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In motion: More choices, more solutions

Motion Australia supplies everything needed for construction machinery repair. (Images: Motion Australia)

With an unparalleled selection of products, expertise and branches nationwide, Motion Australia is living out its promise to provide industrial businesses with ‘more choices and more solutions’.

Employing over 1,600 people across more than 200 branch locations and 12 distribution centres in the Asia Pacific, Motion Australia (Motion) supplies everything needed for construction machinery repair; from transmissions, electric motors, gearboxes and bearings to industrial hoses, seals and Fluid Power Solutions, to name just a few. Having grown from a father-son partnership begun in 1955, Motion has been the industrial division of the General Parts Company since 2019, which also owns automotive companies Repco and the National Automotive Parts Association (NAPA).

Jeff Mrak, marketing manager for lead generation and market research at Motion Australia.
Jeff Mrak, marketing manager for lead generation and market research at Motion Australia.

“Anything that is moving in any way, shape or form, we’ve got components and services that build into that,” says Stephen Forbes, executive general manager of Fluid Power Solutions at Motion.

Jeff Mrak, marketing manager for lead generation and market research at Motion, discusses the company’s pivotal role in the construction industry. “Motion delivers industry leading solutions, tailored to keep you moving,” says Mrak.

“This is a major contribution that we perform for hundreds of customers within the construction segments on a daily basis from all of our Australian operations.”

Motion’s strategy includes collaborating with global original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) to maximise productivity for Australian construction and infrastructure projects. Mrak adds, “We offer further localised solutions for key repairers, contractors and hire companies in both the construction and civil earthmoving segments, ranging from large global operations to local small business owners needing partnering support in delivering larger projects.”

Heritage brands

Motion is currently transitioning to become the parent company of multiple heritage brands. Having these heritage brands allows Motion to access a variety of different parts, offering customers a wider range of solutions. Forbes says that by moving towards rebranding its collection of heritage brands, customers will better recognise the overarching name – Motion.

“Motion as a brand is fairly new to Australia; it has been very long standing in the US and Canada but less so in Australia,” he says.

Some examples of Motion’s heritage brands include driveshaft manufacturer and repairer company Hardy Spicer, bearing companies CBC and BSC, sealing business Seal Innovations, and hydraulic and industrial hose business Powell.

“Each business within the Motion family comes with its own specialty,” says Ryan Kendrigan, executive general manager of Engineering and Services at Motion. “What’s advantageous is that with all of these businesses and their specialties consolidated, our customers have an incomparable breadth of offer.”

Cram, another heritage brand within Motion Australia, specifically caters to the construction market. It provides hydraulic services for both fixed and mobile plant and offers sales and servicing of final drives and other track-related equipment critical for construction projects.

Expertise

A key focus of this transition for the future is providing customers with the expertise for niche products that they may have difficulty finding elsewhere. The company recognises that everyone has different priorities and works in different environments. Additionally, customers have varying needs regarding what they aim to achieve using a machine. This is where Motion provides unmatched expertise for its customers.

“We have a team of approximately 70 dedicated engineers that can actually go out and work with a customer on their site,” says Forbes. “There are experts in many different business lines.”

“If you need a particular gasket for a slurry pump, we have guys that are experts in gasketing. We have absolute experts on a global scale from a driveshaft perspective; the same goes with hoses. These are just some of the examples of our business lines that we have experts in.”

Motion can also design products to meet specific needs and provide customers with value-added solutions. “This could be as simple as someone needs a hose, so we make a hose assembly for them,” says Forbes.

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Kendrigan gives the example of a customer needing a custom-built acid tank but facing a key constraint: the available space in their facility was very limited. Motion came up with a solution where the tank was half-built in its workshop, then lowered into place through the facility roof, before building the top part of the tank in-situ.

“Once upon a time this would have required six or seven different companies to make that happen,” says Kendrigan. “Instead, we created the process, and saw the solution executed from concept to delivery – ensuring it was working effectively afterwards.”

Adding to this, Mrak highlights the real-world impact of Motion’s expertise on other significant projects.

“We are engaged on a multitude of major projects which are underway in our region,” says Mrak. “We are currently working on some of the largest generational power infrastructure project requirements nationally.”

“Additionally, we continue to work closely with customers in delivering mining infrastructure projects with solid activity in Western Australia and Queensland.”

Having such a broad range of expertise means that the Motion Engineering and Services team can come up with a process for a wide range of challenging situations.

“It’s being able to offer that turnkey solution,” says Kendrigan “We can design a concept, manufacture a concept, install it, and maintain it. It’s a full-service offering.”

Mobile service vans

To make it even easier for Motion’s experts to find the best solutions to a problem, it operates a fleet of mobile service vans for customers experiencing an equipment breakdown. “These vans can go out and service equipment on the customers’ site,” says Forbes. “For example, if you’re in a breakdown situation, you can call and a service van will come out and repair a hose for you.”

If a customer is having a machine refurbished and knows it won’t be used for a period of time, the service vans can also come out on a scheduled basis.

“Alternatively, we can set up a workshop onsite and train people to actually make their own pieces of equipment such as hoses,” says Forbes.

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