating essential operations and supply shifts. It has restricted travel and is not allowing visitors at its facilities. Only essential manufacturing and logistics technicians are working in the factories to ensure the flow of essential parts to support operations globally.

Metso established a global COVID-19 task force team working under the supervision of its executive team. To maintain business continuity, the company said it is ensuring global supply chains and production facilities operate optimally in different scenarios. It also plans to reduce the impacts on project execution by relying on its global network and competences.

“Please rest assured that we are doing our utmost to support you and to minimize the impact of the outbreak on your operations,” President and CEO Pekka Vauramo said. “In general, our supply chain and inventories are located close to the mines. We actively manage our global network to find ways to maintain delivery capacity and serve our customers. With more than 40 service centers and 1,500 field service experts, we are in a good position to respond to our customers’ needs. We will proactively communicate with our customers should there be changes in their orders.”

Epiroc said it has numerous measures in place to protect its 14,000 employees as well as its customers and business partners globally. The company said its main priority for the operations during this challenging time is to safeguard the availability and the supply of spare parts, rock drilling tools and other essential products to support mining operations.

Superior Industries operates manufacturing plants in five states and two Canadian provinces. Using safety guidelines from the U.S. Center for Disease Control (CDC), it said it plans to continue working as details of the shelter-in-place orders allow.

“We are committed to designing and building orders as scheduled,” Communications Manager Corey Poppe said. “The Department of Homeland Security considers Superior a critical manufacturing operation.”

Superior’s quoting system is cloud-based, which means its inside sales group can perform their jobs just as well at home as they can in the office. The company is serving customers at normal capacity and maintaining daily correspondence with its suppliers, who are also operating at normal capacity.

Similarly, used equipment supplier A.M. King said it is taking the necessary steps to keep its employees safe while continuing to provide full services. The company is continuing to procure, sell and ship equipment (trucking and sea shipping). It said it has fielded multiple requests in the last week for replacement equipment and critical spares for operations that are down and are actively providing solutions.