Capital Equipment News

Leading crushing and screening specialist Pilot Crushtec International recently used its Open Day 2017 to showcase a range of new products, but it was the debut of its MAXIscalp 600, a unique modular scalping solution said to be an industry first, that reaffirmed its prowess in the modular range of equipment, writes Munesu Shoko.

Crushing and screening specialist Pilot Crushtec International, the regional distributor of Metso’s aggregate equipment in southern Africa, recently used its Open Day 2017 to showcase both its in-house and Metso’s new solutions to the southern African aggregate community.

CEN Crushing and ScreeningHeld on 19 October, the event provided an ideal platform for the regional quarrying community to view the latest innovations available. The day saw the launch of two new products from both Pilot Crushtec International and Metso.

While several products were on display, it was the Pilot Modular MAXIscalp 600, designed to meet high volume scalping needs, and the Metso Nordplant C80 primary crushing station, which is intended for use in modular configurations, that made their debut at the open day.

Industry first

Pilot Crushtec International is regarded as a pioneer of the modular solutions in southern Africa, and its aptitude in this range of equipment has been reasserted with the launch of its Pilot Modular MAXIscalp 600, a unique modular solution designed to meet high volume scalping needs, and said to be the world’s first modular, static scalping plant.

Sandro Scherf, CEO of Pilot Crushtec International, explains that the concept of the MaxiScalp 600 was born out of the relatively expensive operating costs of diesel-hydraulic driven, tracked mobile units. He reasons that many users do not require high mobility, which drove Pilot Crushtec International to design a semi-mobile, electric-driven unit which substantially reduces the operating and servicing costs compared with diesel-hydraulic units.

“As a leading supplier of mobile scalpers in southern Africa for over 20 years, we have kept a close ear to the demands of the market, leading to the development of this modular solution. Many operators do not require fully-mobile scalpers and the extra costs involved can make them an unfeasible solution,” says Scherf.

“The scalper, designed and manufactured entirely in-house, sets new standards for simplicity and operational efficiency. Free of maintenance demands of tracks and hydraulics, as well as the escalating cost of diesel, the MAXIscalp 600 delivers a combination of high productivity and lower operating costs,” adds Scherf.

With a heavy-duty skid-mounted structure, the MAXIscalp can still be transported with relative ease, allowing for changes in location and configuration without the extra cost of tracks and a diesel engine. This translates into reduced capital costs, as well as lower overall maintenance and operating costs of the machine.

Design Office Manager, Dawie Scholtz, says the MaxiScalp 600 will become the machine of choice for customers processing sticky materials, especially those who work throughout the rainy seasons in parts of central and southern Africa.

“Its robust design and manufacture ensures it can handle large feed sizes at high volumes. The heavy-duty apron feeder permits loading by a front-end loader or excavator and the double deck scalping screen provides three product sizes,” says Scholtz.

The MAXIscalp 600 has been designed to accommodate a feed size of up to 600 mm and the anticipated output is up to 600 tonnes/hour. The skid-mounted machine can be supplied with many different screen media options, including grizzly bars, punch plate, rapid grizzly tines and mesh.

Electrically-powered, it can be operated via direct connection to the grid or using a genset in more remote locations. Expected to be used in applications as diverse as alluvial diamond, gravel screening to remove large rocks prior to downstream processing and in building rubble recycling operations to remove sticky waste soils, the diversity of the MaxiScalp 600 will find applications in mining, quarrying, construction and recycling applications.

Enter Metso Nordplant C80

Meanwhile, several of Metso machines were also on display, including the three- and four-deck CVB screens, the legenadary HP 200 cone crusher and C96 jaw crusher. However, the Metso Nordplant C80 primary crushing station, said to offer greater value to end users, was the new launch from the Metso side of offerings. It is said to provide an instant modular solution to all crushing requirements with an output capability in excess of 80 tonnes/hour.

Metso’s Nordplant C80’s key benefit is its versatility, offering the possibility to combine primary, secondary, tertiary or quaternary crushing stages. It can also tackle all material types, from hard abrasive rock to soft rock applications.

The skid-mounted plant does not require costly concrete foundations, allowing for quick installation and easy plant integration. Standard components allow for quick delivery and easy assembly to get the plant up and running in a short time.

