Tag Archives: servicing

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.”

Metso Outotec establishes new training program for field service technicians

Metso Outotec has started an integrated competence development platform, the Services Certification Program, looking to standardise the competency of the company’s service employees working on site.

The OEM has an extensive footprint of over 3,000 field services professionals and additional support resources close to customer operations. The certification training program has been designed to validate and develop their employees’ knowledge and skills at servicing their respective products and technologies, it said.

Markku Teräsvasara, President, Services business area, Metso Outotec, said: “Our customers are already expressing strong confidence towards our service experts’ knowledge and technology competences. With the development program, the expertise is officially validated and standardised across the world.

“We have a unique opportunity from being able to combine strong maintenance support with process knowledge. To achieve our ambition of being the preferred services provider in our industry requires us to strive for unified development of industry leading competences based on high performance and safety standards, and resulting in exceptional customer experience.”

The Services Certification Program consists of three distinct and progressive training levels that allow personnel to develop their skills and apply them in on-the-job situations as well as validating existing work experience. All service personnel must achieve a “License to Service” certificate before starting the certification program to ensure a shared understanding of what service means within Metso Outotec and to clarify the standards including safety all are expected to hold themselves to in their work.

The Services Certification Program is designed and managed by the Metso Outotec Training Academy organisation which manages all technical and product trainings globally in the company.

RCT introduces new ‘smart’ solution for fleet service monitoring

RCT has brought a new product to its Muirhead® range of protection solutions designed to protect both machines and operators in mining.

Easily installed, the Smart Service Monitor takes the traditionally basic device, which previously only gave an estimate on when a machine requires a service, and delivers an all-round information system for up to eight inputs, RCT says.

RCT’s Mining and Resources Product Manager, Mick Tanner, said: “This allows the monitoring of up to eight measurable components. Having the information allows for companies to schedule servicing of different components of a machine when it’s due.”

He added: “Information is power and having accurate information, delivered in an easy and concise manner allows management to ensure machines and their individual components are serviced correctly, therefore significantly increasing machine availability and extending the lifespan of equipment.”

The Smart Service Monitor was developed by RCT in response to industry demand, according to Tanner.

“Clients wanted more specific information about their machines and components in order to streamline efficiencies,” he said. “Having all the machines operating at optimal performance ensures this is achieved.

“This solution is all about minimising the costs associated with machine running costs and maximising the utilisation of machines.”

For example, it is possible for the monitor to intelligently log engine run hours; by monitoring the RPM, the device can monitor the time in idle and the time in a work state off the same input. The counter has been designed to count, up or down, depending on what is required.

By logging such an integral piece of information, it is possible to ensure machine servicing is carried out regularly when required to ensure optimal performance, according to RCT. This is not only a legal obligation to reduce any risks because of unexpected failures, but it also prevents machines running at a lower efficiency.

The Smart Service Monitor is designed to monitor the work hours of equipment to alert the user if the equipment requires or is overdue for a service. In addition, it is also capable of sending out both visual and audio alarms to alert the operators.

“The most impressive aspect is that the system can monitor up to 10 different things at once, which allows the end user to have a great overall picture of a machine’s health and be assured operations are running optimally,” Tanner said.

All that is required to monitor a machine component via the Smart Service Monitor is either a frequency input, PWM input or just a straight digital or analogue voltage.

In addition, the Smart Service Monitor is complementary to RCT’s automation solutions. The Smart Service Monitor can record the operating hours of these solutions to ensure servicing can be carried out at appropriate times to maintain optimal efficiency.

RCT’s Smart Service Monitor can be positioned on any machine, with the device configured through an in-built programming tool. All that is needed is a smart device, PC, laptop or phone connected to Wi-Fi. For security reasons, connection is password-protected to prevent people from making changes that the supervisor might not want including re-setting counters.

