TAKRAF Group’s holistic approach is the intelligent solution to maintenance

As part of an ongoing series of intelligent solutions for increased safety and efficiency in maintenance, two maintenance examples illustrate how safety and efficiency can complement one another.

The picture shows a TAKRAF maintenance car in operation on the steep 26% incline as part of a 4,350 m overland conveyor at an important copper mine in North America.
TAKRAF maintenance cart in action on the steep 26 % decline section as part of a 4,350 m overland conveyor at an important copper mine in North America.

TAKRAF Group’s intelligent approach to maintenance highlights the benefits of adopting a holistic maintenance philosophy in terms of, not only increased operational efficiency, but also improved safety and lower total cost of ownership.

Based on the understanding that traditional maintenance approaches can often be unsafe and/or inefficient and time-consuming, we address maintenance requirements and the risks associated right from the start, during the engineering of a technology, for safe and efficient operations.

For example, numerous accidents and/or even sadly fatalities can occur while replacing a chute liner. These can result from a range of risks, from falling material and falling from heights through to unstable support, the unsafe handling of tools and/or equipment within a confined space and even internal welding.

One of the ways we can improve things is to designs chutes with modular sections (or rotable chutes) that not only provide a significant improvement in safety but also reduce downtime from typically one 8-hour shift to 60 minutes. However, our ultimate safety approach in this regard is to make it possible to stay outside of the chute at all times during maintenance with, for example:

  • The lip liner being accessible from the outside
  • Wear plates with external access
  • Employing ultrasonic measurement of liner thickness, and therefore wear, from outside the chute in order to allow for planned maintenance

In addition to improved safety, other benefits of this approach include significant savings in downtime as liner exchange can start immediately after the operational stop, as no scaffolding is required. 

Conducting maintenance on belt conveyors, the replacement of worn or damaged rolls (idlers), which can run into thousands on long overland conveyors, is challenging and especially so on steep slopes, in tunnels or on elevated structures. TAKRAF’s maintenance cart was therefore developed to access any location along a conveyor belt in the shortest possible time and in the safest manner. At a major copper project in North America, a TAKRAF maintenance cart services the steep, 26 % decline section of about 1,250 m of a 4,350 m overland conveyor - this 1,250 m section boasts more than 3,700 rolls. A similar TAKRAF maintenance cart for a large copper mine in South America was of particular interest to the client due to the increased safety it provided as a large part of this complicated 6,000 m overland conveyor with a number of horizontal curves required bridges to be built for more than 50% of its length.

“At TAKRAF Group, we firmly believe that an improved maintenance solution must always have a safety upside to it and that there is no need for increased safety to be at the expense of maintenance efficiency,” notes Thomas Jabs, TAKRAF Group CEO. “Even if the solution is more expensive from a capex point of view, it will certainly contribute to a lower Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) with costs savings from improved efficiencies, as equipment is brought back online quicker and at a reduced cost, and of course, most importantly, safely.”

Further information regarding our Service, Maintenance & Components capabilities can be viewed here: TAKRAF Services & Components alternatively please send us an e-mail on info@takraf.com and we will get back to you.

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