Reducing Costs Through Aftermarket ServicesMon, 10/21/2013 - 13:52
It is estimated that maintenance expenditures make up between 20 and 50% of mining companies’ production costs. At a time when metal and mineral prices are dropping, the ability to minimize operating costs determines whether the future of a mine is in jeopardy and mining companies are therefore looking for varied solutions to enhance their maintenance performance. These solutions usually range from long-term maintenance contracts at fixed costs to technologically-advanced predictive maintenance software, or the integration of several maintenance services. However, mining companies often overlook the cost-saving potential of aftermarket engineering services.
Jeff Wandler, Corporate Vicepresident at L&H Industrial, an international aftermarket service provider, states that several engineering procedures and services can enhance equipment performance and reduce maintenance cost at mine sites. “We provide more options to deal with negative situations that machines can run into,” he says. L&H can modify mechanical processes in order to allow machinery to perform additional tasks. It can also expand the life span of components by introducing enhanced products that comply with stringent quality standards. Moreover, its experience and knowledge allow the company to repair broken components, thus avoiding costly replacements. “In sum,” says Wandler, “our clients are not held hostage by the original equipment manufacturers.” According to Porfirio Cañamar, General Manager at L&H Servicios Mineros, L&H’s Mexican subsidiary, the second largest cost of operating a machine – after the cost of the machine itself – is maintenance. The sum of preventative and corrective maintenance costs, plus the cost of interrupting production due to downtime, can truly represent a major financial setback for mineral exploitation projects. Therefore, L&H’s Mexican division has gone to great lengths to offer comprehensive aftermarket services with the fastest response time in the market. “Our offices are located in strategic regions in Mexico”, Cañamar points out. “We can cover all the needs of the industry in the field and we can do so in a very short time, thus preventing prolonged interruptions to operations.”
L&H does not only focus on corrective maintenance and emergency intervention. As the Mexican mining industry moves towards a preventative approach to maintenance, the company also provides a series of aftermarket services that will extend the equipment life and thus lower global maintenance costs. “We can prevent downtime and extend periods between maintenance work by looking after the equipment’s parts,” says Cañamar.
The company uses its international experience to improve the quality of its service and train its personnel using global best practices. “We have over 40 years of experience in the mining industry, and our engineering department is made up of qualified experts who can detect potential weaknesses and prevent failures,” states Cañamar. David Reyna, International Sales Manager for Mexico and Peru at L&H Industrial, says that the company’s status as a global player with a presence in every major market in the world enhances the quality it can offer in any location. “We have brought in people from Wyoming who are very excited to come and teach our engineers in Mexico. We have hired young local people to participate in training programs and join our team. Similarly, we are able to use the labor that we have in Mexico for potential opportunities in the US,” Reyna explains. The company’s international presence has also allowed it to start manufacturing its own products, in order to better serve the mining industry with high- performance industrial components. “L&H Industrial has sales and support teams throughout the world. We can manufacture a product in Mexico and our solid business structure will ensure the product’s quality, as well as its economic competitiveness,” states Reyna.
L&H Servicios Mineros is constantly developing in order to offer the same services its parent company provides in the US. Thanks to Mexico’s geographical closeness to the US and to the size of both countries’ mining industries, L&H has access to the advanced portable equipment it requires to do its work in Mexican mine sites. The company’s global experience and its extensive pool of knowledge are being leveraged to support the company’s expansion in the Mexican market. “Mexico represents around 25% of our business, and it may grow up to 35% in the near future,” Wandler adds.