Mobile mining equipment hydraulic systems are typically exposed to very high solid particle ingression rates. A mine was experiencing premature component failure on its excavator due to high particle contamination. In the first 27 months of operation, costs included four variable speed piston pump replacements ($20,000 per exchange, $34,000 new), three swing motor replacements, two drive motor replacements, numerous servovalve repairs or replacements, 42 hydraulic hose-related problems, and 16 instances of contamination sensors requiring cleaning. The oil was highly contaminated, yielding excess oxidation after 2,255 service hours and needed to be replaced. Other associated costs included excessive unplanned equipment downtime, more than 39 hours, and unplanned maintenance costs.
The machine was not operating reliably and was approaching the end of the warranty period. The goal was to eliminate premature pump and servovalve failures, minimize costly component repairs or replacements, and increase the overall productivity of the operation. The shovel is the critical piece of equipment in the mining process. When the shovel is down, several haul trucks are also down and no coal is being produced.READ MORE