Checkproof app to help digitise FLSmidth’s maintenance, service workflow

Software as a service company, Checkproof, says it has expanded its agreement with FLSmidth as the mining OEM looks to streamline its maintenance and service work across the globe.

The move follows Checkproof’s work on digitising FLSmidth’s front line work on sites in China, India, Kazakhstan and Arizona (USA), it said.

To support FLSmidth’s work on maintenance and service inspections of its product lines, the CheckProof app is used to perform and report front line daily tasks in any mobile device, securing routines, traceability and follow-up work, the company says.

Checkproof has also been implemented to digitise processes and to support company improvements for quality control of final assembly inspections at FLSmidth’s manufacturing facilities, it said.

Having first implemented the app in China, in 2017, FLSmidth has now gone global with CheckProof.

Tony Durant, Head of Mining Service Execution Europe, Russia and North Africa, FLSmidth, says: “CheckProof has given us the opportunity to change the way we work; to build a coherent and standard methodology to digitise our maintenance services deliverables at one of our customer’s sites. It offers an easy way for us to monitor the status of equipment and all daily maintenance activities.

“The tool itself is easy to use and can be quickly adopted for different kinds of equipment maintenance scenarios. This, combined with the ability to construct libraries within CheckProof, allows working procedures with only minor adaption needs to be scaled quickly, so minimising repeated work creation effort.”

Håkan Holmgren, CEO and Founder of CheckProof said the latest global agreement with FLSmidth represented both a natural and exciting step for the company.

“It’s an acknowledgment that CheckProof generates results, and we are particularly glad to have the confidence of a world-leading player such as FLSmidth,” he said. “We will continue to work hard to support their day-to-day operations and to improve performance, for FLSmidth to reach their goals and offer sustainable productivity worldwide.”

Epiroc trusting its 6th Sense on mine automation, electrification, digitalisation developments

During an enlightening Capital Markets Day, in Stockholm, Sweden, Epiroc backed up its credentials as a leader in the mine automation, digitalisation and electrification spaces, outlining its progress to date and its medium- and long-term plans to capture more market share.

A few weeks after putting on the investor showcase – but before Helena Hedblom was announced as the incoming President and CEOIM spoke with President and CEO, Per Lindberg, and Senior Vice President of Corporate Communications, Mattias Olsson, to get some detail behind the presentation slides.

IM: Automation featured very widely in the capital markets day (CMD) presentations earlier this month: In general, how would you characterise the mining industry appetite for this new technology? Where is the average customer on your automation scale?

PL: First of all, the appetite is very large; most customers are looking at automation in one way or another.

It is hard to do a mathematical average when it comes to where the industry currently is, but the average miner is probably down on the left-hand side of that scale (pictured below) – somewhere in between tele-remote and single machine automation.

IM: Over the next five years, where do you see most potential growth for autonomous solutions in terms of underground or open-pit mining? What market dynamics are accelerating this uptake?

PL: Most likely it will happen in both surface and underground. The potential for productivity and safety improvements is probably greater in underground, though.

This trend is clearly driven by productivity, cost efficiency and safety. Those would be the key drivers for automation. It is about taking people out of the line of fire, as well as having close to 24/7 production.

IM: Following the 34% stake acquisition of ASI Mining last year, would you say the project Epiroc and ASI are working on at Ferrexpo’s Yeristovo mine is representative of how you envisage doing business together in the future?

PL: That is the reason that we initially acquired the 34% stake in ASI Mining; we wanted to go in that direction. In that respect, I think the Ferrexpo example is representative of how we will cooperate with ASI.

Of course, ASI can also offer a standalone solution without Epiroc being present on the automation side, so we are also promoting their offering too.

IM: How does Epiroc, as an OEM, balance its machine building and maintenance service offering? Does the ability to keep machines working longer through sophisticated monitoring systems and better manufacturing somewhat inhibit your ability to sell new machinery?

