Diesel fuel is the lifeblood of the mining industry. As a large fleet of dump trucks haul overburden and ore from pit to a dump site, they consume a significant amount of diesel. An off-highway, two-axle, mechanical powertrain haul truck for example, which can carry 400 tonnes of ore on one trip, has a 4,540-litre fuel tank and burns through about 114 litres per hour.
While filling up such large fuel tanks cross the entire fleet, the mines could benefit from higher efficiencies in fuel management to minimise unproductive times.
This becomes particularly self-evident when considering that in mining, time is gold – sometimes quite literally. Michael Rowe, product manager at Motion Asia Pacific, uses the analogy of iron ore conveyor systems at Port Hedland to reiterate the importance of timing in mining.
“As the conveyor belts run the iron ore to the ships, if a loader goes down, the loss of productivity could amount to well over a million dollar per hour,” he says. “Now imagine the loss of productivity from keeping equipment idle at a mine site to refuel their tanks.”
To address this concern, a major open pit mine in Queensland and a key customer of BSC, part of Motion Asia Pacific’s group of businesses, has sought to boost the fuelling efficiencies across its operation by upgrading the nozzles on the mobile fuelling service vehicle to high flow diesel fuel nozzles from Dixon.
As Dale Jackson, branch manager at BSC-Bundaberg explains, the fuelling service vehicle moves through the mine site to refuel the fleet of dump trucks and other mobile and stationary equipment. Having already used Dixon’s FloMAX fuel connectors with success, the mine’s maintenance managers decided the best choice for their operation would be the Dixon FloMAX FN600BL high flow nozzles.
“BSC’s Bundaberg branch has been supporting the mine with the supply of bearings and other parts and services for over 15 years,” says Jackson. “They were very happy with the quality and performance of the Dixon products, so when it came to upgrading their fuel nozzles, they placed a specific order for the FloMAX FN600BL.”
David Lemm, business development manager for mining at Dixon Asia Pacific, says the FN600BL FloMAX nozzles, with a flow rate of 180 gallons (681 litres) per minute, are among the highest rated diesel fuel nozzles in the market.
“This is the highest flow rate among all high flow diesel nozzles available on the market,” says Lemm. “Additionally, the FN600BL FloMAX nozzles have an aluminum housing and heat treated stainless steel wear components, which give them exceptionally high life expectancy with minimum maintenance requirements.”
Lemm says Dixon’s FloMax Flush Face range of connectors are also very popular in the mining industry for their contribution to efficient fuel management.
“The connectors use an internally sealed ball lock mechanism to ensure trouble free performance even in the harshest conditions. The hardened stainless steel receiver nose ensures that FloMax Flush Face connectors can be operated at a higher pressure than many other dry break connectors,” he says.
“Available in 12 colour choices with a patented non-interchangeable feature means each colour will only match with its corresponding receiver or nozzle, minimising the risk of fluid contamination.”
Lemm says Dixon is always working on developing new products and services to help create solutions for the mining industry.
“We like to call it ‘uncommon excellence’. We understand that mines and quarries all have different requirements so if we put all our value-added services in one basket, what works for one mine might not work for the other. By being ‘uncommon’ and thinking outside the box, we can fit our services to their specific needs.”
According to Lemm, some recent products or services Dixon Asia Pacific has introduced or is in the process of developing include the 100mm and 50mm isolation valve assemblies, the 110mm and 63mm header assemblies, as well as service centres in all states to build made-to-order hose assemblies and a dedicated engineering team to support customers better.
As the supplier and stockholder for a wide range of Dixon’s valves, nozzles, hoses and other industrial components, BSC shares a unique partnership with Dixon Asia Pacific.
“We hold a large stock of Dixon products at our stores across over 160 locations, so we can ensure quick delivery when a customer comes to us with an urgent requirement,” says Dale. “While the Dixon Asia Pacific team offers an excellent sales support, we also have a qualified technical team that can provide localised support as required by the customers. Overall, it’s a relationship that works to ensure the best experience for the customer.”
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