Modern Mining February 2023


Source and service to optimise uptime while reducing risk According to SEW-EURODRIVE managing director Raymond Obermeyer, sourcing individual components from different suppliers for on-mine power packs, motors and drives can be a complicated process that often results in extended lead times, which are a headache mining operations can do without.

A s mines continue to focus on optimising uptime and reducing operating costs, there are growing calls for original equipment manufacturers (OEM) able to supply all com ponents required, which Obermeyer explains results in a single line of responsibility and a less compli cated procurement process. Mining operations, he says, are also looking for skilled and responsive field service support to advise and attend to equipment whenever necessary. “This latest trend is a natural evolution in the min ing sector as it has a positive impact on performance and return on investment,” says Obermeyer. “Gone are the days when mines had large infrastructure to manage complex supply chains and infinite sources of supply; the focus today is on efficiency, reliability and performance.” The current trend, he explains, is for mines to look for supply partners who will take more responsibility for their technological solutions. In the field of motors and drives, for instance, there is considerable com plexity and risk in developing a power pack from various company’s components. In SEW-EURODRIVE’s extensive involvement around Africa’s mining industry, the company wit nesses a greater focus on streamlining the supply

SEW-EURODRIVE managing director Raymond Obermeyer.

chain and sharing risk with supply partners. This often means looking to a single OEM to provide all aspects of the solution, which brings a number of benefits. “Many mines do not want to be as involved in complex sourcing arrangements which require various components to come from different OEMs,” he says. “For a start, it introduces a technical risk that the mine must assume at site level as all aspects of the solution must be perfectly specified. If there is any ‘hitch’ in the process, mine production could be impaired – even if only temporarily.” Another risk is that the responsibility for any future malfunction would need to be assigned to one or other of the OEMs involved. This requires a technical investiga tion to establish where exactly the source of the problem lies. The process can take time, and not all OEMs may respond with the nec essary speed. “This causes delays, and downtime is very costly; mining operations are becoming bet ter equipped to measure the value of these

Complete SEW-EURODRIVE girth gear solution for the mining industry.


26  MODERN MINING  February 2023

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