Increasing the speed and efficiency of customer service

When a client in Chile needed help to get their mobile stacker conveyor tripper back into working condition after an operational failure, FLSmidth's experts were able to speed the project along by leveraging the technologies and capabilities available through the La Negra FLSmidth Supercenter located in Antofagasta.

What is an FLSmidth® Supercenter?

A Supercenter is more than just an innovative building design—it's a partnership with our customers and with the local community.

Strategically located close to mining and cement operations, Supercenters provide localized services to ensure timely delivery and support. Each Supercenter houses world-class personnel to assist with customers’ specific requirements. Add to that parts warehouses, conference rooms, office space, testing facilities and training centers, and you start to see how an FLSmidth Supercenter can give cutomers the competitive advantage they’re looking for.

In December 2013, FLSmidth received a call for help from Barrick's Zaldívar Mining Company (CMZ), which is located in the second region of Chile. Their RAHCO® mobile stacker conveyor tripper had gone through an operational failure while working in the mobile ore stacking area of their copper extraction process.

The failure included major structural, mechanical, hydraulic and electric damages. It was reducing the ore stockpiling capacity for CMZ, and service was needed urgently in order to meet site production goals. They asked FLSmidth to carry out emergency repairs to overhaul the equipment and return it to operating condition within 80 days. Under normal conditions, this type of equipment would have been considered impractical to repair, but due to the emergency situation, FLSmidth worked out a plan on how to repair the tripper within the delivery terms.

FLSmidth's knowledgeable material handling experts got to work by having field-service personnel perform a damage assessment. From there they were able to create a plan on how to overhaul the equipment back to optimum conditions in the shortest possible time. A highly qualified team was assembled from the Chilean office and the USA-based Spokane office to create a multi-disciplinary group of experts who could offer the customer the best possible solution.

In order to be effective and timely, FLSmidth built its teamwork approach with third-party companies who could render support services for hydraulics, electrical and surface preparation, and paint work (crucial for the corrosive environment in which the equipment operates). Permanent risk assessments were completed for each activity of the project to ensure that each task stage was completed in a timely manner and with a zero-incident rate, which would be a feat due to the size and weight of the parts being moved and worked with.

The need for immediate assistance and global coordination close to the site made the La Negra Supercenter a crucial asset to making the project work. Due to the strategic proximity of the Supercenter to the Zaldivar Mine site, it became the central project hub for logistics and repair work for the damaged equipment. The Supercenter also served as a location where the client could be an active participant in regular work development and progress meetings, as well as work inspections.

The infrastructure of this specialized service center was fundamental to the success of the work as it provided all of the required tools and characteristics needed, such as logistic areas, warehousing, cutting-edge video conference rooms to join the team members together from around the world, and training rooms for the team to continually teach and learn about the special work-related issues.

Within the Supercenter, mechanical, hydraulic, electrical and control simulation tests were carried out, and the rail gauge was set up for equipment displacement to verify correct wiring of each component to the controls and that the performance parameters were reached. When the dry-run performance was certified, FLSmidth released the equipment for delivery to the CMZ site.

On April 26, 2014, FLSmidth provided the support services for the start-up commissioning at the CMZ site. Currently, the plant is running at full operating capacity (3,000 TMPH) and CMZ has been able to reach their production goals due to FLSmidth's quality service and commitment to delivering optimally conditioned equipment on time.

This project exemplified FLSmidth's ability and expertise in offering full and tailor-made responses to the specific needs of customers through a global One Source team. The utilization of the La Negra Supercenter showed not only FLSmidth's foresight to build such comprehensive facilities close to customers, but also the strong commitment to being able to provide quality customer services in shorter times to keep our customers' plants running and producing.

CONTACT: Alexis Tapia