Pressure to deliver – in the mining industry and all other sectors, both locally and internationally – has caused lead times for plant and equipment to become excessive.
This problem applies equally to new engines, and a viable alternative is engine block reclamation, pioneered in South Africa 12 years ago by Metric Automotive Engineering.
“We have found that block reclamation, using our metal deposition techniques originally developed in the United States, is fast becoming an accepted practice, and we have recorded a significant increase in the number of engine blocks being re-manufactured using this innovative and proven methodology,” says Andrew Yorke of Metric.
Engine blocks – which obviously feature as a substantial expense in mining fleets and operations – have a finite lifespan, with fretting invariably occurring between the block face and the cylinder head over time.
Known as a leader in the automotive engineering industry, Metric Automotive Engineering has invested in both the requisite machinery as well as the technology transfer to establish a purpose-designed production line in the company’s re-manufacturing facility in Germiston. Engines up to the size of Cummins KT50C, Detroit Diesel 16V149 and Cat 3516 can be accommodated.
Figures have shown that – depending on the condition of the old block – savings of up to 90% on a new block can be realised. “A further point to consider is the saving in foreign exchange,” says Yorke.
“Parts and components for medium to heavy diesel engines used in mining machinery, trucks and earthmoving equipment are mostly imported, so any form of local reclamation and remanufacture is advantageous and far more economical,” he comments.
Metric Automotive Engineering offers services which include cylinder head refurbishment, crankshaft grinding and polishing, re-sleeving, re-boring and honing, magnetic crack detection, hardness testing, precision line boring, camshaft and cam follower reprofiling, conrod resizing, small end machining, engine rebuilding and dyna testing.