All wired up to reduce unplanned downtime in mining

Removing aggregates and transporting them safely requires reliability and confidence in the equipment used in this safety conscious industry. The chance of unplanned downtime and accidents resulting from defective crane equipment within the mining industry has been cut with advanced diagnostics from SCX.

The mining and aggregates Industry requires reliable crane services in order to operate effectively. To ensure optimised crane production and minimise the threat of accidents, SCX has introduced new wire rope scanning technology.

Before now, there has been no way to see inside a crane’s wire ropes, other than cutting through and therefore permanently destroying them – which is clearly not a viable option.

The new Wire Rope NDT (Non-Destructive Testing) device uses magnetic flux technology to enable a full cross-section inspection of the whole length of a crane’s wire ropes – thus identifying a problem in time to take preventative action.

Ray Fletcher, director of Street CraneXpress (SCX) said: “We have already worked with several manufacturers to prevent a potential problem after NDT scans revealed unexpected deterioration. With more than 40 years experience in operating Planned Preventative Maintenance (PPM) programmes for high duty cranes, we know exactly what is required.”

The Wire Rope NDT device is part of SCX’s Advanced Crane Diagnostics – the new name for its condition monitoring services which analyse a crane’s critical components using non-destructive techniques, such as thermal imaging, vibration monitoring and laboratory oil analysis.

“Each Advanced Crane Diagnostics package can incorporate any or all of these techniques and, most importantly, it is tailor-made to individual crane criticality,” said Mr Fletcher. “Also, as well as helping reduce the risk of breakdowns and therefore preventing unplanned downtime, the use of Advanced Crane Diagnostics ensures that cranes are running in prime condition, leading to enhanced performance and greater efficiencies.”

Mr Fletcher emphasises that early diagnosis is especially important in the mining industry because heavy duty cranes deteriorate much faster as a result of immense stress and continuous usage – and because unplanned downtime can be so expensive – so much so that according to Caterpillar, the construction machinery and equipment company, it is estimated that the total cost of unscheduled downtime in mining can be as much as 15 times that of a scheduled event.

“Investing in a sophisticated planned preventative maintenance project helps our customers improve health & safety and avoid unexpected faults and costly downtime which can disrupt production lines and result in critical deadlines being missed,” said Mr Fletcher.

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