Tag Archives: ground engaging tools

Weir ESCO takes advantage of expansion opportunities in Utah, Quebec

Weir ESCO’s growth trajectory has continued in 2021, with the ground engaging tool (GET) major capitalising on two fast-moving expansion opportunities in western USA and eastern Canada in the March quarter.

The acquisitions represent exciting new platforms for sales and brand recognition growth in the two regions, according to the Weir subsidiary.

With one of ESCO’s largest dealers, based in the Western US, set to retire last year, Weir ESCO decided to fill the void.

The company explained: “Without the dealer to represent us, our future with a significant mining operation in the region – a mine that generates approximately 11% of annual copper production in the US – was at stake.”

The mine’s cable shovels are outfitted exclusively with ESCO GET and multiple other pieces of equipment, including hydraulic machines and front-end loaders, are also fitted with ESCO products.

The company’s teams jumped into action to secure the business, with the new Salt Lake City branch becoming operational in early January. It got right to work establishing a direct service relationship with the key customer, Rio Tinto Kennecott, and expanding market share with other mining and infrastructure companies customers in the territory, the company said.

Up north in Canada, the launch of Weir ESCO’s Quebec branch resulted from seizing a timely, high-stakes opportunity, as well, the company said.

Quebec is home to Canada’s largest operating open-pit gold mine, Canadian Malartic. The mine employs more than 2,000 workers around the clock and many pieces of equipment are outfitted with ESCO GET, according to the company.

“When changes in the local distribution channel occurred, Weir ESCO began considering how to parlay the situation into market expansion opportunities,” it said.

Weir Minerals, a division of the Weir parent company, already had an established presence in the area, presenting additional synergy opportunities.

By the end of January, Weir ESCO’s new Quebec team was on board and sharing office space with the Minerals branch (office pictured).

As in Salt Lake City, the Quebec branch will focus on growth through a direct service approach with customers, it said.

Pete Huget, Managing Director for North America, said: “This is an energising time for us as we move with more speed and agility to take advantage of market opportunities to grow the business. We are looking forward to capitalising on these opportunities to service our own customers directly. No one can service a customer like an ESCO employee.”

CR bolsters line of technology-enabled GET solutions with addition of GET Trakka

CR has acquired GET Trakka, and all associated intellectual property, adding, it says, proven tooth loss and productivity monitoring capability alongside its growing digital portfolio of mining technology.

GET Trakka is an industry innovator with the only field-proven system providing reliable sensor-based GET (ground engaging tools) loss detection for mining equipment, along with data analysis and reporting systems for enhancing maintenance and productivity performance, according to CR, a company owned by American Industrial Partners.

“The GET Trakka product solutions are based on built-for-purpose industrial IoT platforms with rugged embedded wireless sensors to provide revolutionary productivity and safety outcomes for the mining industry,” the company says.

GET Trakka has a strong reputation in the market through its owner and founder, Ian Hamilton. The GET Trakka team has developed and applied sensor technology to create market-leading GET component loss detection and monitoring solutions for all large mining equipment, CR said.

The addition of GET Trakka solidifies CR’s position as the leading provider of technology-enabled GET solutions, according to CR.

“The combination and integration of GET Trakka into CR’s product portfolio is an important milestone as they continue to build upon their digital technology offering and provide their customers with new productivity-enhancing solutions,” it added. “The acquisition of GET Trakka is consistent with CR’s long-term business strategy of adding complementary products and services to their existing core business.”

CR gets a GRIP of GET change-outs with newest solution

CR has launched the GRIPAssist Handling device, a safety, maintenance and productivity solution designed to efficiently and safely remove and reposition ground engaging tools (GET) with a minimal requirement for human interaction.

The GRIPAssist is the flagship product of CR’s new MINEAssist product category and has been developed to revolutionise GET change-out practices around the world, the company said.

Designed to significantly reduce human interaction when handling GET in the pit or the workshop, the GRIPAssist unit fits onto a tracked skid steer or similar small in-pit mobile loader and includes an hydraulic arm that grips GET products to enable safe, quick and easy maintenance change-outs.

CR Chief Executive Officer, John Barbagallo, says the range has been specifically developed to assist its mining customers to safely and more efficiently change GET on their excavating machines.

“The GRIPAssist is the latest of our industry-leading products developed through close collaboration with our customers and associated partners,” Barbagallo said. “Through listening to our customers, we have understood the need to develop a range of safety equipment for GET maintenance change-out and have worked collaboratively to bring this industry-changing product to market.”

He added: “At CR, we bring the core value of Zero Harm into everything we do. The GRIPAssist promotes safe GET change-out and is a great equipment solution to provide genuine safe fitment and removal of all GET items.”

Quintin Nienaber, General Manager of Product Management, says the GRIPAssist could optimise the way current maintenance practices are performed.

“We have seen GET change-out times halved in our initial field tests, which is an incredible outcome while at the same time improving safety,” he said. “While the aim of the GRIPAssist is to remove human interactions during GET change-outs, the fact that it can enhance productivity by reducing downtime is a significant associated benefit and is a game-changer in how GET maintenance will be managed and scheduled in the future.”

