Sub-Sahara Mining & Industrial Journal


Amid an evolving market landscape, customers in southern Africa are increasingly turning to larger mobile crushers and hybrid solutions, observes Francois Marais, Sales and Marketing Director at Pilot Crushtec.


In the past three to four years, says Marais, there has been a noticeable preference for bigger mobile crushers such as Metso Outotec’s Lokotrack LT120 jaw crusher and the Lokotrack LT300HP cone crusher.


“At the centre of this trend is the changing face of the contracting sector. Instead of the traditional three to five year contracts, most of the projects coming to market are barely longer than six months,” explains Marais.


Contractors, he says, are therefore turning to larger mobile crushers to enable them to execute these shorter contracts quite quickly so that they can then move on to the next project. This allows them to increase the volume of work within a short space of time.


“In addition, larger crushing equipment allows contractors to minimise the number of machines that they have to mobilise on site. Having less kit to move between sites translates into reduced transport costs and quick setup on the next job,” he explains.


With operating costs in mind, contractors in southern Africa are also increasingly seeing value in dual-powered crushing solutions. With their ability to have both electricity and diesel as power sources, hybrid solutions provide customers with the best of both worlds – significant fuel savings and a marked reduction in carbon (CO2) emissions.


“Significant cost reduction is achieved when customers can connect their mobile crushers to the grid or to the mine’s own renewable energy sources,” says Marais. “Contractors running these machines have seen a massive reduction in their cost per tonne of material produced.”


To provide context, a South African contractor running two Lokotrack E-models has seen a massive 30% fuel saving by switching to hybrid units. As a result, the company is converting its entire fleet to Metso Outotec dual-powered units.


With data being the new currency for crushing and screening businesses, telematics constitute an invaluable tool for gaining a competitive edge and remain one step ahead in tough economic times.


To meet the growing demand for valuable operational data, Pilot Crushtec now offers the recently upgraded version of Metso Outotec Metrics, an innovative cloud-based tool for real-time monitoring of Lokotrack mobile crushers and screens.


“The new system moves from the traditional satellite feed to a GSM signal infrastructure, thus offering significantly better connectivity and optimisation benefits to customers’ crushing processes. Other features include CO2 tracking for sustainability benefits, 24/7 access to real-time data, a maintenance module, and critical dashboards for utilisation and geolocation,” concludes Marais.

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