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Konecranes safety inspections and efficient cranes slash downtime as BHP Billiton’s Olympic Dam mine boosts global output

Konecranes safety inspections and its latest crane technology have helped BHP Billiton cut downtime and minimise production losses as they replace aging cranes at their Olympic Dam poly-metallic mine in South Australia.

The Olympic Dam mine, which is 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 A$600 million over FY2018 on a range of important programme of work.

According to BHP’s Asset President, Olympic Dam, Jacqui McGill, this is the most significant investment BHP has ever made in South Australia and it will help build the foundations for long-term, safe, stable and sustainable growth at Olympic Dam.

“The investment will ensure the operation is more modern, reliable and can support processing of additional tonnes in coming financial years,” she said.

Mr Scott Montgomerie, BHP Supervisor, Floats Maintenance Execution, Olympic Dam, Minerals Australia, says “The Konecranes team was fantastic to deal with. We had four cranes approaching end-of-life and they gave us several good options with quick turnaround times.”

“The old cranes were getting near their end-of-life – about 25 years old – so they were breaking down frequently and causing us downtime and production losses. 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,” he said.

Konecranes is providing BHP Billiton with five new cranes, ranging from 1t to 3.5t lifting capacity. They were a mixture of CLX chain hoists and CXT wire rope hoists, designed to optimise efficiency, safety, and reliability at Olympic Dam.

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

“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,” he said.

“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.”

Safety Inspections

Konecranes safety inspections are designed to assess the remaining life of cranes, and determine whether it is safer and more cost-effective to replace a crane, repair it, or perform a modernisation.

“In addition to safety and compliance, our inspections can also identify areas where gains in productivity can be realised,” says Mr Jeevan Pattian, Northwest Service, Konecranes Australia and New Zealand. Mr Pattian was responsible for oversight of the BHP Olympic Dam inspections and new crane delivery processes.

“Our team always works to find solutions tailored to individual customer needs. We appreciate that not all cranes are used in the same way, and a ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach simply won’t apply to our diverse range of customers,” says Mr Pattian.

Konecranes CLX Chain Hoists

The latest Konecranes CLX chain hoists, of the type specified by BHP for Olympic dam, incorporate a longer lifetime, with up to 1600 hours on most models with a full load, and a durable aluminum construction.

Durability of the lift chain was a key element in the CLX’s design for outstanding service. The patented chain sprocket dramatically improves the durability of the chain. The oil lubrication-based transmission reduces the operating temperature, enabling increased power. Furthermore, the new transmission is maintenance-free and quiet to operate.

The CLX’s transmission increases the speed ratio between low and fast speeds. The new 6:1 speed ratio enables a safe and accurate installation speed and an extremely fast movement speed. The wider speed range makes the CLX chain hoist 25% faster than its predecessor, which helps speed up the work cycle and improves work efficiency.

Safety functions have been integrated into the standard characteristics of the hoist. For example, the brake and the clutch have been installed on the same axle, which prevents the load from dropping even if the clutch breaks down.

Konecranes CXT Wire Rope Hoists

CXT wire rope hoist cranes, of the type also being installed at Olympic Dam, are designed to be industry benchmarks of safety and ergonomics, with easy and effective load handling and optimum dimensions for space saving solutions.

Konecranes CXT wire rope hoist cranes utilise the latest technology for improved load accuracy, versatility and ease of use – making them the industry leader in medium-heavy indoor cranes.

Konecranes CXT Wire Rope Hoists

CXT wire rope hoist cranes, of the type also being installed at Olympic Dam, are designed to be industry benchmarks of safety and ergonomics, with easy and effective load handling and optimum dimensions for space saving solutions.

Konecranes CXT wire rope hoist cranes utilise the latest technology for improved load accuracy, versatility and ease of use – making them the industry leader in medium-heavy indoor cranes.

Key features that contribute to their success include:

Space efficiency – In an industry where floor space utilisation is difficult but vital, the compact design of the CXT allows them to operate closer to the walls, lift loads high and ultimately save valuable space. This enables businesses to optimise their valuable floor space.

Strength – Depending on the model, CXT can lift up to 80 metric tonnes. The new rope reeving system also extends the lifetime of the ropes by as much as 40% - having a significant impact on maintenance costs.

Safety – In an industrial setting, operators must be able to rely on the safe performance of the crane. Konecranes design, manufacture, and assemble all of the key components to ensure a quality wire rope hoist crane. High quality components and precise manufacturing based on years of experience enable enhanced durability of the hoist.

Konecranes’ product development has invested in speeding up and extending hoist operation cycles, and in crane safety and durability. Features that have resulted from this research and development include:

Speed – The latest CXT wire rope hoists are available with adaptive speed ranges which improve productivity and save energy consumption

Adaptive Speed Range (ASR) – a stepless hoisting movement control method. It allows very slow speeds which are important in moment of load lift-off and lowering. It also has the ability to lift up to 50% faster than traditional hoisting control. ASR is typically used in light to medium lifting.

Extended Speed Range (ESR) – this is an extension of the ASR that allows even slower speeds. ESR is typically used in heavy to very heavy lifting. When more performance is needed out of the hoist, ESR is the choice.

Positioning and area control – This feature is designed to assist the operator in positioning the load more efficiently and accurately. This allows the crane’s working area to be adapted to the varying physical layout of individual facilities and production lines.

Additional Information:

For more information in Australasia, please contact:
Konecranes Sales and Marketing, 14-16 Heald Rd, Ingleburn NSW 2565, ph 61-2-8796 7666, fax 61-2-9605 4336, email sales.australia@konecranes.com

Sales inquiries 1300 937637 (Australia wide) or visit our website www.konecranes.com.au

For inquiries about this media release, please contact:
Jack Mallen-Cooper at Whyte Public Relations Pty Ltd
Ph: +61-2-9901-4306 Email: whytepr@whytepr.com.au

About Konecranes, Inc.

Konecranes is a world-leading group of Lifting Businesses™, serving a broad range of customers, including manufacturing and process industries, shipyards, ports and terminals. Konecranes provides productivity-enhancing lifting solutions as well as services for lifting equipment of all makes.

In 2017, Group (comparable combined company) sales totaled EUR 3,136 million. The Group has 16,400 employees at 600 locations in 50 countries. Konecranes shares are listed on the Nasdaq Helsinki (symbol: KCR).