Tag Archives: mine maintenance

Bradken aims for South America mill liner expansion with Funtec facility acquisition

Bradken, a wholly owned subsidiary of Hitachi Construction Machinery Co., Ltd, has purchased the land, buildings and some facilities necessary for a foundry from Fundacion Technologica S.A. (Funtec), a manufacturer of steel castings for mining sites in Peru.

Bradken says it aims to rapidly supply products and further expand its mill liner business to respond to the vigorous demand in South America, with a focus on Peru and Chile where hard rock is mined in abundance. Bradken will now complete construction of the foundry with first production of large mill liners expected in 2026.

This recent purchase was decided as part of the goal to provide products and solutions that solve customer issues at various touch points from pit to plant at mining sites.

The South American market for mill liners is the world’s largest, according to Bradken, and focuses on hard rock. Chile and Peru, in particular, have a high concentration of copper and gold mines which account for more than 80% of the demand for large mill liners in the South American region, it said.

Currently, Bradken imports mill liners for the South American market from India and Canada. However, producing mill liners locally in Peru will build a speedy product supply system and improve the ability to meet the needs of customers, including providing a pathway to recycle spent liners, delivering a more sustainable mining process.

The foundry purchased from Funtec is located in Chilca, some 70 km south of the capital city of Lima, Peru. Since this foundry is located in an industrial park, has many of the main plant items on site and already has permission for plant operation, typical approval and construction times can be accelerated, according to the company.

Furthermore, due to the ability to procure power based on hydroelectric power generation utilising Peru’s water resources, the new plant is expected to reduce annual CO2 emissions during plant operation by approximately 95% compared with the use of typical electrical energy by maximising the usage of hydroelectric power, according to studies from Bradken.

This purchase marks the first large-scale investment project in South America in the independent business undertaken in the Americas by the Hitachi Construction Machinery Group since March 2022. In the future, the group will consider using the Peru foundry targeted for investment at this time as a depot for storing Hitachi Construction Machinery mining parts and plans to leverage it as a South American mining market base for the Hitachi Construction Machinery Group.

Dingo predictive maintenance solution cuts equipment downtime at Eldorado Lamaque

Dingo Software is helping Eldorado Gold’s Lamaque mine in Quebec, Canada, optimise maintenance and reliability practices through leveraging the company’s predictive and condition-based maintenance solutions.

The Lamaque mine faced the dual challenge of controlling capital costs and lowering all-in sustaining costs while also navigating the complexities of the global supply chain. With a current life of mine of 10 years, the mine sought to address some of these persistent challenges.

Lamaque decided to first focus on limited access to personnel with reliability skillsets, underutilisation of some of the existing digital platforms and its exposure to the global parts shortage. The team sought solutions to help control and reduce costs, extend the lifespan of major asset components and build world-class reliability expertise, Dingo says.

The site team, in collaboration with Dingo, identified opportunities to enhance equipment maintenance and reliability key performance indicators (KPIs). The chosen strategy aimed to reduce unplanned breakdowns, extend component life cycles, increase equipment availability and mitigate the impact of the global parts shortage.

Martin Pichette, Mine Operations and Maintenance Director at Lamaque Mine, said: “Partnering with Dingo allows us to leverage remotely-located condition intelligence experts from the get-go for a fraction of the normal cost to the company. This allows our few reliability experts to focus on the top issues and make important decisions to ensure our fleet availability is where it needs to be instead of having them analysing data and looking for the issues.”

Dingo also helped Lamaque acquire new sources of business intelligence with a fully documented and centralised asset health database plus integration with the ERP/CMMS, ensuring a complete maintenance and reliability context is available to support all maintenance decisions, it said.

Phase 1 of the Dingo solution involved consolidating oil sample data into a single platform for the first time at the mine. Within a short timeframe after the go-live, critical issues were identified and shared with the site team.

