Digging Deeper: Five ways to boost the availability of your mining equipment

mining equipment

It could cost the mine operator over thousand dollars per hour for a mining dump truck or a mining excavator not to be working. With such high costs associated with downtime, there is no question how important it is to improve equipment availability within the mining industry. 

Let’s define equipment availability as the duration the equipment is ready when it matters. This is important for many applications, including you being able to do something personal like drive your car when you need it. However, what makes mining exceptional is the combination of downtime costs and the continuous need for the equipment to operate. A typical mine works 24/7 throughout the year, for years to decades. A mining haul truck could work for over 600 hours a month, which is the equivalent of two years of driving for an average U.S. driver

Given the importance of equipment availability for miners, let’s get into five impactful ways to boost its availability.

No. 1: Begin with the engines that offer the highest quality

Miners benefit from working with partners that offer extensive aftermarket capabilities, yet the best starting point for mine operators to maximize machine availability is to have reliable engines. This is a proactive approach and focuses on avoiding engine issues instead of trying to repair them.

Here is a real-life example on how engine reliability makes a difference. A customer from an Arizona (USA) mine site had concerns because their non-Cummins engines powering their haul trucks were not performing at the quality needed. The customer has decided to switch to Cummins QSK60 engines and consequently reported a 43% improvement in mean time to failure and a 69% improvement in mean time to repair.  

No. 2: Minimize downtime with access to plentiful spare engines

Mining operators can reduce their downtime and prevent financial losses by leveraging spare engines while their primary engines are going through planned or unplanned service. You do not need to buy and own these extra engines, instead you can work with partners capable of offering this service to you.

Cummins offers over 1,000 support engines ready to be shipped to our partners in the mining industry. This number is higher than the annual engine production of some of the smaller mining engine manufacturers.

No. 3: Reduce rebuild time by having access to capable and nearby rebuild centers

Rebuilding an engine instead of buying a new one helps mining operators reduce total life cycle cost of their equipment. Larger engine manufacturers offer the re-build service through dedicated facilities. Location and capability of these facilities are critical since an average mining dump truck engine weighs 20,000 pounds, equivalent to five midsize passenger cars combined.   

Rebuild facilities are located in areas with higher mining activity around the world
Rebuild facilities are located in areas with higher mining activity around the world

Cummins has 16 master rebuild centers around the world capable to rebuild high horsepower engines. The certified rebuild process, from teardown to final inspection, is a detailed 600-step procedure to ensure the highest quality. 

No. 4: Have trained technicians ready for you

Even the most durable engines need planned and, in some cases, unplanned maintenance. Mine sites, with their remote locations, present a unique challenge for technicians to respond in a rapid manner. One-way Cummins addresses this challenge, beyond having 1,000+ trained technicians, is to offer on-site aftermarket support for customers that aim to boost equipment availability. 

The Julong Copper Mine is a great example spotlighting how Cummins goes to great heights by maintaining over 10 aftermarket support team members on site, located at an altitude of 5,500 meters

No. 5: Leverage advanced analytics and telematics

How much money would you have saved if you knew what component to change and when to change it? While you are reflecting on it, take a look at how a Chilean mine operator saved over $1M and minimized downtime by taking advantage of telematics and data-enabled services

Condition-based maintenance, offered through PrevenTech, is at the core of telematics and helps miners improve equipment availability by enabling miners to prevent unscheduled maintenance, and to better plan scheduled maintenance.

“Availability is and will continue to be a key driver for the mining industry to deliver superior financial performance. Miners interested in boosting their equipment’s availability can seek partners that can bring strengths in spare engines and parts accessibility, capable re-build facilities, and readiness of technicians,” said Kevin Spiller, Director of Mining Business at Cummins.

To learn more about mining power solutions Cummins offers, visit our webpage. Follow us on Facebook and LinkedIn to learn more about trends in the mining industry and see how Cummins is powering a world that’s “Always On”

Aytek Yuksel - Cummins Inc

Aytek Yuksel

Aytek Yuksel is the Content Marketing Leader for Cummins Inc., with a focus on Power Systems markets. Aytek joined the Company in 2008. Since then, he has worked in several marketing roles and now brings you the learnings from our key markets ranging from industrial to residential markets. Aytek lives in Minneapolis, Minnesota with his wife and two kids.

