• Body upgrade for haul trucks

    April 16th, 2020 | by
    Austin Ultima body read more

    A program is underway to further optimise and maximise haul fleet payloads at one of Western Australia’s major gold mines. New Ultima truck bodies by Austin EngineeringTM are being trialled on a number of the mine’s 240-tonne haulers. These have the potential for a fleet-wide body upgrade to continue the program that started in 2014 when Austin fitted their JECTM bodies and increased payload by more than 20 tonnes per load.

    New UltimaTM Haul truck body by Austin EngineeringTM

    The new Ultima body will take the payload up to 240 tonnes per load and further maximise the haul fleet’s availability and productivity.

    The JECTM bodies were fitted to the haul fleet after the mine identified a series of production-oriented challenges. These included the weight of the OEM bodies, the high cost of maintaining the bodies (and subsequent non-availability of the haul truck), and the non-achievement of target payloads — which impacted the performance and productivity of the load-haul fleet.

    Initially, 11 bodies were ordered, and ultimately, the mine’s load-haul fleet was retrofitted.

    The customised bodies lifted the payload capacity to 230 tonnes per load. This was an increase of around 20 tonnes per load over the OEM bodies. A direct result of the weight differential between the OEM tray and the JECTM body. Along with increased payload, the body change-out improved haul fleet availability and performance as a result of less frequent unscheduled body repairs — an outcome of the replaceable floor in the JECTM body, which eliminated the need for heavy, maintenance-intensive wear liner plates

    Now, with the trial progressing, the long-serving JECTM units are due to be replaced by the unique Ultima bodies. Due to further advances in the payload capacity versus body weight equation, these Ultima bodies will lift payload to 240 tonnes per load and still meet all OEM dump truck specifications.

    Advanced steel and design maximising Haul Fleet PAYload, improved efficiency and reducing costs

    The Ultima haul truck body has the potential to be a significant game-changer in haul fleet operation due to the advanced steel and design technologies.

    The lighter-weight modular design features improved structural integrity for superior impact and wear resistance, extended fatigue life and lower maintenance costs. These improvements were designed to target maximised payload, improved cycle efficiency and a significant reduction in total cost of ownership.

    A unique ‘V’ profile floor, designed to actively channel the load to the centre of the tray, improves machine stability and safety. The floor design also reduces dump cycle times (empty is achieved at 3/4 tipping).

    Although the new tray is lighter and stronger than current OEM bodies – which translates to a 10-15% weight saving without sacrificing payload – the design reduces overall tray wear significantly, increasing availability and improving the productivity of the mine’s load-haul cycle. The miner’s expectation of the Ultima body is for 240 tonnes per load, and, according to the manufacturer, when matched with the appropriate loading tool – such as the 32m3 bucket on the mine’s shovel excavator – this load figure will be achieved consistently and efficiently. Just as it did for the JECTM units, Austin will maintain a condition monitoring program for the new bodies and advise the mine on any maintenance issues.

    The miner is also using Austin truck bodies in their other operations around the world. Specialised hauler bodies have been customised to add significant value and reduce operational costs in underground mining operations.

  • Getting payload matching right

    March 26th, 2020 | by
    loaded engineering equipment read more

    Why payload matching and what’s involved in matching an excavator to a truck?

    At Austin EngineeringTM, we know that the key points in payload matching are efficiency, productivity and profit, as well as understanding factors such as site conditions, load and haul equipment, and production targets.

    Anecdotal research has revealed that within the mining industry, payload matching around achieving the lowest cost per tonne is not well understood. Irrespective of the loading tool, whether an excavator, shovel or wheel loader, the accepted goal is to get the payload consistent over time to maximise productivity and production.

    Buying the right equipment package – loading tools and dump bodies – is vital. History has shown that the bigger the capex upfront, the better the return on that investment. Particularly around reliability and availability. The loading tool comes first, followed by the dump trucks.

    And, ironically, depending on the equipment package, that could be the start of issues of reduced load and haul productivity.

    So, what makes this combination so efficient and consistent?

    Every excavator and truck manufacturer will provide researched and validated tables and graphs. These show the best truck and excavator combination, of their brand, to maximise payloads. The problem arises when customers don’t buy the same brand of truck as the excavator, or vice versa.

    For reasons of price, contracts, preference and proven performance history, many mining customers will purchase an excavator from OEM ‘A’ and trucks from OEM ‘B’. And because the bodies on the trucks are not matched – in line with what the manufacturer has specified – to the loading tool, the concept of payload matching enters a grey area. This is where productivity drops and costs around load and haul increase markedly.

    This mismatching becomes apparent on-site as truck OEMs look at variations in the 10/10/20 rule to maximise payloads and the direct effect the specific gravity (SG) of the product has on loads. And, although unique, these two elements have a close correlation when loads and capacities are being decided.

    The 10/10/20 rule has long been recognised as a reliable reference for truck payloads and recognises that variations occur in SG, fill factors and loading equipment.

