Located in an iron ore mining hub near Hospet, Iron Ore Mines have favoured the Caterpillar brand since acquiring their first Cat excavator – a 330B back in 1998.
Now with demand soaring from India's booming economy, the latest excavator to join the fleet - a Cat 330D LME, is delivering high productivity and durability.
The 330D LME is engineered for extreme applications featuring a Cat C9 ACERT 200kW (268 hp) engine delivering 9% more horsepower than the previous C Series model.
Incorporating advances such as Automatic Engine Speed Control and operator selected power management settings, the 330D ensures productivity is reached with optimised fuel efficiency.
Hydraulic cross sensing systems and hydraulic component design add to high level system performance such as faster slewing, boom and stick regeneration and bucket movements which are critical to mass excavation and loading tasks.
The 330D is also fitted with hydraulic snubbers to reduce shock loads on the system in extreme applications adding to the machine's durability.
Aarpee Mines 330D is an LME model featuring a long undercarriage for added stability and lift capacity – providing an excellent platform for bench loading the company's haul truck fleet. The Mass Excavation (ME) boom and stick, combined with 35,000kPa hydraulic pressure, delivers high digging forces and allows for larger buckets to be fitted.
Now an integral part of the fleet, the 330D LME contributes to annual production of more than 1.5 million tons. It is a significant advancement on the tons mined before the company chose its first Cat excavator, according to Aarpee Mines Managing Director, R Prakash.
"We used to manage about 80,000 tons per year (in 1998) and after we procured the 330B things suddenly changed our production shot up to 300,000 tons giving us a four fold increase in output," he said.
The 330B, one of the first of its kind in India, delivered high capacity and reliable performance, according to Mr. Prakash and was instrumental in establishing a long association with Caterpillar.
"The Cat 330B was probably the first of its kind to come out with electronic control which would avoid any damage to the machine – it was a very useful innovation," he said.
The company's fleet now includes 320D, 330D, 330C, 330B and 345CL excavators, a 424B backhoe loader and 2021 and 950H wheel loaders.
Backed by local dealer GMMCO, and the company's systematic approach to service and maintenance, the Cat fleet has delivered high levels of efficiency and dependable performance with some machines having clocked more than 25,000 hours of fault free service.
"I have received very responsive service and maintenance support from the dealers and I also insist on personally supervising the maintenance schedule of all the machines in the mine," Mr Prakash said.
"Understandably, a healthy fleet is the best way to ensure a healthy output."
As well as choosing the best equipment available, the iron ore miner has also won accolades for its safety and performance record.
"We have won the best performer awards for several years in a row in various categories ranging from method of working to best maintained machinery," Mr Prakash said.
"We have also had the privilege of winning a state level award for our performance."
GMMCO senior branch manager R Muralikrishnan, said Aarpee Mines was a good example of Cat equipment powering productivity.
"Here you see well organised operations and professional management being complemented by Cat machines – we have seen Aarpee Mines go from strength to strength with Caterpillar equipment backing that growth by delivering effective productivity solutions."