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Consolidation leads to efficiency gains

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Arrium, an ASX listed mining and materials company with approximately 10,000 employees, has consolidated the servicing and maintenance of its numerous compressors to just one supplier in a bid to reduce operating costs and improve compressed air supply up-time.

Atlas Copco, who won the tender process, has now positioned one of its service technicians in Whyalla, South Australia, to service both Arrium’s OneSteel manufacturing plant in Whyalla and Arrium’s iron ore mining operations in the Middleback Ranges some 60km south of the town.

OneSteel’s contract manager Stuart Boath, who also supports Arrium Mining’s side of the business, explained that the 3-year contract with Atlas Copco includes routine servicing and maintenance of the company’s over 50 compressors, from various suppliers, at both sites.

“Atlas Copco put together a compelling proposal that was not only cost effective, but also offered us a range of other benefits that we couldn’t ignore.

“To start, Atlas Copco carried out a comprehensive site audit of all our air compressors to find out where they were, what models we had and their age and condition.

“Then we put together a service schedule, which the local technician follows, moving through our plants carrying out the servicing under the agreed frequencies.”

Mr Boath explained that there’s a known scope of service work, with frequencies ranging from once to four times a year, depending on the criticality of the machines.

“While we have a complete spread of different types of compressors, Atlas Copco has shown it has an excellent working relationship with other brands and is able to carry out any warranty work on them as needed.

“We can’t afford to have any downtime, compressed air is a critical part of our operation. And with Atlas Copco moving a technician to Whyalla, we are no longer exposed to the extra cost of travel and accommodation.”

Mr Boath said the 3-year contract with Atlas Copco has been in place for around 12 months, and is very happy with the service provided.

“The feedback has all been positive,” he said.

Craig Russell, Atlas Copco’s Aftermarket Sales Representative based in Adelaide, said the company’s fully trained technicians can service and maintain all types and makes of air compressors.

“We are able to optimise all the air equipment a company might have, to make it as efficient as possible,” Mr Russell said.

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