Tag Archives: mine maintenance

RME announces THUNDERBOLT MAGNUM Recoilless Hammer range release

RUSSELL MINERAL EQUIPMENT (RME) says it is marking the official release of its fourth-generation recoilless hammer with a special introductory bundle offer for its customers – the ‘THUNDERBOLT MAGNUM Precision Pack’.

This all-inclusive pack offers incredible value and includes both the THUNDERBOLT MAGNUM 2000 and THUNDERBOLT MAGNUM 1000 Recoilless Hammers (the latter included at no cost), the THUNDERBOLT MAGNUM Power Pack (swappable between both models), the higher-reach THUNDERBOLT MAGNUM Mobile Jib (useable across the entire THUNDERBOLT range), as well as a comprehensive set of ancillaries and spares, according to the company.

With the THUNDERBOLT MAGNUM 1000 HAMMER included at no cost, the ‘THUNDERBOLT MAGNUM Precision Pack’ represents 20% off the standard price of the individual equipment purchased separately, RMW says. This exclusive offer is available immediately on all orders placed before December 31, 2021, with a delivery date prior to June 30, 2022.

Christian Kramer, THUNDERBOLT Product Manager, RME, says: “We know from 35-plus years partnering with customers on mill relines, there’s no one-size-fits-all solution to worn liner bolt knock-in. In fact, industry benchmark operations will use the hardest hitting hammers for difficult-to-dislodge bolts at discharge end and breaking-in on the first inch, then swap to a high repetition hammer for ploughing through shell lifter liners.

“This is why we’re excited about the new THUNDERBOLT MAGNUM Precision Pack. Not only do MAGNUMs hit harder and faster than the previous range, but also, when paired together, they provide four selectable levels of power for an even greater ability to select precisely the right level of power for the specific knock-in application. Combined they’ll reduce mission-critical relining knock-in hours, especially on high-wear relines, which means higher mill availability.”

In developing the new THUNDERBOLT MAGNUM Recoilless Hammers, RME applied 10,000-plus hours of research and development using customer-led design principles, to deliver quantifiable upgrades in strike energy, speed, serviceability and operator safety. The range sports two ergonomically designed hammers with each offering customers a unique advantage to shorten the mill reline knock-in phase, it says.

Designed specifically for large and medium SAG and AG mills, the THUNDERBOLT MAGNUM 2000 delivers an incredible 2,000 joules per blow 70 times a minute to plough through the toughest of knock-in phases, such as tough, stuck and deeply-wedged liner bolt bolts at a mill’s discharge end or breaking-in shell liners on the first inch, with ease, RME says. In initial commercial trials, the MAGNUM 2000 has even demonstrated the ability to knock-in peened liners without resorting to dangerous and time consuming lancing, the company claims.

“The THUNDERBOLT MAGNUM 1000 will excel in any reline environment across SAG, AG and ball mills small, medium and large,” the company says. “Its accelerated strike rate up to 1,000 joules 140 times a minute outperforms every other liner removal tool when it comes to work-rate speed and safety.”

John Russell, Founder and Executive Chairman, RME, says: “When the first-generation THUNDERBOLT was released in 1997, it was a game changer for the minerals processing industry. As the world’s only true recoilless hammer, it replaced hazardous manual methods and unfit-for-purpose tools which seriously jeopardise reline efficiency and operator safety. The fourth-generation THUNDERBOLT MAGNUMs not only build on RME’s fundamental fast-reliable-safe principles, they improve on them in every way. We’re so pleased to give our customers early and exclusive access to this incredible time-saving mill relining technology through the new THUNDERBOLT MAGNUM Precision Pack.”

Additional feature highlights exclusive to the THUNDERBOLT MAGNUM range, RME says, include:

