Rebuilding mining machines makes economic sense. When this work is carried out by the respective OEM, the rebuild can incorporate the latest parts and technology upgrades, ensuring that the equipment provides the best possible production during its second life.
Sandvik Mining and Rock Technology’s Service Business Line Manager for Southern Africa, David Hickson, says the OEM’s rebuilds are much more than simply stripping, sandblasting, lubing and reassembling a machine with new parts. Rather, today’s work is performed with the primary objective of ensuring the equipment’s performance during its second life is as close as possible to its design potential.
Sandvik’s Rebuild Program offers various solutions ranging from scoped rebuilds where equipment is inspected by certified specialists and work done in line with the customer’s requirements; or more advanced solutions where pre-engineered kits are prepared in the Sandvik factory and fitted to the machine to either return it to its original condition, or to upgrade the machine to the latest available technical and safety specifications.
“Our life extension programs can be tailored to requirements using a flexible, modular approach that depends on the condition of the machine and the systems that are required to be rebuilt, or it may involve a full scope rebuild that is completed at a fixed price. What the customer opts for typically depends on what endurance and productive capacity is required from the machine’s second life.”
“A Sandvik full scope rebuild is covered with the same warranty as a new machine, giving customers complete peace-of-mind around machine performance, reliability and durability during the subsequent life. In this way, we can prolong the economic lifespan of a customer’s assets, giving them the best possible return on investment and the lowest total cost of production.”
“Experienced miners know that wear and tear is unavoidable, and that critical components and systems will deteriorate over time, often undetected. If such wear is not systematically eliminated, it will inevitably result in excessive unplanned machine downtime and unnecessary collateral damage and cost. Identifying the optimal rebuild interval and scheduling rebuilds accordingly is a strategically smart approach – you preserve productivity, extend operational life and reduce running costs. In one intervention, a full rebuild will remove all unknown risk from the machine and will significantly improve the reliability and operating cost,” says Hickson.
Sandvik has rebuild offerings for all its major products – underground drill rigs and bolters; underground loaders and trucks; mechanical cutting machines; surface drill rigs, and crushers. Work is undertaken in purpose-designed workshops in key locations throughout Africa, with technical support from Sandvik factories and engineering centres globally.
“A rebuild cannot extend the life of a machine indefinitely and there will come a time when the replacement of the machine is the economically sensible thing to do. Technological advances and the performance improvements associated with new machine models must be considered when deciding whether to rebuild or replace a machine. As such, we do not see a rebuild as an alternative to the purchase of a new machine – there is usually a clear economic distinction between the two at any point in a machine’s life cycle. That being said, we do realise that short-term commodity price weakness and life-of-mine considerations could make an end-of-life rebuild an appropriate choice. However, where affordability alone is an issue, Sandvik has financial offerings that can be considered to bridge any capital budget constraints rather than rebuild a machine that should really be replaced with a new, improved model.
Sandvik rebuild solution
These decisions are not easy, and it pays to sustain a close relationship with the OEM throughout the machine life so that all factors can be considered when deciding on the best rebuild strategy. What is important to Sandvik is not whether a customer rebuilds a machine or buys a new one, but whether they are getting the best return on their initial investment and the lowest possible cost of production.
“Rebuilding a Sandvik machine with Sandvik guarantees the customer will get the best possible performance out of that machine. Sandvik can also advise and partner with the customer on various other service offerings to make sure that their primary fleet of machinery is utilised optimally and delivers industry-leading productivity, pushing the mine down the cost curve and into a financially sustainable position. From this strong base, the replacement of a machine at the end of its life with the latest Sandvik machines will be an easy and natural decision. This, ultimately, is the win-win that we are both looking for”, Hickson concludes.
Sandvik rebuild facts
- Equipment can be restored to its original performance level, ensuring best in class safety and reliability.
- Repairs are done to the highest OEM standards, to the exact machine specifications.
- As original manufacturers, technical staff have access to original machine drawings and understand how the equipment should operate.
- Inspection and assessment processes are thorough, systematic and globally refined.
- A Sandvik rebuild can involve over 1,000 measurements, diagnostics and check points
- Equipment is comprehensively analysed before being quickly and conveniently restored to original condition.