Tag Archives: maintenance

Kwatani stresses importance of screen servicing

To ensure uptime on critical equipment, maintenance contracts are becoming an ever-more popular choice, according to vibrating equipment OEM, Kwatani.

The South Africa-based company should know, as it has customised contracts in place to service over 500 of its machines in the Northern Cape alone.

“Vibrating screens are critical to a mine’s material flow, which is its lifeblood,” Kwatani CEO Kim Schoepflin, says. “This requires OEMs to be experts, not just in design and manufacture, but in service support and maintenance.”

As a leading local OEM, Kwatani has seen mines gradually embrace the value of maintenance contracts to avoid costly downtime. One of its contracts covers about 400 screens on a single mining operation.

The range of its contracts extends to various commodities, from hard materials like iron ore and manganese to soft material such as coal. In one coal operation in Limpopo, Kwatani has contracted to service 160 of its machines.

Schoepflin highlights how regular, expert maintenance is vital for mines to achieve the lowest cost per tonne in their production process. However, she warns these contracts can only be conducted responsibly and effectively with the right level of knowledge and experience.

“With our depth of know-how gathered over more than 40 years, we understand exactly what inspections and critical replacement need to be done and when,” she says. “As importantly, we know how to conduct this work cost effectively.”

Accurate costing of maintenance contracts can only be based on a firm foundation of expertise, especially when contracts invoke penalties due to breakdowns. Kwatani’s experience in the field ensures the requirements of its maintenance contracts are met. This allows the company to offer a range of financial models to customers when they consider such contracts.

“We are so confident of the quality and reliability of our vibrating screens and feeders that some customers pay us a cost-per-tonne rate to maintain them,” she says. “We design, manufacture, install and commission according to their requirements, and then we take financial responsibility for keeping them fully operational.”

Long-term contracts often also include a commitment to improve and enhance the performance of the screens over time. To do this work professionally requires qualified service teams who are supported by solid engineering teams. Kwatani has developed these resources locally over more than four decades, and continuously develops skills in-house, alongside the various management systems to ensure such skills are available timeously to the customer.

“In addition to training and employing local people for a service role at our branches, we also collaborate with mining customers to empower their locally-based suppliers where this is feasible,” Schoepflin says.

She highlights Kwatani’s solution-orientated approach, combining the company’s expertise in its screening technology with the customer’s specific needs and resources.

CDE underlines aftersales focus with North America HQ investment

Following the official opening of its North America headquarters in September 2018, wet processing equipment manufacturer, CDE, is continuing to invest significantly in its flagship CustomCare service.

An investment of over $6 million was made in CDE’s North America headquarters in Cleburne, Texas, it said, bolstering the company’s aftersales support offering.

North America remains the company’s highest potential growth region and demand for its cutting-edge solutions is continuing to rise, the company reported.

“Now, with greater foothold in the North American market to build closer, direct ties with its growing customer base, CDE is expanding its CustomCare offering to maximise the efficiency and uptime of its customers’ plants,” it said.

To minimise plant downtime, CDE’s investment in its North America headquarters included the development of fully stocked and managed stores to house high-wearing consumable plant components.

The company’s pre-emptive approach sees thousands of replacement parts, valued at almost $4 million, readily available for immediate dispatch, it said.

“Responsive on-the-ground support and locally sourced parts means CDE is better equipped to strengthen its direct relationships with customers and supply or fit replacement high-wear parts to ensure a plant is running at optimum efficiency to boost return on investment,” the company said. “And who better to service, support or provide parts than the people who know the plants best.”

Sean O’Leary, CustomCare Manager, CDE North America, said: “Our unrivalled aftersales support is designed to ensure our customers get the maximum performance from their CDE equipment. A vital component of this is having a direct relationship with the customer and committing resources to their markets.

“Durability and reliability are key attributes of CDE technology, and our Customer for Life model outlines our commitment to taking preventative measures to enhance productivity, maximise uptime and profitability. For our customers, this is indispensable. They are reassured by our proactive approach which is achieved through regular preventative maintenance inspection site visits, detailing recommended parts lists, outlining time required to fully fit replacement parts and stocking common wearables locally for rapid dispatch.”

As CDE expands its presence in the Americas it is also adapting its product set with enhancements to respond to the requirements of materials processors in the marketplace. At CONEXPO-CON/AGG, in Las Vegas, in March 2020, it will launch the latest in its range of Combo™ all-in-one wet processing solutions.

The patented Combo™ – the world’s first all-in-one wet processing plant, CDE claims – was unveiled in Europe at Bauma, in April 2019. It was the first fully integrated, modular, patented turnkey materials wet processing and water management solution.