  • Intelligent programmable power for precision performance – THUNDERBOLT MAGNUMs usher in a new ‘MAGNUM Mode’ which allows operators to program strike energy and speed for greater safety, precision and control. This selectable power also reduces the risk of high-velocity bolt projectiles, which can damage mill relining equipment and put crew at-risk, at the end of liner bolt knock-in.
  • Extended service intervals – Service intervals on the new MAGNUMs have increased by 150% to 100,000 blows through engineering and the highest manufacturing standards. Longer life components, improved component accessibility, smarter diagnostics and improved shock absorption reduces maintenance requirements for greater equipment uptime and reliabilit.
  • Smarter condition monitoring – New THUNDERBOLT MAGNUM Power Packs feature new sensors and diagnostic controls for improved performance monitoring and maintenance optimisation. Optimal tuning and blow data is now stored within the hammer for accurate operational insights and better lifecycle decision making. The new MAGNUM Power Pack is swappable between the MAGNUM 1000 and MAGNUM 2000 Hammers for efficient total cost of ownership.
  • Designed to provide the most comfortable, and safest operator experience – Improved ergonomics and a 90% reduction in recoil dry fire shock minimises both machine stress and reline crew fatigue. Hydraulic systems have also been redesigned for improved operational safety and use. A dual-action contact trigger safety mechanism eliminates risk of accidental firing. Streamlined operator inputs and improved mechanical and electrical controls protect crew working around the hammer and enhance the safety of mill reline operations.
  • Safer steadier suspension – With this product launch comes a new higher-reach THUNDERBOLT MAGNUM Mobile Jib with greater clearances, upgraded stability and a safety brake. This higher reach means access to more rows of liner bolts and can reduce the number of inching movements and inching time per reline. The MAGNUM jib can also be used across the entire hydraulic THUNDERBOLT Recoilless Hammer range.

Abreco brings real-time wear liner monitoring system to MINExpo 2021

An “exclusive active monitoring system” to allow mining companies to remotely monitor wear liners in real time was announced by manufacturers Abreco® at MINExpo 2021 in Las Vegas this week.

Abreco IoT is the latest innovation in mining technology that provides the status of all connected liners within a system, thus reducing requirements for physical inspections, Abreco says.

Wear liners can be monitored through the Abreco IoT exclusive and secure dashboard, allowing data such as active heat maps to be viewed from anywhere. Abreco IoT provides the status of all wear liners connected to the system with detailed information that enables forecasting planned outages with a high degree of precision, the company says.

The improved reliability that Abreco IoT provides for wear liner monitoring can greatly reduce downtime, which translates to substantial cost savings for mining companies, the company says.

“Abreco IoT virtually eliminates the downtime related to monitoring wear liners, makes wear liner inspections and maintenance safer and substantially reduces wear liner inspection costs and risks,” the company concluded.

Sandvik Mining and Rock Solutions bolsters Argentina service offering

To reduce response times, increase service quality and be closer to key mining clients, Sandvik Mining and Rock Solutions is decentralising its workshop in Buenos Aires, Argentina, to invest in a service centre in Caleta Olivia in the Province of Santa Cruz.

The maintenance and repair workshop for mining equipment, which opened in July, is strategically located and equipped with advanced systems such as South America’s first test bench for transmissions, axles and converters, according to Sandvik. It not only allows for the equipment to rotate, but can also take a heavy load, helping to guarantee reliability and quality of repairs.

“The objective of the Sandvik service centre in Caleta Olivia is to deliver results with high quality standards, in a timely manner,” Sebastián Issel, Country Manager of Sandvik Argentina SA, said. “To do this, we are strongly committed to the strategic development of local suppliers.”

The workshop entails a reception area, a 1,775-sq.m service area for repairs (featuring capacity for four service teams), a specific area for component repairs, training rooms and offices. The workshop is designed to carry out repairs of all types of components and equipment that Sandvik currently has in service in Argentina, including surface and underground drills and underground trucks and loaders.

The new facilities will also serve to complement training connected to mine sites for Sandvik technicians and customer representatives alike, Sandvik said.

As a supplier to many key mining operators in the southern region of Argentina, Sandvik says it sees the opening of the new service centre as an important move to provide a more localised service offering. The opening of the Caleta Olivia workshop represents a distribution point and satellite to have a faster response when a customer needs a specific component or spare part, it said. Its location in Caleta Olivia allows for less travel and smooth shift changes for service technicians.

Sandvik’s presence in key mining and construction provinces in Argentina delivers, the company says, a strategic combination for customers in the area, with the headquarters located in San Justo and the facilities in Caleta Olivia serving as the distribution and repair centre in the region.

Mader Group hits another quarterly record as it keeps expanding

Mobile and fixed plant equipment maintenance provider Mader Group has declared a stellar set of quarterly financials that included a second consecutive quarterly revenue figure.

Revenue for the three months to the end of June came in at A$86.4 million ($63.5 million), up 24% on the prior corresponding period (PCP), and up 14% on the previous quarter.

Revenue generated in Australia increased to A$77 million, up 21% on the PCP, driven by high levels of customer demand, while, in North America, quarterly revenue increased to A$6.8 million, up 45% on the PCP excluding foreign exchange movements (30% on an A$ basis).

The company said its preparations for operational delivery into Canada were now complete with customer negotiations well advanced.

