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Supplier urges owners to manage GET costs

Conceding that in tough times there was pressure to reduce costs, he warned that accepting “the cheapest price for a critical operational consumable is a false economy”.

“The total cost per machine hour is a more relevant benchmark and is made up of a number of factors, with initial cost being just one of them,” Adams explained.

“The strength of the wear parts and GET equates to a longer life, while good design and high manufacturing standards minimise the chances of failure and costly unscheduled maintenance on a key production machine.”

Keech employs field engineers, headed by Chandra Mpral, to work with end users, either directly or through dealers, to match GET to site conditions and owner priorities. This extends to ensuring the correct procedures are being followed in measuring wear, changing teeth and generally managing GET and wear parts.

“Often problems in the field can be traced to incorrect procedures or tools being used, which can increase the changeover time for GET and cause lost production,” Mpral said.

“Each box of GET contains instructions on fitting, and there is also a supporting manual and data sheets including field instructions for using the gauges to measure wear, and determining when to replace GET.

“The aim is to maximise the life of the GET without adversely affecting performance and fuel consumption, causing wear to other parts that can be expensive and time-consuming to repair or replace, and without risking failure. In some applications GET are designed to have up to 65 per cent of their mass lost in wear before replacement.”

Keech recognises that procedures can be lost or misplaced, so it will make them accessible to customers through a soon to be released password-protected website.

Field feedback assists in the ongoing development of Keech GET, with a team of engineers performing hand calculations and finite element analysis of new designs that can withstand substantially higher forces than the specification of the machine they are fitted to. {{image2-A:R-w:300}}

Keech not only looks at the teeth in product development but also at the teeth-locking methodology, so teeth changeovers are safer and faster.

Products are designed to a 50 per cent higher rating than general design conventions to handle unexpected impact loads and are tested against the major global competitors.

Keech aims for at least parity, and in destructive testing it often records 15 to 20 per cent greater strength.

Although it is a long-established Australian family business, Keech has continued to reinvent itself through innovation and attention to quality.

Its subsidiary, Keech 3D, is at the forefront of 3D printing technology, allowing Keech to develop and refine new designs quickly and economically, whereas patternmaking was previously a bottleneck in product development.

Keech quality assurance (QA) manager Bala Hebbar is proud of the company’s QA systems and procedures which have earned the company ISO9001 quality accreditation.

“Everything from the selection of raw materials to the finishing of the completed product is carefully controlled,” he said. “We have three core sets of procedures covering standard manufacturing processes, how each individual part is made and how we handle non-compliance so that we learn and continue to improve as a result.

“Staff training is very important, and we have computer screens throughout the factory that are accessible to staff. We have checklists for each batch to ensure that our procedures have been followed.”

To Adams, this all adds up to Keech providing the lowest overall GET cost through a combination of design, field support, quality and innovation. 

Keech ground engaging tools for the quarry industry are distributed through Hitachi Construction Machinery (Australia).

Source: Keech Australia

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