Machine of the Month: Apache AS1250XP Sprayer

Apache AS 1250 XP sprayer with a B6.7 Cummins Performance Series engine
The Apache AS 1250 XP sprayer with a B6.7 Cummins Performance Series engine

Sprayers: They're big, they're versatile and they're one of the most valuable pieces of equipment for today's farmers.

One of the most important machines in the modern row-crop production cycle is the sprayer. From helping prepare the ground prior to planting, to applying fertilizer during key points in the growth cycle, a sprayer is a valuable piece of equipment for today’s farmers. 

The Apache AS 1250 XP sprayer by Equipment Technologies (ET), which is powered by either a 260 or 300 horsepower (HP) B6.7 Cummins Performance Series engine, is one of the most efficient on the market. 

"With the new Performance Series engines, Apache sprayers receive a performance boost of up to 15 percent due to the increased power and torque available throughout the engine speed range," said Veera Rajendran, Vice President Engineering, ET. "They are also more productive on the farm, saving farmers eight percent in fuel with an overall combined fuel and Diesel Exhaust Fluid (DEF) saving of three percent. Not only does this have significant environmental sustainability benefits, it also lowers operating costs – which is a big win for our customers," he added.

With a boom of up to 132 feet, a 1200 gallon product tank, a crop clearance of 50 inches and weighing 22,500 pounds (lb.), the Apache AS1250XP is the largest sprayer in the AS family. This sprayer can tackle an array of conditions in almost any field. 

In addition to the size and power needed to tackle any type of field condition, the AS family of sprayers are an Equipment Watch™ four-time award winner for highest retained value across all product categories.  
 

Cummins Office Building

Cummins Inc.

Cummins is a global power leader that designs, manufactures, sells and services diesel and alternative fuel engines from 2.8 to 95 liters, diesel and alternative-fueled electrical generator sets from 2.5 to 3,500 kW, as well as related components and technology. Cummins serves its customers through its network of 600 company-owned and independent distributor facilities and more than 7,200 dealer locations in over 190 countries and territories.

The F/V Sea Hound: Bringing work hard, play hard to life

FV Sea Hound

A commercial fishing boat brings prosperity and comradery to the New England fishing community. 

On the weekends, Chris Devine trades in his pharmacist lab coat for his foul weather fishing gear to spend time on the F/V Sea Hound – his beloved 37-foot lobster boat. According to Chris and his partner, Troy Collins, every waking moment spent off the New England coast is time well spent. The pair carry over 800 traps to sea each weekend with intentions to only return once their boat is overflowing with the day’s catch. 

As soon as they were old enough, childhood friends Chris and Troy began working on charter fishing boats along the New Hampshire (USA) coast. Once in college, Chris also started lobstering over the summers to pay for his education. Little did he know that his side gig would cultivate a new passion and become a life-long hobby. 

Chris bought his first boat at the age of 18 and has had two others since then. He started with only 100 traps on his 27-foot skip boat and has now worked his way up to his current vessel, the F/V Sea Hound.

F/V Sea hound

Purchased in northern Maine, only minutes from the Canadian border, the F/V Sea Hound required some major work before it could hit the water. Chris and Troy trucked the boat down to their hometown of Hampton, New Hampshire (USA) where it lived in the shipyard for eight months. 

The duo had the original Cummins B-series engine rebuilt, then two years ago upgraded to a remanufactured Cummins C-Series 8.3L engine. Reflecting on his experience with Casco Bay Diesel, a Cummins dealer, Chris says, “Honestly, the reliability of the product and the ease of work and connection is amazing. Everyone is a phone call away and so willing to help.”

While they love their weekends lobster fishing, the F/V Sea Hound gets plenty of use for other fun excursions. Devine and his wife Haley will use the boat for offshore fishing tournaments, date nights on the coast, snorkeling, sunset cruises and so much more. 

Haley mentions the comradery that the vessel brings for their friendships and fishing community. “The boat has brought a lot of our friends closer together, they enjoy helping out, fixing things and building things. It has truly created a family, and everybody loves it.”

She says, “The lobster community can be so cut throat, but at the same time these guys have such a bond. They will give you anything and everything they can to ensure your boat is up and running. Everyone will be there to help.”