Reflecting on Mader Group’s quarterly performance, Executive Director & Chief Executive Officer, Justin Nuich, said: “On the back of two consecutive quarters of record revenue growth, we close our books for the financial year with A$304 million in revenue and with a strong earnings result to follow. This is very pleasing and reflects the strength of our labour-focused business model.

“Our operations are more flexible and adaptable than ever, housing a dynamic in-house workforce of more than 1,600 skilled tradespersons deployed across nearly 400 sites globally. In all locations, we have prioritised the needs of our customers and our people, safely delivering over 3.4 million hours of specialised equipment maintenance for financial year 2021.”

During the period, the company continued to develop its internal safety systems to ensure the health and wellbeing of a largely remote workforce. Mader prioritised the continued roll out of a bespoke in-vehicle monitoring system for its service fleet, seeing considerable improvement in driver behaviour over the quarter, it said.

Mader also commenced trialling its safety-focused mobile app to its North American workforce.

The platform, which is already widely accessible to Mader employees within Australia, is designed to connect Mader employees to its digitally integrated safety processes, resources and company alerts.

Within Mader’s Australian operations, the group’s infrastructure and ancillary maintenance service lines remained a key focus in the business’ growth strategy. Continued diversification saw the company expand its ancillary service offerings.

“Moving into climate control support for mobile equipment, Mader supported a renewable energy project in a bid to convert diesel-electric haul trucks, exploration drills and locomotives into zero emissions technology,” the company said.

“Mader also worked with a local OEM to conduct off-site rebuilds for plant conveyors and mills. Revenue generated from the business’s ancillary maintenance services increased 21% vs PCP and by 12% vs PCP for its infrastructure maintenance services.”

Mader said its core service areas also gained traction during the quarter leading to the expansion of its in-field maintenance operations for heavy mobile equipment, driven by high customer demand across Australia. In Western Australia, this included growth in its Rapid Response team and “specialised equipment maintenance offerings”.

The company added: “Our disruptive business model continues to roll out into a large addressable market that has an appetite for significant additional capacity. All of our core business divisions continue to grow and our strategy of building new divisions that address new geographic locations or that provide additional trades and services is driving further growth.

“We are seeing structural advances in the Australian market as large owner-miners continue to develop multibillion-dollar resource projects, ultimately increasing the size of the maintainable mining fleet.”

North American Construction Group bolsters vertical integration with DGI Trading

North American Construction Group has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Australia-based DGI Trading Pty Ltd for an estimated purchase price of $23.5 million.

DGI, based in Kempsey, New South Wales, supplies production-critical components to the mining industry through business relationships and a complex logistical network, NACG explained. With partners in over 10 key countries, DGI maintains a network of suppliers and partner facilities which enable the connectivity to be both agile and economical, it added.

The acquisition is another strategic step in the company’s efforts to both vertically integrate its capital maintenance program as well as to diversify its service offerings, NACG said.

“The aggregate estimated purchase price represents an EBITDA multiple of three times on a next twelve-month basis based on our belief that current worldwide demand for mining components has recovered to, and will remain stable at or potentially exceed, pre-COVID 19 levels for the next 12 months,” NACG said.

The transaction is expected to close on July 1, 2021, and will be funded through existing debt facilities.

Joe Lambert, President & Chief Executive Officer, said: “NACG has worked with David and his team at DGI for many years and have great respect for their skills and the integrity with which they conduct business. We welcome the DGI team into our NACG family and are very excited to work together to grow and expand the services provided both externally and internally.”

David Griffin, Managing Director of DGI, said: “This is a major opportunity for us to work together to expand on what both businesses do best, providing competitive solutions to the global mining market. We look forward to entering the next chapter of our growth aligned with NACG and welcoming their team into our organisation.”

Key benefits of the transaction for NACG include:

  • Low risk accretive purchase of a well-known and well-run key supplier;
  • Increases vertical integration of component supply process (75% of capital spending); and
  • Provides exposure to new jurisdictions through DGI’s network and experience.

DGI is expected to operate as a wholly owned subsidiary of the company and will retain its brand identity and personnel, NACG said.

OCP MS and Nucleom team up to boost maintenance training offering

OCP Maintenance Solutions, a maintenance and digitalisation-focused subsidiary of OCP Group, and Nucleom, a leader in advanced non-destructive testing (NDT) services and solutions, have partnered to further develop their training and certification services for markets such as mining.

Through this one-year partnership, the two companies will collaborate to meet the needs of different global markets in terms of certification and industrial maintenance, they said.

“This partnership will allow us to offer the Moroccan and, more widely, African ecosystem, services of industrial expertise and the market’s most competitive high-level certification training,” Abdenour Jbili, Managing Director of OCP MS, said.

