Crushing and screening specialist Pilot Crushtec International launched two new products – the Pilot Modular MAXIscalp 600 and the Metso Nordplant C80 primary crushing station intended for use in modular configurations – at its 2017 Open Day last month.
The MAXIscalp 600 is the world’s first modular, static scalping plant, which comprises a 7m3 apron feeder, a large and aggressive double-deck screenbox, wide discharge conveyors and heavy-duty support structure. It has been designed and built internally to meet high-volume scalping needs.
The plant also has a heavy-duty, skid-mounted structure to allow for easy transportation and changes of location and configuration, which ultimately result in savings in capital costs and overall operating and maintenance costs of a plant. The plant’s modular setup provides flexibility to adapt to changing operational requirements.
Pilot Crushtec CEO Sandro Scherf underscored the interest in the MAXIscalp 600 at the open day, noting that potential customers were especially pleased that “a mobile, modular version of a high-performance scalper is now available”.
He further highlighted two major shifts in the company’s marketing activities – a significant increase in the sale of spare parts and components, accompanied by a rise in requests for the refurbishment of used machines.
Spares sales and marketing now fall within the remit of a dedicated division assisted in no small measure by the gain of the Metso franchise. “Pilot Crushtec International’s fabrication arm, Pilot MacFab, is being scaled upward to match demand. Despite the market being awash with pirate parts, a great deal of hard work has ensured that ex-works prices remain within 10% of lookalike offerings,” Scherf said.
He suggested that, since the company invested heavily in the stock of Metso wear and spare parts, the availability of the product line has substantially increased the company’s sales of these parts.
“However, some of the increase is attributed to increased demand for contract crushing for mining projects, again fuelled by commodity price increases. Although demand is up from the local mining sector, clients seem to be reluctant to spend capital on new machines and seem to be “sweating” their assets, resulting in higher demand for spare and wear parts, and the refurbishment of machines.”
Scherf emphasised that availability was key to the spares market, estimating the value of the current stockholding of Pilot Crushtec’sspare and wear parts to be R140-million. The stockholding is also managed using an advanced control system.
Pilot Crushtec has, meanwhile, gained significant value-add since its alignment with Metso, with proof of the rapport between client and supplier demonstrated in September, when Pilot Crushtec International received the award for Best New Service Distributor at Metso’s inaugural global distributor conference, in Tampere, Finland.
“The best partner we want to have is Pilot – we have allied philosophies, [particularly] a commitment to service and support,” Metso global distribution VP Adrian Wood noted at the open day.
While Scherf acknowledged the tough economic environment in South Africa, he highlighted that the global market for crushing and screening equipment was well on the road to recovery and doing “exceptionally well” in some instances.
He explained that, generally, there was a strong increase in demand for commodities, which fuelled investment in mining and, therefore, demand for equipment in most regions, particularly in Australia, Asia and South America.
While Western Africa was benefiting strongly, Southern Africa did not have the same levels of investment in mining and, despite definite growth in this region, South Africa also lagged behind, without much mining investment, he acknowledged.