By working closely with Codelco’s Chuquicamata Division, Metso reported that its field service technicians managed to significantly reduce the downtime needed to replace the pinions and gears for 33 rod and ball mills in Chile. Metso deployed 30 service experts to work for the division’s largest mill overhauling project.

The services contract has been running for more than a year now and it includes replacing of pinions and gears for 21 ball mills and 12 rod mills for two concentrator plants. So far, Metso’s service team has managed to reduce the downtime needed for the service work by roughly 50%, going from eight days to four in the case of ball mills, and 14 to five days, meaning a reduction of 64%, in the rod mills. The specialists have also carried out mantle repairs and the expectation is that these will stay in perfect working condition until the next servicing in five years.

Technicians replace pinions and gears on a mill at the Chuquicamata mine.

Most importantly, all of the work has been carried out with zero accidents and with top marks in audits performed by Codelco. “Obtaining these results confirms to us the good work being done up to now, indicating to us that future stages will be the same or even better,” said Roberto Escobar, project manager and contract administrator for the Chuquicamata Division. “Safety is inherent to all our business projects, as it acts as a social tool, which allows us to show the respect we have for people and their well being, as well as successfully directing operations, which in itself reduces accident rates, something which is paramount in all actions we do as a company.”

“This outcome is an example of our service team’s constant, methodological and systematic efforts. The project demonstrates our long experience and deep know-how in services. Significantly reducing the downtime needed for service and the achieving of the customer’s safety indices shows our passion for working closely with the customer to achieve common goals,” said Juan Zuleta, field services manager for Metso.