Geoprobe Systems® owner Tom Omli expects the company to be an unfamiliar face to many at its first MINExpo this year, but he also expects that to change by the time the expo comes to a close. Already a strong player in developing equipment for the environmental and geotechnical markets, Geoprobe Systems® expects to expand its presence in the mineral exploration market, and MINExpo 2012 promises to be something of a grand opening for the company in that regard.
The company’s roots are in the manufacturing of machinery for shallow-depth environmental sampling, and over time it developed equipment with greater versatility. Today, Geoprobe Systems® builds equipment used for soil, water and rock sampling at a variety of depths. Omli explains that the bulk of the company’s products are used for environmental and geotechnical work for roads and bridges. The mineral exploration and geothermal sectors make up a smaller percentage of Geoprobe Systems®’ work, but Omli says that will begin to change.
With the versatility, portability and effectiveness of its equipment, Omli says Geoprobe Systems® will come away from MINExpo 2012 with a higher profile in the exploration sector. Combined with the company’s already strong position in other markets, Omli and Geoprobe Systems® have every reason to be optimistic about the company’s future.
The company’s presence at MINExpo 2012 is centered around its 7822DT direct push machine, Omli says. Although it isn’t the largest machine manufactured by Geoprobe Systems®, it is nonetheless a prime example of the value and advantages the company brings to the exploration sector.
“It’s just going to be a good showpiece in a small booth space,” Omli says.
The 7822DT, like the rest of the Geoprobe Systems® product line, brings a lot of capacity to the job site in a relatively small package. The machine’s percussion hammer features integrated, two-speed, bi-directional rotation, which allows users to perform functions such as surface pavement coring and subsurface rock coring with a rotation speed of up to 550 rpm. The company says the machine’s augerhead offers more torque than previous models and is integrated onto a redesigned, swing-out mounting system for greater ease of use. All of these features are found on a frame with full-length side attachment rails that the company says make it easier for users to configure accessories for their specific needs on the job site.
Omli says the 7822DT is capable of performing rock, soil and water sampling in one piece of equipment, and the level of features it boasts it typical of the company’s output. “People are really surprised by the performance we get out of small packages,” he says. “What makes our machines unique is that they’ll work for multiple functions and they’re really user-friendly.”
The relatively small size of the 7822DT and other equipment manufactured by Geoprobe Systems® is another advantage when it comes to serving the mineral exploration market, Omli says. at about 8,000 pounds, the 7822DT is easier to move around and ship than similar equipment made by other companies, he explains, making Geoprobe Systems®’ equipment ideally suited for serving well sites in remote, hard-to-reach locations. “Our equipment will fit in containers really well, so we’ll ship worldwide,” he says.
As a specialty manufacturer, Omli says Geoprobe Systems® has to cope with the challenges of building specialized equipment for customers with extreme needs. Because the company’s equipment is manufactured in specific volumes, it can be difficult at times for the company to meet timelines for delivery, he explains.
“We have a lot of difficulty in forecasting the next phone call, and when it comes, that customer wants to get started right away,” Omli says. “We build to order, so in that setting it’s just a challenge.”
Geoprobe Systems® always is working on ways to become more efficient, Omli says. By streamlining its production methods, the company puts itself in a better position to meet customers’ needs quickly and effectively.
The company supplements that with a commitment to customer service that Omli says outstrips virtually any other company in the business. He says Geoprobe Systems® is well known in the industry for providing “over the top” levels of service to customers, with expert support available to customers throughout the life of their equipment.
Omli says he expects the 7822DT to attract a lot of attention for Geoprobe Systems® at MINExpo, which in turn will help the company increase its profile in the mining sector. Although Geoprobe Systems® has had some crossover success so far, the company is looking forward to making some new contacts in the mining industry. “Most of the people who are bringing our equipment over to the exploration side have used our equipment on the environmental or geotechnical side,” Omli says.
“We’re hoping to meet new industry leaders on the exploration side,” Omli continues. “We’re very optimistic, we’re excited about our current position, and we have more and more people calling us all the time, from all over the world.” EMI