F/V Sea HoundJoking about all the love for the F/V Sea Hound, Haley says, “I like to refer to the boat as the dirty mistress. But as much as I make fun of it, it has been an awesome experience and we are truly lucky to own a boat and be a part of the fishing community.”

The F/V Sea Hound is absolutely adored by her owners, deckhands, family and community. It brings so much joy, not only in the form of weekends lobster fishing but also with leisurely activities on the water and the wholesome environment it provides.

For mariner families like Chris, Haley and Troy, there really is no better place to be than the open water.

Want to see and learn more about the F/V Sea Hound? Check out their Instagram page

Looking for information about Cummins Marine? Visit cummins.com/marine

Katie Yoder - Cummins Inc.

Katie Yoder

Katie Yoder is a Marketing Communications Specialist. New to Cummins in 2018, Katie joined the marketing operations team where she supports trade show initiatives in North America. As a University of Wisconsin alumna, Katie enjoys watching Badger sports in her free time.

How will the future worksite reduce its environmental impact?

Cummins Worksite of the Future -

This article is part of our 'Worksite of the Future' series of articles, where we look at the trends that will shape the future of the construction industry. 

Today’s cities are rapidly changing as they race to decarbonize. So, how does this impact the construction industry? According to the World Green Building Council (WorldGBC), 11% of the world’s carbon emissions come from the construction industry; producing the materials and constructing the buildings. The WorldGBC issued a vision in September 2019, outlining how these carbon emissions could be reduced 40% by 2030 through many collaborative actions, including ambitious public procurement policies and clean and lean construction processes. 

Cummins Inc. is supporting this initiative through powering construction equipment on site. Our business strategy and product portfolio are evolving to meet the needs of our customers and the environment, holistically, with current and new technologies. But, how does this relate to the construction site of the future? 

Innovation: Powering the Worksite of the Future

For over 100 years Cummins has been a leader in advancing diesel technology. Efficient combustion strategies coupled with sophisticated air-handling and aftertreatment technologies have enabled Cummins engines to reach near zero emissions levels, exceeding many of the current regulations around the globe. The same technology advancements that contributed to reduced emissions have also produced higher power density, more torque and quieter operation than earlier engine versions. The latest Performance Series product line-up, ranging from 3.8L to 15L (75-503 kW), produces on average, 10% more power output and 20% more torque than their predecessors. Higher power density and more torque from these engines contributes to more productive machines, and in some cases reduces the size of the engine needed for the machine.  

Cummins will continue to innovate diesel engine technology, as we believe it will be an integral part of many industries for years to come. The higher horsepower from a smaller, lighter package seen in our Performance Series engines is a pointer to where we expect the development of advanced diesel to continue in the future.

Simultaneously, new technologies are emerging including electrified systems and hydrogen fuel cell. Solutions such as these will be needed as the construction community seeks to reach sustainability plans introduced by WorldGBC, local municipalities and other organizations. To demonstrate capabilities Cummins has worked with two well-known OEM partners, Hyundai and XCMG, to produce the world’s first Cummins powered electric mini excavators featuring Cummins BM4.4E battery modules. Both machines eliminate gaseous tailpipe emissions and nearly eliminate operational noise. 

Mini excavators and other compact construction equipment are prime candidates for early adoption of these electric systems because of how and where they are typically used. These machines are designed for small and mid-sized projects requiring a lighter duty cycle than their larger cousins. Their compact size makes them a great fit for smaller crowded sites often found in densely populated urban areas. Coincidentally, urban areas are increasingly seeking noise and emissions reductions to comply with city ordinances and air quality targets. Other light and medium duty cycle applications such as wheeled loaders and telehandlers will also be good candidates for electric drive systems. 

Heavy-duty cycle applications such as full-sized excavators, graders and mobile cranes will continue to rely on advanced diesel such as the new performance series product line, or hybrid systems to get the job done for years to come. In a hybrid application, the drivetrain combines diesel and electric power for more efficient operation. This could be in a mild, parallel or series configuration depending on the type of machinery and its duty cycle. Whichever system is used, fuel consumption and emissions are reduced. From a business perspective, the savings needs to be enough to pay for the additional cost of the hybrid technology which is not always the case.

