Bengalla Mining realises multiple benefits of tailored hose solution - Part 1

Part 1 of 2: Bengalla reduces downtime caused by hose failure by implementing a tailored Onsite Hose Solution from WesTrac and Caterpillar.

Hoses and couplings come in varying shapes, sizes and degrees of quality.

But problems with just one small hose can bring the biggest, most technically advanced equipment to a standstill, impacting productivity until suitable repairs can be arranged.

Operators are starting to understand that not all hoses and couplings are equal, and that has led Caterpillar and WesTrac to collaborate with customers to develop tailored hose solutions, providing the parts, tooling and access to technical data to carry out hose repairs and maintenance requirements onsite.

In addition, the total solution comes ready to use in fully equipped, converted shipping containers, fitted out as dedicated hose assembly workshops. That includes work benches, storage cabinets, hose testing capabilities, electrics including air conditioning and even data connectivity to enable access to online tools, guides and hose databasing.

The solution is not only designed to cater for Cat equipment but allows operators to carry out hose repairs for other makes and models as well.

It is a solution that has helped New Hope Group’s Bengalla Mining Company in New South Wales realise considerable benefits quickly. According to Reliability Analyst Anton Nicholl, the onsite hose workshop started paying dividends from its first live use, allowing a brake cooling hose on a Cat 777G water cart to be repaired within 15 minutes.

“When considering all the implications of a downtime event such as this, we saw cost savings of more than $500 and reduced turnaround time from around three hours to 15 minutes,” Anton said.

Cat Hose Storage Container

“With those sort of cost savings for Cat equipment alone, I’d expect the workshop to effectively pay for itself over the next two to three years, but take into consideration the other OEM equipment and the reduction in downtime events through shorter wait times and better reliability, and the payback period would be halved.”

Caterpillar Component Application Specialist Jaime Ruiz says the group is the only equipment manufacturer that makes its own hoses and couplings, thus ensuring quality control through the entire process.

“We own everything from selection of materials to design, to manufacturing and testing,” Jaime said. “There are plenty of hoses and couplings on the market but they are not the same. Many hose suppliers use products from different manufacturers, introducing variability in tolerances and quality controls."


In the next part, we take a look at how the solution was designed. We also outline the four core benefits realised by Bengalla as a result of implementing the solution.

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