C&L, Cranes & Lifting

Konecranes’ crane tech helps BHP Billiton cut downtime and production losses

Konecranes safety inspections and its latest crane technology have helped BHP Billiton cut downtime and minimise production losses, as the company replaces ageing cranes at its Olympic Dam poly-metallic mine in South Australia.

According to Konecranes, the Olympic Dam mine – the fourth largest copper deposit and the largest known single deposit of uranium in the world – relies on overhead cranes for lifting different reagents as part of their production process, as well as performing vital maintenance tasks.

Cranes are vital for production processes at Olympic Dam, which is set to benefit from BHP’s investment of more than $600 million over FY2018 on a range of important programme of work.

Four old cranes have been nearing their end-of-life after nearly 25 years in service, which has caused the mine some production losses and downtime, and safety inspections conducted by Konecranes have helped to identify areas where productivity gains can be realised.

“The Konecranes team were fantastic to deal with and they gave us several good options with quick turnaround times,” said Scott Montgomerie, BHP supervisor, floats maintenance execution, Olympic Dam, Minerals Australia.

“The older cranes were breaking down frequently and causing us downtime and production losses, so Konecranes provided us with some great replacement options, and were flexible in their approach, as well as always having the technical expertise to solve any unique challenges that arose.”

Konecranes has provided BHP with five new cranes to add to its fleet, which range from one to 3.5 tonnes lifting capacities. They were a mixture of CLX chain hoists and CXT wire rope hoists, which Konecranes said were designed to optimise efficiency, safety and reliability.

“Konecranes was very thorough with Standards compliance, and they provided excellent reporting and great communication throughout the whole process, which really put my mind at ease,” Montgomerie said

“For us, safety is of the utmost importance, and it was a positive experience working with the highly experienced Konecranes team, because I knew they have a strong global focus on safety.

“The new cranes have a range of advanced features to increase productivity, efficiency and safety, which will help us further reduce downtime and keep operations running smoothly.”

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