PL: To a certain extent, we are probably cannibalising our new machine sales with increased service intensity and improved servicing products. That is most likely the consequence. On the other hand, we also feel that it is only right to offer this type of aftercare and servicing.

Yet, you cannot continue to prolong the life of a piece of equipment forever. It needs to be replaced at some point.

Overall, the servicing offering works well for us and, we think, it is good for our customers in terms of increasing the life of their equipment.

IM: Factoring this in, what percentage of revenue is your aftermarket business likely to represent in the next 10 years (from 65% today)?

PL: It’s difficult to say if it is going to be higher, or not, but it is likely that the volume of service will increase. That is based on what we are talking about – the intensified servicing we are offering, the products we have developed and the fact that we are increasing the market share within our own fleet.

Whether it continues to be 65% of the overall business depends on activity in the rest of the group.

IM: Along these lines, how long does the company anticipate its new battery-electric loading fleets lasting compared with, say, the diesel-powered fleets you were selling 10 years ago?

PL: The wear and tear of the actual machine will be the same – that is not going to change because of the drivetrain.

But, having an electric drivetrain is different from diesel; we have to see what the long-term maintenance needs are compared with diesel. The life of the drivetrain also depends very much on the utilisation of the machine.

IM: Of the recent innovations the company has launched (or is about to launch) – 6th Sense, a semi-automated explosives delivery system (with Orica), Scooptram Automation Total, Powerbit, etc – which has the strongest business case in mining?

PL: I think 6th Sense is really a packaging of all of our different offerings within automation. In that regard, it is has the highest potential. Which components of 6th Sense have the highest potential? We’ll have to wait and see.

The semi-automated explosives delivery system with Orica is a very specific innovation, but we very much believe in automating this mining process because of the safety and productivity benefits it brings. But we are only just starting this development compared with 6th Sense, which has already launched.

Powerbit is, again, very specific, but…allows us to deliver a complete offering both in terms of machine and consumables that will enable higher productivity and automation. That should have a high potential in the market.

IM: What does the Epiroc mining roadmap look like for the next 10-30 years? I imagine wider adoption of hard-rock cutting, automation, electrification and digitalisation are in there, but what other technology evolutions are being planned for?

PL: We have to continue to work with all of those three – automation, electrification and digitalisation – as they will deliver significant benefits for the industry. That is where we need to focus over that 10-year timeframe.

These three also have the potential to further integrate the value chain in mining within the future digitalisation space. We need to both continue to work with these technologies and our customers to ensure we have greater market penetration in all these areas.

IM: And, hard-rock cutting? Is this as important as these three?

PL: For specific applications, mechanical cutting and the Mobile Miners have their relevance and work well. But we believe for the foreseeable future, the majority of hard-rock excavation will be carried out by drilling and blasting in the mining and tunnelling sectors.

IM: During the CMD there was mention of “cost per measure” contracts under the digitalisation heading. Could you go into some detail about how the company is offering these and if they are tied in with financing agreements for your equipment?

PL: In terms of cost per measure, one example would be cost per metre contracts in consumables and rock drilling tools.

MO: We also provide finance for equipment and it could be that the equipment is financed and we have a cost per metre contract in place. Those two are not connected or tied, though.

It could be that there is more of this ‘pay-for-performance’ type of contract in the future – where you charge per tonne of ore excavated, for example – but, if it does come, I don’t think it will happen quickly.

IM: Similarly Epiroc talked about “new business models” in 2020 for underground equipment at the CMD. What might these new business models be? What is the need for them?

PL: It could be revenue streams into software, to information management, to advanced service agreements, to Batteries as a Service for battery vehicles.

The reasons for establishing these models is the continuous development of software, new updates for machines, etc that require different models.

When it comes to Batteries as a Service, it is a different model again looking to transfer the energy cost of the battery from capex to opex in order to facilitate the timely decisions for customers and reduce the cost of operation for our customers.

These new models are all based on development of technologies.