Amid a bleak global economic outlook, mining companies are exploring means of tightening their budgets.
Subsequently, engine specialist and manufacturer Cummins has introduced lower-emission engines to assist its original- equipment manufacturer (OEM) clients in producing higher- quality pumps at a lower cost.
This is crucial, given the global emission standards which have affected the sector, says Cummins sales manager and segment leader Bo Fu.
The company offers mechanical and electronic engines from 50 hp to 2 700 hp, which are ideal for the pumps sector. For the mining sector, the company places a special focus on mechanical engines, as electronic engines require more maintenance and are costly.
“We have five engine plants in China and two in India that produce mechanical engines with lower emissions. “While environmental regulations in Africa currently don’t require high emission controls, our lower-emission engines are still a better option for mines because of their cost effectiveness,” he states.
Cummins mechanical engines are robust, user-friendly and easier to maintain, says Fu, adding that “the main advantage of mechanical engines is that they do not incur any downtime”.
The mechanical control panel also allows for much more efficient operation of the engines, Fu enthuses.
Operators at mines are trained by either Cummins or the pumps OEMs so that they can attend to any challenges that may occur as and when they happen. “This is beneficial as mine projects are “timeous in nature”, he says.
The company’s scope of supply for mines also extends to ancillary equipment such as radiators, control panels, air intake and exhaust mufflers, among others.
Cummins supplies fit-for-market solutions that are suited to the harsh operating conditions in Africa, with an aftermarket service spanning most African countries.
“The pump units and engine components should be able to reach any country in Africa, and if there is any problem with the pump or engine that needs to be fixed, Cummins will have a good network to handle it,” notes Fu.
As such, Cummins supplies numerous types of mining equipment to mines.
“In Africa, especially Southern Africa, we already have on-site technicians who are capable of fixing Cummins engines for several applications. “We are always looking to provide better solutions in terms of aftermarket services,” he states.
The company has also invested heavily in broadening its footprint in Africa and the Middle East. Cummins has branches, distributors and independent dealers across the continent. Through its aftermarket channel, it hopes to tap into more mining projects going forward.
“Cummins has a regional distribution centre in South Africa that services Southern Africa and another in Ghana that covers West Africa. “We store many of our engine parts in these centres. We are able to provide parts support and knowledge for clients in the mining sector.”
The company has positive aspirations for the pumps sector in the mining, dewatering, fire and agriculture irrigation industries.
“We want to become the preferred partner and solutions provider for these markets. “We have a strong applications and solutions engineering team, and we want our clients to gain more value from our products,” Fu concludes.