From the biggest part to the smallest detail
When it comes to the build and delivery of equipment to customers, Hastings Deering and the specialists they partner with leave no stone unturned. As well as providing industry-leading technology, Hastings Deering use the best-trained, most knowledgeable people in the business - from sales and logistics through to project management, assembly, servicing and after-sales support.
As the exclusive dealer of Cat equipment, parts and servicing throughout Queensland and the Northern Territory, the organisation has been involved in some big builds over the years, and this Cat 6040 Hydraulic Shovel is no exception. The 6040 is recognised as one of the safest, most reliable and productive hydraulic mining shovels in its class.
So when customer Oz Mining awarded the 6040 build project to Hastings Deering, the wheels were in motion immediately to deliver the project on time, on budget and to the customer's expectation. Hastings Deering began sourcing the parts and components from both Germany and Singapore, and arranging for them to be shipped into Brisbane. From there they were transported via a truck convoy up to the Rocklands Mine site - an open cut copper mine about 17 kilometres west of Cloncurry, in north-west Queensland.
To oversee the build of the 6040 on site, Hastings Deering teamed up with hydraulic shovel and excavator experts, Hexex. Led by owner and project manager Duncan Miller, Hexex specialises in the assembly and major project planning and execution of large-scale machinery builds.
To get an idea of the process and level of detail that spanned the build phase of the project, Duncan Miller provided the following insights and answers.
Q: What preparation needed to be done prior to the truck convoy arriving at the mine site?
A: Well before the project begins, we make sure we've got the right trade-specific guys lined up for the job, who need to have all the right qualifications, tickets and certificates. In this case, they also undertook specific training for the 6040 that was to be built. The mine owner, CuDECO, organised all the medicals and site induction, so we could just focus on the job ahead of us. We also needed to have all of our equipment in place and ready before the components arrived. I actually caught up with some of the trucks on the road so we could chat about the best order to deliver everything onto the site the next day, to align it with the parts that would be getting put together first.
Q: What types of roles did the people involved in the build cover?
A: All up, at peak crew we had about eight staff on site, plus two mechanics from Hastings Deering, who we worked closely with. My role was as the senior technical person, or project manager, then the other main roles covered a leading hand, heavy earth moving diesel fitters, a boilermaker, and an auto electrician. Every one of them is a Cat-trained world-class technician, and are the best at what they do on this type of project.
Q: Can you step us through what occurred as the trucks arrived on site?
A: After giving the guys in the trucks a bit of a lay of the land the day before, and telling them what the plan was, we needed to also get all of our containers and infrastructure laid out on the site and in the ideal position. So as the trucks rolled in, we try to get some of the bottom components of the 6040 - including the undercarriage and the tracks - down on the ground and start doing some partial assembly work. During that process, you have a forklift and several cranes doing their jobs and offloading components to try to get the trucks off site again as soon as possible. It's in those first three or four days that the largest parts come together and you can see the most impressive progress. "Big parts win hearts" as the saying in the industry goes.
Q: What equipment did you bring to the project?
A: The critical tooling is lifting equipment. On this job we had a 200-tonne crane, a 120-tonne crane and a smaller 20-tonner. Then we had a telescoping forklift, an elevating work platform to gain access at height, hydraulic tensioning devices, and then two 20-foot containers full of rigging equipment, lifting gear, personal protective equipment, spare hardware, nuts and bolts, sealants, compounds, paints…you name it. In remote areas like this, you've got to be well prepared and have everything you'll ever need, and more.
Q: How did the build progress?
A: Really well. Hastings Deering made sure all the parts were supplied as needed and there was nothing holding us up, so they were great, as usual. The end user (Oz Mining) was really good too - letting us get on with the job and mainly being involved in quality audits, which all came back clear. Apart from a bit of inclement weather, which delivered some severe lightning and storms at times, it all ran pretty smoothly.
Q: What level of care and service needs to go into a project like this?
A: We always go above and beyond what's required. The equipment manufacturer has its own very comprehensive procedure to build the machine, which we of course always follow. We then put even more constraints in place to ensure there's less margin for error - things like extra tension checks, quality control, milestones in our project plans, and critical task sign-offs. It's these additional things covering not just the big items, but the granular details too, that mean the job gets done right every time. Because at the end of the day, we're the ones that built it, so we want to maintain our good reputation in the industry.
Oz Mining's new Cat 6040 Hydraulic Shovel is now in operation at CuDECO's Rocklands Mine, helping to improve the operation's productivity and efficiency, not to mention its reliability and safety standards. With the right people, knowledge and support network, Hastings Deering is proud to be able to deliver an asset of this scale, on time and on budget.
To see how the project unfolded watch the time-lapse video of the 6040 build coming together on the Hastings Deering YouTube Channel