LIFECYCLE APPROACH WITH OEM PARTS FOR SUSTAINABLE PUMPING SOLUTIONS

Capital equipment like pumps operate only as well as their components and wear parts allow, so it makes little sense to risk this performance by installing a replicated part.

“Mining and other industrial applications rely heavily on continuous operations to reach the productivity levels that make them profitable,” says Marnus Koorts, General Manager Pumps at Weir Minerals Africa. “This productivity is in turn the result of decades of partnership with original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) like Weir Minerals, who provide much of the technological foundation underpinning a mining operation.”

Koorts emphasises that the lifecycle cost of key equipment like pumps is many orders of magnitude higher than its upfront capital cost – as they all need a high standard of maintenance that matches the quality of their initial manufacture. As long as the equipment performs to expectation, it will contribute to the mine’s success.

“What is often not fully understood, however, is that OEM spare parts are as carefully designed and manufactured as the core equipment itself,” he explains. “As an OEM with over 150 years of field experience, we have deep insights into how our parts perform – and can confidently provide our customers with performance predictions and service intervals.”

These promises that an OEM makes become the basis of its long term partnerships with customers, he says, and allow the mining industry to effectively mitigate operational risk so that mines succeed. By contrast, a replicated part is a reverse-engineered product that tries to look the same as the original, and must simply fit in the appropriate space.

“This is where the similarity with the OEM part ends,” argues Koorts. “The performance and longevity of the replicated part can seldom be guaranteed, and this undermines the principles of risk mitigation and productivity that the mine is trying to achieve.”

Weir Minerals’ original spares form an essential part of the journey that it walks with customers toward sustainability and commercial success, he explains. While the efficiency and robustness of the parts reduce mines’ energy consumption and carbon footprint, the sustainability efforts of Weir Minerals also contribute to improving customers’ Scope 3 emissions.

“Having a parts supplier with a concerted sustainability commitment – including the use of renewable energy in many of our facilities – further assists our customers in reaching their strategic corporate objectives,” he concludes.

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