The role of remanufacturing and selective electroplating
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The role of remanufacturing and selective electroplating

01 Feb 2021

For site managers in the mining industry who are looking to extend the life of equipment and machinery and bring costs down, remanufacturing is one of the best options available.

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For site managers in the mining industry who are looking to extend the life of equipment and machinery and bring costs down, remanufacturing is one of the best options available. Mark Meyer, North America Sales Manager for SIFCO ASC, talks about selective electroplating’s role and how it can build components back to their original specification.

Remanufactured components are commonly used on heavy equipment and off-highway vehicles (OHVs), and it’s predicted that this use will rise in the next decade.

Why remanufacturing is on the rise

It is no secret that the nature of the industry means components are put under tremendous and constant stress. From the increasing size of the machinery through to unpredictable field conditions and harsh operating environments, original equipment manufacturer (OEM) equipment such as long wall systems, hydraulic systems, transmissions, and final drives often experience wear and tear, damage, and corrosion.

As a result, parts or entire pieces of machinery need to be scrapped, which drastically increases capital equipment costs, and in many instances, can cause downtime.

It is crucial that site managers and manufacturers find a way to not only avoid the need to scrap parts in the first place – and therefore, avoid the extensive costs associated with component failure – but maximize component performance, reduce downtime, and execute a proven repair before failure. This is where remanufactured parts – the process of returning OEM parts and components to their original specification or better – can prove to be a cost-effective, efficient way for OHVs and the mining industry to operate.

Prolonging life and reducing downtime with selective plating

One way to remanufacture and extend the lifespan of parts, reduce downtime, and decrease costs is through selective electroplating. This cost-effective, sustainable and portable solution enhances components, improves wear resistance, repairs damage, and reduces downtime of machinery.

Selective electroplating can be applied on-site. Solutions such as copper, nickel, nickel-tungsten, and cobalt are used in the mining industry for wear resistance, hardness properties, and dimensional restoration.

With selective plating, engineers can accurately focus plating onto specific areas of a component, which enable parts to be plated in-situ, drastically reducing downtime and production delays. Ideal for localised areas on inside and outside diameters or flat surfaces, selective brush plating doesn’t need extensive masking or special fixtures to plate the component, unlike tank plating.

In market-leading selective brush plating systems, deposits can be plated at rates that are 30 to 60 times faster than conventional tank plating. While this plating method is slightly more expensive, it has proved to be 16% faster and delivered a good quality deposit with no risk for part distortion as the plating is performed at room temperature.

Delivering $95,000 in annual savings

One example of effective remanufacturing through selective electroplating is when SIFCO Applied Surface Concepts (ASC) worked with a world-renowned Japanese multinational manufacturer of large surface mining equipment. The manufacturer found that 35% of all of their cylinder head failures were down to fretting, and they knew they needed a solution that would resolve this.

However, the size and location of these cylinder heads presented a challenge when using traditional solutions such as welding, sleeving, or thermal spray – all of which require machining and are difficult to accomplish in-situ.

After testing the options available on the market, they found that they could apply high-quality, adherent deposits into localised areas to achieve precise deposit thicknesses through selective plating.

They invited SIFCO ASC to showcase its innovative system, known as the SIFCO Process, as part of the trial. The trial found that SIFCO ASC’s selective brush plating outperformed other welding options on a range of key criteria.

Following extensive testing and successes, this world-leading manufacturer chose to implement the SIFCO Process as its preferred method for salvaging end-of-life cylinder heads. As a result, they had reduced materials consumption and waste, lowered their energy consumption, and made considerable annual savings of approximately $95,000 compared to new or replacement parts.

Reducing environmental impact

In comparison to other surface coating methods such as tank plating, selective plating uses much less solution and chemicals and generates very little wastewater. For workers and the environment, it is also much safer, with fewer fumes being given off and less hazardous waste to dispose of.

To find out more about remanufacturing and selective plating, please visit www.sifcoasc.com/remanufacturing