The latest model in the Combo™ range will have several soon-to-be-revealed enhanced features that have been specifically designed to enable operators in the Americas to capitalise on new opportunities, the company said.

It added: “In recognising the ever-changing requirements of materials processors, CDE offers price per tonne finance options for its fully customised and turnkey wet processing solutions.

“Adapted to support the business aims and objectives of operators in the North and Latin American markets, these hassle-free finance options enable business owners to modernise their operations with next-generation wet processing equipment including CDE’s pioneering patented Combo.”

SKF to help customers transition to condition-based monitoring practices

SKF, a global supplier of bearings, seals, mechatronics and lubrication systems, has released a new digital vibration monitoring solution that, it says, allows industrial businesses to adopt smart condition-based maintenance practices.

SKF Enlight ProCollect is a new portable solution for customers after a condition-based maintenance procedure, or those seeking to extend their machine monitoring programs to a wider range of assets, it said.

The solution incorporates an updated version of SKF’s QuickCollect hand-held sensor, together with the new mobile app, SKF ProCollect. Running on a standard iOS or Android device, ProCollect has been designed to simplify the collection, interpretation and communication of both operational and machine condition data, according to SKF. Furthermore, the new software links to SKF Enlight Centre – SKF’s advanced, web-based monitoring platform.

“Enlight ProCollect is easy for non-specialists to use, allowing frontline operators and maintenance personnel to incorporate vibration monitoring tasks into their everyday activities,” SKF said.

“For example, pre-programmed inspection routes can be downloaded from Enlight Centre to a ProCollect device, which will then guide the operator through the steps necessary to collect data. That data is then transferred automatically to the Enlight Centre platform, where it can be analysed and visualised.”

Enlight ProCollect comes equipped with pre-programmed alarms to help operators and maintenance staff to diagnose and fix common problems. The visualisation capabilities of the Enlight Centre platform, meanwhile, allow companies to generate dashboards that provide an overview of plant performance.

Maintenance teams can use the platform’s suite of advanced tools to spot trends, diagnose problems and conduct root-cause analyses, according to SKF. Users also have the option of a connection to SKF Remote Diagnostic Services, giving them access to the company’s global network of reliability experts.

Enlight ProCollect customers can opt to buy the solution outright or choose a subscription approach that provides all the hardware, software and support services they need for a fixed monthly fee, according to SKF.

Barrie Rodgers Product Line Manager, Mobile Solutions at SKF, said: “Our subscription model allows companies to shift the cost of maintenance program improvements from capex to opex. They can easily extend their agreement to include other equipment and services – such as bearings or lubrication.”

BMA Daunia met coal mine cuts truck service time

The maintenance team at BHP Mitsubishi Alliance’s (BMA) Daunia metallurgical coal mine has introduced a new service approach for the haul trucks running at the Queensland mine, in the process, cutting the average truck downtime for a regular service from two hours to just 40 minutes.

The haul trucks at BMA Daunia shift around 226 t of coal or overburden every load, with the fleet of 16 running 24 h/d. This means each truck needs to be serviced every 250 hours, or about every two weeks, according to BMA.

“The time it takes our maintenance team to service trucks is critical to our mine efficiency and productivity because it directly impacts how long they are out of action,” BMA said. “And it is vital they are serviced safely, effectively and consistently.

“That’s why we are excited about some recent improvements in the service time for the truck fleet.”

BMA did three things to transform its work:

  • Introduced a dedicated service bay;
  • Allowed maintainers time to set up tooling and service kits before the truck enters the workshop, and;
  • Introduced technology to design, monitor and improve the way it works.

The results have exceeded the team’s expectations, BMA said.

“We reduced the average truck downtime for a regular truck service from two hours to just 40 minutes. That’s a saving of one hour and 20 minutes for each truck a fortnight, or a potential 10 hours of extra work each week for the fleet.”

Not only that, the service process is safer for BMA’s maintainers and more consistently delivered.

BMA says it is about to roll out a similar approach for its larger 363 t payload trucks and will shortly progress to bulldozer servicing, it said.

This work is all part of the BHP Operating System (BOS), according to BMA, a process that also includes standardised work.

“This empowers frontline teams to solve problems and design solutions to streamline their processes,” BMA said. “It also encourages greater collaboration to reduce waste, overloading and variation, and produces more effective and consistent results.”

The company continued: “We started applying standardised work to truck maintenance at Daunia a year ago. We used technology to track our work and then analysed the process to find ways it could be improved. We then helped build a custom app that runs off an iPad or iPhone that walks a maintainer through every aspect of this scheduled maintenance in the most efficient, safe and effective way.