The Metso C80 is equipped with a fast wedge setting adjustment system. The wedge setting adjustment is simpler, much safer and faster than outdated shim adjustment systems. The crusher’s setting can be manually adjusted with tools that are supplied with the crusher in a matter of minutes, without having to handle dirty and bulky shims.

Alternatively, the crusher’s setting can be changed in seconds, from a remote location, even while the crusher is idling. The system is also especially effective at clearing the crusher’s cavity should it stall under load due to interruptions in the supply of electric power.

Due to their overall space requirements, Metso’s C Series crushers are said to be an ideal choice for the replacement of existing double and single toggle jaw crushers. Foundation loads, when compared to those of older version crushers, are less and therefore modifications to the existing foundation are rarely required. An increase in plant capacity, the ability to process a coarser feed and the ability to produce a finer product are common benefits when replacing double toggle as well as single toggle jaw crushers of comparable size.

Tough market conditions

Scherf also used the event to give an analysis of the current market conditions and outlook of the business moving forward. “Unfortunately, the last few years have been very tough. We spent a lot of time fire-fighting; it has been all about survival to just get through the tough times,” he says.

Having seen a bit of an upsurge in business earlier this year, Scherf says the last few months have gone flat again, and market conditions continue to be challenging in South Africa, making it very difficult to plan and predict for the near future. He is of the view that a fair share of the current slowdown can be attributed to the country’s political climate.

However, he notes that rebounding export markets are offering some reprieve. “We have started shipping overseas again. We recently exported four machines to Australia this year, with a further two, currently in the workshop, ready to be shipped before the end of the year,” says Scherf.

While South Africa is generally challenging, Scherf has seen a bit of recovery in neighbouring southern African countries, with sales and enquiries from countries such as Zambia, The Democratic Republic of Congo, Namibia, Botswana and Zimbabwe. Pilot Crushtec International has also had a few enquiries from further north in Africa.

“We have just recently quoted for a plant in Liberia and we have previously shipped into Rwanda as well. We will continue pushing hard on exports because clearly international markets are a bit buoyant at this stage. Export sales allow us to subsidise our local sales,” says Scherf.

Growing Metso business

The developing relationship with its principal, Metso has been a major highlight of the past 12 months for Pilot Crushtec International. According to Scherf, Metso has impressively accounted for a high proportion of the supplier’s spare parts business and new business sales.

He highlights some new market trends, especially the big focus on extending the lifecyles of existing equipment, a trend that is pushing the aftermarket side of the business. “We see customers sweating their existing assets more than investing in new gear. There is now a big focus on increased maintenance and refurbishments as customers keep their existing assets longer to survive the tide of the slowdown,” reasons Scherf.

As a result, there is extra emphasis on the spare parts and components business. The latter has yielded significant growth in what Scherf believes is now a key market. The big push on the aftermarket side of the business has also been necessitated by the fact that Pilot Crushtec International has inherited Metso’s large installed base in southern Africa.

“We have initiated an aftermarket team designed specifically to address customers at ground level, offering advice in production optimisation, wear and spare parts benefits, ultimately providing solutions that ensure the lowest cost per tonne. We have increased our production, parts and sales teams, which in the current economic climate, indicates that we are delivering on our customers’ expectations and creating an environment of trust and dependability,” adds Scherf.

All these efforts haven’t gone unnoticed. Metso is pleased with Pilot Crushtec International’s performance as its southern African distributor. Testimony to this is the recent international award bestowed to the supplier. Pilot Crushtec International was awarded the Best New Services Distributor at Metso’s global conference held in Tampere, Finland, in September this year.

“We currently have a global network of more than 100 distributors, of which between 20 and 25 have been appointed over the past three years. Having clinched this award after barely 16 months as a Metso distributor speaks volumes to Pilot Crushtec International’s commitment to customer satisfaction,” says Adrian Wood, vice-president of Distribution, Aggregate Business Line.

“We are exceptionally proud to have been acknowledged by our principal as the Best New Services Distributor after taking on the Metso brand towards the middle of 2016. The achievement has given us inspiration to deliver even more in 2017, and despite a shrinking economy, we seek to further grow our market share,” concludes Scherf.

Contact Capital Equipment News

Title: Editor
Name: Munesu Shoko
Email: capnews@crown.co.za
Phone: +27 11 622-4770
Fax: +27 11 615-6108

Title: Advertising Manager
Name: Elmarie Stonell
Email: elmaries@crown.co.za
Phone: +27 11 622-4770
Fax: +27 11 615-6108

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