A leading mining manufacturer of gypsum wallboard operates the world’s largest gypsum quarry in North America. The quarry processes up to 20,000 tons of rock per day, which is extremely hard on material handling equipment.
The mine uses a fleet of 10-ton overhead cranes to maintain the huge transfer trucks and other mining equipment, but they had frequent problems with crane breakdowns and operators pulling the ropes off the drums because the loads lifted were too heavy for the cranes, only some of which had load limiters installed. Purchasing higher-capacity equipment was not an economical option.
The mine began looking at outsourcing crane inspections and maintenance. An analysis of contractors based on a formula comparing rates, documentation, competency of technicians and other factors revealed Konecranes as the leading supplier. The relationship began with Konecranes providing inspections only, with the mine performing repairs and maintenance on the items Konecranes identified. After seeing recurring damage caused by operators attempting to lift loads too heavy for the equipment, Konecranes recommended that they implement a required crane operator safety training program, taught by Konecranes. Going back to the equipment manuals, Konecranes showed operators how to break down the trucks into elements weighing 10 tons or less that the equipment could handle. Training showed them basic methods of calculating the weight of identified sections.
The success of the ongoing operator training program in reducing equipment damage led to Konecranes having contracts for virtually all of their crane maintenance needs. The mine also began purchasing new-generation Konecranes CXT cranes with variable speed bridge and trolley motions and built-in load limiting devices to replace older cranes. The numerous safety and low maintenance features of the CXT were an excellent fit at the mine, where reducing maintenance is a prime directive. According to the maintenance planner, the training has made all the difference. Now, every crane operator has to complete the crane operator safety course in order to operate a crane at the facility. Konecranes has become a valued partner in the interest of the mine’s safety and production.