An equipment rebuild offers mining companies a solution to sustain reliability and productivity over the machine’s full engineered lifecycle. Ben Creagh discusses these advantages with Sandvik.
To maintain a productive, yet low cost operation it is critical that a mine’s machinery performs to its designed potential.
When this isn’t the case, mine operators react quickly to rectify the situation and may even consider replacing machines before the end of their engineered lifetime.
However, when equipment components and major systems show signs of failure as assets near the end of their initial productive life, it doesn’t necessarily mean they need to be replaced.
It is increasingly possible to return this equipment to its original glory through a rebuild, and the benefits of this strategy make it an attractive opportunity for mining companies.
The scope of Sandvik’s rebuild solutions focus on delivering the best return on investment, the fastest turnaround, boosting productivity, maintaining a high level of safety and providing the warranty of a new machine (subject to the level of offering selected).
Reducing operating costs remains a priority for mining companies, making a rebuild appealing when compared with investing in new machinery too early, as this strategy is completed at a fraction of the cost.
Sandvik’s rebuild solutions, when performed at the optimal rebuild interval have also been known to double the average service life of mining equipment, reinforcing this superior return on investment.
The manufacturer’s rebuilds are completed using efficient methods, utilising Sandvik’s systematic, globally- refined processes to ensure faster turnaround times than those offered by non-OEMs.
Once rebuilt, the refurbished equipment will be as productive as a new machine. Sandvik’s original, new and manufacturer parts improve reliability and productivity, while reducing the risk of future failures.
Sandvik Rebuild offerings contain a high content of new and original manufacturer parts to restore ‘as new’ reliability and productivity over a target extended lifetime. This also supports the mine to increase predictability and reduce risk within its operation.
Every rebuilt unit is backed by updates, parts books and information manuals, as well as a 12-month, 2000-hour extended OEM warranty and ongoing support for added peace of mind.
The manufacturer’s service team restores every piece of equipment according to the latest safety standards, ensuring it returns to the mine safer than ever.
Solutions tailored to customer needs
Sandvik offers rebuilds for all its major products, from mass mining haulers and narrow vein loaders, to development and production drills.
The company has more than 50 service centres delivering these solutions around the world. In Mexico, alone, the manufacturer rebuilds around 45 machines each year.
Despite up to 7000 parts being changed on some rebuilds, such as those for mass mining loaders, the average lead time is as low as six weeks for a complete rebuild.
Sandvik sales manager – parts, John Ward, says miners should not, however, view the manufacturer’s rebuilds as one-size-fits-all solution for ageing equipment.
He explains that Sandvik, instead, works closely with each mining customer to tailor a rebuild solution to suit their maintenance strategies and to reflect the condition of each piece of equipment.
“What we want to do is offer different solutions that can either give a new lease of life to the equipment or even double the average age of the machine to achieve the maximum number of hours possible,” Ward tells Australian Mining.
In partnership with mine production and maintenance teams, Sandvik offers lifetime support and product insights to identify a proactive fleet strategy that allows operations to remain in line with the operator’s plans.
Ward believes Sandvik’s rebuilds are achieved at the fastest rate in Australia, up to 30 per cent quicker than generic part suppliers and repairers.
“We achieve that with effective job scoping and extensive planning of what we will actually do on the job. When we replace parts with new it actually eliminates the refurbishing part and the components that are required,” he says. “This is how we achieve the productivity of a new machine through the rebuild — we give it a new lease of life.”
For example, a complete loader rebuild has been known to add 14,500 hours of operating life, while saving up to 40 per cent in costs.
What are the levels of rebuild offered?
Sandvik’s rebuild solutions are split into four categories — Life Extension, Life Extension Plus, Reborn and Reborn Plus.
A Sandvik Life Extension is a partial yet scalable scope rebuild, using a flexible, modular approach. The rebuild scope can be defined based
on the condition of the equipment or target a series of specific systems. A Life Extension Plus solution builds on this by adding further upgrades and/or custom engineered solutions. Both Sandvik Life Extension and Life Extension Plus are offered with standard parts and services warranty.
Ward describes both life extension solutions as partial rebuilds that focus on certain system concerns or specific reliability issues.
“When we have a Life Extension Plus project the customer may have a partially flexible scope but will also want to do a certain upgrade at that time,” Ward says. “An example of this could be upgrading the axles on a loader from our traditional axle to a newer model.”
A Sandvik Reborn solution involves a full scope rebuild that is completed at a fixed price. It aims to deliver second life endurance and as-new productivity, supported by a full as-new warranty.
In addition to that scope, the reborn plus provides upgrades and/or custom engineered solutions, as well as access to the latest machine performance.
“A key part of the reborn is the owner gets a second life insurance. We also want to return a machine that is as productive as it was when it was developed, with a full warranty for a new machine on the market — that’s our commitment,” Ward says.
“The Reborn Plus suits customers that want to upgrade to certain engineered components or those that want something extra on top of the fixed scope of a reborn.”
Ward describes the reborn solutions as more comprehensive options than what’s involved with the modular approach of a Sandvik Life Extension.
“A Reborn involves high new parts content for the reason of giving the machine a second life,” Ward says.
“This can provide a 40 per cent saving on investment costs, which is obviously a major benefit of taking the reborn option.”
Ward explains that although the equipment’s major systems are replaced the frames and major fabrications are not and are subjected to non-destructive testing and light repairs. Major components such as the powertrain are replaced with Sandvik Exchange components (CEX).
Sandvik complements each of the rebuild solutions with updated parts and safety manuals, which can be viewed through MySandvik, the manufacturer’s online customer portal.
All four of Sandvik’s rebuild offerings are offered with high level conditional criteria to give customers peace of mind, ability to budget and plan, and a clear and confident expectation.
Australian rebuild success Sandvik’s rebuild solutions have a strong track record in Australia, including on drill rigs that operated at gold and nickel mines in Western Australia.
At the Frog’s Leg gold mine, the operator was increasingly encountering issues with hydraulics, hosing and electrical components on a Sandvik DL420-10C production drill.
The concerns had already affected the operation’s productivity and were increasing the cost of the unit for the miner.
Desperate for a way to revive the performance of the drill, the operator turned to Sandvik for a rebuild solution.
The rebuild started with a complete strip, sandblast and non-destructive testing of the machine, before repair of the DL420-10C was launched. All articulation and drilling module bores were returned to factory specifications for the owner.
Sandvik’s service team provided a completely new drivetrain, covering engine, transmission, driveline and axle assemblies; a complete hydraulic re-hose back to factory specification; a complete drilling and 24-volt rewire back to factory specification; upgraded drilling control modules; and fabrication repairs back to full OEM specifications.
At the Western Australian nickel mine, a Sandvik DD420 development drill rig had operated for seven years, but was targeted for a life extension for operation on a mine in Queensland.
Following a Sandvik rebuild, the drill rig was repurposed for the silver mine where it was expected to remain in operation for another seven years.
To achieve this, the drill was completely stripped down to its base chassis and individual components. After thorough crack tests and inspections to detect any fatigue, the specified parts and components were replaced by new or rebuilt versions.
This resulted in a completely overhauled and updated unit in compliance with today’s standards. The rebuilt rig is also covered by Sandvik Australia’s 12-month/1500- hour warranty. According to Sandvik, the machine’s new operations praised the quality of the rebuild, as well as the performance of the rebuilt drill.
This article also appears in the July edition of Australian Mining.