Tag Archives: Ultima

Austin partners with Belarus-based equipment dealer to further Eastern Europe sales growth

Austin Engineering Ltd has appointed Engineering Company Mining Technology LLC as its partner for the Eastern Europe region, covering Belarus, Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, Ukraine, Poland, Serbia, Bulgaria, Bosnia and Herzegovina.

The appointment is part of Austin’s strategy to form partnerships in new jurisdictions, enabling the mining equipment solutions provider to widen its networks into new and existing global markets, resulting in further potential sales opportunities and benefits from a local partner’s customer relationships and local knowledge.

Austin says it is keen to grow the business in regions that it has traditionally not widely serviced, including Brazil and Eastern Europe.

Belarus-based Engineering Company Mining Technology LLC has developed a wealth of professional contacts within the regions it operates, with large original equipment manufacturers, mining companies and contractors, according to Austin. It has already sourced several important tender opportunities for Austin to enable users in these regions to benefit from light-weight mining attachments to enhance productivity.

The appointment follows the establishment of Austin-ETT Africa in South Africa in 2020.

On this relationship, specifically, Austin said it recently shipped 17 Austin Ultima truck bodies and two Austin High Performance buckets to Egypt through the Austin-ETT Africa, with more orders expected from active tenders across the African continent.

Austin Managing Director, Peter Forsyth, said: “We are aggressively pursuing global growth initiatives. We have a fantastic suite of products and services and we operate successfully in our traditional markets. However, we see an opportunity to grow our business and provide improved solutions to miners in new territories like Eastern Europe. In Engineering Company Mining Technology LLC, we believe we have found the right strategic partner in this region and we’re excited for our relationship to further strengthen through shared success.”

WA gold mine looks for payload boost in Austin Ultima truck body trial

One of Western Australia’s key gold mines is trialling Austin Engineering’s new Ultima truck bodies on several of the operation’s 240 t haul trucks as it looks to optimise and maximise its haulage fleet payloads.

The trial has the potential to be converted into a fleet-wide body upgrade, according to Austin, continuing a program that started in 2014 when the engineering company fitted its JEC bodies and increased payload by more than 20 t/load at the operation.

The new Ultima body (pictured on a truck) will take the payload up to 240 t/load and further maximise the haul fleet’s availability and productivity, Austin said.

Going back to the previous payload increase program, the JEC bodies were fitted to the haul fleet after the mine identified a series of production-oriented challenges – including weight of the OEM bodies, the high cost of maintaining the bodies (and subsequent non-availability of the haul truck) and non-achievement of target payloads – impacting on performance and productivity of the load-haul fleet, according to Austin.

Initially 11 bodies were ordered and ultimately the mine’s load-haul fleet was retrofitted.

The customised bodies lifted payload capacity to 230 t/load – an increase of around 20 t/load over the OEM bodies – an outcome of the weight differential between the OEM tray and the JEC body. “Along with increased payload, the body change-out improved haul fleet availability and performance – the result of less frequent unscheduled body repairs, an outcome of the replaceable floor in the JEC body, which eliminated the need for heavy, maintenance-intensive wear line plates,” Austin said.

Now, with the trial progressing, the long-serving JEC units are in line to be replaced by the Ultima bodies which, due to further advances in the payload capacity vs body weight equation, will lift payload to 240 t/load and still meet all OEM dump truck specifications, according to Austin.

“The Ultima haul truck body has the potential to be a significant gamechanger in haul fleet operation due to its advanced steel and design technologies,” Austin said. “A lighter-weight module design, it features improved structural integrity for superior impact and wear resistance, extended fatigue life and lower maintenance costs – all targeted to maximised payload, improved cycle efficiency and significantly reduced total cost of ownership.”

A ‘V’ profile floor, designed to actively channel the load to the centre of the tray, improves machine stability and safety, according to Austin. The floor design also reduces dump cycle times (empty is achieved at 3/4 tipping).

Although the new tray is lighter and stronger than current OEM bodies – which translates to a 10-15% weight saving without sacrificing payload – its design reduces overall tray wear, which significantly increases availability and improves productivity of the mine’s load-haul cycle, Austin said.

The miner’s expectation of the Ultima body is for 240 t/load and, according to the manufacturer, when matched with the appropriate loading tool – such as the 32 m³ bucket on the mine’s shovel excavator – this load figure will be consistently and efficiently achieved.

Just as it did for the JEC units, Austin will maintain a condition monitoring program for the new bodies and advise the mine on any maintenance issues, it said.

The miner is also using Austin bodies in other operations around the world. Specialised hauler bodies have been customised to add significant value and reduce operational costs in underground mining operations, it said.

Austin Engineering on the importance of payload matching

Austin Engineering’s David Pichanick thinks miners need to keep payload matching front and centre of their minds when looking to add to, refresh or replace their truck and shovel haulage fleet.

Why payload matching and what’s involved in matching an excavator to a truck?

According to Pichanick, Global Manager Market Development & Innovation at Brisbane-based Austin Engineering, the answers are efficiency, productivity and profit, and understanding factors such as site conditions, load and haul equipment and production targets.

