Hastings Deering has been sustain output at Rio Tinto’s Gove bauxite open-pit operation in the Northern Territory of Australia by boosting engine power during the rebuild of dozers.
The Cat D11T dozer is purpose built to move more material and ensure maximum availability through its planned life cycle, the Caterpillar dealer says. For Rio Tinto, Dozer 79, had built up over 37,000 hours ripping and pushing bauxite at its open-pit operation.
Rio Tinto knew it wanted to undergo a Cat Certified Rebuild for its dozer but had to come up with an innovate way to do this while minimising equipment down time, Hastings Deering said.
Brendan Coleing, Superintendent, Mining Maintenance, said the Gove operation has focused heavily on building safe and reliable machinery to meet the targeted life of its assets and maintenance schedules.
“With a 24/7 operation, we need to plan and strategically think about our assets, their maintenance and lifecycle,” he said. “By planning large maintenance projects in advance, at Rio Tinto, we’ve been able to compensate for machinery downtime and achieve some great energy efficiencies.”
One of the key projects that helped to allow for the nine-week Cat Certified Rebuild (CCR) was the D11R repower project.
In early 2020, the Hastings Deering team worked with Rio Tinto on an alternative solution for engine replacement in its D11R fleet that reduced costs, fuel use and emissions while extending lifespans. This incorporated replacing the 3508 engines the machines originally came with, with the newer C32 engines.
“Recent success with repowering our D11 fleet with C32 engines has helped our mining operations move more bauxite due to increased power in the machine,” Coleing states. “This in turn allowed us to remove Dozer 79 out of production, and into the workshop to complete a Cat Certified Rebuild.”
Alongside the increase in machine availability, this project presented a budgeted fuel burn reduction of up to 25%.
“Our like-for-like material movements are now done with significantly less fuel which is a great environmental outcome,” Coleing said. “They’re also quieter, making them a little more comfortable for the operator.”
With Cat equipment built to perform over multiple lifetimes, the CCR was the most efficient way to help get the most economic value out of the original asset investment.
A CCR is a full machine rebuild that provides a like-new machine, inclusive of all Cat updates, to help achieve a full machine life supported by the Caterpillar warranty, Hastings Deering says.
Brad Read, Service Manager at Hastings Deering, said the CCR program is an efficient way for customers to improve the planned lifecycle of their machines.
“Given Dozer 79’s upcoming power train, hydraulic and major component change outs, a CCR was a cost-effective way for us to maintain the asset through to the end of its target life,” he said. “Customers opt for a CCR as it provides the ability to rebuild their machine, including all technological advancements, over purchasing a new machine. This helps to reduce capital expenditure.”
Read said that the CCR offered an extended scope or work over a standard rebuild and took careful planning between the Rio Tinto and Hastings Deering teams.
“The CCR takes up to nine weeks to complete and covers an extended scope of work including power train replacement, hydraulics and electrical components, cab overhaul, work implement overhaul and ET testing and painting,” he said.
“Effective planning is critical to the success of a large-scale project like a CCR. The team needs to ensure all stages of the rebuild have been planned, scheduled and are on time to guarantee machine delivery back to the customer.”
“It is essential to support our customers in their operation.”
By successfully planning the CCR after the success of the C32 repower project, Rio Tinto and Hastings Deering were able to improve the performance of its equipment and compensate for the removal of Dozer 79, Hastings Deering said.
Coleing said: “By undertaking work in this manner, we’ve removed a massive amount of forward log of work that not only gave us immediate availability but provided us with an improved asset through to the end of the machine life.”