Atlas Copco’s range of innovative products and services have continued to meet the demands of Australia’s mining industry despite the COVID-19 pandemic.
COVID-19 may have interrupted supply chains over the past year, but it hasn’t stopped the availability of Atlas Copco’s equipment and services.
Atlas Copco oil free division sales engineer Dillon Smith says the industry is demanding efficiency more than ever due to unplanned shutdowns and border closures.
“COVID-19 showed us that at times it might become more difficult to get to site,” Smith tells Australian Mining.
“A major feature of Atlas Copco’s products is reliability, which we’re known for in the industry, so the customer is able to have a bit more faith in their equipment when there are challenges getting to site.
“The other major demand is efficiency as the customer has to make sure power or supply is available for the equipment.”
Efficiency, versatility and reliability
Atlas Copco’s efforts over the past year have cemented the brand’s reputation as an industry leader in air compressor solutions that are used across multiple industries.
Its compressors have been widely adopted at both Australian and international mining operations due to their efficiency, versatility and reliability.
With close to 150 years of company history, Atlas Copco’s diverse portfolio goes far beyond a single product.
Operating out of 15 Australian service centres, the company also offers blowers, gas generators, air dryers, assembly systems and support services for its local mining customers.
Diverse product portfolio
Smith says the diverse product portfolio is one of the company’s key advantages.
“Atlas Copco has a range of low-pressure equipment which is used throughout the mining industry particularly for processing applications,” he says.
“We have a range of gas generation products as well, including nitrogen and oxygen generators also used in the minerals processing industry.”
Adding to the company’s efficient line of products is its software and support services, including the Smartlink device for Atlas Copco compressors.
Smartlink is a compressor monitoring program that enables digital insights, including the uptime, efficiency, health of a machine, which can be accessed remotely via a phone or computer.
This allows mine sites to ensure their equipment is running correctly, even when site access is hindered.
Variable speed drive compressors
As the industry moves towards more sustainable practices, Atlas Copco’s variable speed drive compressors (VSDs) enable a more power efficient and sustainable energy solution.
“Our estimation is all Atlas Copco VSDs installed in the field are estimated to save around $20 million in energy costs across all industries in Australia,” Atlas Copco business development manager Tony Dias tells Australian Mining.
The VSDs, however, offer more than just less money spent on electricity.
Atlas Copco VSDs typically offer around 35 per cent savings on power, which can then be allocated to other machines on site.
“Customers have responded very well to those savings,” Smith adds. “Those savings can then be put into other areas of the mine without any additional supply requirements.”
To allow for more independent mining operations, Atlas Copco’s gas generator range enables remote locations to produce their own nitrogen and oxygen.
“Having a nitrogen or oxygen generator on a remote mining site in Western Australia is highly advantageous,” Smith says.
“This allows for massive savings on transportation costs and a back-up supply if a mine uses more than expected.”
Atlas Copco Western Australia regional manager customer services Lisa Bremmell says its services department is also prepared to support its range of products.
“We offer a number of various solutions under the form of maintenance required,” Bremmell says.
“If a client has a maintenance agreement, the parts are automatically supplied and can be delivered directly to site. It streamlines the supply chain from a client perspective to have someone supplying parts.”
To continue its sustainability efforts, Atlas Copco is aiming to produce cleaner energy by compressing hydrogen, with a range already available.
“Atlas Copco have compressed air equipment to compressed hydrogen which is a hot topic around the world in producing energy as clean as possible,” Dias says. “To reduce the carbon footprint, we already have our range of compressors that compress hydrogen.”
Research and development
According to Bremmell, Atlas Copco’s research and development (R&D) teams across the globe are continuing to innovate further in areas including compressed hydrogen.
“The amount of R&D that Atlas Copco invests year on year is something that we should be very proud of,” she says. “It’s something that drives the organisation on a daily basis.”
This article appeared in the May edition of Australian Mining Magazine.