The Normet exchange program (modular remanufacturing) offers customers significant savings compared to replacing equipment, as well as being sustainable and reducing downtime. In a year full of uncertainty, this couldn’t have come at a better time.

It may seem obvious that rebuilding and refurbishing machinery that is outdated, inefficient or malfunctioning could save money (in fact, Normet rebuild services have saved customers around 30%), but would operators need to worry about machinery not performing as well as investing in something new? With the remanufacturing programme, that is certainly not the case. Normet is so confident in the remanufacturing process that all rebuild are certified as new, including completely re-manufactured equipment coming with a twelve-month/2000-hour full warranty for increased protection from unexpected costs.

To put it to the test, the programme was trialled in harsh and adverse mining sites that would benefit from the service. The rebuilds took place at a Normet hub, but they can also be done directly at the customer’s mining site. This includes Normet bringing tools and personnel to a dedicated work area if a site is located where transporting equipment is difficult, expensive or prohibited. At large sites, this may include a workshop in a space provided by the customer.

So what does the programme entail?

The average case takes 16 weeks, during which Normet Rental can provide customers with temporary replacement machinery to prevent downtime. Normet disassembles and inspects the machine, sandblasts and repaints the core, replaces hydraulics and electronics, and recommends and feasible upgrades. Finally, the remanufactured machinery is tested and certified.

Remanufacturing not only extend the work-life of equipment, but also provide the opportunity to keep machinery up to date through controlled installations of upgrades and modernisation kits. Operations can also equip machinery with the latest technology to improve the safety and performance of an existing fleet without investing in new equipment.

With the global pandemic and resulting restrictions and shutdowns, 2020 was a challenging year for the mining industry, which has only fuelled demand for refurbishing services. In an age of uncertainty, mines have delayed capital investment decisions, including orders for new machines, and restrictions have further complicated the logistics of importing and transporting essential equipment, particularly in remote areas.

In terms of future plans, says Normet’s global service product manager for remanufacturing, Mika Nevalainen, the company plans to strengthen its presence in India – a key market for the organisation – and to include remanufacturing as part of cost-per-hour service contracts.