Usiminas Mining
Usiminas Mining

Usiminas Mining Doubles the Life of 988H Wheel Loader

In just a little more than a decade, Usiminas Mining has become one of Brazil’s biggest exporters of iron ore. And a large part of their success comes from a close relationship with Cat® dealer Sotreq. Through that relationship and Cat rebuild options, they have optimized their mining machines’ lifespan.

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To support its extensive productivity goals, Usiminas Mining runs a fleet of more than 54 machines. Each and every machine has a pivotal role on the jobsite, so keeping the equipment up and running is non-negotiable.

One of the most important machines on-site is the company’s Cat® 988H Wheel Loader. Usiminas Operations Specialist Frederico Horta says the 988H is very important for support work around the mine, including tough jobs like bridge drilling, track improvements and safety issues. But recently, the machine was nearing the end of its useful life.

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988H

 

A NEW LIFE FOR A VALUABLE MACHINE

After a general overview of the machine and an evaluation by Cat dealer Sotreq personnel, they decided to completely overhaul the wheel loader using Cat rebuild options. 

Sotreq drove the 988H’s entire rebuild process, says Maxwell Teixeira, a performance engineer for the dealer. After an initial evaluation, Sotreq obtained the Caterpillar rebuild certificate. 

“We checked if the equipment was fit or not for the rebuild process and then brought the results to demonstrate to the customer how reliable the machine would become after the complete reform of the equipment,” Teixeira says. “The big advantage is that it shows the customer that the machine has the possibility of having a second useful life with a great reduction in its costs, instead of buying a new machine.” 

But what about the time it would take? “A good repair solution involves more than one variable,” says Eifas, a maintenance engineer with Usiminas. “Time is very important. So, when I send it in to be repaired, I want it back fast, because many times I have to use that same component in other equipment.”

 

VALUED GUIDANCE AND SUPPORT

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VALUED GUIDANCE AND SUPPORT

Finding the right support on the mine site helps the team at Usiminas achieve their rebuild goals. Through work with Sotreq, Horta explains, “We have a very strong synergy with periodical meetings, where we identify the points for improvement, where we need to act more. This guarantees a better physical availability of the equipment and also guarantees the efficiency of our operation.” 

Mine sites are major operations, so being able to lean on personalized support is essential. Eifas explains that Usiminas has found the Customer Value Agreement (CVA) that works for them.

And for Eifas, the core value of the CVA is in Sotreq’s expert guidance. He says that having representatives on-site to guide them on assembly, maintenance and safety is a necessary link between their mining work and Caterpillar’s quality equipment.

LIKE-NEW PERFORMANCE AND A NEW-MACHINE WARRANTY

Even better, Horta adds, a complete machine overhaul gives Usiminas equipment availability. “It also guarantees our costs,” he notes, “and it guarantees that we achieve our production goals.” 

“The main benefit was the reform of the machine,” Teixeira adds. “[That means] new components, new powertrain, all the parts in question, as if it were new equipment. The second benefit that the customer sees is the performance of the equipment; the equipment performs as if it were new. Usiminas Mining clearly sees that the performance of the equipment with the rebuild is totally different from the performance of equipment that has not gone through the rebuild.”

Best of all, says Usiminas Director of Operations Guilherme Souza Melo, a complete rebuild like the one the 988H received has the same warranty as a new machine. “So, we are covered in possible failures,” he says. “Sotreq and Caterpillar guarantee us this supply, in case there is a failure. Which is why I think the partnership with Sotreq and Caterpillar in our operating model is essential for us to succeed in our results.” 

Melo explains that the parts availability and on-site support guaranteed by their CVA partnership with Sotreq means they can focus on their work. And that’s what it’s all about.

KEEP WORKING WITH THESE CAT® REPAIR OPTIONS AND REBUILDS

Repair options and rebuilds from Caterpillar keep your machines on the job, shift after shift, year after year.

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KEEP WORKING WITH THESE CAT® REPAIR OPTIONS AND REBUILDS
KEEP WORKING WITH THESE CAT® REPAIR OPTIONS AND REBUILDS

 

 

CONNECT WITH YOUR CAT® DEALER

Find out more about how your dealer can support your mining operation and keep your jobsite moving.

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CONNECT WITH YOUR CAT® DEALER

 

 

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