SKF West Africas lubrication and condition monitoring solutions boost uptime delivering significant savings for Guinean ore mine

SKF West Africa's turnkey solutions assist customer in increasing machine performance and delivering significant cost savings

SKF West Africa identified a number of lubrication issues while conducting  a paid lubrication audit for a long-standing mining customer in the Republic of Guinea.  “Our objective with the audit process was to gain a better understanding of our customer’s existing lubrication and maintenance strategy, their lubricant purchasing and Automatic Lubrication System (ALS) management process as well as their environment protection plan,” explains , Lubrication and CoMo Champion for SKF West Africa, Ouattara Yelli Fatou.

The comprehensive audit done by Hassan Missaoui and Yelli Ouattara was conducted on lubrication management as well as on all lubrication products including lubricant and tools.  “We also looked at the mine’s maintenance and condition monitoring (COMO) products and strategies,” affirms Fatou. “In addition to the failure of large slew bearings,  gearbox oil was overheating. We also noticed a lack of equipment monitoring devices and recognised that our customer needed assistance with lubrication management in terms of best practices and skills.”

The all-inclusive lubrication solution proposed by SKF included an oil storage room, twelve oil conditioning units (OCUs) and 200 System 24 TLSD series lubricators. According to Fatou the oil storage room will improve oil storage, conditioning, dispersing and oil cleanness levels. The OCUs will help to cool and filter gearbox oil to prevent overheating.

“To significantly improve bearing lubrication reliability on critical equipment, we recommended our efficient SKF Automatic Lubrication System, some system 24 TLSD and progressive lubrication system.” These automatics lubrication systems are being fitted to a wide range of equipment on the mine site including a badge loader, a stacker, conveyors, car dumpers, motors and gearboxes.

Preventative maintenance is fundamental to maximising production levels as early detection of potential component issues can prevent catastrophic and costly machine failure and unplanned downtime to allow for repair work. SKF therefore suggested an automated machine monitoring system.

Fatou confirms that the SKF West African team has already completed vibration analysis on critical equipment. Bi-annual shaft alignment services will also be conducted which will include the alignment of more than twelve conveyors and command equipment (motors, gear boxes, conveyor pulleys).

SKF West Africa will offer once-off training on ALS understanding and maintenance to assist their customer in applying best practices for optimum results. “We are also in the process of signing a contract with our local SKF Authorised Distributor, SAREF INTERNATIONAL, for consignment stock of bearings for the mine,” confirms Fatou.

“Our turnkey solutions enable us to assist our customer in minimising equipment breakdowns and increasing machine performance, ultimately delivering significant cost savings. We have further helped the mine to decrease operating expenses by reducing oil and grease consumption. The SKF West Africa team is extremely proud of this project as this was the first lubrication audit to be performed in West Africa and we secured a great outcome! This is also a result of successfull team work with our lubrication management team around SKF,” concludes Fatou.


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