The importance of wear parts for a sustainable operation
Wear parts play an important role in any mining or aggregate operation. Not only are they critical to protecting the equipment, they have a big impact on performance. Since wear parts need to be replaced frequently, careful consideration of the parts you choose may be more important than you think from an environmental perspective.
High quality parts that are optimized for your specific operation will last longer and allow you to operate in a more efficient way. Below you will find 6 tips on how your choice of wear parts can reduce emissions and improve the safety of your operations.
1. Use optimized wear parts
Selecting exactly the right wear part material and design is critical for getting the most out of your process. By working together to carefully analyze your specific operating conditions, the parts can be optimized to ensure an efficient and more sustainable process. There is almost always potential for improvement.
Using long-lasting parts means less production, transportation, and replacement of products. Optimized wear parts can help you to lower energy, water, and fuel consumption, and minimize material wastage.
2. Improve safety with the right design, tools, and maintenance procedures
Changing out wear parts can be a risky, costly, and time-consuming exercise. But there are things that can be done to make it safer; for example:
- Use wear parts designed for easy and fast maintenance, as they help to ensure a proper fit and keep people away from danger-zones during maintenance
- Optimize the change-out procedures and use maintenance platforms and purpose-built lifting tools
- Select wear parts attachment systems that make it possible to avoid hot-work situations, reduce exposure to confined spaces, as well as make change-outs quicker and safer
- Choose the right material. Rubber, for instance, can bring unique benefits in terms of the work environment, as it is light to handle, reduces vibrations by up to 97% and cuts the perceived noise by half. By using the right material where it performs the best, the wear life can be prolonged and less risky maintenance is needed
- Use fire-retardant synthetic products in applications where there is risk for fire
3. Closely monitor wear ─ and replace the parts at the right time
By closely monitoring wear, the parts can be replaced at an ideal time. The information gathered from the wear readings can be used to design even more efficient parts. Modern wear monitoring tools help you to constantly be up to date on how your parts are wearing. This makes it easier to make design improvements and to replace the wear parts at exactly the right time – and it results in less material wastage.
4. Carefully consider how the parts are produced
You can significantly reduce your environmental impact by making sure the products you buy are produced with minimized environmental impact. For instance, buy your parts from a responsible supplier that minimizes wastage and uses renewable energy sources and recycled materials in the production of your products – preferably at a local production unit with less transportation. Also check if your supplier actively works with its suppliers to achieve the same goal. Working with a responsible partner is not only the right thing for the planet and people, it’s also good for business.
5. Recycle worn parts
When your parts wear out, investigate what options you have to recycle the parts. Can your supplier take back the worn liners and reuse them to produce new parts? Some parts can also be refurbished to prolong the service life.
6. Improve operational efficiency by working closely together in a partnership
A long-term commitment with mutually agreed targets facilitates optimization, and allows you to achieve improved operational efficiency. The sustainability benefits of a partnership include:
- Wear-life improvements = less production, transportation and replacement of products
- More efficient and environmentally sound operations
- Resource-efficient production (energy, water, fuel, etc)
- Faster change-outs of wear parts and less maintenance
With optimized liner design and maintenance procedures, each shutdown can be shortened and the time between them prolonged, resulting in more uptime and a safer operation.
If you are serious about lowering your environmental impact, you should give careful consideration to the parts you use in your operation. By selecting a responsible partner and optimized, long-lasting wear parts, you not only get more out of your process, you also help to create a sustainable future.