Having machinery working to its optimal performance is integral to the efficient operation of a mine, yet some are risking lives and livelihoods by buying non-genuine parts for their mining equipment.
When you’ve invested hundreds of thousands – or even millions – of dollars on tough and reliable equipment for your operations, it doesn’t make sense to then risk the safety and productivity of it. While saving on cost is a temptation, the consequences of using parts that haven’t been thoroughly designed and tested could be disastrous, according to Atlas Copco Product Manager James Hannah.
“When machines are fitted with non-genuine parts, generally you are talking about unexpected, and possibly catastrophic failure. Just by the nature of the machinery, when a particular component fails it is quite likely that it will cause secondary damage down stream of that product.”
To educate the mining industry on the importance of using genuine parts, Atlas Copco has recently launched a new campaign called ‘Keeping It Real Genuine’, which highlights the company’s rigorous quality assurance on its parts. At the heart of the message is the safety of machine operators, something that Atlas Copco takes seriously.
“The messaging that we are trying to get across is safety, total cost of ownership and reduction of harm,” said Hannah. “We are talking about people and that is the key priority; the consideration of people. In the mining environment injury and even fatality is a huge concern, and this is one thing that equipment owners can do to ensure that not only are they protected by warranties, guarantees and engineering in the product, but they avoid situations where a faulty part can have a negative impact on people and on the environment.”
The use of non-genuine parts in mining is common due to the competitive nature of the industry. The most widely used non-genuine parts are reverse engineered, where a manufacturer takes a component and copies it. But the quality of the materials, the manufacturing process, quality insurance and inspection testing cannot be guaranteed.
“If one thing fails and it causes two other things to fail, not only have you got to replace them, you are losing time in terms of production in a mining environment,” said Hannah.
Apart from potential harm to people and associated rehabilitation costs, the environment comes in to question too. If a hydraulic system full of oil has a spill that can have an environmental impact and then there is the on-going replacement costs and even damage to a machine that may be rendered unrepairable.”
“What we try to do is inform equipment owners of the total cost of ownership – there’s an important difference between what you appear to be saving and what you are risking.
To find out more about Atlas Copco’s trustworthy equipment visit the website here.