Service know-how in demand at plants ­all around the world

In order to avoid financial losses, plant owners in every industry are dependent on the interrupted and trouble-free functioning of their plant systems and conveying equipment. The conveying systems represent a particularly sensitive link in the production process. If a belt conveyor fails as a result of faults or lack of maintenance, the entire production line comes to a stop. This results in high consequential costs. In order to save resources in the long-term, and to increase the plant availability, plant owners therefore place their trust in specialist companies who provide the necessary expert knowledge for an effective local maintenance service.

The long-established German company REMA TIP TOP  GmbH has for many years been a reliable service partner for customers all around the world. The company has a global service network in 170 countries. REMA TIP TOP provides single-source responsibility for the full range from customer requirements analyses to the development of specific solutions and products, as well as training courses and services. The traditional company specializes in customer-specific solutions and products that assure long-term higher plant availability with lower repair costs.

Belt conveyors are essential components in the resource extraction industry and in all modern production processes. They optimize material transportation routes, make complex logistical processes efficient and form the backbone of numerous industrial plants (Fig. 1). In addition to high conveying capacity, low wear rate and minimal maintenance costs, owners expect their conveying equipment to provide maximum operating efficiency.

To ensure this, preventive measures are necessary. “Plant owners all around the world are relying more and more on specialist providers of preventive maintenance, because this enables damage and other problems to be found and eliminated before a machine failure leads to plant stoppage”, says Uwe Gemsa of REMA TIP TOP GmbH.

Conveying and preparation systems are nowadays equipped with state-of-the-art technologies. Moreover, every industrial sector imposes different demands on the nature of the systems and thus on their repair and maintenance. For this reason, proper maintenance not only demands expert knowledge, but also flexibility and individual problem-solving approaches. That is why, for instance, OZ Minerals, the owner of the “Prominent Hill” copper and gold mine in South Australia, has placed its trust in REMA TIP TOP’s Engineering Service (ES) Concept for the last nine years.

In the “Prominent Hill” open-pit mine, around 110 000 t of copper ore and about 150 000 ounces of gold were produced in 2012. To minimize the downtimes due to repair work, and to ensure a high safety standard, the mine owners rely on the know-how of the specialists. REMA TIP TOP’s conveying system experts regularly carry out plant inspections (Fig. 2), replace parts subject to wear and, if necessary, repair the conveyor belts. They also provide assistance in the development and introduction of safe working procedures.

“The REMA TIP TOP employees all possess a great deal of experience in their field. They are very quickly on site if a problem arises, and rectify it professionally and really quickly”, says Mark Pak-Poy, Maintenance Superintendent at OZ Minerals. What has particularly convinced him is that the whole range of services, such as the procurement of material and equipment and the provision of qualified personnel, come from a single source, so that OZ Minerals does not need to engage third parties, who can be expensive and unreliable.

To make maintenance even more efficient, better organized and more transparent for the customer, REMA TIP TOP has developed a special service software. All the technical data of the equipment looked after by REMA TIP TOP is entered in the program, and appropriate inspection intervals are subsequently defined. This generates automatic maintenance cycles, in which specific maintenance and servicing work is regularly carried out at the respective plant. After the work has been performed and validated, the plant owner is given a report with suggestions regarding required future measures.

As just one example, Eberhard-Unternehmungen in Zurich-Kloten, a group of companies with several plants on the rock and associated products sector, makes use of the program within the scope of its service contract with REMA TIP TOP. Eberhard wanted the maintenance work at its conveyor systems, some of which transport extremely hard and abrasive materials, to be carried out professionally and efficiently in the shortest possible time, but at the same time to be favourably priced. “The experts ensure the high availability of our systems by providing a comprehensive monitoring service, so that preventive maintenance work can be undertaken in good time”, says Dr. Peter M. Kunz of Eberhard. „Thanks to our collaboration, we have been able to reduce costs for pure maintenance, external personnel, spare parts and loss of production by 10 %.“


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