The Chinese mining equipment market is highly competitive, with global OEMs competing with domestic players across the board, both on surface and underground. When Chinese mines do invest in the latest technology they want to see the benefits in terms of long term performance.
Epiroc has made significant efforts in the Chinese market in recent years to support mines using its machines through setting up on cooperation agreements and local facilities for repairs, overhauls and rebuilds of equipment.
There are a number of recent examples. Leading Chinese underground iron ore miner Mingli Mining Co Ltd in Daixian, Shanxi Province and Epiroc recently began working to a new comprehensive strategic cooperation model covering every from machine mainframe maintenance to spare parts supply, technical exchange, a new training base and establishment of local overhaul services. Mingli operates a large Epiroc drill and loader fleet including Scooptram ST1030 models.
Mingli is looking to operate safer and more environmentally sound operations, as well as more intelligent mines, and as a result has been investing in Epiroc mechanised equipment in recent years. Liu Haijun, Chairman of Mingli comments: “Mingli Mining takes safe production as our key priority and is also paying great attention to sustainable development of resources. Modern management systems, plus highly automated and intelligent mine systems and equipment are the key to ensure safe, efficient and green mining.” He adds: “We attach great importance to investment in advanced mining equipment, and we have imported a large Epiroc fleet including development and longhole drills, loaders and trucks. Their equipment is technologically advanced, runs reliably, serves us well, and fully meets our expectations.”
Epiroc has set up a spare parts facility on site to meet requirements for OEM spare parts and drilling tools more quickly. For technology exchanges, technical seminars are held regularly between Epiroc and Mingli and more training is enhancing the skills of equipment operators and managers. In addition, Epiroc says it will continue to give strong support to Mingli in field and overhaul services to ensure the efficient and stable operation of equipment to avoid unnecessary equipment shutdowns and reduce operating costs.
“We cherish every opportunity to cooperate with customers, and have been committed to exploring win-win cooperation with domestic customers. The signing of the strategic cooperation agreement is another innovation in our brand new service model and will further deepen our cooperation,” said Wei Wuxian, General Manager of Epiroc’s Greater China Customer Centre.
Even the best equipment requires regular maintenance to ensure the best performance, as is the case for mining and construction equipment.
The work with Mingli is part of Epiroc’s drive to create a regional overhaul and consignment warehouse service model in China to further help customers reduce equipment downtime.
Another key partner in this regard is Guizhou Phosphate, which also has a large Epiroc fleet of Scooptram ST1030 loaders and other machines. Through a new agreement, Epiroc has established a cooperative overhaul workshops and consignment warehouse near the underground mining locations of Guizhou Phosphate, extending Epiroc’s on the ground support presence in the southwestern provinces of China.
The partners are actively engaged in trackless equipment upgrade and remanufacturing and rock drill maintenance. This base has quickly become the largest underground equipment servicing facility of its kind in the region. Epiroc and Guizhou Phosphate are also working on establishing a highly trained local team of maintenance personnel, so that users can truly “buy at ease, with peace of mind.”
As an example in May 2021, two sets of Epiroc Boomer XE3C equipment operated by Guizhou Phosphate contractor China Railway 12th Bureau were brought in for repairs at the new overhaul base. The facility includes a multi-function container equipped with a complete set of tools; plus professional electrical and hydraulic technical personnel that can quickly and accurately identify faults and carry out repairs.
Epiroc states: “Overhaul services reduce component costs by restoring used core components to original equipment manufacturing specifications. And equipment will be updated synchronously for the latest technology of existing models of Epiroc, plus bringing its performance to 90% or more of a new machine.”
Up in northeast China, Epiroc has established another facility in Anshan, Liaoning Province in cooperation with long term maintenance partner company Liaoning Chengchuang Machinery Equipment. That site has already seen overhauls of ROC L6, Boomer 281 and Simba 1354 drills as well as Scooptram EST3.5 loaders.