The Importance of Safety in Mining Machinery

MASPRO is helping our customers optimise the performance and safety of their mobile mining equipment with aftermarket spare parts and upgrades.  Global original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) produce arsenals of machinery to handle any job under the sun. But relatively few of these machines are specifically designed for the often-harsh conditions seen in Australia.

A machine is the sum of its parts, and if one of those parts fails, then the asset becomes a liability. This is the conundrum that MASPRO has been solving for almost two decades. MASPRO is a manufacturer of after-market spare parts and upgrades for a range of machinery in underground and surface hard-rock mining. We typically work with exploration, development and production drill rigs. These machines conduct very rigorous work where every little bit of space counts.

MASPRO makes thousands of parts, everything from common service parts to larger components like parts of the boom for a drill. As an Australian company based out of Condobolin in regional New South Wales, everything we manufacture is optimised to handle tough Australian conditions. This allows us to enhance OEM machinery safety, reliability and productivity for the Australian mining environment.

“Some OEM parts just aren’t up to the task here because of how harsh the environment in Australia is.”  -Tony Waterman (MASPRO Head of Engineering) Mine sites are looking to maximise their maintenance intervals, but that’s not possible without parts that last. Such was the case when a client came to our team for help with an issue it was experiencing with its drill rig boom cradles.

Innovations in Component Safety

“One of our clients was having issues with the pin coming loose in an essential rig component during operation,” Waterman said. “The operator noticed the boom was rocking during operation, and when they investigated the boom freely fell out. It could have easily ended in a catastrophic failure during operation. They had several incidents owing to this faulty component. “We came up with a solution and re-engineered the component by including a safety mechanism that triggers in the event of a failure to stop that part of the rig from separating. It also gives the client a visual indicator in the event of a failure.” This addition has incrementally improved the safety of the component.

In another case, a client was having issues with the durability of a rotary head for surface hard-rock drilling. “The client was seeing the equipment failing at a very low interval. It was having to be replaced every 600 hours,” Waterman said. “We assessed the part and realised it wasn’t taking certain forces into account. We were able to redesign the part to last over 6000 hours, in line with the client’s maintenance schedule.” “Everything we offer is designed and made in Australia for Australian conditions. This allows our clients to have reliable maintenance schedules and improve the safety of their machines. That’s the core of our business.”

Manufacturing Excellence and Safety Standards

Best practice in safety is not just reserved for OUR clients, but also our own manufacturing team. “All of our design, fabrication and manufacturing is done onshore with an in-house engineering team who are focused on creating solutions for our customers, always to the highest safety standards,” Waterman said. “We incorporate as much automation as we can into our manufacturing processes to support loading, lifting and carrying, reducing risk of harm and repetitive stress injury for our production teams.

“People have families. You want to go home at the end of the day with all your fingers and toes.” – Tony Waterman

“We take our safety seriously, that goes for both our team and our clients.”  – Tony Waterman


This feature also appears in the Januar-February issue of Safe to Work.