“The app means we complete the service the same way every time and it is interactive, so we can continue making suggestions through it to improve what we do.”

Using a standardised work approach to this important scheduled maintenance process has made BMA’s work quicker, safer, easier, and more efficient, consistent and collaborative, according to the company.

“Best of all, the truck service improvements and the associated technology are transferrable. It is being trialled at two other BHP mine sites and, with a few tweaks to suit each site, looks set to be implemented across all BHP-operated mine sites.”

Metso enters new territory with development of Truck Body

Metso has launched its haul truck body at the Bauma 2019 show in Munich, Germany, showcasing the expansion of its product portfolio into new territory.

“The Metso Truck Body is a ground-breaking innovation that combines the benefits of rubber and high structural strength steel, enabling mines and quarries to haul more with less,” the company said.

Lars Skoog, Vice President, Mining Wear Lining & Screening, Metso, said: “Hauling is one of the most cost-intensive components of a typical mining or quarrying operation. In addition to fuel and labour, there’s plenty of maintenance involved too.

“To ensure cost efficiency, a haul truck should carry as much payload as possible on every round. At Metso, we set out to tackle this challenge and designed a truck body that requires minimal maintenance while maximising payload. The result is a lower operating cost per hauled tonne.”

The Metso Truck Body is a lightweight, rubber-lined tray designed for off-highway trucks. The elastic rubber absorbs the energy of every impact, preventing it from reaching the frame and thus allowing for a lighter-than-usual, high structural strength steel frame beneath the rubber. Thanks to this, the body can absorb maximum shock at the lowest possible weight.

Metso has been supplying its tried-and-tested rubber lining for haul trucks for several decades with outstanding results both in reducing the need for maintenance and improving the working environment for truck drivers.

Metso said: “The proven benefits include up to six times more wear life compared to traditional steel lining, half the noise, and 97% less vibration. Our latest innovation, Metso Truck Body, takes this concept to another level by combining the wear protection and working environment benefits of rubber with the payload-maximising abilities of a lightweight body.”

Skoog added: “Many mines prefer lightweight truck bodies because they enable the carrying of more payload. However, the problem with these traditional lightweight bodies is their lack of durability – they often have to be replaced in every one or two years, or repaired, which gets expensive.

“The Metso Truck Body provides an unprecedented solution that is both light and durable. The rubber lining and high structural strength steel frame have been engineered in a seamless process, utilising the best qualities of both materials.”

A typical Metso Truck Body weighs 20-30% less than a traditional steel-lined truck body, according to Metso. Depending on the application, this translates into a payload increase of several tonnes.

The Metso Truck Body is available globally for all major off-highway truck models used in mining and quarrying. Several lining options ensure application-specific fit, even in operations that struggle with problems such as carry-back.

Anglo readying predictive maintenance solutions following Barro Alto implementation

Anglo American has highlighted its predictive maintenance efforts on equipment at its Barro Alto nickel mine in Brazil in its recently-published annual report.

The company said it is developing predictive models so it can make better informed operational decisions. These models, built by data scientists and often powered by artificial intelligence and machine learning, contain advanced algorithms that leverage the power of data to generate predictions, according to the company.

“At the operational level, we are using customised learning algorithms across a range of different applications,” Anglo said. “In one such instance, we monitor equipment health at a number of our operating sites, with the aim of improving operational performance through predictive maintenance.”

The company said at Barro Alto, which has two rotary kilns and two electric furnaces that smelt nickel ore, it is focusing its predictive maintenance efforts on key pieces of high-power equipment.

Anglo said: “By building a comprehensive data platform that monitors 38 major elements of the Barro Alto operation, we are increasing our knowledge of the performance of the equipment and we are using data to accurately forecast failures before they happen.”

Soon, the company will be able to “dynamically manage” maintenance intervals – only replacing parts when required – Anglo said. This ensures greater operational uptime and product throughput, according to the company. “The implementation is expected to improve furnace reliability, as well as realise cost savings for the nickel business,” Anglo said.

The learnings from Barro Alto are also being applied to fixed-plant assets in other operations, Anglo said. “This nascent project is on track to deliver considerable value from just one data analytics application.”

On the technology in general, Anglo said: “Data analytics augments the intelligence in our people by helping them make better, confident data-driven decisions. Remote monitoring of assets takes people away from physical equipment and helps avoid high-energy failures, which leads to a safer working environment. Reducing unplanned equipment failures can also bring significant environmental benefits owing to the reduced likelihood of spillages.”

Anglo plans to extend the reach of its data analytics platforms to all aspects of its value chain and extend operational decision support to the mining and processing phases of its assets, it said.