Sulzer South Africa has had a long association with the mining industry in Southern Africa, supplying pumps to numerous deep level operations. It has led the way in changing the focus from lowest price to lowest overall cost.
This strategy can be defined in a three level value triangle with products as the fundamental level, service as an intermediate functional level and solutions as the high value level where the needs of the clients are fulfilled.
By example, Sulzer can supply a fully engineered pump for a particular application from its manufacturing facility in Elandsfontein. The field technicians can install, commission and monitor the pump in situ. The project can be fully managed by Sulzer from the system design stage to supplying all ancillary equipment to provide a turnkey solution. Sulzer will also enter into a partnership agreement to maintain, repair and retrofit the pumps as required. The company has the largest test bay in Southern Africa and one of the largest in the southern hemisphere which ensures the latest improvements in design and material can be proved.
The retrofit process done in-house has significant benefits to the client. Such an upgrade for Elandsrand was to retrofit the non OEM repaired HPH 48 9 stage pumps that were operating at efficiencies as low as 70% to HPH 50W- 20 8+1 stage pumps operating at efficiencies close to 80%, therefore reducing pumping hours and saving power. This was achieved in addition to a 16% gain in flow rate.
Sulzer also has life extension programs where the internals are coated using specialised metal coatings developed by the Sulzer division, Sulzer Metco, resulting in exceptional wear and corrosion resistance.
Sulzer South Africa also has a division, Sulzer Hydromining, that manufactures hand-operated air and water drills for underground mines. These drills, designed and manufactured by Sulzer, offer advantages over competitive products. These include environmental benefits such as using no oil for lubrication, reduced vibrations and a noise level of 108 dB, which is below the proposed limit of 110 dB.
A particular trial for Elandsrand is planned where the efficiently in terms of penetration rates and air consumption can be compared to current systems. A further benefit is to have an underground Sulzer workshop to service the drills, which will result in a much improved turnaround time.