Sandvik has officially opened a new repair and remanufacturing centre in Orange.
The $5.5 million centre, which will focus on hard rock mining equipment, incorporates a high tech repair and rebuild facility as well as a paint booth and parts warehouse.
When asked why it was opening a new support facility in midst of a mining slowdown, Sandvik Mining’s vice president Jim Tolley stated “mining is always cyclical, and this is a time where we have breathing space to regroup for the future”.
According to Sandvik the Orange facility “has been purpose-built to help it better serve the needs of the mines in the region, and improve safety performance in line with its customer requirements”.
Speaking at the opening, Sandvik’s Jim Tolley said the site is focused on “raising the standards for equipment turnaround and efficiency”.
Tolley went on to say “it incorporates a state-of-the-art workshop and a warehouse, each of which are larger than our entire previous facility in Orange – and because of our standardised processes and readily available spare parts, we can provide rapid and cost-efficient repairs”.
“This includes the ability to rebuild equipment to as-new condition, to Sandvik’s OEM specifications and standards, and with full factory warranty.”
He explained that there is a major focus on aftermarket service for the company, with around 75% of Sandvik’s staff worldwide dedicated to customer support, and an aim to increase efficiency in the area.
“In the aftermarket we haven’t see very high productivity gain, which is why we’re introducing the high productivity methodology in to the aftermarket business. We’re focusing on driving out waste in aftermarket and support.”
Sandvik are doing this by “looking at the process in a holistic way and investigating lean systems and six sigma”.
In doing this, Tolley said the company has cut the average remanufacture time from 15 000 hours down to 10 000 hours, and is looking at driving it even further down”.
Sandvik’s productivity manager Drew Zammitt explained that has been done b “applying different rebuild techniques over traditional technical, and creating lean rebuild bays to limit excessive movement”.
The facility will also house field service technicians.
Our field service technicians can also carry out machine inspections, advise on operational and maintenance practices, and assist customer technicians,” Tolley said.
“Whether it’s scheduled or unscheduled maintenance calls, our field service technicians have the in-depth product knowledge and rapid support response to get customers’ equipment up-and-running as soon as possible.
According to workers on the site, the technicians can get as many as three to four call-outs a day over the weekend.
The facility will employ approximately 40 people on site, but may expand as more nearby mines come online, and major expansions such as East Cadia, occur.
“We can currently do about four times the current level of work at this facility,” Tolley said, “without expanding the site, but we do expect more work once Cadia expands and East Cadia comes online.”
The centre is one of four nationally, with the others located in Perth - focusing on hard rock mining; Heatherbrae - focusing on coal mining for NSW; and Mackay, which focuses on coal and hard rock mining.
During the launch the company also announced that it will be releasing an automated production and development drill next year, with Sandvik explaining that “we’re looking to take more information from the face during operation and bring in more mining planning software, and automation will allow us to do this”.