Hercules EXO proves a grand Schlam


The Hercules EXO is a 240-tonne class iron ore specific dump body.

WA-based product and services supplier Schlam has launched its next-generation dump body that offers iron ore miners both a higher payload potential and longer service life.

The Hercules EXO is a 240-tonne class iron ore specific dump body that is 20 per cent lighter than the company’s already class-leading Hercules.

The decreased weight gives miners a greater payload potential, while a complete redesign and innovative material selection have resulted in a 100 per cent increase in service life.

Schlam chief executive officer Matt Thomas said miners had to compromise between payload and longer service life before the Hercules EXO arrived in the market.

“The Hercules EXO is an ultra-lightweight body that maximises payload without sacrificing body life or requiring the addition of wear packages,” he said.

“It is the culmination of 20 years of continuous improvement and innovation wrapped into one high-performance dump body.”

Schlam’s engineering department completely redesigned the previous Hercules to reduce weight in all non-wearing components.

“The team looked at the structural componentry individually to reduce weight so we can maximise steel thickness in the wearing areas, where it really matters,” Thomas said.

“Using hybrid steel thickness, combined with Hardox 500 Tuf steel from Swedish steelmaker SSAB in the wearing areas means that the EXO has a service life more than double other lightweight options.”

According to Schlam, the extra service life has three added benefits: cost, safety, and the environment.

Compared to the heavy-duty products on the market that utilise liner packages, the payload potential of the Hercules EXO is far more significant. It also does not require the labour-intensive wear plate replacement events needed to achieve target body life.

“When you factor in stored energy, working at heights, craneage, welding and more, liner replacement is high-risk work. The Hercules EXO removes these risks making it a safer option for miners.” Thomas said.

The EXO project was completed in close consultation with Schlam’s customers, who revealed that carbon impact is increasingly coming to the forefront of their concerns.

“It’s no secret that steel production creates a lot of carbon. However, having a dump body that uses less steel in the original manufacturing process and only needs to be replaced every eight years rather than every four has a massive net benefit on carbon production.” Thomas said.

Schlam currently has a contract with BHP to supply dump bodies for its West Australia Iron Ore sites and BHP Mitsubishi Alliance sites in Queensland and New South Wales.

The contract will generate revenue in excess of $110 million for the WA economy.

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