In the first week after go-live, the Dingo Condition Intelligence team observed a 2% fuel dilution, decreased viscosity, increased wear metal values and combustion by-products on a Caterpillar AD30 underground truck with a C15 engine with only 1,391 operating hours.

In response, the Dingo team assigned a ‘Priority 1’ action, providing work-stop level recommendations and provided site with a troubleshooting guide from their library, including recommendations to check the fuel injectors.

Not long after, the local OEM (Toromont) supporting Lamaque identified five defective fuel injectors that required urgent replacement. However, due to the ongoing global parts shortage, the mine was left with no alternative but to perform an engine oil drain on a weekly basis until the necessary parts could be procured. Once available, the injectors were replaced under warranty. This preemptive action not only prevented potential engine failure on the Cat AD30 but also restored up to 90% of the engine’s at-risk lifespan, according to Dingo.

While this proactive intervention circumvented much larger production losses had the engine been lost, it also highlights the significant risk unplanned breakdowns can have on Mean Time in Repair and associated production losses.

Dingo said: “The joint effort between the Lamaque personnel, CAT Toromont and Dingo Condition Intelligence specialists not only averted a catastrophic breakdown but also showcased the effectiveness and rapid results achievable through Dingo’s predictive maintenance solutions. The successful identification and repair of the AD30 injectors resulted in significant cost savings for everyone. In a nutshell, such a breakdown, if it had not been prevented by the team, would have generated production losses of about $65,000 per day due to equipment downtime and significant corrective maintenance cost to the OEM under warranty.

“Beyond financial value capture, this case also aligns with Eldorado Gold’s vision of ‘breaking new ground’ by implementing innovative solutions and enhancing maintenance processes, thereby ensuring the continuous growth of their high-quality business.”

After the AD30 engine save, the Lamaque maintenance team have continued to leverage Dingo to save equipment. For example: three leaking fuel injectors were found on a 45 t haul truck and a transmission was saved on a 15 t LHD; two key prime movers that would have impeded the operation from monthly production targets. Overall, working together, Dingo and Lamaque have now secured three significant equipment ‘saves’ within the first four-month period, Dingo says.

Building on these early successes, Lamaque and Dingo plan to continue to extend the project to the entire fleet, according to Dingo. Next steps will include interfacing with the mine CMMS and leveraging Dingo’s global benchmark tool to help select best practices from similar mines worldwide and to help the mine evolve towards increasingly condition-based maintenance decision making.

Dingo concluded: “This success story exemplifies how proactive maintenance strategies, coupled with innovative partnerships, can not only address immediate challenges but also pave the way for a more efficient future in the mining industry.”

Metso continues to sign up mining companies for long-term service pacts

Metso says it is consolidating its strong position in delivering tailored solutions to mining and aggregate customers through the continued expansion of its Life Cycle Services (LCS) program. In 2023, Metso secured more than 110 new LCS contracts with global and regional mining companies as well as with sizeable quarries and aggregate contractors, it says.

During 2022, the company said its LCS business experienced substantial growth with more than 130 new agreements covering these applications.

Miika Tirkkonen, Senior Vice President, Integrated Service Solutions, Metso, said: “We secured more than 110 new LCS agreements worldwide. Our concentration is always focused on how we can help customers achieve their sustainability and productivity goals and exceed their performance. This growth celebrates our customer success, as we always work to best ensure customer satisfaction.”

The LCS agreements made last year are part of a portfolio of more than 500 long-term LCS agreements globally. The average duration of a contract is three years but can range from 12 months to multiple years of cooperation. The orders are booked on a phased basis, depending on the length of the agreement. More than two thirds of the orders were booked in the Minerals segment and the remaining orders were booked in the Aggregates segment.

Life Cycle Services encompass the complete range of Metso’s aftermarket portfolio, from spares and wears to advanced maintenance, remote monitoring and other expert services.