Since its creation in 2017, OCP MS, which specialises in reliability, digitalisation, and predictive maintenance, has developed considerable knowledge and expertise in industrial maintenance, particularly in the provision of services such as advanced NDT services, business training and digitalisation services adapted for maintenance 4.0, OCP said.

Mathieu Beauchesne Ing, VP Operations at Nucleom, said: “We hope to expand our activities and open up to the African market. We naturally approached OCP MS, which represents for us a valued partner and a model in terms of adapted digitalisation services as well as professional training.”

As a leader in high-level industrial certification and advanced NDT, Nucleom trains and offers its consulting services to major industry players, including NASA, Shell, ArcelorMittal and Bombardier.

As a result of joint efforts between OCP employees and its partners, the group’s subsidiary has also established a training centre called OCP MS Academy, which provides certifications and innovative training to operators.

CJC off-line oil filters keep mining crushers online

C.C.JENSEN says its off-line oil filters are helping miners reduce downtime through the removal of small very harmful particles that contribute to wear and tear and, ultimately, system failure.

As the company says, sudden crusher shutdowns caused by component failure cost both time and money, with dirty or contaminated oil often the cause of these failures.

Traditionally, the answer has been to schedule preventive maintenance in order to change the oil and replace components before they fail. In this way, the need for unscheduled maintenance is reduced, the company says.

“But scheduled maintenance is still maintenance, and still means downtime,” it explained. “And downtime comes at a cost, as does the premature replacement of components that still have useful life remaining. Not to mention the oil being changed more often than necessary.”

The answer, the company says, is to reduce the wear on components instead of having to replace them so often. This is where off-line oil filtration and the company’s CJC® Offline oil filter comes in.

How clean is the crusher lube oil?

With crushers being sited in very dirty and dusty environments, the oil gets highly contaminated with particles. Traditional in-line filters can process the oil in a crusher in a matter of minutes, but the particles they can filter are, in many cases, larger than the narrow clearances within the machinery. This means smaller particles are still free to circulate and cause costly damage to pumps, gears, bearings, etc.

There is a way to remove those smaller very harmful, micron-sized particles, which contribute to wear and tear and ultimately system failure, the company says.

CJC Offline Oil Filtration

An off-line oil filter can catch even the smallest particles, resulting in much cleaner oil without the presence of micron-sized particles that cause expensive wear and downtime. The finer filtration also reduces the risk of the oil degrading prematurely.

“It’s that degradation which all too often leads to oil-related component failures and, as a consequence, to expensive downtime while the parts are replaced,” the company says. “And it doesn’t matter whether that downtime is due to sudden failure or to preventive replacement in an attempt to avoid such failure. Downtime simply means lost production, regardless of the underlying reason.”

Off-line oil filtration is a much finer filtration process removing even the smallest micron-sized and harmful particles, as well as water from oil.

The result is significantly less wear on mechanical spare parts, thus extending their life as well as reducing the overall consumption of oil. In fact, the application of a CJC Oil Filter can, the company says, eliminate three of four shutdowns, extend oil lifetime by a factor of four and reduce spare parts consumption by up to 60%.

The effect on the bottom line is easy to calculate, the company says, as indicated with two examples.

A copper mine in Chile went from bi-monthly scheduled oil changes to a single, annual oil-related shutdown, for a 87% reduction in downtime, resulting in savings of almost $500,000/y before taking into account the savings on replacement parts.

Another copper mine saw cost savings of 86% on oil consumption, 73% savings of in-line filters, 62% savings in mechanical spare parts, resulting in total cost savings of €23,724 ($28,250) – approximately two thirds of the previous costs.

“Economic benefits are not the only reason to install off-line oil filtration,” the company says. “There are also environmental benefits to be gained.”

As the oil needs to be changed much less frequently, there is a reduction in the amount of waste oil to be disposed of, and less new oil is needed. All in all, this has a positive impact on the overall environmental footprint.

FLSmidth expands Central Asia presence with new Service Supercenter

FLSmidth has opened a new Service Supercenter in Karagandy, Kazakhstan, which, it says, will help meet high demand for service and technical support in Kazakhstan and Central Asia.

The 5,200 m² space will focus on the efficient delivery of mining equipment, component maintenance and facilitate rapid on-site service and 24/7 local support, according to FLSmidth.

It includes a 2,500 m² warehouse and a 1,200 m² workshop, as well as a customer service office, customer training centre and other support facilities. The Supercenter holds a range of inventory and a strategic range of lab equipment and spare and wear parts.

