AN Osborne Park-based mining services company has won the top prize at Western Australia's Industry and Export Awards. Immersive Technologies Pty Ltd was announced as the winner of the Premier's Award for Excellence by Premier Colin Barnett last week. The company has become a global leader in the supply of training simulators to heavy-duty equipment operators after it began producing computer-based training systems for the mining industry in 1993. Four years later, the company exhibited the first commercial dump truck simulator for the mining industry with mechanical equipment giant, Caterpillar, the first to purchase one of the units in 1998. Immersive Technologies chief executive Peter Salfinger was pleased to have won the award, especially considering it was the first award the organisation had ever entered. "We were delighted to receive the award, particularly given the list of very capable contenders," Mr Salfinger told WA Business News. Along with the other state winners, Immersive Technologies will automatically enter the the Australian Export Awards, held in Melbourne on December 5. There was a diverse cross section of recipients awarded on the night, with representatives from the mining and resources sector, the oil and gas industry, financial services, construction, agriculture and food sectors. Nedlands-based mining software firm Micromine Pty Ltd won two awards - the C.Y. O'Connor Award for Excellence in Engineering and the Information and Communication Technology Export Award. Agribusiness Export Award winner, Craig Mostyn Group was also inducted into the Hall of Fame for its efforts in servicing its clients in 60 countries worldwide. Diving and subsea equipment manufacturer, Divex Asia Pacific Pty Ltd in Henderson won the Small to Medium Manufacturing Export award while Fremantle-based shipbuilder Strategic Marine Pty Ltd won the Large Advanced Manufacturing Export award. Mr Salfinger attributes his company's success to its global expansion, which shows no signs of slowing down. "Immersive Technologies has experienced substantial growth over the past 10 years with much of this coming from international markets," he said. "A large part of our success has been due to the global exclusive alliances Immersive Technologies has created with the major mining original equipment manufacturers including Caterpillar, Komatsu, Liebherr, Hitachi and Bucyrus." Amassing a staff of almost 180, with 148 based in Australia, the company is conscious of the turbulent economic climate and is confident any bumps in the road will be manageable. "We have been planning for a possible down turn to the boom for a number of years," Mr Salfinger said. "We are confident mining companies will see the need for our technology in times of lower commodity prices when increased operator efficiency is even more important. The early years of our growth were during such down times.''
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