Tag Archives: mine maintenance

Sandvik highlights parts supply and management options as it continues predictive maintenance focus

Sandvik Mining & Rock Solutions is offering various parts supply and management options to suit customers’ needs and help facilitate its own corporate focus on predictive maintenance through the flow of real-time data on its equipment.

Among the options, according to Amith Ganasram, Business Line Manager – Parts, Commercial, at Sandvik Mining & Rock Solutions, is Vendor Managed Inventory.

“To streamline the availability of spare parts, our people can be on site with an inventory of stock that we manage,” Ganasram says. “The main advantage here is that this makes parts available to the customer at reduced lead times.”

He notes that his team works with the customer’s operational staff on site, as well as with the service teams from Sandvik Mining & Rock Solutions. This means that uptime can be optimised, as the right parts are readily available when they are required.

Alternatively, customers may prefer to opt for a stock model that is based on consignment. Under this arrangement, the customer manages a parts holding on their own site, but they only pay for what they consume.

“We can conduct a regular audit every couple of weeks, for example, to check that the stock level is well balanced with the parts that are actually used,”Ganasram says.

Every effort is made to allow customers to leverage the value of OEM components, as their inherent quality safeguards the lifecycle of machines, minimising any unplanned downtime which could lead to lost production and revenue.

“We make it easy for customers to standardise on OEM parts, by creating bundled offerings when they purchase equipment,” he says. “This allows the customer access to high quality parts at a discount, when they take advantage of a total offering with new equipment.”

Through its advances in fleet data monitoring solutions, Sandvik Mining & Rock Solutions offers customers digital tools to track the performance and condition of their equipment. This includes prediction of key indicators like Mean-Time-Between-Failure, so that servicing and parts supply can be better planned. All these factors contribute to safer and smoother operations, with the lowest total cost of ownership for operating equipment, it says.

Metso Outotec goes digital with field service platform

Metso Outotec has launched a new digital platform and a set of tools to, it says, support, streamline and develop its field services.

The global implementation of the new Field Service Management Solution (FSM) started in 2021, with approximately 1,000 field service professionals now using the system in their daily work. The platform is, Metso Outotec says, helping to deliver a consistent high-quality service to customers, while improving efficiency in their internal operations.

Martin Karlsson, Senior Vice President, Professional Services, Metso Outotec, said: “Our customers are already expressing strong confidence in our service experts’ knowledge and technology competences. When a customer has a request for field service support, they can trust they will get the best service solution executed on time, safely and with high quality. To achieve our ambition of being the preferred services provider in our industry, we are continuously developing our field service capabilities.

“The Field Service digital platform is already widely implemented, and we have received very positive feedback from our customers and technicians.”

Metso Outotec’s Field Service offering meets customers’ maintenance, repair and refurbishment needs and supports customers in maximising the performance of their equipment throughout its lifecycle, the company said. Metso Outotec has an extensive footprint of more than 3,000 field service professionals and 140 service locations close to customer operations.

The new platform unifies and simplifies the way field service operations are planned, dispatched and executed. Operating on one platform helps to deliver a consistent high-quality service to customers both onsite and online, while improving efficiency and transparency in internal operations, the company added.

“For customers, it offers a more uniform experience through the digital connection,” the company said. “Information about ongoing actions during a site visit is shared reliably and in real time. The customer can review and confirm the completed work order on their mobile device. The technician can create a preliminary site visit report for the customer immediately onsite and a full technical report later.”

In addition, the digital inspection application captures information electronically and supports service technicians in performing equipment inspections for fast onsite reporting of possible critical issues.

Furthermore, the platform allows remote connectivity between service technicians and customers. In addition to remote assistance and video, the use of advanced technologies, such as augmented reality, is now enabled. This supports Metso Outotec’s sustainability targets by reducing unnecessary travel and increases the company’s ability to solve problems from their first service intervention, it said.

Sandvik and Boliden partner on 3D parts manufacturing project

Sandvik Mining and Rock Solutions has partnered with Boliden on a small-scale trial of 3D manufactured parts that, the companies say, will help both companies assess the potential of 3D printing.

Additive manufacturing – or 3D printing as it is more commonly known – is maturing fast, and has progressed from printing plastic components to now being able to print ceramics and metals.

To discover the potential of the technology, Boliden has teamed up with Sandvik to run a trial that will see machine parts printed digitally and installed on underground drill rigs.

