Coal Age

JUN 2019

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38 June 2019 operating ideas Genrec Repairs Dragline Boom in South Africa Genrec Engineering demonstrated the depth and extent of its skills and capabilities in steel fabrication and engineering when it successfully re- paired a damaged dragline boom in record time for one of South Africa's leading coal mines. This project also marked yet another important mile- stone in the company's drive to diver- sify into specialist and niche markets since it was acquired by the Southern Palace Group (SPG) in 2016. This technically complex repair was completed in as little as 10 weeks to assist a leading coal producer in the Mpumalanga coalfields mitigate downtime. Genrec's involvement in this pro- ject began with a full-scale investiga- tion into the damaged boom struc- ture at the mine site in August 2017. Managing director of CMTI Consult- ing, Dr. Danie Burger, was a part of the team that participated in the in- vestigation with various insurance companies. Burger said a decision to award the contract to repair the boom to Genrec was based on the compa- ny's long legacy in the South African and international steel engineering and fabrication industry. "There is no other steel fabricator and engineering company in South Africa with the necessary infrastruc- ture, as well as capacities and tech- nical competence to take on such a complex project," Burger said. "Had the boom been sent to the original equipment manufacturer (OEM) premises in Australia for repairs, it would have taken up to four times longer to return the dragline back to service with obvious negative ramifi- cations on the mine's production." Representatives of the mine's management team visited Genrec's factory in Wadeville, Gauteng, a week ahead of the commencement of the repairs. Mark Prince, divisional di- rector of Genrec Engineering, said they were impressed with the state- of-the-art facility and, just as impor- tantly, the skills and experience of the Genrec Engineering management and engineering team. "The depth of experience and ex- pertise of our team have allowed us to constantly innovate, which is a strate- gic differentiator in this industry and a trait that we proudly demonstrat- ed on this complex design and build project," Prince said. "My team of professionals had to be able to think out of the box and on its feet to overcome a myriad of chal- lenges to ensure the timely and quality completion of the project. The fact that we were able to complete this project in such a short timeframe speaks vol- umes of the capabilities housed here in Wadeville that have placed us firmly on our next growth path." The dragline's boom consists of a 37-ton midsection, which is 30 m in length and 13 m in width, and the 43- ton, 32-m-long and 13-m-wide front portion, and both have a transporta- tion height of 3.5 m. It was completely remodeled by Genrec Engineering's design team with assistance from CMTI Shared Services, in a process that took about a week-and-a-half to complete. The original Bucyrus drawings were more than 30 years old and up- dated versions were later received from Caterpillar. They were used to generate models to develop the man- ufacturing drawings and upgrades to the boom, in addition to the manu- facturing sequence, work procedures and transport sections. The project also involved careful and complex logistical planning, con- sidering that Genrec Engineering had to locate and source up to 34 tons of chord material from various Austra- lian mines to supplement insufficient supplies of the required specification. This material was then transported to a central point for collection before being airfreighted to South Africa's O.R. Tambo International Airport by Qan- tus Airways. A comprehensive analysis was undertaken of all available mate- rial sources to ensure quality and, im- portantly, traceability in line with the stringent requirements of the OEM. The chords were buttered up and machined to specification and all lac- The boom was completely remodeled by Genrec Engineering's design team with assistance from CMTI Shared Services, in a process that took about a week-and-a-half to complete.

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