CR’s DecaEdge cast lip for large mining wheel loaders goes live

CR has announced the public launch of its latest DecaEdge cast lip (DE2553) for large mining wheel loader buckets.

First talked about in an IM exclusive in June, the 9-station lip suits wheel loader buckets with capacities between 14-20 cu.m, the company says.

CR’s DecaEdge range has demonstrated its performance and provided maintenance savings over a number of years, with individual lips achieving more than 25,000 operating hours with no major rebuilds, resulting in an over 33% reduction in total cost of ownership of the lip and ground engaging tool system, CR says.

The DE2553 was developed in response to the popularity of CR’s DecaEdge 10 and 11 station cast lips, aiming to broaden the company’s cast lip range for large mining wheel loaders, it says.

CR Chief Executive Officer, John Barbagallo, says the range extension demonstrates the strong market appetite for this unique offering.

“CR is the only manufacturer to offer a range of cast lips for mining class wheel loaders in the world,” he said. “The company prides itself on developing innovative, market leading products to help develop and shape the future of mining.

“By building deep and trusted relationships with customers, CR is able to understand and help solve challenges in field to ensure productivity continually improves. The success and growth of the DecaEdge range is the result of world-class engineering and comprehensive collaboration with our partners.”

Caterpillar bolts on new robust GET for large LHD buckets

Caterpillar is introducing a heavy duty bolt-on half arrow ground engaging tool (GET) for large underground loaders working in extreme applications.

The BOHA65 joins a complement of Cat BOHA GET designed for the entire line of Cat LHDs, the company says.

BOHA65 features extended wear life. For Example, BOHA65 segments for a Cat R2900 LHD have 35% more wear material than BOHA50 for the same loader. Trials in a hard-digging block cave application in Australia indicate that BOHA65 delivers extended, productive life in proportion to the additional wear material.

The entire line of Cat BOHA GET are designed for high abrasion applications where weld-on GET experience high wear rates. “With a proven and reliable retention system, the bolt-on GET offer more wear material that is also more abrasion resistant than standard weld-on GET,” the company says. “Testing has shown an average of more than 40% additional wear life compared to weld-on options.”

The bolt-on design enables simple and fast removal and replacement. After the base edge has been welded to the bucket initially, BOHA installs with two or three bolts per tip, according to Cat.

“An average weld-on set of cutting edges can require more than 20 hours to replace, and the process entails highly skilled work,” the company says. “BOHA takes 1 to 2 hours to replace and requires no welding. Ease of GET replacement encourages changeout before the base edge is damaged and downtime and costs mount.”

For example, a gold mine in western Canada calculated that Cat BOHA, compared with its traditional weld-on system, reduced bucket and GET cost per operating hour by 39%. BOHA GET had 2.5 times the life of the weld-on GET. Additionally, machine availability increased due to a 75% reduction in time to replace wear components, Cat added.

“BOHA GET enhance productivity in additional ways,” the company says. “The segments are designed to minimise carrying weight while keeping the bucket protected and, despite additional wear material, the low-profile front edge eases pile penetration and promotes fast bucket loading.”

Built-in wear indicators provide quick, ground level inspection of wear, while corner guards protect the sides and extend the service life of the cast corners used on larger loaders.

Additionally, corner segments have extended wear material designed to match the profile of Cat heel shrouds for ultimate protection in applications where cleaning up spillage is a frequent task, Cat says.

The BOHA GET are complemented by the use of additional Cat protection systems such as heel shrouds, mechanically attached wear plate systems, and wear bars.

Weir ESCO to automate GET changeouts

Weir Group says its ESCO division is working on an innovative solution that automates ground engaging tool (GET) changeouts, helping improve safety on mine sites.

In its annual report, released today, Weir said the GET Toolhead® would reduce the need for personnel to be in the pit, one of the most hazardous areas of a mine.

The new automated toolhead turns a hydraulic manipulator into a robot arm, according to Weir. It can securely grip and move GET, allowing it to replace parts weighing up to 500 kg.

“The movement of the toolhead is controlled remotely by a single operator, compared to teams of up to three people who would normally be required for a manual change out,” the company said.

Weir said in the report that it was continuing to commercialise this automated offering.

CQMS Razer bolsters North and South America mining business

CQMS Razer has agreed to acquire California-based Berkeley Forge & Tool’s (BFT) mining products and associated IP, including patents, new product development pipeline, branding, and trademarks.

The Australia and US-headquartered technology and engineering company, owned by American Industrial Partners, said the acquisition was a strategic move to continue expansion of its global market presence. It will also complement its existing mining product range, it said.

CQMS Razer CEO, John Barbagallo, said the combined business would enhance capabilities to effectively supply and support the global mining sector, especially in the North and South American markets where BFT has been providing the industry with products for more than 50 years.