SafeGauge to continue ELW journey with launch of MultiTool Pro at IMARC

SafeGauge, which has a goal to eliminate live work (ELW) in heavy industries, such as mining, defence, construction, agriculture and oil & gas through the use of wireless/Bluetooth testing solutions, is set to unveil a new product at next week’s IMARC event, in Sydney, Australia, that, it says, promises to elevate vehicle maintenance to unprecedented levels of efficiency and effectiveness.

The MultiTool Pro allows technicians to connect to 12 SafeTest gauges simultaneously, from up to 100 m away. SafeGauge has a range of SafeTest Pressure Transducers (PT Series), Dial Indicators (DI Series) and Tachometers (TM Series), which, it says, are the go-to solutions for heavy industry applications.

The intuitive ‘plug-and-play’ touchscreen on the MultiTool Pro interface comes packed with a host of new features, including data-logging and graphing, with the ability to generate comprehensive reports that can be exported and shared via in-built cloud connectivity, according to the company.

Fit for heavy-duty applications, it comes with a rugged IP68 designed casing, with attached stylus pen.

Luke Dawson, Managing Director at SafeGauge, said: “We are thrilled to be a part of IMARC 2023 and share our latest innovations with industry professionals. SafeGauge is dedicated to transforming the landscape of heavy vehicle maintenance, and our wireless testing solutions are a testament to our commitment to safety, efficiency and innovation.”

By eliminating the need for technicians to work in close proximity to operational heavy vehicles (inside the machine footprint) through the use of such tools, SafeGauge says it ensures both the safety of technicians and the efficiency of maintenance procedures.

Wajax bolsters Industrial Parts and Engineered Repair Services divisions with Beta acquisitions

Wajax Corporation says it has acquired all of the issued and outstanding shares of Ontario-based Beta Fluid Power Ltd and Beta Industrial Ltd, further expanding its Industrial Parts and Engineered Repair Services offering.

Beta Fluid is a leading regional supplier of hydraulic and pneumatic equipment for use in the industrial, mining and construction sectors. It also offers hydraulic and pneumatic maintenance, repair and replacement services, including mobile services. Beta Industrial provides a wide range of on-site facility repair and maintenance services to local and regional customers. Together Beta Fluid and Beta Industrial employ a team of approximately forty-two full-time employees.

“Since 1997, the Beta team has developed a reputation for dependability and excellent customer service, and we are very pleased to welcome them to the growing Wajax family,” Iggy Domagalski, President and Chief Executive Officer of Wajax, said. “Through acquisitions such as Beta, and our recently completed Polyphase Engineered Controls acquisition in Alberta, we continue to execute our Industrial Parts and Engineered Repair Services growth strategy, adding sought-after technical capabilities and expanding the services we offer to customers across the country. We look forward to further additions to our Industrial Parts and Engineered Repair Services portfolio as we continue to develop our acquisition pipeline.”

Wajax is one of Canada’s longest standing and most diversified industrial products and services providers, operating an integrated distribution system that provides sales, parts and services to a broad range of Canadian customers in sectors such as mining.

McLanahan helps customers improve maintenance programs with new condition monitoring package

McLanahan has developed a condition monitoring program to help customers keep an eye on the health of their machines.

McLanahan developed the condition monitoring package for three primary reasons: to allow customers to understand the health of their machine, to allow McLanahan technicians the ability to dial into the machine remotely and to pass any data back to the McLanahan engineering team to improve future machine designs.

“It allows us to better understand the condition of the machine out in the field so that we can better service our clients in terms of purchasing spare parts or scheduling maintenance on the machine,” Daniel Fairwebster, Electrical Design Manager, explained.

“Condition monitoring is typically a slow-moving animal, so we’re looking at trends over a long period of time to actually see how the machine is performing, but because it’s a real-time operating system, we do have the data immediately, so if there is something that happens unexpectedly, we do get that data and can generate a report as it happens.”

The condition monitoring program is a modular package that consists of sensors strategically placed around the machine. These sensors are connected to a remote data communication device that sends the data back to McLanahan. From there, McLanahan technicians interpret the data and share it with the customers to improve their maintenance programs.

