Iron Ore Mine, Pilbara Region, Western Australia
Producing a premium, high-grade iron ore for export to steelmakers, this Pilbara-based mine is a large mining operation in the Mid-West.
It includes a large open pit mine, complex ore processing and beneficiation plant, along with significant infrastructure and logistics networks.
Located deep in Western Australia the mining conditions are extreme, with highly abrasive material meaning wear part life is a constant challenge.
Due to extreme operating conditions, the maintenance team were facing onerous maintenance schedules that required them to replace their PC4000 bucket wear plates every six weeks.
The short lifespan was attributed to not using an overlay plate and only using quench and tempered steel wear plates. However, the miner’s previous experience with other brands of overlay plates had seen them chip and crack, leading to unplanned maintenance and downtime, damaging productivity.
After agreeing to a trial of Cutting Edges’ Chromium Tungsten Carbide (CTC) 2000 Wear Plates on their PC4000 buckets, wear life increased from six weeks to 11 months – a phenomenal 780 per cent, while many plates lasted longer.
The client was forced to perform maintenance and changeouts on their PC4000 buckets and liners every six weeks due to a combination of extreme operating conditions and the use of quench and tempered steel plates.
They were also required to keep spare buckets on standby for their machines to cater for the constant unplanned maintenance.
“They saw increased productivity, safety benefits and significant savings from reduced product costs, maintenance manhours and downtime in what was seen as a significant business win by the group.”
Cutting Edges’ Manager – Mining Solutions, Ian Ewart said: “They were using quench and tempered liner plates because they had previously tried other chromium carbide overlay plates from competitors which had chipped or broken in the extreme conditions.”
While there was some reluctance among the maintenance team to use Cutting Edges’ CTC solution given their previous experiences, they were committed to increasing productivity and agreed to a trial.
The trial saw Cutting Edges fit their CTC 2000 overlay plates to a selection of the iron ore min-er’s buckets and monitor performance throughout, with Ian conducting on-site visits every four to six weeks.
“To ensure we capture consistent data and details of performance we need to be on site reg-ularly over the full test period – which can be up to two years. This also ensures that the trial makes it to completion,” Ian said.
The result of using Cutting Edges CTC 2000 overlay plates saw bucket liner change-out periods increase from six weeks to 11 months, a phenomenal 780 per cent, while many plates lasted a lot longer.
The iron ore mine saw increased productivity, safety benefits and significant savings from reduced product costs, maintenance manhours and downtime in what was seen as a significant business win by operators, maintenance and management.
“They have a saying that ‘If it will work at this mine it will work anywhere’,” Ian said.
And so, Cutting Edges are now the mine’s preferred supplier for excavator, loader and face shovel bucket wear parts and are rolling out wear part solutions to other areas of the business including dump truck trays, dozer blades & grader mouldboards.
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