Sandvik and Swedish mining and metals giant Boliden have teamed up to run a trial that will see machine parts printed digitally and installed on underground drill rigs.
Ronne Hamerslag, Head of Supply Management at Boliden, informed that additive manufacturing shows a lot of potential, both in reducing carbon footprint within the supply chain, through reduced or eliminated need for transport and storage of parts and also shorter delivery times. "This trial will give us a deeper understanding of how we can move forward and develop our business in a competitive way.”
3D printing is an exciting prospect for OEMs too, as Sandvik’s Erik Lundén, President, Parts & Services at Sandvik Mining & Rock Solutions explains, “Mining equipment can last up to 25 years – and needs to be supported throughout that time – even in the most remote of locations."
Its efficiency, speed and climate friendliness mean that additive manufacturing is to be investigated closely. It is still at the proof-of-concept stage with Sandvik right now, but it could become a game-changer for the spare parts business in mining – for both miners and equipment manufacturers.