Bengalla Mining realises multiple benefits of tailored hose solution - Part 2

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

Back to Part 1

The Bengalla solution, which is the first of its kind in the world, was designed with material flow and operator comfort in mind from the beginning. According to Jaime, that includes consideration for the height of storage cabinets and tool access points, ensuring nobody has to lift loads beyond approved manual handling guidelines.

Hose solution customers are provided with access to required technical specifications and much of the tooling included in the containers is also data enabled, ensuring operators can assemble accurately first time, every time.

Opening up the Cat Hose Storage Container

Rob Leiss, WesTrac Business Development Manager – Hose and Couplings, says every solution is customised to meet individual requirements.

“The solutions are all very much tailored to different customer needs, so there’s nothing generic about them,” Rob said.

“Depending on the size and scope of the operation, that can range from a container of ready-made assemblies to suit a small number of machines, right through to the Bengalla-style solutions which ensure customers have everything available to be entirely self-sufficient.

“A large proportion of Bengalla’s fleet is non-Cat equipment and as part of the agreement, WesTrac has committed to converting all machines onsite, regardless of make and model, to use Cat hose and couplings.

“That removes a significant pain point for the customer who might otherwise have to reverse-engineer any non-Cat hose requirements.”

Inside the Cat Hose Storage Container

Rob added that providing access to Caterpillar hose information and reference systems allowed customers to ensure replacement assemblies were built to original specifications rather than being visually constructed on the fly.

According to Anton, while it is early days, the benefits of the comprehensive hose solution are becoming rapidly evident. He points to four core areas where that is occurring:

  1. Quality control – having the responsibility/accountability of an onsite solution ensures Bengalla’s own standards are adhered to (such as the ability to mitigate risks such as fatigued hoses).
  2. Cost savings – Bengalla is likely to realise about 40 per cent reduction in hose manufacturing costs compared to using OEM supplied hose assemblies, however the biggest cost saving is the reduction in down time. If a Tier 1 machine has a breakdown, fitters can radio the hose workshop in advance for a replacement hose, which can be made and ready for fitting by the time they arrive at the workshop
  3. Capability of manufacturing non-CAT hoses – when it comes to mining machinery, Bengalla runs Caterpillar, Komatsu, Hitachi, Letourneau, Penske, Cummins and a range of fixed plant equipment. Having the capability to manufacture hoses for all onsite equipment enables major reductions in downtime events, enabling the site to meets its objectives of producing ‘Safe, Productive, Profitable Coal’.
  4. MDG41 compliance - the precise construction of the hose and couplings using quality assured parts helps Bengalla adhere to the NSW MDG41 standard for hydraulic/fluid power systems.

The Bengalla solution also includes a Cat Hose Assembly Pressure Test unit, with all assemblies being tested to ensure 100 per cent integrity in the workshop before being fitted to equipment.

A label printer is also included with hose and coupling solutions so that every hose assembly can be labelled with vital information such as assembly date, part number and the name of the person who made it.

The equipment used to cut hoses by Bengalla

Rob admits that with Bengalla being one of the first sites to implement such a comprehensive hose solution, there were some initial learning experiences for all parties.

However, he says the level of collaboration and willingness to solve any problems as they arose has resulted in a robust and highly successful outcome.

Anton agrees.

“The world class hoses and couplings, training and the specialised equipment provided make the overall solution incredibly user friendly,” he said.

“This gives us confidence that the solution will add to the reliability and longevity of our fleet and fixed plant equipment.”

Cat hose solutions are available to suit any size operation across mining, construction and other applications. Benefits will vary depending on the nature of the operation and equipment being utilised.

For more information, contact your local WesTrac branch or see the website for more information.

This site uses and sets "cookies" on your computer to help make this website better. By continuing to use this site without changing your settings, you are agreeing to our use of cookies.