SOURCE: Weir Minerals | July 30, 2020
Risk is inherent in the mining industry, where heavy duty machinery is pushed to its limit, but we strive to eliminate potential risks at every step of our equipment’s lifespan to ensure everyone returns home safely to their significant others at the end of each day.
Non-OEM slurry pump spare parts undermine the safety of our equipment. Lacking the reliable wear-resistant alloys we design into our pumps and our full design documentation, replicators’ parts inherently introduce risks to the operation of the OEM pumps they’re installed in.
Additionally, their manufacturers usually reduce costs by bypassing key safety steps in their manufacture, inspection and transportation, introducing a variety of entirely preventable risks to a mine and its employees.
Below are just three ways mines have encountered serious risks by using non-OEM pump components.
1. OEM spares are the safer choice
Warman® slurry pumps are designed, manufactured and installed to operate under demanding conditions that place every component in the pump under a significant amount of stress. Ensuring components meet such a challenge is an enormous task, requiring the highest quality construction materials, lengthy and precise design processes, stringent quality control in manufacturing and extensive safety testing.
Because replicators cut corners in design, manufacturing and transport, use inferior wear-resistant materials and don’t supply safe lifting methods, using replicated parts in Warman® slurry pumps introduces significant risk to pump operations.
Even tiny gaps between imperfectly replicated components can lead to leakage, vibration or excessive stress concentration which causes dangerous and unpredictable cracks in components.
Failure of critical components can lead to high pressure slurry spray, which is often toxic, corrosive or heated to very high temperatures. It can also cause high-energy brittle fracture projectiles which can travel dozens of metres. The risk of hitting other equipment or personnel is high in such situations.
2. Superior materials mean genuine Warman® pump spares last longer
Perhaps the greatest advantage of buying genuine Warman® spare parts is that you receive Weir Minerals’ cutting-edge wear-resistant materials.
The products of our unique, advanced materials technology group are vital to achieving the legendary wear life of Warman® pumps in harsh, abrasive and corrosive mining conditions.
Ready for more: a Warman® MCR® 150 pump after 2,700 hours of operation in a heavy-duty mill circuit application.
For most situations, nothing compares with Ultrachrome® A05, our near eutectic high chromium white iron alloy that provides a great balance of hardness and toughness, without sacrificing corrosion resistance.
However, the true strength of our global materials technology group is that we don’t just rely on one alloy for every situation. Our ever-expanding range of Ultrachrome® and Hyperchrome® chromium carbidealloys allow our engineers to specify the optimum wear solution to fit the needs of your application.
The inferior alloys found in replicated Warman® pump are not only prone to failure, their lower, unpredictable lifespans also make it extremely challenging to efficiently align the pump’s maintenance needs to overall campaigns.
3. Superior manufacturing makes OEM spares a reliable choice
There’s no way around it, replicator components aren’t built to the same standards as genuine, OEM equipment produced by Weir Minerals.
Built in state-of-the-art manufactories all around the globe, our cast alloy components require specific heat treatment, together with a variety of proprietary moulding, methoding & pouring techniques to achieve a high-quality casting with all the required mechanical properties.
As these complex manufacturing processes are difficult to reverse engineer and are different for every size and component, replicators either:
• Produce a structurally inferior and possibly defective product, prone to cracking in the high-pressure environment of a Warman® slurry pump, or
• Modify the geometry component to suit their manufacturing process, which won’t achieve the fit required due to their poor tolerancing.
Without the appropriate tolerances, replicated spares can fail to perform in any number of ways, ranging from high localised wear caused by gaps between liners, excessive vibration during operation, and fitment interference leading to an inability to thread the impeller or close the pump without cracking the volute liner.
Aside from the rapid wear these issues cause, any geometrical divergences from the OEM design will naturally interrupt the intended hydraulic performance of the pump, reducing throughtput, total head and efficiency.
4. OEM equipment is supported by OEM expertise
Sadly, no mining equipment lasts forever under the tremendous strain we subject it to. That’s why the support you receive from your supplier is almost as important as the part itself.
Genuine spare parts for Warman® slurry pumps are backed up by our unique global support network, which includes dedicated service centres within 200km of almost all of the world’s major mining regions. That means Weir Minerals engineers, with decades of experience complimented by our unique skills working with mines across the world, are there to support you every step of the way, from installation to replacement or even decommissioning and disposal.
Our maintenance and support teams specialise in integrating directly into your operational needs, where they not only provide effective maintenance and supervision, but make it a point of pride to understand your processes and work with you to help optimise your equipment to perform better and last longer.
Long-term customer relationships are at the heart of our business, and through working closely with your teams, our engineers can ensure that future spares are optimised to the changing feed conditions and wear profiles experienced on your mine.
Should the worst come to pass, and component failure shuts down a piece of equipment, our local distribution centres and global logistics network means we can deliver the right part quickly, with our team close at hand to help you get back and up and running.
With genuine spare parts for Warman® pumps, you get efficient products you can rely on, built with industry-leading wear materials, all supported by Weir Minerals’ unique engineering expertise and unmatched global service network.
Warman® genuine spare parts: peace of mind and lower lifetime costs. It’s a winning combination.
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