“Customers can then take their maintenance strategy from planning just based on a calendar event to actually determining whether the machine does require some form of maintenance,” Fairwebster said. “They can potentially push out maintenance windows or they could bring them forward, depending on the condition of the machine. That can help reduce unplanned downtime and the like.”

The condition monitoring package can be added on any existing machine or installed as part of a new build, according to McLanahan. It can be tailored to fit any size operation and to monitor a variety of machine component conditions, including temperature, vibration, pressure and more.

“The McLanahan condition monitoring package can be installed on the full suite of McLanahan equipment, from the smallest machine to the largest machine,” Fairwebster said. “We can offer a machine with a basic level of package, which a basic level of instrumentation, and we can scale it up accordingly as required.”

He concluded: “The McLanahan condition monitoring is our commitment to our customers that we are supporting them to reliably operate our equipment, and we’re utilising that to improve our machines in the future.”

Technofast hydraulic bolting solution brings speed, safety benefits to Motion Australia

A company dedicated to optimising the safety and performance of industrial plant installations and maintenance is upgrading the safety of bucketwheel reclaimer head fastening with a Technofast hydraulic bolting solution available throughout North America.

Motion Australia – a wholly-owned subsidiary of Genuine Parts Company – uses Technofast EziTite® hydraulic bolts to precisely and swiftly secure iron ore reclaimer drive heads in Australia, doing the job multiple times faster than alternative methods – often four or five times more swiftly with less handling and more safety, according to the company.

The same range of products are applicable for reclaimer applications globally, according to Technofast founder and CEO, John Bucknell.

Technofast products are distributed throughout North America, with permanent and long-established representation in the region.

Motion Australia’s Engineering Services Manager, WA, Harrison Hart, said: “While eliminating high labour inputs, the big benefit of this technology that matters most to miners is the safeguards the EziTite fasteners offer against OH&S hazards. These include hand and fatigue-related hazards occurring with slower and less precise fastening methods.

“Because of their safety, speed, and precision in operation, we have adopted the technology widely, using hundreds of EziTite M56 fasteners on bucketwheel reclaimer heads over the last couple of years. We have introduced them as an integral part of our broader service solutions that respond to the needs of big primary producing industries, such as mining, which are absolutely focused on safety.”

He added: “The hazard reduction and accuracy of these precision-engineered, high performance, hydraulically operated bolt tensioning devices is immediately apparent to miners and OHS personnel in multiple industries that operate bucketwheel reclaimers.”

EziTite bolts are screwed into place by hand, then stretched hydraulically with direct axial force to achieve precise and repeatable tension and clamping force on the joint. When this force is attained, they are then locked in place mechanically for as long as they are needed. The process is simply reversed for maintenance: by reapplying the hydraulic pressure, releasing the simple, secure mechanical lock ring and then relieving the input pressure, allowing removal by hand, again saving time and manual handling.

“Rather than using torque methods to secure a nut, they can be set up and operated four or maybe five times faster than alternative methods,” Hart says. “They achieve highly accurate and measurable consistency over multiple bolts or sets of bolts.”

This same precision is possible even when the EziTite bolts are daisy-chained to apply joint clamping force simultaneously, or, as in this application, actuated individually.

Hart added: “The Technofast hydraulic fastening method ensures precise uniformity of fastening and clamping as required by individual applications. We have found its accuracy well in excess of other methods. It easily provides huge forces needed for large diameter bolts with consistent and even bolt tension for joint integrity, to make the installation stronger, longer-lasting and more durable, thus adding another layer of safety.”

Silver Technofast EziTite hydraulic fasteners installed by Motion Australial on a bucket wheel reclaimer head

Speed a bonus to safety

“Speed is mostly a bonus in this application, but a highly worthwhile value-add nevertheless when you consider that bucket wheel reclaimers are often handling anything from 500-20,000 t/h. With ore and coal prices fluctuating this year between a $80 and $130 a tonne, greater uptime and throughput is definitely a consideration. Labour input cost is always much more expensive than an EziTite bolt is ever going to be. We save on maintenance time and put the machinery to work sooner, shifting ore and making money.”

