First publishedin Aggregates Business Europe
Recirculation conveyors and detachable screen are improving the flexibility of mobile crushing equipment
Reduced capital expenditure plans means that more quarries are opting to rebuild and repair crushing equipment rather than invest in new machines
Difficult economic times call for a different approach to business, and for the crushing market this is driving greater acceptance of repaired or rebuilt machines. Even where funds exist for new investment, this is currently more focused on the mobile market to ensure full flexibility.
"We are seeing a trend in people choosing to repair their crushing equipment, rather than replace it," said CMS Cepcor
commercial director Lee Hodges, who claims refurbishing machines offers significantly better value. "Some of the machines we refurbish can be 30 to 40 years old. At the moment we have a 25 year old factory restored Goodwin Barsby crusher available for sale at approximately half what a new machine would cost - these machines are ideal for emerging markets."
But it is not just smaller quarry operators and those in emerging markets that are starting to take the repair option more seriously. "We recently repaired a crusher for an Aggregate Industries
' quarry near Manchester and overall they spent approximately 40% of what a new machine would have cost without the need for any further costly structural modifications that would be required to the plant if replaced with a new crusher," said Hodges.
"The timescale for a rebuild will depend on what needs to be done - a bearing failure could take up to a week but other repairs may take several weeks. But most breakages can be avoided through correct lubrication and not asking the machine to work outside of its original design parameters." UK-based Blue Spares has said that it has also seen increasing activity in the rebuild and refurbishment market and described the trend as "rebuilding and refurbishing old but faithful plants to give them a second life".
According to Hodges, many quarries now have to rely on contract maintenance rather than in-house specialists due to budget constraints. He said, "Taking the cheap option may seem favourable but is rarely a good long term investment."
Budget issues are also changing the approach of some aggregate producers to spare parts as well as refurbishment. "Quarry groups that were once loyal to one OEM are now considering using after market parts as they can offer considerable cost savings, depending on the part, but are manufactured to the same standard," explained Hodges. Sandvik
Mining and Construction global product line manager for mobile crushing and screening plant, John Nethery, has also seen changes in approach to spare parts over recent months. "Customers are becoming more discerning when it comes to repairs too, with them opting not for the cheapest parts but looking at what is most cost effective," he said. "In the last few years getting parts was almost as difficult as sourcing new machines so they used to take whatever was available.
Aggregate Industries opted to rebuild one of its crushers to save costs and avoid structural changes on site