Measurement Solutions Blog

Repairing mining equipment has many advantages.

The throwaway consumer has become more prominent over recent years, especially with the cost of some specific products in decline. With more overseas competitors entering the market, it can be all too tempting to avoid repairing technology and instead to replace it entirely.

However, mining equipment repairs can have several advantages. From the economic to the environmental, there are plenty of motivations for enlisting the help of an expert.

We have put together a list of some of the top three reasons why you might want to enlist field services, rather than purchase completely new products.

1. Do your bit for the environment

You only have to take a look at Australia's landfill figures to see just how necessary this is. Between 2001 and 2007 alone, the Australian Bureau of Statistics revealed that the amount of waste sent to landfill increased 12 per cent. 

Meanwhile, Transpacific data shows that Australia is the second-highest waste producer per person in the entire world, coming second only to the US. Australians alone produce more than 18 million tonnes of waste each year – around 650 kg per person.

Pressure is growing on homes and businesses alike to minimise their impact on the environment. Going green makes sound business sense, according to the CDP S&P 500 Climate Change Report 2014.

It found that S&P 500 companies that showed climate awareness over the previous three years witnessed 18 per cent higher return on equity than those that didn't. They are also performing 67 per cent better than firms failing to disclose their emissions to the CDP.

2. Keep downtime to a minimum

Downtime has the potential to cause significant problems for a business, not least because of the lost hours as they deal with a problem. The EMC Global Data Protection Index, carried out by Vanson Bourne, illustrated just how financially damaging lost hours can be to a business.

Over the course of 12 months, the survey found that the average company experienced 27 hours of unexpected downtime. More than half (54 per cent) of managers said this led to a loss in employee productivity, while 44 per cent experienced loss revenue as a result.

While investing in new equipment might seem like the fastest option, in reality this isn't likely to be the case for mining companies. Technology such as belt scales and metal detectors are crucial for day-to-day operations, which is why settling for second best simply isn't an option.

Researching the different products and weighing up their merits takes time. If you are confident in using the equipment that is already on site, surely it makes sense just to have it repaired? Otherwise, you will face downtime while you research the market, wait for products to be delivered and while staff members become accustomed to using them.

3. Ensure costs are as low as possible

New machinery doesn't come cheap, so repair work could well prove to be the least costly option. The ABS reveals that during the March quarter of this year, expenditure on mineral exploration was down 13.4 per cent compared to 12 months earlier.

As all eyes are on cutting spending in the sector, it could become more common for repairs to be ordered. Onshore and offshore drilling is still expected to remain strong in the foreseeable future, but there obviously needs to be reliable equipment to make this happen.

With businesses from all backgrounds under increasing pressure to kerb their spending, it's only logical that mining will follow suit. New products don't come cheap and if existing models are salvageable, this could make a real difference to mining firms' bottom line.