Machinery maintenance key to mitigating downtime

DRILL RIG AT WORK ROS assists clients in returning to production and minimising risk

ON-SITE ASSISTANCE Downtime results in significant revenue losses for mining company

6th May 2022

By: Nadine Ramdass

Creamer Media Writer


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Machine downtime – particularly for drill rigs – significantly impacts on the opencast mining industry, with the loss in productivity caused by scheduled and unscheduled downtime resulting in significant revenue losses for mining companies.

Therefore, companies must prioritise the mitigation and avoidance of machine downtime, explains supply company Rotary Opencast Services (ROS) aftermarket services and business improvement director Evy Maimela.

The key to avoiding downtime is ensuring that drill rigs are in their best possible condition and, while this can be costly in terms of time and money, ignoring maintenance will result in unscheduled downtime, which is more costly, he adds.

ROS believes in teamwork and partnering with customers to help mitigate such risk. Knowing how to prevent, identify and repair the most common problems enables the company to assist mines in keeping drill rigs running efficiently.

ROS offers the overhaul and rebuilding of surface equipment that needs scheduled overhauls, rebuilds or maintenance. These services can be performed on site, provided the necessary facilities are available, or at ROS’ workshop, in Germiston, Gauteng, by its dedicated overhaul crew.

The company also has a fully equipped machine shop to perform its services.

Planning the scope and execution of overhauls and rebuilds is conducted by experienced and qualified site managers to ensure that schedules adhere to the scope of work, consequently decreasing breakdowns and reducing the time wasted, explains Maimela.

While on-site overhaul or rebuild services are available, Maimela explains that main offsite overhaul or rebuilding – which entails moving the machine from the mine premises to the ROS workshop – can be more advantageous for customers.

The ROS team has full control of the machine, resulting in minimised risk in terms of equipment damage and the safety of the ROS team, while managing the working hours and the required overtime can significantly reduce turnaround time.

Accommodation and transport costs for on-site overhauls or rebuilds increase costs for customers. These costs do not occur with offsite services which results in customers saving money, compared to on-site services.

The company has consolidated its 40 years of experience in opencast drill rigs to assist with and advise on the continued performance and maintenance of blasthole drills throughout Africa.

Maimela says the company values providing a personalised service and maintenance offering for all types of blasthole rigs to the opencast mining industry.

Owning and operating its own blasthole rigs have enabled ROS to gain insight into the sourcing, supply and manufacture of parts and accessories to original-equipment manufacturers’ specifications and standards.

The company also prioritises spare-part stock availability to ensure that customers are not severely impacted on by breakdowns.

ROS has also set up site-specific satellite service teams, consequently allowing for the provision of condition monitoring and reports to assist with cost-effective equipment management. Predetermined condition monitoring schedules and reports can be provided to assist with maintenance planning, service schedules, planned overhauls or rebuilds, as well as the replacement of capital equipment, based on hours achieved versus the condition of the machine.

On-site satellite service teams can do preventive maintenance to reduce machine downtime and increase machine availability, while satellite teams can assist with daily, weekly and monthly maintenance to ensure that machinery is kept to its original specifications to reduce breakdowns or injuries to operators.

Further, the company provides component repairs, on-site assessments and consultations throughout Africa, as well as the sourcing, supply, manufacture and rebuilding of opencast surface mining equipment.

ROS also manufactures and re-engineers components and precision-engineered spares and parts, assists with bucket repairs, and supplies clips and adaptors for excavator buckets.


Maimela adds that ROS is committed to the development and participation of all South Africans in the economy, and endeavors to advance historically disadvantaged individuals by affording them access to opportunities for growth and development.

ROS is a 52%-black-owned company, demonstrating its commitment to transformation.

“This is a critical element to which suppliers and service providers of mining companies should adhere. This is indeed an important issue in the mining industry,” concludes Maimela.

Edited by Nadine James
Features Deputy Editor




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