Sandvik and Boliden launch Additive Manufacturing trial for mining parts

March 24, 2022

Sandvik Mining and Rock Solutions will work with Boliden on a trial to additively manufacture machine parts to be installed on underground drill rigs (Courtesy Sandvik AB)

Sandvik AB, Stockholm, Sweden, reports that its Mining and Rock Solutions division is collaborating with Boliden, a mining company also based in Stockholm, to conduct a trial to additively manufacture machine parts that will be installed on underground drill rigs.

The trial will involve a set of specially redesigned components additively manufactured at a Sandvik-managed facility in Italy. Their performance will be monitored on machines in Boliden’s underground mines, first in Sweden and then in Ireland. It is hoped the metal AM parts perform as well, or even better than traditionally manufactured items. The first components have now been put into operation in the Garpenberg mine, with performance still to be evaluated.

“Additive Manufacturing shows a lot of potential, both in reducing carbon footprint within the supply chain, through reduced or eliminated need for transport and storage of parts and also shorter delivery times,” stated Ronne Hamerslag, Head of Supply Management at Boliden. “This trial will give us a deeper understanding on how we can move forward and develop our business in a competitive way.”

Erik Lundén, president, Parts & Services at Sandvik Mining & Rock Solutions, stated, “Mining equipment can last up to twenty-five years – and needs to be supported throughout that time, even in the most remote of locations. We have many different SKUs (stock keeping units), and from an inventory point of view we can’t tie up the capital that keeping all these parts in stock would entail. 3D printing of parts locally offers us the prospect of not only getting parts to the customer much faster, but doing so far more sustainably.”

Hamerslag added, “If you ask me, it’s the most exciting thing that’s happening in the supply chain. Its efficiency, speed and climate friendliness mean that we have to investigate Additive Manufacturing closely. We are only at the proof-of-concept stage with Sandvik right now, but it’s already clear that it could become a game-changer for the spare parts business in mining – for both miners and equipment manufacturers.”

www.rocktechnology.sandvik

www.boliden.com

In the latest issue of Metal AM magazine

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