After years of dealing with poor performing pumps, requiring a costly outage every 800 hours, leaders of the copper mine turned to GIW for help. They needed a pump that could help them maintain a more reliable shutdown schedule and minimize expenses. GIW's MDX-750, the world's largest mill pump, not only met the customer's goal - but exceeded it - saving this massive Chilean copper mine an estimated US$6 million per mill line.
Industry-leading material development
As a company, GIW has worked diligently to improve its pumps used in cyclone feed applications. This focus has been on using better metallurgy and variable geometry for the wet end during operation. Over the years, GIW has developed and tested new materials to improve pump performance.
Ultimately, GIW scientists developed a brand-new material technology. The impressive and innovative material is called Endurasite®, and it's capable of resisting the effects of abrasion for extended periods. When applied to the MDX-750 high wear wet end parts, this specially processed, ultra-wear-resistant white-iron alloy vastly improves pump wear life and, in turn, extends time between shutdowns.
Creating this solution from scratch was undoubtedly complex, and GIW employees and the customer were aware of the potential pitfalls of testing a new material in an active mine.
"This was not only difficult for the customer but a challenge for GIW as a supplier," says Hernan Palavecino, GIW South American Regional Sales Manager. "Because this was an unprecedented project in the market, every extra hour of operation was a discovery and the risk of unexpected failure or shutdown was present every step of the way."
Cutting costly shutdowns by 50%
The customer never had a need to be concerned, though; the GIW team remained present during all testing to perform maintenance and ensure optimal results. And as Palavecino points out, the results were certainly optimal. "We set a target of 4,500 hours for the first test cycle, but during the campaign, we saw that it was possible to extend the cycle to over 5,000 hours without operational risk," he says. For this test GIW was pitted directly against their competitor's cyclone feed pump. Due to the final testing results and GIW's on-site support, the customer has adopted GIW technology.
GIW experts not only achieved the customer's goal but managed to exceed it - cutting annual shutdowns in half and drastically improving the total cost of ownership. GIW's continual development mindset has taken the mine's pumps from 800 to 5,000 hours of continuous operation. It's an achievement - and long-term responsibility - that GIW doesn't take lightly.
"Reaching this target is the result of several years of continuous improvements and focusing on the customer," explains Palavecino. "It was achieved and exceeded because of the commitment and teamwork between the customer and supplier."
MDX Design & Technology