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Lifting the game

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article image Pakka Jacks

An innovative new lifting system developed specifically for the mining sector is dramatically improving safety, increasing machine availability and keeping maintenance costs down.

The Australian invention, TFP Engineering ’s Pakka Jacks hydraulic lifting systems, are shaking up onsite maintenance schedules across the continent.

Each lifting unit incorporates a self packing system that applies positive pressure during lifting meaning the load is fully supported, not suspended, at all times.

The jacking units are inherently stable, helping to give the system very high side-loading capacity and control is centralised in a separate cabin with full auto PLC or manual control available.

The key point of difference inherent in the lifting system is the elimination of suspended loads and its failsafe design.

Failure of any component will result in a maximum drop of 5mm.“It was developed to meet real engineering needs in a safe, efficient manner,” Pakka Jacks group manager commercial, Joe Denyer told Australian Mining.

The Pakka Jacks system removes the risk of personnel being under suspended loads during maintenance and is one of the only lifting systems that meets all relevant Australian Standards and Workcover legislations.

Built for fully automated control, a lift requires only one operator who controls the operations from behind a purpose built control console, cutting out the need for multiple crane lifts.

Safety is the most critical aspect of mining machine maintenance, by eliminating multiple crane lifts which are difficult to control, the Pakka Jacks system reduces the amount of labour and costs required.

A challenging mining market is forcing miners to set out on a cost cutting mission.

Denyer explained that Pakka Jacks can reduce costly downtimes by up to 80 per cent; where an average slew bearing change-out on a 600 tonne excavator can take between six and nine days to complete using conventional methods, the Pakka Jacks system can have the job done in just two days, delivering an extra seven full days of extra machinery availability from just one procedure.

“Over 90 per cent of all of our clients have realised savings of more than 50 per cent,” he said.

“They are commonly saving in excess of half a million dollars for single procedures.

“The average slew bearing change-out includes a saving of $320,000.”The company’s heavy lifting range includes the 1200 tonne system and the 2000 tonne system, each comprising of four lift units (300 tonne and 500 tonne respectively) and a fully enclosed control console.

Pakka Jacks are already being used by a number of Australia’s major miners including BHP Billiton, Newcrest, Peabody, Xstrata, and Rio Tinto.

Denyer said that currently about 50 per cent of the company’s work is coming from breakdowns.

But with company’s looking for ways to minimise maintenance costs he is expecting a significant influx of work.

“We’re growing exponentially,” he said.

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