The trial with Sandvik involves a set of specially redesigned components printed digitally at a Sandvik-managed facility in Italy, with their performance being monitored on machines in Boliden’s underground mines – first in Sweden, then in Ireland.

In theory, the 3D metal parts could perform as well – or even better – than traditionally manufactured items, the OEM said, adding that the first components have been put into operation at the Garpenberg mine in Sweden, with performance still to be evaluated.

“Additive manufacturing shows a lot of potential, both in reducing carbon footprint within the supply chain, through reduced or eliminated need for transport and storage of parts and also shorter delivery times,” Ronne Hamerslag, Head of Supply Management at Boliden, said. “This trial will give us a deeper understanding on how we can move forward and develop our business in a competitive way.”

3D printing is an exciting prospect for OEMs too, as Sandvik’s Erik Lundén, President, Parts & Services at Sandvik Mining & Rock Solutions, explains: “Mining equipment can last up to 25 years – and needs to be supported throughout that time – even in the most remote of locations. We have many different SKUs (stock keeping units) and, from an inventory point of view, we can’t tie up the capital that keeping all these parts in stock would entail. 3D printing of parts locally offers us the prospect of not only getting parts to the customer much faster, but doing so far more sustainably.”

Although in theory any part could in future be 3D printed, it is likely to be maintenance and repair operating items that are the first to get the additive manufacturing treatment, such as the bushes, brackets, drill parts, etc. that customers need to change every 3,000-4,000 hours.

But printing of the parts is only one part of the puzzle that the trial with Boliden is trying to solve.

Another is working out the future business model for 3D printed parts. Who does the printing – the OEM, the miner, or a third-party printing company? What will the costs be? What about intellectual property rights, warranties and liabilities? All these elements – and more – need to be resolved in the development of a 3D printed future.

Hamerslag concluded: “If you ask me, it’s the most exciting thing that’s happening in the supply chain. Its efficiency, speed and climate friendliness mean that we have to investigate additive manufacturing closely. We are only at the proof-of-concept stage with Sandvik right now, but it’s already clear that it could become a game-changer for the spare parts business in mining – for both miners and equipment manufacturers.”

RealWear assisted reality devices help IMDEX overcome travel restrictions

IMDEX personnel are using assisted reality devices from RealWear to, the company says, guide Australian and international clients isolated by COVID-19 as they install and use its latest products.

Using RealWear’s flagship HMT-1 devices delivered to its mining clients, IMDEX hardware and software engineers and product developers can assist on-site workers from thousands of kilometres away.

IMDEX turned to the solution to circumvent COVID-19 travel restrictions, which prevented support personnel being on site.

The RealWear technology is a rugged, head-mounted, voice-controlled, device that offers hands-free operation for frontline workers, according to IMDEX. The devices are equipped with a high-definition camera to take pictures and video from the wearer’s perspective, enabling IMDEX experts to guide the worker and provide advice.

Two-way audio with optional noise cancellation and a high-resolution micro-display that sits below line of sight, allowing for maximum peripheral vision, give workers and IMDEX experts the real-time data they need to operate, inspect and maintain equipment, according to the company.

Use of the assisted reality devices emerged after IMDEX grappled with how to support clients in South Africa when sending support teams was not possible because of border closures.

IMDEX Global Equipment Integration Engineer, Chris Havenga, said the hands-free aspect of the RealWear devices meant they had particular application for underground mining, where operators sometimes had to hold tools and tablets while working above eye level.

“COVID inspired innovation and change at IMDEX to ensure we continued to support our clients,” Havenga said. “There are endless possibilities with the RealWear device. It’s worth having a device supplied to clients along with our products and tools and, if there are any issues, operators can put it on and get the experts to assist for that particular site at the time they are having the problem.

“We can join them remotely while they are working, assess the issues and provide a solution.”

He said the devices could become a standard inclusion for IMDEX client support, along with manuals and tutorials. Offering the same functionality as a tablet, the devices enabled operators to consult manuals and other written material while dealing with on-site issues.

IMDEX is using the devices on sites in South Australia, New Zealand, the US and South America, it said.

Realwear Asia Pacific Vice President, John Higgs, said: “HMT-1 devices provide a reality-first, digital-second experience. Previously, industrial workers have not been able to use wearables, as they were overly immersive and not rugged enough.

“RealWear is unique in its ability to deliver hands-free connectivity without distracting the worker on a very rugged device capable of being deployed even in explosive environments.”

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.