Case study on longer-lasting LHD machines

Siobhan Doyle

World’s largest copper producer reports remarkable success with new bushings for LHD machines.

One of the world’s leading global copper producers has achieved exceptional results through the implementation of Vesconite Hilube wear-resistant bushings on load, haul, dump machines (LHDs).

Departing from traditional bronze bushings, the mining company’s adoption of Vesconite Hilube on Sandvik and Caterpillar LHD booms has led to an unprecedented increase in bushing lifespan, exceeding their initial expectations.

Previously, the company relied on bronze bushings and had a mere 1.5 months of operational life.

The new bushings were introduced in December 2022, with an initial goal of extending bushing life to three months. The remarkable reality, however, has far surpassed this objective, as the bushings have endured for an impressive 12 months and counting.

This transformation has been particularly significant, with the bushings fitted to 30 LHD booms in 2023, and only one instance of a boom fitted with them requiring repairs. Notably, the company’s repairer reported that the bronze bushings occasionally suffered from cracking, making it clear that this is not a recurring issue with the new bushings.

A happy customer

The copper producer has expressed its satisfaction with the results obtained and is actively exploring the expansion of the bushings for other applications. These include trials on mining jumbos and larger LHD loaders, as well as applications for bushings associated with rear shaft oscillating movement.

Vesconite Bearings’ Argentine distributor, Vesarg, plays a pivotal role in supplying the mine with bushing stock. During a visit to the Chilean site, close to Santiago, where booms were being fitted with Vesconite Hilube, Leandro Panzini, CEO of Vesarg, was briefed on the impressive outcomes of the the bushing testing.

This remarkable success story underscores Vesconite’s commitment to providing cost-effective high-performance solutions to the mining industry, and its capacity to transform operational efficiency and longevity.

“As the world’s leading copper producer explores broader applications for Vesconite Hilube, the mining industry, where we first proved our technology, is showing itself to be an important market for our products,” says Panzini.

“The new bushings last more than three times the length of bronze in this application,” he notes.


Recent Issues