Safety inspections and efficient cranes slash downtime
KONECRANES’ SAFETY inspections and its latest crane technology have helped BHP Billiton cut downtime and minimise production losses as they replace aging cranes at their Olympic Dam poly-metallic mine in South Australia, says the crane maker.
The Olympic Dam mine, which is the fourth largest copper deposit and the largest known single deposit of uranium in the world, relies on overhead cranes for lif ting different reagents as part of their production process, as well as performing vital maintenance tasks.
Cranes are vital for production processes at Olympic Dam, which is set to benefit from BHP’s investment of more than AUD600 million over FY2018 on a range of important programme of work.
According to BHP’s Asset President, Olympic Dam, Jacqui McGill, this is the most significant investment BHP has ever made in South Australia and it will help build the foundations for long term, safe, stable and sustainable growth at Olympic Dam.
Scott Montgomerie, BHP Supervisor, Floats Maintenance Execution, Olympic Dam, Minerals Australia, said the company had four cranes approaching end- of-life and Konecranes gave it several good options with quick turnaround times. The old cranes were getting near their end- oflife – about 25 years old – so were breaking down frequently and causing downtime and production losses.
Konecranes is providing BHP Billiton with five new cranes, ranging from 1t to 3.5t lif ting capacity. They are a mixture of CLX chain hoists and CXT wire rope hoists, designed to optimise efficiency, safety and reliability at Olympic Dam.
“The new cranes have a range of advanced features to increase productivity, efficiency and safety, which will help us further reduce downtime and keep operations running smoothly,” said Montgomerie.
Konecranes safety inspections are designed to assess the remaining life of cranes, and determine whether it is safer and more costeffective to replace a crane, repair it, or perform a modernisation.
“In addition to safety and compliance, our inspections can also identify areas where gains in
productivity can be realised,” says Jeevan Pattian, Northwest Service, Konecranes Australia and New Zealand. Pattian was responsible for oversight of the BHP Olympic Dam inspections and new crane delivery processes.
“Our team always works to find solutions tailored to individual customer needs. We appreciate that not all cranes are used in the same way, and a ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach simply won’t apply to our diverse range of customers,” he said.
KONECRANES CLX CHAIN HOISTS
The latest Konecranes CLX chain hoists, of the type specified by BHP for Olympic dam, incorporate a longer lifetime, with up to 1600 hours on most models with a full load, and a durable aluminium construction.
Durability of the lif t chain was a key element in the CLX’s design for outstanding service, states Konecranes. The patented chain sprocket dramatically improves the durability of the chain, says the manufacturer and the oil lubricationbased transmission reduces the operating temperature, enabling increased power. Furthermore, the new transmission is maintenance-free and quiet to operate.
The CLX’s transmission increases the speed ratio between low and fast speeds. The new 6:1 speed ratio enables a safe and accurate installation speed and an extremely fast movement speed. The wider speed range makes the CLX chain hoist 25 percent faster than its predecessor, which helps speed up the work cycle and improves work efficiency.
Safety functions have been integrated into the standard characteristics of the hoist. For example, the brake and the clutch have been installed on the same axle, which prevents the load from dropping even if the clutch breaks down.
KONECRANES CXT WIRE ROPE HOISTS
CXT wire rope hoist cranes, of the type also being installed at Olympic Dam, are designed to be industry benchmarks of safety and ergonomics, with easy and effective load handling and optimum dimensions for space saving solutions.
Konecranes CXT wire rope hoist cranes utilise the latest technology for improved load accuracy, versatility and ease of use – making them the industry leader in mediumheavy indoor cranes.
Key features that contribute to their success include:
Space efficiency – In an industry where floor space utilisation is difficult but vital, the compact design of the CXT allows them to operate closer to the walls, lif t loads high and ultimately save valuable space.
This enables businesses to optimise their valuable floor space. Strength – Depending on the model, CXT can lif t up to 80 metric tonnes. The new rope reeving system also extends the lifetime of the ropes by as much as 40 percent – having a significant impact on maintenance costs.
Safety – In an industrial setting, operators must be able to rely on the safe performance of the crane. Konecranes design, manufacture, and assemble all of the key components to ensure a quality wire rope hoist crane. High quality components and precise manufacturing based on years of experience enable enhanced durability of the hoist.
Konecranes’ says its product development has invested in speeding up and extending hoist operation cycles, and in crane safety and durability. Features that have resulted from this research and development include:
Speed – The latest CXT wire rope hoists are available with adaptive speed ranges which improve productivity and save energy consumption Adaptive Speed Range (ASR) – a stepless hoisting movement control method. It allows very slow speeds which are important in moment of load lif t- off and lowering. It also has the ability to lif t up to 50 percent faster than traditional hoisting control. ASR is typically used in light to medium lif ting. Extended Speed Range (ESR) – this is an extension of the ASR that allows even slower speeds. ESR is typically used in heavy to very heavy lif ting. When more performance is needed out of the hoist, ESR is the choice.
Positioning and area control – This feature is designed to assist the operator in positioning the load more efficiently and accurately. This allows the crane’s working area to be adapted to the varying physical layout of individual facilities and production lines.