Local Manufacturing Drives 64% YOY Sales Increase


Thinking customer first drives competitive advantage for our premium blasting technology

For Dyno Nobel Asia Pacific (DNAP) and its premium blasting technology, it’s all about finding ways to solve its customers’ biggest challenges. 


Underpinned by its industry leading experts and the ability to leverage competitive pricing through a global supply footprint, Dyno Nobel’s strategy has led to its market leading position today. And it’s not a position taken for granted, with Dyno Nobel focused on strategic and continuous investment in innovation.

The strategy has seen strong growth in Dyno Nobel’s locally manufactured electronic detonator product range, with production increasing by 400% in just three years at its manufacturing facility in Helidon, Queensland.

DNAP Production Growth 

Correlated to this are the electronic detonator units sold annually which have increased by 64% year-on-year, over the past three years:

DNAP Electronic Detonator Sales 

This is driving physical expansion at the Helidon plant, with the recent addition of a sixth cell and growth in its regional workforce by 63% on the previous year.

Recognising that world class quality doesn’t happen overnight; especially given the highly complex nature of explosives and associated products, two objectives were set when determining the best manufacturing model:

  1. It must be flexible and situated as close to the customer base as possible
  2. It must maintain world class quality while remaining cost competitive
Two models were considered to satisfy these objectives; centralised and decentralised operations. 

Each came with its pros and cons, and therefore, a two-pronged approach was taken to satisfy both objectives.

Centralised Manufacturing

This model is applied to the standardised, non-explosive, ‘high-complexity’ parts of the electronic detonator, such as the electronic module. The key benefits to this approach include:
  • Ability to capitalise on scale, 
  • Highly-complex parts can be manufactured by world leading specialists,
  • Leveraging wider industry experience and volumes, 
  • Processes can be highly automated ensuring repeatability and quality control, 
  • As non-explosive components, global transportation is less restricted and enhances security of supply in a cost-effective manner.

De-centralised Assembly

Each of Dyno Nobel’s facilities is strategically located in Australia, USA and Chile to facilitate product differentiation and meet specific customer needs such as wire type and length, as well as coil and packaging configuration. 

By ensuring this bespoke assembly is close to the customer, it enables Dyno Nobel to:

  • Reduce lead-times and customer inventory holding 
  • Increase security of supply 
  • Create local jobs with in-country assembly.

Helidon cell 6 

Dyno Nobel’s Team Leader Assembly, Mark Waterman, looks over the installation of Cell 6 at the Helidon plant.

The assembly cells are designed with ‘lean’ principles in mind to ensure the following benefits are realised:

  • Ability to alter products fast and effectively in response to customer feedback and requirements  
  • Superior quality control via a one-piece workflow
  • Modular design enables fast upscaling, as seen at the Helidon plant which has grown from one to six cells between 2017 and 2020
  • Critical operations on the cell are automated, such as electronic and functional testing, explosive quantity control and traceability, resulting in a highly reliable product

A testament to the effectiveness of this approach has been highlighted during the recent COVID-19 global pandemic, where Dyno Nobel has continued to supply customers with high quality and timely, locally produced products during unprecedented times.

Not only is the assembly performed locally, the product is backed by local technical expertise from the Electronic Initiation Team working with the shotfirers, and the DynoConsult® team liaising with site engineers, to the Specialists who know the product inside and out; this capability plays a significant role in achieving competitive advantage.

With volumes forecast to continue to increase over the coming months and years, Dyno Nobel will remain focused on meeting customer needs by improving product range and greater automation of manufacturing tasks.