    However, in an attempt to optimise payload capacity, truck OEMs are negotiating flexibility around the rule depending on reliable SG readings. Today, SG readings are coming from the digital technology available in the latest loading tools — technology that measures payload per pass and lets loading tool operators see if the SG is changing. A much safer system than waiting till the load is on the truck.

    Austin EngineeringTM has a vested interest in any discussions around payload matching. Our company designs and manufactures custom-designed excavator buckets and truck bodies for the mining industry. As an independent OEM, we can be objective about our recommendations around payload optimisation. Austin conforms to all OEM specifications, globally.

    Our company has invested heavily in advanced software to match loading tools to truck bodies. We devote a significant amount of time and effort to the science of payload matching. And, by extension, we maximise productivity and profit for the end user.


    Contact us at Austin Engineering. 

    P: +61 7 3723 8600
    E: enquiry@austineng.com.au

  • Austin Westech™: a 50-year relationship with the global mining industry

    September 5th, 2019 | by
    50th Anniversary read more

    Westech™ has been designing and manufacturing customised mining truck bodies for more than fifty years now.  Peter Forsyth, Austin Engineering’s Managing Director, offered some reflections on the building of this specialty OEM equipment for the mining industry worldwide.

    “One would have to wonder if the guys at Westech™ knew what they were getting into when they expanded into building off-road mining truck bodies in 1969,” Mr Forsyth said.

    “What were their plans and what were their goals because today, some fifty years on, Westech™ bodies are still leading the world in design, construction and performance.”

    Speaking at a recent function to mark the company’s half-century milestone, Mr Forsyth said, “Since the first bodies rolled off the production line in 1969 the business had established and maintained a strong reputation for innovation and performance.”

    In June 2011, a body was designed and manufactured by Westech™ for a Liebherr T282C Ultra Class haul truck at Peabody Energy’s North Antelope Rochelle coal mine in the U.S. It set a record at 405.78 tonnes (447.3 tons), or a volume of 470.35M3 (615.2 cubic yards). The Book of Guinness World Records officially recognised this record on July 19, 2011.

    “Then came the patented design of the Flow Control Body® with its revolutionary floor design, which controls the flow of material during dumping and improves the overall stability of the truck,” Mr Forsyth said. “The Flow Control Body still remains one of the industry’s most significant design and safety features for mining truck bodies.”

    The company has shipped around 12,000 bodies since 1969. It provides bodies for all the major OEM truck builders, including Caterpillar, Komatsu, Liebherr, and Hitachi as well as underground mining equipment OEMs including Sandvik and Atlas Copco.

    In 2007, Westech™ was acquired by Brisbane-based Austin EngineeringTM in a move that gave Westech™ additional manufacturing capabilities (through the buyer’s plants in Australia and South America). This also helped both companies increase their overall market reach.  (Westech™ also had a licensee agreement with Austin EngineeringTM prior to the acquisition.)

    “The acquisition was a good fit with us and complemented our own growing range of engineered mining industry equipment,” said Peter Forsyth.  “It also expanded our technical and design capabilities and gave us direct access to the extensive experience bank Westech™ had built up since delivering its first body in 1969.”

    Today, Austin EngineeringTM is the world’s largest non-OEM designer and manufacturer of mining dump truck bodies.  The company also designs and manufactures excavator and wheel loader buckets, water tanks, tyre handlers and other specialised mining machinery attachments for the global mining sector.

    For further information, Austin EngineeringTM Australia.  P: 61 7 3723 8600

  • New Stairway Access Tank is largest and safest

    September 5th, 2019 | by
    New Stairway Access Tank is largest and safest read more

    Austin EngineeringTM recently delivered Australia’s largest water tank to an open-pit coal mine in Queensland’s Bowen Basin.

    The Stairway Access Tank

    Designed and manufactured by Austin EngineeringTM, the Stairway Access Tank (SAT) is designed to increase safety on-site. It has an innovative stairway that improves access for maintenance personnel and, inside the tank, a corrugated baffle design that reduces surging to improve truck stability by up to 18%. The result is increased safety on-site for operators and all other personnel.

    Custom-built to suit either 170mt (190t) or 220mt (240t) class haul trucks, the new Austin SAT features large access ports in the baffles, offering operators a direct line of travel inside the tank.

    Cost-reduction & increased performance

    Along with improving safety, this unique feature also reduces costs. It increases access and manoeuvrability for personnel and equipment inside the tank when they perform confined space maintenance work, saving time and, therefore, money.

    Improved working conditions & safety

    Additionally, to improve the worksite environment inside the tank during these maintenance periods, an air exchange system has been included in the design.

    A large fill port, that incorporates a trash screen, is located in a recessed channel behind the water dam, and the tank bottom has a natural sump for ease of cleaning and tank draining.

    For more information, Austin EngineeringTM.  P: 1800 996 491  E: . www.austineng.com




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