Speed and ease of use are illustrated by the fact that it typically takes Motion Australia about a minute to apply accurate pressure to one bolt. The old system has a long setup time, with the result that the Technofast solution is, according to the company, four to five times faster.

Hart says: “As a strongly service-committed solutions provider, whose integrity and advice are highly respected by these on-site partners, we are very pleased with the quality and prompt supply by Technofast of this locally manufactured product. We appreciate also the excellent support from Technofast’s WA Manager, Watson McIlveen, who always gives realistic timeframes and reliable undertakings.

“But the biggest plus – and reason we have introduced EziTite as part of our holistic solutions – is safety. By reducing handling and eliminating rotational hazards from the bolting process in this application, the technology responds to customer expectations upon us, as a trusted advisor and solution provider, for safer and more accurate solutions.”

Technofast Founder and CEO, John Bucknell, says the experience of people such as Harrison Hart speaks volumes about the global standards of quality and backup provided by the Technofast family of technologies.

Bucknell says: “Technofast technologies are in demand because of quality, service backup – and because we are local, typically halving delivery times for technologies such as fasteners, tensioners, and lifting cylinders up to 1,000 tonnes, which are in high demand from companies seeking to protect themselves against supply chain disruption.

“Motion Australia (formerly CBC) is dedicated to improving component performance and increasing plant up-time with safety paramount. Maximising safety and productivity are central to everything they do, providing their globally connected customer base with world-class solutions. They have an outstanding national reputation, dealing only with top quality suppliers, which is a great compliment to us.”

SPX FLOW’s MMR program helping with preventative approach to mixer maintenance

SPX FLOW says it is helping companies across six countries assess the health of mixers through its Mixer Modernization and Reliability (MMR) program.

To date, the process has assessed the health of more than 6,700 mixers.

The MMR provides a unique report on each mixer, allowing companies to take a proactive, preventative approach to mixer maintenance, the company says,

The report collects more than 30 data points on each mixer and is designed to identify at-risk equipment, obsolete equipment and installation issues, along with a review of the customer’s current inventory of spares. From there, the SPX FLOW team can work with the customer to build a modernisation plan for their mixers to help increase uptime, decrease unplanned downtime and increase the mean time between failures, it says.

An unplanned downtime event can be three to seven times more costly than planned downtime, according to SPX FLOW.

The MMR report allows the SPX FLOW team to proactively plan with the customer to increase the uptime of their mixing equipment by identifying problems before they happen.

The service team then creates a customer-centric report with plans to address current maintenance and reliability problems and a roadmap for modernisation for their information. This knowledge also allows companies to identify critical spare parts so they can be purchased before they are required, avoiding downtime and expedited delivery costs.

“In a world with so many unpredictable possibilities – from pandemics to emergencies – being able to plan whenever and wherever possible makes a difference,” SPX FLOW’s Vice President of Global Aftermarket for Mixing Solutions, Mark Cardano, said. “SPX FLOW prides itself on helping customers through the lifecycle of their equipment, and the MMR is one of the best ways to help in aftermarket support.

“The MMR program’s benefits are two-fold: providing companies a thorough and insightful check-up on mixers and access to our knowledgeable, experienced experts at the same time.”

Gold miner IMK feels the benefit of Volvo CE ActiveCare connection

Since implementing Volvo Construction Equipment’s ActiveCare, Indonesian gold miner Indo Muro Kencana (IMK) has experienced productivity improvements that could easily be replicated across the industry, according to Hendro Sugito, Aftermarket Director at Indotruck Utama, authorised dealer for Volvo Construction Equipment in Indonesia

Gold exploration and mining company IMK, based in Central Kalimantan, connected the country’s largest ever fleet of machines to ActiveCare, the remote monitoring and proactive maintenance service, in November 2021.

