Rebuilding GET for increased performance at lower cost

What started as an idea to meet an urgent need in the mining industry has grown into an extensive product line of rebuilt ground engaging tools (GET) for the harshest digging conditions.

BluPoint Rebuilt Ground Engaging Tools from Hardox Wearparts have a proven success in heavy mining applications and are now being introduced to the quarrying industry. While these plate-based alternatives are manufactured locally, the use of standardised materials results in a lower purchase cost – so in general a saving of about 25 per cent can be made.

{{image2-a:r-w:250}}Using a patented design and process, the rebuilt ground engaging tools utilise market-leading Hardox wear plate in their construction. Using the worn boots from large cast GET and rebuilt tips using Hardox 500 wear plate, the consistency and guaranteed hardness of the wear plate has led to improved predictability of service life, as well as cost savings on a number of mine sites.

The local manufacturing process and plate-based design enable easy customisation without expensive pattern changes – meaning design changes can be made depending on digging conditions – and even across the width of the bucket. Also, due to the rebuild process, BluPoint rebuilt ground engaging tools can be installed on a current supplier’s adaptors with no modifications, and now there is even more in store, as a trial of teeth utilising Hardox 600 gets under way.


Working as a maintenance fitter for heavy mining equipment in the Pilbara, Graham Gibbons was stuck on site when a storm flooded the only road to the site. With all shipments of spare parts and consumables halted, Gibbons realised the small stock of excavator bucket teeth at the mine would soon run out, threatening a complete shutdown.

Gibbons was able to quickly develop a way to re-use the worn bucket teeth, and was successful in keeping the mine site’s production running until new supplies arrived. He realised the solution using the Hardox wear plate had great potential. He continued to develop his ideas, with a patent on his design and method granted in 2007 – at which point he founded BluPoint in Pinjarra, Western Australia.

Gibbons’ innovative approach was recognised by SSAB – the Nordic and US steel manufacturer, and manufacturer of Hardox – with a nomination for the prestigious Swedish Steel Prize in 2010, as well as by the Western Australian Government with a nomination in the 2010 Golden Gecko Awards for Environmental Excellence.

Unfortunately, Gibbons died on 13 October, 2010, at a time when he was getting much recognition for his work.

After his death, sales of BluPoint rebuilt ground engaging tools and development of new products and services continued through operations manager Sean Wanless. These included a wider range of GET designs, as well as the successful development of rebuilt ripper teeth.

{{image3-a:r-w:250}}In 2013, the business was picked up by SSAB to form part of the global Hardox Wearparts network of businesses, utilising Hardox wear plate in the production of wear parts and provision of maintenance and repair services.

More recently the business has relocated close to metropolitan Perth, and has been renamed Hardox Wearparts Centre Perth, with the BluPoint name living on as the rebuilt GET product line.

The company has secured several patents and has supplied thousands of rebuilt GET to miners and contractors in WA – as well as taking the development of the teeth further afield, with interest from Queensland, Chile, South Africa, Canada and Mongolia.


Over the years BluPoint teeth have demonstrated successful operation in backhoes, draglines, rope shovels, face shovels and wheel loaders.

A combination of field trials across mine sites in WA and additional laboratory testing have shown these rebuilt ground engaging tools match or exceed the service life of their cast equivalents in the toughest of digging conditions.

This is due to their construction from Hardox wear plate, giving the same or greater hardness as traditional cast GET, with the consistent through-hardness of the plate resulting in more predictable wear life.

GET require superior strength and toughness, as not all excavating situations are ideal, with teeth subject to a range of extreme forces that can lead to tooth cracking and breakage.

At first glance, some have questioned the toughness of the teeth and raised the possibility of tip breakage and cracking at the welds. However, the patented X-section design distributes stresses away from the welds, and the use of Hardox wear plate, with its fine grain structure and low level of inclusions, significantly reduces any risks of breakage, demonstrating exceptional toughness for such a hard steel.

This design, combined with the use of weld material selected to provide a high level of toughness, means risks of tooth cracking are all but eliminated.

With proven success using Hardox 500 material, a trial is now under way with BGC to develop the next generation of BluPoint teeth. This is being performed at BGC’s The Lakes quarry near Perth, using Hardox 600 wear plate. If, as expected, the use of this material is successful, such teeth should outperform any cast alternatives, leading to increased service life. This is on top of offering all the current advantages of BluPoint teeth, with flexibility of design and local manufacturing.

Source: Hardox Wearparts

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