Anecdotal research has revealed payload matching around achieving lowest cost per tonne is not well understood within the mining industry, according to Austin. Irrespective of the loading tool (excavator, shovel or wheel loader), the accepted goal is to get the payload consistent over time to maximise productivity and production.

Buying the right equipment package – loading tool and dump bodies – is vital and history has shown that the bigger the capital expenditure up front, the better the return on that investment, particularly around reliability and availability, Austin says.

“The loading tool comes first, followed by the dump trucks,” the company said. “And, ironically, depending on the equipment package, that could be the start of issues of reduced load and haul productivity.”

Pichanick says the most efficient bucket, excavator and truck combination currently in Australia is a Liebherr R9800 three-pass loading Komatsu 930E-5 dump trucks, fitted with Austin ‘Ultima’ bodies. Released last year, the new Ultima dump truck body has, Austin says, a unique ‘V’ profile floor that is designed to actively channel the load to the centre of the tray.

What makes this combination so efficient and consistent?

Every excavator and truck manufacturer will provide researched and validated tables and graphs that show the best truck and excavator combination, of their brand, to maximise payloads, Austin says. The problem arises when customers don’t buy the same brand of trucks as the excavator, or vice versa.

For reasons of price, contracts, preference and proven performance history, many miners will purchase an excavator from OEM ‘A’ and trucks from OEM ‘B’. And because the bodies on the trucks are not matched – as set by the manufacturer – to the loading tool, the concept of payload matching enters a grey area, productivity drops and costs around load and haul increase markedly, the company says.

This mismatching becomes apparent on site as truck OEMs look at variations in the 10/10/20 rule to maximise payloads and the direct effect the specific gravity (SG) of the product has on loads. And, although unique, these two elements have a close correlation when loads and capacities are being decided, according to Austin.

“The 10/10/20 rule has long been recognised as a reliable reference for truck payloads and recognises that variations occur in SG, fill factors and loading equipment,” the company said. “However, in an attempt to optimise payload capacity, truck OEMs are negotiating flexibility around the rule depending on reliable SG readings. Today, SG readings are coming from the digital technology available in the latest loading tools; technology that measures payload per pass and lets loading tool operators see if the SG is changing. This is a much safer system than waiting till the load is on the truck.”

Austin Engineering has a vested interest in any discussions around payload matching. The company designs and manufactures custom-designed excavator buckets and truck bodies for the mining industry but, as an independent OEM, can be objective about its recommendations around payload optimisation, it says. Austin conforms to all OEM specifications, globally.

The company has invested heavily in advanced software to match loading tools to truck bodies and, argues Pichanick, devotes a lot of time and effort to the science of payload matching and, by extension, maximising productivity and profit for the end user.

Which brings the discussion back to the Liebherr R9800 and Komatsu 930E-5 dump trucks – possibly the most efficient excavator and truck combination in Australia now.

“We were asked to provide the truck bodies,” Pichanick said. “The customer didn’t want the excavator/truck combination suggested by either supplier but purchased the equipment package they believe will maximise the return – in terms of performance, availability and reliability – over the longer term. Our bodies were custom built to fit the trucks and complement the capabilities of the excavator. The load and haul tonnages they are generating confirm the buying decision.”

From Pichanick’s point of view, this is the true proof of successful payload matching.

Austin Engineering looks to set dump truck body benchmark

A unique ‘V’ profile floor, designed to actively channel the load to the centre of the tray, is one of the standout design features of Austin Engineering’s new Ultima dump truck body.

Designed and manufactured by the Australia-based engineer, the new body also features improved structural integrity and payload advantages, the company said.

Based on Austin’s WESTECH, JEC and JEC-LD series of bodies, the new tray is lighter and stronger than current original equipment manufacturer (OEM) bodies, which translates to a 10-15% weight saving without sacrificing payload, according to the company.

This is the next generation in mining dump bodies, Austin Engineering says, with the Ultima carrying a greater payload, meeting all OEM dump truck specifications and delivering the industry’s lowest cost per tonne.

“By channelling the payload to centre line of the tray, the unique V-floor, with its lower centre of gravity, improves machine stability and safety and reduces overall tray wear,” the company said. “The floor design also reduces dump cycle times (empty is achieved at 3/4 tipping).”

The body also features large radius transitions to assist in the reduction of material carry-back, which also provide superior impact resistance and substantially extend operating life, Austin said.

“Overall the optimIsed shape of the Ultima body means better material distribution within the structure while maintaining the payload/weight advantage,” Austin Engineering said.

The new body’s increased structural integrity gives superior impact and wear resistance, extends fatigue life and lowers maintenance costs, according to the company. Tapered sides run the full length of the body to minimise wear, assist in carry-back reduction and reduce side spillage in the dumping cycle, while a low-profile rear floor shape, combined with a reduced height bolster, provide additional ground clearance when dumping.

The body is available in both ‘Straight Floor’ or ‘Flow Control Combo’ designs to cater for fixed or varying SG values and is designed to operate as a liner-less configuration.

“It can be adapted to suit any mine specific application, is suitable for any current OEM dump truck chassis and is designed to comply with all OEM haul truck operating limitations,” the company concluded.