IMK’s 52 articulated haulers and seven crawler excavators are fitted with sensors that convey real-time information relating to their production, fuel consumption, health and even operator skill to a portal in the cloud.

Some data points, such as location, speed and load are also communicated from machine to machine to help the operators complete work safely and efficiently.

The dashboards and reports then enable the plant and site manager to identify areas for productivity and efficiency improvements, implement adjustments and set new targets for further progress, according to Volvo CE. This could involve tweaking the number and capacity of machines on site to reduce idling time, finding more direct driving routes, or introducing training for certain operators.

Nine months on, the data has helped IMK increase productivity across its three sites by approximately a third, while reducing fuel consumption for the benefit of the environment and the company’s bottom line, Volvo CE says.

Another major benefit of connecting the fleet has been the positive impact on the convenience, effectiveness and cost of managing machine servicing and repairs, according to the OEM.

With ActiveCare, an artificial intelligence tool monitors all error codes and alarms transmitted from the machines to the cloud. The algorithm sorts through the data, prioritising the alerts according to urgency and severity and attributing probable causes.

This saves a huge amount of time and effort for the plant manager and helps them to determine whether immediate intervention is required for an issue or if the service technicians can wait until the next scheduled downtime. The engineers can also remedy small issues before they have the chance to develop into more serious and expensive problems, and always be ready with the right tools and parts.

Overall, the system has given IMK unprecedented insight into equipment availability, Volvo CE says. This information is key to productivity and profitability in a mining environment where machines are expected to operate almost 24 h/d and any time lost is a loss in earning potential. With ActiveCare, IMK can now optimise its machine availability and ultimately boost overall profitability of its facility, the company concluded.

Metso Outotec adds mill lining recycling to latest Boliden Kevitsa service agreement

Metso Outotec says it has signed a Life Cycle Services (LCS) contract with Boliden for its Kevitsa mine in the Sodankylä region of Finland, which will see the OEM offer the mining company a novel Planet Positive mill lining recycling service for used liners.

The 3+2-year agreement covers the supply and optimisation services of the Megaliner™ liners for four mills with advanced discharge systems, supported by shutdown planning and execution services of the mill linings.

The contract is a performance-based cost-per-tonne agreement, with the common target to ensure the availability of the grinding circuit and to maximise valuable production time, striving for a common sustainability goal that benefits both parties, the company said.

The value of the order is about €35 million ($34 million) and the first part of the contract has been booked in Minerals’ September quarter orders received.

Anssi Poutanen, Senior Vice President, Mill Lining business line, Metso Outotec, said: “We are very excited to expand cooperation with Boliden in Finland. Metso Outotec is committed to supporting Boliden’s operative and sustainability targets and further increasing their liner wear life. When it is time to replace the worn liners, our innovative mill lining recycling service will dispose of the worn liners in a sustainable way.”

After over a decade of intensive development work and pilots for worn mill liner recycling, Metso Outotec says it is ready to introduce its latest circularity innovation, a unique separation line to process rubber, Poly-Met™ and Megaliner liners of all sizes. For customers, the new mill liner recycling service solves the problem of disposing of worn mill liners and offers a way to reduce CO2 emissions and improve environmental efficiency, as less material is being sent to landfills unprocessed, according to the company.

The first-of-its-kind service aims to recycle and create value from used mill liners on an industrial scale. It enables the separation of different liner components so that they can be either reused or recycled in the most optimal way.

Lars Furtenbach, RTD & Engineering Director, Mill lining business line at Metso Outotec, said the new separation line has already processed more than 200 liners.

“We are also exploring ways to increase the number of recycled materials in our liners to further close the circularity loop,” he added.

In the first phase, the recycling service using the new separation line is available for mill lining service contract customers in Europe. The recycling service will be expanded to new markets in 2023.