Cummins’ Fleetguard has ensured that a haul-truck fleet achieve use rates of between 85 percent and 90 percent, after previously experiencing operational difficulties relating to substandard fuel qualities, which had reduced the fleet’s run-time capacity to 65 percent.
“Since the solution was implemented in June 2017, the mine’s downtime reduced significantly, as injector and fuel-pump failures were substantially less.
“This has provided for longer service intervals on the haul trucks, increased oil life span, and improved equipment availability, which has equated to significant improvement in production volumes at the mine, while generating substantial savings and reducing the total cost of ownership,” Tinus Naude, Cummins Filtration Africa Mining Manager said recently.
The haul trucks were not achieving the targeted 350-hour service intervals on the fuel filters, owing to sporadic blockages.
While fitted with Cummins QSK50 MCRS engines, on-board filter, injector, and injector-pump failures were occurring.
Cummins Filtration was requested to supply a solution to ensure that the fuel was delivered to the injectors at the correct cleanliness levels, allowing for the fleet to achieve its intended service hours.
A Fleetguard service team carried out site surveys to investigate the bulk-fuel storage system and on-board filtration.
The bulk fuel was found to be cloudy and muddy, which meant it had not been delivered according to specification.
“We found that the fuel contained water and fungus,” Naude reveals.
Fungus only propagates in fuel in the presence of free water, which therefore increases the likelihood of injector failures occurring.
Cummins Filtration inspected the mine’s on-engine filtration system. The engines, including the on-board filtration systems were also inspected.
“Part of our recommendations were to fix the water contamination situation in the fuel. We contracted clean-fuel solutions provider SupaFuel as an independent party to verify that, in fact, water was present in the fuel, to put the correct maintenance practices in place, and to manage the mine’s bulk fuel system. It also implemented the recommendation from Fleetguard in terms of the mine’s on-board filtration systems.”