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Australian miners use a lot of cutting-edge technology. But, as the founders of Torqn point out, they still share information in a decidedly 20th-century fashion, and that holds them back.

“I call it the $1000 Dyson vs $10 million dump truck difference,” said Troy McDonald. “If you want to buy a new vacuum cleaner or work out why your existing one is playing up, you can whip out your phone and, in a matter of seconds, find the exact information you need.

“Compare that with what happens if you need to make a purchasing decision about a new mine dump truck or try to figure out why one of your old dump trucks keeps breaking down. There’s not much information online and whatever information there is, it’s usually all over the place and hard to find. So, you’re searching for a needle in a haystack.”

Troy, who is a former President of Illawarra Coal and a career Mechanical Engineer, knows all too well what it’s like to spend hours phoning people in your professional network to try to source the information you require.

In a flash of inspiration, Troy had the idea for a global knowledge network for miners, engineers, tradespeople, manufacturers and Regulators with common equipment interests, where you could share insights and connect to a network of people with a few taps on your phone.

Troy contacted a former colleague and successful entrepreneur, Brett Baker, to get his opinion on his ‘knowledge network for mining equipment users’.

Brett, who had spent a decade working in the mining industry as a Safety & Training Manager before launching six businesses in 12 years, was so sure Troy’s idea was a winner that he insisted on partnering with him. Brett wasn’t the only one who saw the potential of Torqn, and the two founders rapidly raised $3 million in seed funding.

Torqn, ‘The global Knowledge Platform for users, suppliers, and regulators of industrial plant and equipment’ was born. 

Brett shared how Torqn’s biggest selling point is its capacity to help the industry improve their on-site safety.

“Think about how inadequate the current mining industry safety-alert communication system is. Our Mining Regulators do their best to communicate safety alerts efficiently to the industry, but that is limited because they can only publish a safety alert on their website and email the alerts to their contact list that may not be up to date.

“Now imagine what happens in a situation where everybody on the site has the Torqn App on their phone. Everybody can get the safety alert immediately because the Regulator can now also post the alert to the whole group of people that have signed up to the Torqn Loop. And anybody at particular risk can take immediate action, even if that is just talking about it with their workmates.”

Torqn is far from a one-trick pony and just as social media sites can be used for a range of purposes, Troy said it’s easy to imagine lots of use cases for Torqn.

“If your machine alternator is playing up, you can post on your Torqn Loop to effectively ask for suggestions and solutions. Similarly, if an operator has a great improvement idea they can post it into their Loop, and that includes providing valuable insights to the equipment manufacturers to help them improve their equipment design or reliability,” said Troy.

It’s not just about safety and innovation. Torqns’ equipment review platform provides valuable user feedback aggregated from all user posts for an individual piece of equipment. That information can help companies who are seeking to purchase the same equipment.

And if you change your job and you need a new network of experts – no problem. Torqn will connect you to that industry Loop simply by changing your Loop settings. 

Torqn was released into the Apple and Google Play stores in December of 2022. While the mining industry is first out of the blocks, they have much larger ambitions, as they believe it will benefit all capital-intensive industries including agriculture, construction and even aviation.

“We believe Torqn is solving some big problems and will quickly become the go to platform for a range of sectors all around the world,” said Troy.

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