Turbochargers are “critical components” for almost every diesel engine in production, says automotive turbocharger distributor and service provider TurboDirect South Africa (SA).
For the mining and earthmoving industries specifically, the company supplies brand-new, genuine original-equipment manufacturer (OEM) turbochargers and carries out repairs thereof.
Additionally, it also offers service exchange units and repair parts to the trade and retail sectors alike.
Turbochargers boost engine performance, enabling them to produce sufficient power to operate heavy machinery on mine sites. “Without the turbocharger, the engines wouldn’t be powerful enough,” says TurboDirect SA MD Chris Kambouris.
With mining operations trying to maximise uptime, mining equipment needs to operate reliably and uninterruptedly to meet production targets and allow for profitability. Only genuine OEM turbochargers assist in realising this goal by reducing the downtime probability of mining equipment, the company says.
TurboDirect SA’s local stockholding of about six months also ensures timeous repairs. The company makes use of courier services, and its dealer network, to cover the countrywide demand.
The company has worked with some of the largest mines in Africa and has more than 35 years of combined experience in turbochargers and the automotive sector.
Kambouris states that OEM turbochargers are reliable components when installed correctly and maintained timeously; as failing to maintain the turbocharger and/or engine correctly will result in turbocharger failure.
He says that, “a catastrophic failure of a turbocharger can destroy the engine and result in fire and/or engine runaway”.
TurboDirect SA has the exclusive agency for “leading international turbo brands” such as automotive manufacturer Mitsubishi, turbocharger manufacturer and developer Garrett, automotive company Borg Warner and automobile turbocharger producer IHI – which are “all the key international OEM suppliers”.
The company states that these make up 95% of all the turbos fitted to all vehicles in South Africa – inclusive of mining units.
“Because we supply directly to the mining industry, we cut out the middle man and are able to, at times, half their turbocharger costs for brand-new OEM products.
Completed repairs carry a full and direct warrantee, back to the manufacturer, and our forensic laboratory staff are trained to provide factual insight into what may have caused the turbocharger failure.
“We not only save companies money but can also guarantee uptime for any machine using our genuine turbochargers.”
Moreover, Kambouris notes that the company’s repair offering comprises the replacement of the entire rotating assembly with “brand-new, factory-assembled and balanced products”.
This, he says, eliminates the time required to repair or build a service exchange repaired turbocharger.
TurboDirect SA also has an in-house metallurgical laboratory capable of analysing any turbocharger, engine, transmission, boom, or components material down to the micro and macro structure analysis, should it be required.
“We also have an upcoming project that involves changing a design on a turbocharger to extend its life, and prevent the premature failures that results from poor-quality diesel being used at certain mines in some countries,”