Sandvik rebuilds

THE mining industry is changing and Sandvik Mining is driving those changes. Supply Side by Australia’s Mining Monthly editor Thomas Smith
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Longwall Hydraulics filtration device used on roof supports to reduce fluid contamination

Staff Reporter

Repair, rebuild and support.

I’ve never been to Sandvik Mining’s new high productivity centre in Orange, New South Wales but if the company is looking for an inspirational slogan that captures exactly what it does there, it could do a lot worse than these three simple words.

Officially opened in May, the HPC represents a shift in the way both mining companies and equipment suppliers do business.

In the past, companies would think nothing of replacing a machine if it needed a major, expensive repair, or if it was closer to the end of its working life than it was to the start.

But the mining landscape has changed in recent years, especially financially.

Those familiar words to regular Supply Side readers – efficiency and optimisation – now dictate strategy at all levels, particularly when it comes to spending money.

Sandvik Mining has identified this shift in thinking and adapted to deliver exactly what its customers need.

Why buy a brand new machine when you can refurbish an existing one and delay significant expenditure until a time when market conditions are better than they are now?

Sandvik’s HPC in Orange incorporates a modern, high-tech repair and rebuild facility, including a paint booth, along with a large warehouse operation.

The facility has been purpose-built to help it better serve the needs of a growing number of mines in NSW’s Central West mining region and improve safety performance in line with customers’ requirements.

It will also service equipment for customers from outside the region, according to Sandvik Mining Australia vice-president Jim Tolley.

Interestingly, the facility is the latest example of the company’s focus on service and support for its customers throughout Australia and incorporates techniques gleaned from manufacturing.

“If you think about productivity, 70-80% of the gains are made when building the machines,” Tolley said.

“The aftermarket hasn’t had the same sort of productivity gains.”

“The Orange centre – which is one of four of these centres nationally – will set new standards for safety and environmental performance, service efficiency and turnaround times for our customers.

“It has been designed with one purpose: to align with our customers’ goals and boost their productivity.

“Sandvik’s service benchmarks are to ensure that our customers’ equipment remains safe and fully productive 24 hours a day, seven days a week, every day of the year – and to achieve that, nearly 75% of our staff worldwide are dedicated to customer support.

“Employing 40 people, it incorporates a state-of-the-art workshop and a warehouse, each of which are larger than our entire previous facility in Orange.

“And because of our standardised processes and readily available spare parts, we can provide rapid and cost-efficient repairs.

“This includes the ability to rebuild equipment to as-new condition, to Sandvik’s OEM specifications and standards and with full factory warranty.”

And this is the beauty of the service – machines go in old and come out as-new, extending their working life and delaying expensive fleet upgrade spend.

An increasing number of equipment manufacturers have recognised the need to provide mining companies with options beyond buying new equipment.

Success for any business, in any sector, depends on the ability to remain dynamic and deliver exactly what customers need.

Sandvik’s HPC is among the best examples of those that have embraced this approach and are already providing this option to customers.

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