He added: “Together, we will broaden our product offering, increase our technology and solutions footprint, and enhance our supply chain capability.”

Based in Berkeley, BFT has been supplying mining equipment components into North and South America since the 1960s. This includes forged ground engaging tools.

Weir highlights Enduron HPGR and Terraflow tailings demand in H1 results

The Minerals and ESCO divisions continued to stand out in Weir Group’s half-year 2019 financial results, with the two mining focused segments now representing around 75% of group revenues.

The Weir Group recorded revenue of £1.3 billion ($1.6 billion) in the first six months of the year, up from £1.07 billion a year earlier prior to the ESCO acquisition. Operating profit, meanwhile, was £172 million, up 25% year-on-year, with the Minerals division posting an operating margin of 17.2% and ESCO recording a margin of 14.1% (up 300 basis points from a year earlier).

In addition to Minerals and ESCO now commanding some 75% of group revenues, the two’s recurring aftermarket sales also now represent about 80% of total revenues.

In the first half of 2019, Minerals orders grew 5% with aftermarket orders up 8%, reaching record levels, according to Weir. “Original equipment orders, which are traditionally lumpier, fell by 2% year-on-year, but returned to growth in Q2 (June quarter) and this is expected to accelerate in the second half,” the company said.

ESCO, meanwhile, recorded a 5% increase in pro-forma revenues to £280 million, with annualised cost savings of $20 million ahead of schedule when it comes to the company’s medium-term target of achieving $30 million synergies.

During the period, original equipment demand within the Minerals segment benefited from miners continuing to expand current operations and investment in new mines, with demand for new technologies that increase efficiency and sustainability while lowering total costs, Weir noted.

This included strong demand for the company’s Enduron® HPGR (high pressure grinding roll) technology that reduces water and energy consumption, the company said, adding that the company had been contracted to support a large greenfield development in the UK in the period.

Weir said it also saw growing interest in its Terraflow® solution to enable tailings waste to be cost-effectively recycled or repurposed. This equipment brings wet tailings down to 90% solids paste to be pumped into a containment area or used for paste backfill.

The company added: “Aftermarket demand was strong, due to production growth and structural trends. These include continued ore grade declines that increase the amount of rock that needs to be processed, intensifying wear and tear and leading to additional demand for spares and services,” the company added.

During the period, Weir also added a new Minerals service facility in Alaska, which, it said, gives the division the ability to rapidly respond to demand for spares and services and is a “key differentiator in need-it-now mining markets, where production intensity is increasing, and the costs of unplanned downtime are significant”.

The company’s technology work continued to focus on incremental innovations and “Mine of the Future developments” aimed at solutions that are smarter, more efficient and sustainable, Weir said. This included focusing research and development on new pump and alloy designs, digitisation, ore hoisting, hybrid separation and tailings management.

Weir ESCO benefited from the same macro mining trends as its Minerals segment including increased ore production and the focus by mining customers on optimising productivity, the company said.

“This supported demand for differentiated technology that is proven to sustainably increase efficiency,” it said.
The first half of the year saw early market share gains for the N70 Nemisys® lip system, which extends the division’s Nemisys technology – featuring a cast or plate lip with shrouds and a three-piece tooth system. This is currently being trialled on smaller machine classes including wheel loaders, Weir said. “The N70 improves customer productivity through increased wear life, lower fuel consumption and reduced maintenance costs.”

The company also launched its GET Detect System during the period, an innovation it worked with Australia’s Mining3 on that provides instant feedback to the machine operator if one of the ground engaging tools used to extract minerals is lost or damaged.

Demand for ground engaging tools leads Weir to invest in ESCO Newton plant

The Weir Group says it is investing an additional $15 million in its Newton manufacturing facility, in Mississippi, US, as part of a total $50-million plan to support an additional 150 jobs at the ESCO division plant.

When the investment programme is complete, employee numbers will be more than 400, a 60% increase from 2016, Weir Group said.

The Newton facility, one of Weir’s largest manufacturing operations, produces ground engaging tools for mining and infrastructure needs and was brought into the group with last year’s acquisition of ESCO. The expansion is slated to be complete by August 2019, Weir Group said.

Weir Group CEO, Jon Stanton, said: “The equipment we make in Mississippi is exported around the world and the increased demand from our mining and infrastructure customers gives us great confidence in the future.”

The Mississippi Development Authority (MDA) is providing assistance for workforce training, as well as statutory tax exemptions, according to Weir.

MDA Executive Director Glenn McCullough, Jr, said: “The Weir Group’s ESCO division with its talented employees show the world each day that global manufacturing leaders find the people and place needed for success in Mississippi. For nearly 50 years, ESCO’s workforce has enabled the company to achieve its goals by producing top-quality mining equipment used around the world, and this continued corporate investment demonstrates Weir’s commitment to doing business in our state.”

Approximately 80% of the products manufactured at the Newton facility are exported. This makes Weir’s ESCO division the world’s leading supplier of ground engaging tools for the mining industry, Weir said. The facility began operations in Newton in 1971.