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Local is lekker with Sandvik

Local is lekker with Sandvik

By Dineo Phoshoko

Sandvik Mining and Rock Technology recently launched a new five-tonne low profile loader, which is the first of its kind to be locally manufactured in South Africa.

Sandvik Mining and Rock Technology launched the LH115L five-tonne low profile loader, which has up to 70% in local content and is designed primarily for platinum and chrome mines. It is built on the base of its predecessor, the EJC115L.

The EJC115L proves to be a success in the market and continues to maintain a good reputation as the machine has been improved without changing or destroying the original functions of the EJC115L. The improvements were made after considering feedback from customers of the EJC115L. “We have worked with our customers to produce a better LH115L product,” says Mats Eriksson, Sandvik product area president for Loader and Haul.

The new LH115L has improved safety features, a more powerful drivetrain and cooling package. The canopy and train are strengthened to make the machine suitable for low profile operations. Together with simplified electronics, the LH115L is optimised to provide high levels of availability and productivity for the harshest African conditions.

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The low-profile loaders will be assembled at a facility in Jet Park, Boksburg, South Africa.

The machine has minimal maintenance and service requirements. In addition, the machine provides a full low-profile portfolio offering that accommodates underground drills and bolters to ensure matching sets of equipment.

It complies with the latest safety requirements and Eriksson highlights that Sandvik relies on its strong knowledge of safety in the industry to ensure that the LH115L meets required safety standards.

LH115L features

The machine has a variety of features for safety, hydraulics and brakes.

Fire safety features include a portable fire extinguisher and steel braided hose fuel lines. The LH115L also has heat insulation on the exhaust manifold, turbo and isolated exhaust pipe.

Other optional safety features are available and include a proximity detection interface and a fire suppression system (ANSUL). It comes with a tank and six nozzles and includes auto shutdown.

Another important feature of the machine is the steering hydraulics. The LH115L has power steering that is hydraulically operated with centre-point articulation and one double acting cylinder. The steering wheel is controlled by a hydraulic joystick and includes interlock protection.

“We would like to see global OEMs led by Sandvik, increasing their footprint in South Africa, increasing their local supplier base using South Africa as an export hub into Africa and other parts of the world.” - Garth Strachan, the dti

With any vehicle, the brakes are very important and the LH115L is no exception; it has a braking system where service brakes are spring applied through hydraulically released multidisc wet brakes on all wheels. The braking system consists of two independent circuits: one for the front and one for the rear axle. Service brakes also function as an emergency and parking brake. The brake system performance complies with requirements of EN ISO 3450, AS2958.1 and SABS 1589.

A bucket hydraulics system is also included in the LH115L. A joystick bucket and boom control (hydraulic) is equipped with gear pump that delivers oil to the bucket hydraulic main valve. The oil flow from the steering hydraulic pump is directed to the bucket hydraulics when steering is not in use.

Local manufacturing

The machine was designed in Finland and manufactured in South Africa making the LH115L the first Sandvik product to be produced locally in South Africa. Sandvik has invested in a manufacturing facility in Jet Park, South Africa, where the machines are produced. The facility utilises local suppliers, locally sourced components and local employees with training programmes in place for local assembling.

“We are creating knowledge transfer to set up the proven processes and systems that we already have in our other manufacturing locations around the world so that we can be able to add other Sandvik products to this manufacturing site when needed,” says Eriksson.

Garth Strachan, deputy director general of Industrial Development: Policy Development Division (IDPDD) at the Department of Trade and Industry (the dti), praises Sandvik on the new machine and the facility. “We would like to see its local production in South Africa increase. We think that the mining capital goods sector is absolutely critical to reindustrialising South Africa,” Strachan says. He adds that the department supports South African-owned companies in the mining capital goods sector.

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The facility has been operational as of July 2017.

“We would like to see global OEMs led by Sandvik, increasing their footprint in South Africa, increasing their local supplier base using South Africa as an export hub into Africa and other parts of the world.” Strachan also highlights that it is essential for global OEMs to meet the BEE objectives both within the companies and in the supply chains.

The LH115L is only assembled and not entirely manufactured in South Africa. “This means that we design the equipment, so we have all the IP rights, but we work with sub-suppliers for the different components,” Eriksson explains. The fabrication process is done locally, using local suppliers. “We only import the components that can't be manufactured, so drive trains and engines are typically imported,” says Simon Andrews, Sandvik vice president, Sales for southern Africa.

Sandvik CEO Björn Rosengren says that Sandvik’s decision to start production of the LH115L units is based on economic numbers and capabilities of producing locally manufactured products. He also mentions that South Africa and the southern African region are important to the mining industry.

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The LH115Llow profile loader has up to 70% local in content.

“If you are looking at the low-profile equipment, Zimbabwe and South Africa together represent 80% of what we are selling globally.” This is an indication that there is a demand not only for low profile equipment, but locally produced equipment.

Strachan says the dti is committed to building a partnership and collaborative relationship between Sandvik and other companies in the upstream mining capital equipment sector to achieve greater levels of localisation, higher technology, intensity, greater competitiveness and productivity and greater empowerment.

Rosengren echoes his sentiments, adding that the locally manufactured LH115L is designed to improve productivity and sustainability in the mining industry.


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