We understand the high standards of purity required for the fluids in today’s diesel engines, and the need for effective filtration in fluid delivery systems. When considering a new service vehicle, fluid filtration may not be a priority. This could cause havoc down the track.
The team at Shermac know firsthand how serious the consequences can be when filtration is ignored, such as when filters are removed to speed up oil or diesel delivery. A poor quality or poorly maintained filtration system opens you to the risk that grit, and small particles of dust or steel can get into the engine of the vehicle being serviced, and the consequences can be dire.
Even where filters are intact, but clogged, there are risks. Shermac recently worked on a service vehicle on which the filters had clearly not been cleaned to the recommended service schedule. If they had been left uncleaned, fuel delivery speeds would have been compromised, at the very least. Any particles that might have sneaked through the filter could have caused the deterioration of the mining machinery or expedited wear, with potential for downstream disruptions and downtime.
Large machinery can cost $15,000 an hour to run with the cost of rebuilding an engine reaching as high as $400,000. It is therefore more cost-effective for a vehicle to be properly maintained in the first place to reduce downtime and cost of repair. (Source: AZO Materials: Gold Mine Saves Millions in Downtime, Repair and Replacements Cost with On-site Oil Analysis)
Asset managers of mining vehicles also need to take into consideration their compliance with ISO Fluid Cleanliness Codes. The governing standard is ISO 4406, which assists with keeping emissions compliant with national standards.
Shermac generally sees two types of filtration customers. There are those who are not concerned about filtration and only want to tick the box. There is a second group who are more particular and want higher filtration quality. These customers know the value of filtration and want to avoid the risks associated with an inferior system.
As well, major mining equipment manufacturers such as Caterpillar require operators to adhere to the filtration standards they set, if customers want to comply with warranty provisions.
Shermac’s answer to the thorny problem of filter clogging is to equip the filtration system with clogging alert systems, so the operator knows when a filter change or clean is necessary.
Conversely, when the cost of a full filter change on a service truck runs to between $5000 and $6000, there is no value in completing the change earlier than necessary. Thus, the clogging alert system has another advantage – alerting the operator only when the filter needs attention.
Safety and ergonomics for the operator is our highest priority. Filter units are all located in an easily reachable location on one side of the service truck for easy access and maintenance.
Effective filtration on service vehicles is a key component of the smooth running of a mining vehicle fleet. The investment in a quality system at the time of purchase pays dividends when it comes to speeding up fuel delivery times and minimising both mining vehicle downtime and wear and tear.