Mining is one of the toughest industrial sectors in Australia: It’s tough on the people, and it’s tough on the gear.
There’s been a lot of progress made in protecting people over the past ten years, but what about protecting the machinery that’s responsible for making every dollar faster?
Whether you’re talking about a mobile or stationary plant, there’s a range of machinery parts that need protection from wear and tear caused by minerals and ores.
Hardox Wearparts produce and supply a wide range of custom manufactured wear parts for a range of machinery utilised across the mining and quarrying industries including; wear strips, cutting edges and skins for excavator buckets, blades for dozers and graders, and liners for dump truck trays through to liners, bars, screens and skirts for chutes, feeders and crushers.
The key to the quality of Hardox Wearparts is the selection and use of the most appropriate grades from SSAB’s wide range of Hardox steels, combined with leading knowledge of wear part manufacturing methods optimised to retain the desired properties of the steel in the end products.
Ian Cornfoot, Wear Service Manager for Hardox Wearparts in Oceania knows all too well the problems associated with machinery wear and how to prevent them.
“It’s about the balancing of materials that can cope with both impact and abrasive wear,” he says.
“You can get very hard products that are good at combatting abrasive wear, but are generally quite brittle and can crack under impact. With expensive production losses resulting from unplanned downtime, this is something that needs to be avoided.
“It’s the same the other way, you can get softer materials that are very good at handling impact but abrasives cause them to wear very quickly, resulting in shorter maintenance intervals.”
That’s why Hardox Wearparts makes wear products that strike the right balance for dealing with both impact and sliding abrasion scenarios.
Hardox Wearparts work with their customers to understand the needs of the wear parts based on production and maintenance schedule needs.
“For mobile plants there are clear advantages in cost savings from weight reductions which can translate into reduced cycle times and increased productivity, but for stationary structures we can generate cost savings through careful material selection processes which caters to specific maintenance schedules, machinery and mineral needs,” Ian says.
“There is an ongoing focus on extended maintenance intervals and streamlined maintenance strategies across the Mining sector. Ideal maintenance schedules should have most parts lasting about the same amount of time; you don’t want a range of maintenance schedules for different wear parts on the one machine, and you don’t want to be wasting money changing out parts that have life left in them but may not achieve another full maintenance interval.
Ian says Hardox Wearparts are concerned with getting the best value out of their parts for the customer, which is why the company uses proprietary computer software to review different wear scenarios in your machinery, incorporating minerals analysis relative to your particular mine site or quarry, and providing estimations on the relative life of different materials.
“For example, if you’re currently using mild steel, or a 450 Brinell wear plate, then under the same conditions we can estimate what gains in wear life you may be able to achieve with different material grades. The software can indicate to us where the maximum benefit of using harder wearing plate will be: there may be a huge benefit in going from 450 to 550, but under your particular wear regime an increase to a 600 Brinell material could be negligible.”
This can help in the selection of the most appropriate materials to achieve increased maintenance intervals, or to enable the selection of thinner wear parts, resulting in a lighter machine operating on the same maintenance schedule.
“The hardest materials are not always the best: we want to be economical so that our customers get the best advantage possible from our products.”
In this fashion, the software helps to make estimates of the minimum product required to get the best economy out of Hardox products, keeping weight and material costs down.
The Hardox steel as used by Hardox Wearparts is produced exclusively by SSAB in Sweden and the USA, with the entire steelmaking process being tightly controlled to minimise impurities, and using very low levels of alloying elements in order to optimise the materials for welding. The hardness levels of the steels are achieved through a closely controlled roller quenching process and subsequent heat treatments designed to achieve consistency and through hardness.
Hardox Wearparts is a leading manufacturer of wear parts and wear services around the world, with more than 150 centres and operating in more than 55 countries. Locally, Hardox Wearparts have centres in Western Australia, Queensland, Victoria, Tasmania and New Zealand.
For more information on Hardox Wearparts products, visit http://www.hardoxwearparts.com/