Similarly, fuel cells could be applied in much the same way a diesel engine is used in the hybrid system. The fuel cell delivers a steady electrical feed to the battery or batteries, eliminating the need for a recharge period. Fuel cell systems will allow heavy duty machines to act much like their diesel counterparts without impacting their performance or downtime, while being completely emissions free, aside from harmless water vapor. While theoretically this seems like a great option the business case just does add up yet. Sustainable production of hydrogen is also a challenge that needs addressing before hydrogen becomes a main stream fuel source for the construction industry.   

Ensuring Environmental Sustainability

Preserving the environment is an important initiative, and Cummins’ dedication to affect change goes beyond the products. Our recently released PLANET 2050 strategy outlines how we will do our part to address climate change and other global environmental challenges. Future construction sites will adapt by improving the efficiency of diesel-powered machines and begin using machines with alternative fuels and other technologies to reduce their carbon footprint. Cummins will partner with our customers to deliver the right technology for the application at the right time.

Learn More and Join the Conversation

Join the conversation with #Cummins on your social platforms or visit https://www.cummins.com/engines/construction to learn more about our current and future product solutions. We also have Cummins experts around the world happy to answer your questions. Find your nearest Cummins professional by visiting care.cummins.com or calling 1-800-Cummins. 

Cummins Office Building

Cummins Inc.

Cummins is a global power leader that designs, manufactures, sells and services diesel and alternative fuel engines from 2.8 to 95 liters, diesel and alternative-fueled electrical generator sets from 2.5 to 3,500 kW, as well as related components and technology. Cummins serves its customers through its network of 600 company-owned and independent distributor facilities and more than 7,200 dealer locations in over 190 countries and territories.

Dropping the sails and powering up with Cummins

MV Brigadoon

Cummins engine receives a major overhaul after boat owner commits to a power vessel after years spent sailing the Pacific Northwest.

A couple from Seattle, Washington (USA) spent the first half of 2020 refitting their new Hampton 490 Pilothouse power boat. Chris Jones grew up around marinas and has owned a variety of boats throughout his life. Most recently, he and his wife have been cruising around the Puget Sound in their Hunter 46 sailboat. But with the turn of the new year, they decided to trade in the slow and steady lifestyle of sailing for a new power boat – the M/V Brigadoon.

After identifying they were ready to make the switch back to faster speeds, Chris and his wife began narrowing down what kind of vessel they were looking for. After weeks of extensive research, they found two Hampton boats available that met their requirements for quality, systems and seaworthiness.

Jones ventured down to California to look at one of the options, and at first glance thought the vessel had too much work to be done. But as the couple explored other boats, even comparing her to the alternative Hampton in the area, they found the M/V Brigadoon had the most potential.

But it would not be without major rework. The vessel needed a massive overhaul for the engine, control systems, and cosmetics. The 20-year-old boat only had 800 hours on it, which is quite low for an engine of that age. After years of sitting idle, it needed some tender love and care.

MV Brigadoon - Cummins

With an eye for improvement, Jones left his new acquisition in the hands of Marine Diesel Services in Newport Beach, California. The significant overhaul of his Cummins 6CTA 8.3 series engine included replacing aftercoolers, turbo chargers, hose clamps, seals, etc. Chris said, “They really did fantastic work on the boat. I have a lot of confidence in the power plant and that it has been adequately serviced.”

Once the mechanical work was complete, the M/V Brigadoon was ready to be delivered to the Pacific Northwest. At Emerald Harbor Marine, she received electrical work and new alternators, wiring, and navigation system. Finishing touches included more minor maintenance and a fresh paint job.

MV Brigadoon - Cummins

Six months have passed since the Jones’ heralded the M/V Brigadoon as their own. In mid-July, they put their new baby into the water for their first cruise since stepping off their sailboat last year. Looking forward to the speed and freedom of a power boat once again, they intend to vacation in the San Juan islands during their shakedown cruise and find new ports to explore.

For more photos and information about the M/V Brigadoon refit or to follow her journey, check out Chris Jones’ Instagram.

Katie Yoder - Cummins Inc.

Katie Yoder

Katie Yoder is a Marketing Communications Specialist. New to Cummins in 2018, Katie joined the marketing operations team where she supports trade show initiatives in North America. As a University of Wisconsin alumna, Katie enjoys watching Badger sports in her free time.

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