Our Outotec Service Agreement helps our customers maintain equipment and avoid unplanned shutdowns and maintenance disruptions. If shutdowns are necessary, instant support is provided to the customer to solve the problem.
Outotec Service Agreement for Courier Analyzers
As Courier is one of the key tools for process control and optimization, it is essential that it runs as intended. “If Courier is down, the plant is running blind and can end up with a lot of valuable minerals going to the tailings pond. It goes without saying that advanced technology equipment such as the Courier analyzer requires regular control and maintenance to achieve maximum performance,” Rönnberg adds.
Customers normally buy these types of agreements in order to reduce the downtime of their Courier analyzers,” says Luis Rudolphy, Outotec Team Leader for Service Sales in Europe and North Africa.
“Our Service Agreement for Courier Analyzers minimizes downtime and provides reliable results. We have contracts that are based on the availability of the analyzer; in these cases, we take care of the operation and maintenance of the complete systems and assuring the highest availability of the analyzers, the highest precision in the data delivered, and lower operational costs,” Rudolphy explains.
The Service Agreement consists of Preventive and Corrective Maintenance Modules, which influence the downtime. “Careful planning is crucial, as unplanned repairs can easily cost from four to even twelve times more than planned repairs. It is essential to identify problems before they occur, to plan repairs in such a way that the customer’s time and money is not wasted and to prevent unexpected component or equipment failures, as even small failures can affect the entire process,” Kai Rönnberg continues.
Customer benefits in everyday use Boliden Tara Mines
Tara Mines in Ireland has been a longterm service agreement customer of Outotec since 2005. Tara Mine was established in the late 1970s. The mine has gone through several developments and modernizations over the years. The flotation was upgraded in the early 1990s and the filtration replaced in 2006. In 2009 the crushing and grinding circuits were replaced by a new autogenous (AG) mill provided by Outotec.
The big investments have been worth it, as the mine estimates that it has reserves until 2018. Today the mine employs approximately 670 employees, 75 of whom work in the processing division.
The history of Boliden Tara Mines and Outotec goes back a long way because of their shared history. From the beginning, Tara relied on the Courier analyzer. Originally the Courier 300 was used for analysis. It was upgraded in 1992, and in 2003 it was replaced by the Courier 6.
“We worked with the Courier 300 ourselves, with Outotec performing preventative maintenance and major services and repairs each year. When we replaced it with the Courier 6, we needed to guarantee that the equipment would remain in good condition,” explains George Wilkinson, Senior Process Specialist at the Tara Mine.
As the Service Agreement is based on a modular structure, it enables the customer to select only the necessary modules and pay for only the services they need. “The main purpose of the Service Agreement is to keep this equipment in good condition. In our agreement, we have two preventative maintenance visits per year and one corrective maintenance in case of emergencies. Support is important to us; we get support over the phone when we need it, and the service is very good,” George confirms.
“Our expectations regarding the Service Agreement have definitely been fulfilled. We have established good relations with our Outotec service guys, and we work together in a very informal manner. It is important to know the people,” George continues.
When asked which service module of the agreement is the most important, George quickly responds, “They are all important.” Recently the Service Agreement was extended to include also spare parts. “I think the agreement is fair. We have included the critical parts as part of the agreement. In emergency situations, the parts are available when we need them,” George explains.
The Outotec Service Agreement for Courier Analyzers is a good concept for Tara: “We do have some service agreements with our other equipment. Generally we carry out both corrective and preventative maintenance ourselves, but we also rely on specialized maintenance contractors during shutdowns, which we supervise by ourselves. The mixture of expertise, local manpower and specialists creates a good team,” George admits.
“The Service Agreement is vital for us. At first, I did not realize how important it was, but now I do. The availability of the analyzer is critical, as we cannot run without it. It affects both our productivity and safety – we work with radiation, so we need to be careful. Having external competent people working with us also creates confidence. Overall I am very happy with the agreement. We enjoy super cooperation and communication with the Outotec service people,” George concludes.
*This case study has been written prior to the merger of Metso and Outotec.