Our History

making mining equipment more productive

Our History

Schlam’s remarkable history began when it was originally established in 1996 as Schlam Welding.

Barry Schlam saw a need for high-quality precision welding and fabrication services in the South-West industrial sector of Western Australia. Schlam Welding quickly established a reputation for outstanding quality and service throughout the area. 

Having embarked on his apprenticeship as a boilermaker in his father’s business at 15 years old, Barry’s son – Ryan, has since entrepreneurial spirit has propelled Schlam to become one of Western Australia’s largest privately owned mining services companies. With an Australian focus and a global reach, today you’ll find Schlam’s products and maintenance specialists at work across mines on six continents. 

At the age of 25, Ryan took over the reins of the family business, acquiring it from his parents and becoming the sole owner. He renamed the company Schlam Engineering in 2010, marking the beginning of a new era. 

Ryan Schlam (right)

With a new acquisition of a fabrication workshop in Waroona, Ryan helped solidify Schlam’s position as a formidable player in the South-West. As the team expanded and the physical infrastructure took shape, the company’s presence in the industry became undeniable.

With unwavering determination, the company expanded to 50 employees and secured its first official contract with Newmont two years later. 

With a consistent reputation for being reliable, honest, and efficient, Schlam’s profile skyrocketed. Doing simple things well, being agile and delivering on promises were just some things the bigger players struggled with, but Schlam excelled at. 

In 2015, Schlam expanded operations into the Pilbara and acquired DT HiLoad, a manufacturer producing dump bodies for mining companies. Initially producing only 20 units per year, Schlam’s management grew production to an impressive 300 units annually. As Schlam approaches the milestone of 2000 bodies built since its inception, it’s clear that the company’s growth has been nothing short of extraordinary.

At that time, Schlam recognised the need to shift its engineering focus to encompass a broader mechanical approach, keeping pace with industry trends. Schlam needed to be multi-disciplined at its core. Schlam Group acquired TPCM, a highly reputable high-pressure cleaning company, to add an end-to-end service to the Schlam Group. This move ultimately enabled the company to provide a more comprehensive service to the mining industry.

In early 2017, the East Coast market started to respond with good momentum. Schlam signed a contract with BHP in 2018, which marked one of the company’s biggest achievements, with the 300th dump body being supplied to the company 5 years later.

In the years that followed, Schlam boomed onto the world stage, expanding operations across the globe. Schlam Americas was established in 2023 and since Schlam’s footprint has extended beyond what most would think possible. Now securing contracts with top-tier miners from around the globe, servicing some of the biggest players in the industry, Schlam has continued to go from strength to strength, largely on the back of dedicated staff and innovative ideas around doing business. 

Today, Schlam employs over 550+ people and has been recently recognised as WA Employer of the Year, Great Place to Work® Certified and an Employer of Choice® in The Australian Business Awards.

With its Head Office in Welshpool, Schlam’s manufacturing facilities are strategically based in Australia and around the world, servicing major mining centers globally. Our production hubs incorporate class-leading manufacturing systems, processes and technology, including robotics.

With significant achievements under its belt, the company continues to grow exhibiting its mantra of “AIM HIGHER”.

TIMELINE

(Click to expand)

Schlam Welding established by Barry Schlam in Yarloop to deliver high quality precision welding and fabrication services in the South West industrial sector of Western Australia.

Ryan Schlam begins working for the company alongside his father.

Company begins working at the Newmont Boddington Gold Mine.

Name of the company changed to Schlam Engineering.

State-of-the-art 2,000 square metre facility opened in Waroona 120 kilometres south of Perth.

Creation of an in-house engineering team.

Schlam boilermakers sent to Zambia to provide maintenance and training services including teaching the local workforce how to maintain dipper buckets.

Waroona facility expanded to allow the company to take on larger projects.

Purchase of a majority stake in The Pilbara Clean Machines (TPCM) and sister company Unique Blasting and Coating (UBC).

Acquisition of RIM Engineering, a premier line boring company in the Pilbara.

Mobile line boring added to Schlam’s suite of services.

Schlam opens Pilbara branch in Newman.

DT HiLoad acquired from Ausdril by Schlam, marrying a manufacturing company with service provider.

Tom Price facility opened.

A team of 52 skilled boilermakers, eight experienced trade assistants and four supervisors participate in a shutdown at a gold mine in WA’s Southwest.

100th bucket refurbished at Waroona.

Schlam begins work at Rio Tinto Iron Ore’s (RTIO) West Angelas Mine.

DT HiLoad begins delivering Hercules dump bodies to BHP in the Pilbara.

Ryan Schlam signs agreement with manufacturing partner in Longyan, China.

Company celebrates four years LTI free at RTIO West Angelas.

First Hercules dump body built at partner facility in Colombia commissioned.

Renamed as Schlam bringing all the companies under the same brand focusing on Payload, People and Engineering.

1000th Hercules dump body manufactured in Australia.

Largest ever Hercules dump bodies built in Australia delivered to site.

Matt Thomas brought on as Chief Executive Officer to guide company into the future.

State-of-the-art surface treatment facility installed in Waroona.

David Haslett appointed as Schlam Group Chief Executive Officer

Schlam Cru proudly won WA’s Employer of the Year at the 2022 RISE Business Awards

Schlam Group was officially certified as a ‘Great Place to Work®’

Schlam Cru recognised as an Employer of Choice® in The Australian Business Awards in 2023

  • Schlam Cru wins Bronze as Employer of the Year (Industrial) at the 2023 Stevie® Awards for Great Employers
  • Schlam assisted 32 employees
    through their Trade Upgrade Program, helped 10 apprentices start their careers,
    opened 80 positions to skilled migrants 
  • Schlam People Solutions transformed its employer brand, introducing Schlam Cru as a unique brand that caters exclusively to its people

 

Schlam celebrates 500 employee milestone

Schlam Cru opens its first Fixed Plant Maintenance division, servicing the Pilbara and the Goldfields

Ryan Schlam becomes a finalist in the 40 under 40 Awards for WA Business News

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