Multiple benefits contained in onsite hose solution for Thiess

Having a dedicated storage facility for hose parts is one of the key drivers behind mining services provider Thiess’ decision to acquire a new hose container solution from WesTrac.

Having a dedicated storage facility for hose parts is one of the key drivers behind mining services provider Thiess’ decision to acquire a new hose container solution.

Provided by leading Caterpillar® dealer WesTrac, the container provides Thiess with a broad selection of the most common hose assembly components used at one if its sites. All parts are contained within a converted shipping container, organised on shelving in an easy-to-access and easily trackable manner.

According to Aaron Nicoll, Planning and Warehousing Superintendent at one of Thiess’s Hunter Valley operations, it has been traditionally quite difficult to store hose and couplings in an efficient manner.

“A lot of sites will typically have areas set up within a larger storage facility where there may be a few racks or hangers and hoses might get hung up or placed wherever they fit,” Aaron said.

“Maybe there's a label, maybe there's not, but it's often quite cluttered and disorganised. If only minimal hoses are stored onsite, it becomes very inefficient to replace critical hoses during unplanned or breakdown scenarios where you either need to rely on third party suppliers to make an aftermarket hose or wait to get OEM hose assemblies transported to site.”

Thiess Hose Container

WesTrac Business Development Manager Rob Leiss says the container solution provides Thiess with a very compact “warehouse” that has a small footprint, is readily transportable and is equipped with an extensive range of hose assemblies.

“It’s a 20-foot shipping container that holds about 650 hose assemblies,” Rob said.

“And it doesn’t require warehouse staff to find items – they’re all on racks in specific locations with an accurate inventory, so anyone can find stock even if they need it at 1am.”

In addition, the container solution provides customers with access to genuine Cat® hose assemblies rather than non-genuine parts.

Aaron says to determine what to stock in the container, Thiess looked at its most commonly used Cat machines and what hose assemblies were frequently replaced in each.

“We settled on six different machine models and had to look back at maintenance records and reports to determine what we used most of,” he said.

“The issue is that with a lot of historical information being manually entered, we’re relying on people recording the correct information, which may not always be the case given there are so many different hose assemblies.

“Hopefully we’ll be able to get better at that over time now that we have the container in place and it provides a better way to take stock of inventory.”

Rob says the container solution, which can be built into a FitFleet® Customer Value Agreement, provides a far more accurate way to maintain visibility and keep track of stock usage into the future, as well as giving customers greater access to high quality, genuine Cat parts.

“The hose container solution provides customers with the value of Cat hoses, which provide unparalleled performance compared to competitor products, and the price is quite competitive,” he said.

“But in terms of overall value, it’s saving real estate by providing a dedicated, compact location for all required hoses, which also saves a significant amount of time.

“Sites don’t necessarily need to rely on warehousing staff to find and fulfil their orders either, although Thiess has elected to do so for continuity and consistency in stock reordering. But if there’s a high priority need, fitters can find exactly what they need.

“There are print and electronic handbooks that identify the precise locations of assemblies and that in turn makes weekly inventory assessments a whole lot more manageable and accurate.”

WesTrac’s hose solutions come in a range of sizes, up to options that also include full workshop facilities to enable customers to manufacture their own hose assemblies as required, even with connectivity to provide access to Cat specifications and ordering systems.

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