Life begins at 40

NORTH and South America beckon Australian ground engaging tools and payload optimisation specialist CQMS Razer.
Life begins at 40 Life begins at 40 Life begins at 40 Life begins at 40 Life begins at 40

CQMS Razer's 40th anniversary dragline bucket.

Since 1979 the company has delivered engineering, manufacturing and digital solutions to the mining industry, growing from its birthplace of Mackay, Queensland, to have more than 250 staff across 12 global locations.

So what does a company that specialises in ground engaging tools and dragline buckets and rigging do to celebrate a milestone - release a special edition 40th anniversary dragline bucket of course.

The bucket was developed in conjunction with its engineering partner of eight years Melco Engineering, and will be going to long-time CQMS customer BHP Mitsubishi Alliance.

CQMS and BMA have worked together for more than 20 years and passed many milestones including the receipt of the 100th dragline bucket in 2017. Later this year the Queensland coal giant will take delivery of CQMS' 250th bucket.

With Melco Engineering CQMS has fabricated, assembled and delivered more than 80 dragline buckets.

However, while dragline buckets are big ticket items, it is the digital side of the business and newly developed ground engaging tools that are likely to play a bigger part in its future.

CQMS Razer executive general manager - Australasia Phil Sellers said the copper mines of Chile and the oil sands in North America and Canada were key targets for the company.

One of the products he believes will help with that push is the newly-designed Dipperedge cast lip system for rope shovels.

The company has already built a name for its cast lip systems for hydraulic excavators.

Sellers said he believed the Dipperedge would have an impact on productivity and cost per tonne for miners in North and South America.

He said oil sands and copper in Chile and Peru had the highest concentration of rope shovels and the hardest digging conditions.

"We have the first one [Dipperedge] going into Hunter Valley in coal," Sellers said.

"We've already got a lot of interest from Chile and Alberta."

Traditionally shovels have a plate lip. When it needs to be replaced the old plate needs to be cut out and a new steel plate welded in. Teeth adaptors have to be fitted to it too.

That is a lot of heat work and handling of heavy parts.

With the Dipperedge, in very crude terms, the lip and where the teeth fit come as one package.

"It is significantly safer," Sellers said.

"It has a lot less handling and a lot less heat work."

Besides the Dipperedge, another recent addition to the CQMS product line is its Decaedge cast lip system for large wheel loaders such as the Komatsu WA1200 or LeTourneau 2350.

The company also makes wear products for chutes.

To support its manufacturing efforts CQMS has a foundry in Maryborough, Queensland to support its manufacturing efforts.

Besdies its manufacturing, CQMS is building a digital business based around its Titan load monitoring technology.

Sellers said the digital business was relatively small but growing quickly.

"There are 100-plus installations in Australia," he said.

"One of the world's largest iron ore miners is converting its Western Australian excavator fleet to Titan."

Sellers said Titan was different from other systems in the market.

It has managed to solve the problem of getting an accurate read on the payload of the excavator bucket.

There have been many attempts made using different approaches to bucket payload monitoring such as strain gauges and reads from the excavator's hydraulic systems. The results were mixed.

Sellers said CQMS bought a small engineering firm and with came the smarts to develop an algorithm that took a range of inputs from the excavator such as the stick and boom and the hydraulics and turn out an accurate payload figure.

"We have other digital technologies that are either market ready or in development," he said.

Those include things such as GET wear monitoring, which will let miners get a more accurate read on the condition of GET parts.