More investment in equipment rebuilds

MINING equipment services company FLSmidth says it’s expanding its Australian footprint despite momentum among suppliers to cut back in the face of tough market conditions.
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FLSmidth in Perth

Justin Niessner

The move will involve a doubling of the company’s Australian “supercentre”, a Perth-area warehouse and workshop facility currently offering 5000 square metres for a range of mining support work.

The company said the strategy was to offer more options for rebuilds and upgrades as companies seek to get the most out of their operational budgets.

FLSmidth global vice president and country head for Australia Mark Clifford expects the expansion to decrease costs, increase productivity and improve performance through equipment training.

“Aftermarket support and back-up is critical in ensuring that our customers meet their productivity and cost targets and will further enhance FLSmidth’s relationship with our clients,” he said.

“The expansion will allow us to better support our installed equipment base and keep it operational allowing our customers to get the maximum productivity out of the machines through technical competency, rebuilds or upgrades.

“The machines and services that we provide can be quite complex and so the ability to help people operate them safely and properly – the tips and tricks that go along with operating our equipment optimally – helps them to then accomplish some of the goals and challenges in the current market.”

The Perth facility represents one of six such units around the world, and offers integrated office, workshop, laboratory, training and warehouse services.

Expansion of the facility is planned to improve repair and rebuild options for nearby Australian customers, allowing miners to keep equipment working and minimise downtime.

The company framed the decision as a long-term commitment to the Australian mining industry.

“Being a one-source service provider that can provide customers with everything from technological requirements to lab testing and aftermarket support is what really sets this facility apart,” FLSmidth operations manager Andrew Laughlin said.

“There are many parts that are needed on a regular basis to keep machines at optimum function. Having those types of parts in these facilities where they can be dispatched quickly is another key part of what we’re doing with our supercentres in general.”

The facility comprises an office building, workshop, and warehouse that brings together product specialists, system designers, project managers and support staff.

It has an advanced stock management system and four cranes with large-lift capacity, a spray booth, fabrication and machining areas, dedicated test facilities and a wash-down bay.

Expansion of the facility is expected to be complete in mid-2015.