AEM Hall of Fame announces 2013 inductees

first_imgLike the International Mining Technology Hall of Fame (, the AEM Hall celebrates equipment industry innovators and leaders; a legacy for continued industry growth & achievement. AEM focuses in off-road equipment and two of the 2013 inductees have had influence on equipment used in mining: Ray O’Connor, Topcon Positioning Group and Friedrich W. Schwing, Sr., Schwing GmbH. These inductees have been evaluated by an independent panel of industry experts on five criteria that are vital to the health of the off-road equipment manufacturing industry: 1) innovation, 2) industry contributions, 3) leadership, 4) corporate citizenship/social responsibility and 5) sustainability.Friedrich Schwing, Sr., founder of Schwing, has more than 1,200 patents relating to innovations in material handling and construction equipment. Most notably, the Schwing all-hydraulic, twin-cylinder concrete pump design powers the majority of modern concrete pumps. This invention established a new method for moving concrete through a pipeline resulting in structures that could not have been built prior to the modern concrete pump. His invention resulted in efficiency without the manual labour and with extraordinary speed of placement never before achieved by other methods.His engineering expertise was not only aimed at product performance but also operator safety. Schwing helped establish the American Concrete Pumping Association (ACPA), which has safety as a key focus. Schwing’s corporate policy directed resources towards safety guidelines, safety seminars, safety materials and hundreds of hours of donated employee time on industry committees and boards.Schwing led by example with a work ethic and modesty that meant he wore the oldest suit and drove a 20-year-old car. His leadership style was to delegate functions better left to his employees, so he could pursue solutions through engineering. Schwing also had a penchant for sustainability before it was popular. Another of his innovations was a ready-mix reclaimer introduced in the 1980s to convert returned concrete to its components of sand, aggregate, cement and water. This system provides 100% recycling of these materials for economic and environmental benefits, especially less water use and excess concrete dumping.Ray O’Connor joined Topcon in 1993 as the only employee dedicated to laser products. O’Connor had one goal: automate the construction industry. Today, with the joining of imaging, GNSS, scanning, and software technology, there are few construction sites that do not use automated positioning. To meet the global requirement of positioning automation, he developed a ring of technology centres where the brightest geospatial engineers in North America, Europe, Asia and Australia create the next generation of products.O’Connor mandates that every product for every market segment supports the theme of “time”: saving it by increasing productivity, minimising the disruptive footprint of a project and reducing use of renewable and non-renewable resources. the importance of educating future generations of end users, O’Connor helped implement the Topcon Educational Partnership Program, which provides a full range of educational tools to more than 500 universities and associations worldwide.O’Connor is the 2006 recipient of Toshiba Corp’s Business Performance Award (the first recipient of non-Japanese descent) for “his superior leadership and performance.” In 2012, Pompeii, Italy honoured him for supporting “preservation and renovation” of the landmark city; the University of Naples awarded him an honorary doctorate degree for his efforts. O’Connor also received an honorary doctorate from The Dublin Institute of Technology for his “global leadership in precision measurement technology.” Geospatial World magazine named him Business Leader of the Year in 2013.Nominations for the next AEM Hall of Fame will open in spring 2014.last_img

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