Canada-headquartered mining tyre supplier and service provider Kal Tire will use the Asia-Pacific’s International Mining Exhibition to strengthen Kal Tire brand awareness, says Kal Tire Australia sales and marketing head Jason Zafiriadis.
The company is attending the event for the second time and will showcase its range of tyre services and supply solutions for mining customers from August 29 to 31 at the Sydney Showground, in Sydney, Australia.
“Our exhibit will feature some of the innovative tools and repair processes we have developed to deliver better tyre management services, which sets us apart from our competitors.”
Kal Tire Australia operations support specialist Ian Campbell will also deliver a presentation on haul road design best practices and how the design impacts on tyre wear, safety and productivity.
Zafiriadis adds that Kal Tire aspires to remind the mining market of the experience they can expect from the brand, which is rapidly growing, with two acquisitions of the tyre services business of Klinge & Co in 2016, in Australia, and Tyre Corporation earlier this year, in South Africa.
The company has more than 220 team members deployed at more than 20 mine sites across the Bowen basin, Hunter Valley, South Australia, the Pilbara and the Western Australian goldfields.
Currently, Kal Tire supplies and services all the major miners in Australia across their commodity portfolios. “These are mainly openpit operations, but we have a growing exposure to underground operations,” notes Zafiriadis.
Kal Tire’s involvement entails a range of consulting services, on-site management and maintenance services, as well as supply chain solutions for tyres and rims.
Further, Zafiriadis says the mining industry in Australia is healthy, with strong underlying demand for Australian commodities to continue for many more years to come.
“The mines we service are operating close to full capacity, producing more tonnes than ever before. We are blessed with some of the world’s most sophisticated mining operations across the commodity landscape,” he highlights.
Centre for Innovation
While Kal Tire is known for outfitting and repairing earthmoving equipment tyres on mine sites, the company also focuses on tyre management innovation at its research and development (R&D) centre, in Canada.
“We help improve productivity, value and safety in mining operations by pioneering new technology, tools and processes,” says Kal Tire innovation, R&D manager Peter Nilsson.
These technologies include a gravity assist system that enables technicians to weightlessly manoeuvre tools and parts. Before, technicians would have had to fasten 70 lug nuts on their own or hold a 27 kg torque gun for minutes on end. Now, by attaching a range of industrial tools and parts, technicians simply let the system do the work, says Nilsson.
“We wanted to support the weight of these tools to reduce strain on and injuries to technicians, and speed up the process with improved precision,” he notes.
The gravity assist tool reduces pinched fingers, fatigue and strain, which are common when mounting earthmoving equipment tyres.
Further, Kal Tire team members globally also use a ram mount tool, launched mid-2016, which holds the ram in place when breaking the bead on the tyre to remove it from the rim. “This tool helps avoid the use of tools not designed for dismounting procedures and supports our team members so that they can work safely as well as improve service performance,” Nilsson points out.
The R&D centre also developed a service trolley – one for electrical and one for pneumatic functions – to improve operations when using ram mount tools or bead breakers, which was introduced in mid-2016.
The trolley’s functions are operated by remote control, thereby ensuring the safety of tyre technicians by enabling them to stand away from the truck area.
Nilsson notes that another device that influences the efficiency of Kal Tire’s team members is a deflator tool, introduced last year, to reduce earthmoving equipment tyre deflation time. Normally, it would take 30 minute to deflate a 63-inch ultra-class tyre; however, the deflator tool reduces it to about 15 minutes, decreasing the service time per tyre and improving the overall use of hauling trucks.
“We’re driven to develop new solutions to the requirements of our team members and customers. It’s about improving the tools we use, the way we work and what we bring to the table for customers . . . this innovation is going to provide Kal Tire and our customers with a competitive edge,” Nilsson highlights.
Kal Tire Mining Tire Group senior VP Dan Allan states that the company realised a need to develop a solution to extend tyre life span for large earthmoving equipment tyres.
In 2014, after 15 years of development, Kal Tire launched Ultra Repair, which is an exclusive product and process that restores the tyre’s original strength, integrity and performance at a fraction of the cost of a replacement tyre. The product allows for the repair of the tread, the shoulder and the sidewall on all tyre sizes, including 63-inch ultra-class tyres.
After its initial success in Canada, Kal Tire also launched Ultra Repair at its branches in the UK, Africa, Chile, Colombia and Australia, and introduced the product to all Kal Tire retread and repair facilities worldwide by the end of 2016.