Mineral exploration industry drilling services and products provider Boart Longyear says that proper management and maintenance of a drilling rig is important in today’s mining markets, as they reduce costly downtime and prevent equipment failure.
The company, which offers timely solutions when repair or refurbishing is needed, adds that a drill rig requires a large capital investment that essentially pays for itself through the life cycle of the rig.
Based on its aftermarket support, Boart Longyear offers its customers base technical support, repair and rebuild services, preventive maintenance and training programmes. These services are a means by which drilling contractors can increase productivity, as rig failures are reduced.
“Preventive maintenance is one of the best ways to avoid costly downtime. Boart Longyear offers basic equipment audits, scheduled maintenance inspections and customised maintenance agreements designed to suit a customer’s needs.
As a valuable safeguard against unexpected repair costs, preventive maintenance can better ensure that equipment continues to run at peak efficiency. Maintenance also requires proper commitment to, and the training of, drill operators, which can result in more ownership of the job at hand,” the company states.
“A driller’s ability to operate, maintain and troubleshoot drilling equipment starts with a basic understanding of the various components on his/her particular rig. Boart Longyear offers this overview training when commissioning drilling equipment to their customers,” says Boart Longyear global aftermarket parts and service director Michael Norris.
Boart Longyear’s parts and service centres also offer training programmes that are designed to equip the customer’s drilling teams with the relevant knowledge of their equipment. The hands-on and classroom-based training provides a mix of theory and practical application of the proper operation, maintenance and basic repair of Boart Longyear equipment.
“These training programmes, which typically last a week, comprise an ideal class size of seven to ten people to ensure enough individual attention. Sometimes, the duration of the classes can be longer, or shorter, depending on the subject covered at that point. A combination of engineers and senior technical specialists facilitates the training, covering hydraulics, electronics and trouble shooting,” he explains.
Norris adds that drillers and mining companies are seeking ways of saving money when a rig breaks down. “They want to avoid buying a brand-new rig or components, where possible. This is why refurbishment has become a strong focus for customer satisfaction. By offering factory refurbishment as a cost-effective alternative to purchasing new components, Boart Longyear can restore drilling equipment to full ope- rating efficiency at a fraction of the price of new components,” he points out.
The company’s equipment is designed and manufactured with the aim of reducing maintenance. Boart Longyear involves the service group in the early stages of new rig development to ensure the optimal product layout for ease of maintenance, which, in turn, reduces downtime.
The company has also standardised common components across fleets, which reduces parts inventory requirements for customers.
“The main contribution is to ensure that rigs are serviced professionally. The knowledge of the team contributes to a more efficient and cost-effective running unit. The teams are well trained and experienced and this will contribute to limiting downtime. Checking and adjusting the hydraulic settings and flows ensure optimum performance of the equipment. Preventive maintenance inspection programmes will keep the rigs running at peak efficiency and safeguards against unexpected repairs,” highlights Norris.
Currently, Boart Longyear has parts and service centres in Salt Lake City, Utah; Adelaide, Australia; Lima, Peru; North Bay, Ontario; Nottingham, UK; Santiago, Chile; Belo Horizonte, Brazil; Johannesburg, South Africa, and Khabarovsk, Russia. In the next 6 to 12 months, the company plans to expand its service capabilities to West and Central Africa.
“The global expansion of the Boart Longyear parts and service centres is an integral component of the initiative to continuously strengthen its commit- ment to customer service in the mining industry.
“Boart Longyear has decided to grow its parts and service centres in these targeted global markets so that mine operators, juniors and majors will have a more localised centre to consult when maintaining, repairing or refurbishing drilling equip- ment,” concludes Norris.