The centre has a primary emphasis on supplying solutions that extend an asset’s lifecycle, such as: repairs and rebuilds; equipment and component upgrades; parts and consumables strategic stocking programs; technical assistance; and customised service packages.

“The centre ensures customers receive the knowhow to optimise their operations, as well as support when it comes to inspections, process audits and technical issues,” the company says.

Mikko Keto, Mining President at FLSmidth, explained: “The main concept of the Supercenter is to get closer to our mining and cement customers across Kazakhstan and Central Asia and support them with the best solutions, fast access to spare and wear parts, and, of course, local knowhow and expertise. This move supports FLSmidth’s ever-growing focus on customer service and aftermarket.”

Sergey Gorbunov, Managing Director for Kazakhstan and Central Asia, added: “Our large regional installed base will be well served by this new Supercenter. It will allow us to work side by side with customers to better understand and solve their challenges – and to deliver sustainable productivity solutions to their operations.

“Customers can expect world-class on-site service, indoor repairs and refurbishment, exchange programs, lab testing, training and excellent spare part support. The Supercenter ensures 24/7 local support for on-site services such as installation, commissioning, maintenance support, shutdowns and turnkey solutions.”

BHP Mitsubishi Alliance tasks Jord International with filter press maintenance challenge

Jord International has been tasked to develop a safer solution to filter press maintenance at BHP Mitsubishi Alliance’s Caval Ridge metallurgical coal mine, in Queensland, Australia, as part of BHP’s Supplier Innovation Program challenge, launched in partnership with Austmine in 2020.

The program follows a model that has operated successfully in BHP’s Minerals Americas business for the last decade, the miner says.

In January, Jord signed a Collaborative Agreement with BHP – the first under this new challenge – to design and construct the first prototype of this idea, working hand-in-hand with the maintenance team at BMA’s Caval Ridge metallurgical coal mine, near Moranbah.

Jord is proposing a safer way to perform maintenance on filter presses that removes moisture from coal rejects at the wash plant. It comprises a belt cartridge installer within a self-contained steel frame that holds a new belt and removes the old damaged belt.

The first belt installer is expected to be in use by July, according to BMA, with the pilot to run for six months. If successful, the new approach will be implemented permanently at Caval Ridge, and potentially at other BMA sites using filter presses to remove moisture from coal rejects, BMA added.

Jord’s Mechanical Engineer for Aftermarket and Reliability, Craig Samuel, developed the concept and says it eliminates the need for operators to be in physical contact with the filter press.

“Creating a safer environment is the pinnacle of an engineer’s ethos and it’s incorporated in everything we design,” Samuel said. “We know from experience that efficiency and reliability are critical to mining operations, so I’m proud that this idea will make a traditionally time-consuming task much faster and I’m looking forward to working closely with the Caval Ridge team.”

When developing the award submission, Samuel consulted with Jord’s field service team to ensure the concept was practical and rigorous enough to meet the demanding operating conditions.

Jord’s General Manager of Resources, Kevin Barber, said he is proud of his team for having the drive and innovative thinking required to solve this long-standing industry challenge.

“We would like to thank BHP for their recognition and for the opportunity to participate in genuinely collaborative discussions about real challenges faced in the industry,” he said. “At Jord, we live by the motto ‘ideas engineered’, which means we encourage our people to share new ideas. We often invest in research and development initiatives with a goal to commercialising new products.

“We look to add value in all our projects, whether it’s increasing safety, reducing risk, producing a higher-grade product, increasing plant capacity, minimising environmental impacts, or conclusively proving new industrial processes.”

BHP says its Procurement Innovation & Community team is currently developing another six Supply Innovation Program challenges across Minerals Australia, with the goal of announcing more pilot contracts in coming months.

Schlam to provide MEM support to Rio’s Pilbara iron ore ops

Schlam says it has been selected to sit on a panel to provide mining equipment maintenance (MEM) support for Rio Tinto Iron Ore (RTIO) across its operations in the Pilbara of Western Australia.

The company is one of three firms tasked with providing support to the major, with the three-year contract incorporating various trades, including heavy-duty mechanics, auto electricians, light vehicle mechanics, boilermakers and more.

Schlam Chief Executive Officer, Matt Thomas, said being invited to the panel was a fantastic opportunity for the company.

“Being invited to sit on this panel would not have been possible without our team putting in the hard work on-site that they have done up until now to show what we’re capable of,” he said.

“Over the past six to 12 months, our team has demonstrated a commitment to safety and quality, world-class trade skills and excellence in customer service. I thank everyone who has contributed to this win for the company and hope that it’s one of many more to come soon.”