Sandvik Mining and Construction is a business area within the Sandvik Group and a leading global supplier of machinery, cemented-carbide tools, service and technical solutions for the excavation and sizing of rock and minerals in the mining and construction industries. Annual sales 2007 amounted to about SEK 33,100 M, with approxi– mately 15,200 employees. Here is an excerpt of an interview by S.K.Khanna with Mr. Raj Shrivastav–Vice President, Surface Mining, India.
Sandvik Mining and Construction is a world-leading provider of equipment and solutions. Elaborate on the specific areas which fall under Sandvik Mining and Construction and nature of its offerings.
Sandvik Mining and Construction (SMC) is a world-leading provider of equipment and solutions for mineral exploration, underground mining in hard and soft rock formations, surface mining and bulk materials handling and specific areas of the construction industry, such as quarrying, tunneling, demolition and recycling, and other civil engineering applications.
Our range of products include rock tools, drilling, excavation, crushing and screening machinery and bulk materials handling systems.
Product customization is becoming the main driver in product development strategy in the industry. What is company’s focus on R&D supporting company’s product development programmes in coherent with its different niche areas?
Every product is backed by extensive R&D, application expertise, a network of authorized dealers, on-site service, training, and aftermarket support.
SMC India has a dedicated pool of engineers who work on product development and customization. These select pool of engineers also keep track of future requirements of customers and subsequently design and develop advanced features for emerging markets.
What are various measures at hand in the company to deal with growing manpower crunch, including systems placed in the company to improve skill of existing manpower as well as customer skill. It is really a paradox that at user’s ends, due to lack of new knowledge and training, equipment are not utilized as per their potential?
Well-trained people are fundamental to safety, high productivity and successful results in any industry, especially in mining and construction. To help achieve optimum equipment performance, Sandvik offers intensive training courses tailored to the needs of individual customers. Based in the classroom, workshop, out in the field or underground, the company teach both theory and practice, infusing the relevant precautions, techniques, routines and remedies we have devised to ensure maximum machine safety, availability, and productivity.
Currently, the industry is facing an acute talent crunch. To meet the growing requirements for aftermarket personnel, Sandvik has initiated a unique initiative. Sandvik has set up a dedicated Training Academy which offers technical training on the aftermarket requirements of product. Sandvik recruits students from reputed institutes as trainees. Thereafter Sandvik facilitates a two–year training program via a class room on-site training session. The idea is to train them to operate service and maintain various rock drilling, excavation, hauling and crushing equipment introduced globally by SMC.
What are products and services on offer in Surface Mining Segment from Sandvik?
We cater to a very diverse portfolio of clients. Our customers can be found in every part of the world, from high mountain tops and frigid temperature to hot and humid climates in tropical settings. We play an active role in supplying the world’s energy (coal mining, power plants), precious minerals (gold, diamonds), and the everyday needs of living (copper, lead, zinc).
Our comprehensive product range includes:
Drilling–Our expertise in drilling includes rotary, down-the-hole and top hammer methodologies, with particular emphasis on blast hole drills and rotary tools. We are able to supply the entire drilling package from drill to pipe to precision-designed drill bits.
Mine Crushing–With Sandvik’s large range of crushers, including primary gyratory, jaw, cone and roll crushers, we can offer size reduction for virtually any type of material. We are well-positioned to offer expertise and design for In-Pit Crushing and Conveying systems.
Materials Handling–Our objective is to facilitate the efficient, effective movement of materials (coal, minerals, over burden, waste) from excavators to beltwagons to conveyor systems. We design, engineer and commission some of the biggest pieces of equipment on earth, at the same time developing components to keep them operating safely and economically; these components can be independently used, as replacements or systems by themselves. Non-mining customers include stockyards and ports, power plants, and mills.
Can you enumerate one or two success stories which have benefitedyour clients?
As we have learned, growth comes with its own challenges. The industry is evolving and the demands are changing. Long-term success depends on our own ability to manage change. Below is a case study on our effective aftermarket initiatives.
Sandvik Mining and Construction India recently, completed five years of operation with a client. The equipment involved is a Sandvik DP1100 (Pantera 1100 when first put into service), a hydraulic top hammer surface drill, the first of its type in India. The unit has drilled over 3,200,000 meters in this period in one of the hardest strata known on Earthiron ore with compressive strength up to 400 Mpa, the average compressive strength being 350 Mpa (having 65% iron content). This has been done in 17,412 engine hours, which has set a new record of Sandvik drill utilization in the country. Despite importation of all parts, the machine recorded an average availability of 88.5%. This performance far surpasses the record achieved by the competition for their equivalent drill operating in the same mine and for a similar period. The project also had its fair share of challenges. In the initial stages, there were major performance hurdles to be surmounted such as very low button bit life and hole collapses. These challenges threatened the viability of the project itself. Sandvik team worked undeterred, and through a series of innovative solutions managed to overcome these touchy situations and turn the project into a success story. The solutions included use of specialized detachable button bits with separate carbide grade and increased button diameters, and also introduction of hole binder compounds to arrest hole collapses. Sandvik worked closely as a partner with the customer to come up with these solutions.
Sandvik emphasis tremendously on the aftermarket support. Elaborate on the programs on offer and uniqueness of the initiative.
Not content with the sale of equipment, we recognize that a life cycle attitude is needed to create a total partnership with our customers. We want our customers to think of Sandvik no matter what their surface mining needs.
We understand our customers business and value their time.
We are therefore in constant development of aftermarket programs that can easily be adapted to local/regional requirements.
Our offering includes performance contracts, health audits, repairs & refurbishment packages, specific trouble–shooting and productivity campaigns and special trainings.
The Aftermarket offering is divided into the following areas.
Spare parts and components, Tools and consumables, Service.
Elaborate about Sandvik’s Sustainability efforts.
Sandvik has a long tradition as a good corporate citizen. This can only be achieved by ensuring that our actions and business decisions demonstrate sustainable economic, social and environmental principles. Sandvik’s social and environmental values and beliefs are set out in our Code of Conduct.
Safety and health Dimensions
Safety and health regulations vary from country to country but Sandvik is working to implement its own internal standards that will take our performance well beyond minimum safety requirements. This has to be based upon a strong culture that is supported by effective safety management systems. Each manager is made aware of the importance of personal leadership in meeting these objectives. Every employee is required to take personal responsibility for his/her safety.
Sandvik had committed to achieving certification to a recognized safety management system (OHSAS 18001) for all sites by the end of 2007. It is proud to announce that the goal has been achieved and it has identified the largest environmental aspects of its operations (consumption of energy, raw materials and water; CO2emissions; waste production) and has set group objectives to reduce their impact.
Almost all of Sandvik’s production sites have demonstrated a systematic approach to Environmental Management by achieving ISO14001 certification. Environmental considerations are a key element when new products are developed or existing processes are changed.
Sandvik takes the social aspects of sustainability very seriously. This includes having equally high respect for human and labor rights at all locations around the world. In practice, this includes implementing our Equal Opportunities Policy to meet some important challenges, such as improving the gender balance in our workforce.
Sandvik also strives to understand and interact constructively with its local communities and to assist in their development. At any given time, Sandvik is involved in a number of very important community development projects.