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Queenslander steps up to the plate with unique wear solution

INSERTUS

An emerging Queensland company, Insertus WPIA, is offering the solution to quarries’ wear plate headaches. 

After 30 years across both maintenance and production within the mining, quarrying and other industries, Shane Medill knew there had to be a better way to make wear plates.

Like many other quarry workers, he had been frustrated by the traditional methods of making wear plates and anchoring products.

Companies could cut their own wear plates with an oxy torch, but that could leave the holes in the wrong spot and require alterations.

Alternatively, quarries could get an engineering shop to drill the plates off-site.

Both options had room for error and were far from time efficient for an industry that is constantly trying to optimise tasks.

“(When the plates are self-cut) sometimes your bolt can stick through further than what it should and you might think that’ll be okay, but in time it will wear the bolt out and then the plate can fall out, costing you both time and money,” Medill said.

“You end up wasting that time and the resources and steel to remake that piece.

“(When it’s taken off-site) it can be a bit of a hassle and sometimes the engineering shop cannot prioritise your plates which leads to more delays and downtime on site.”

After seeing time and productivity wasted on site waiting for wear plates, Medill took matters into his own hands with the goal of inventing a precise method that could be conducted on any site at any time.

The Queenslander founded Insertus Wear Plate Inserts Australia (Insertus WPIA) in Townsville last year with its unique insert and anchors design.

Each insert comes with centre alignment marks on both sides of each insert which enables precise and efficient installation in the quarry or in the workshop. The inserts have a bevel on each side for weld penetration.

The inserts and anchoring devices are designed to be the same thickness as the wear plate you want to use to improve durability. This ensures the inserts and anchoring devices will sit flush with each wear plate to reduce degradation and associated maintenance costs.

The inserts range from 12mm up to 60mm to suit all needs and can be custom-made if required.

Medill said the company had drawn rave reviews for its products from local Australian  quarries.

Recent estimates from the company state the product is one-third faster than traditional installation methods for wear plate inserts.

“For what we’ve invented and what we’re bringing to market, I would say it is a third quicker than previous methods,” Medill said.

“Everyone so far has been very impressed with the products.

“Each insert has 90-degree cross lines for alignment on it, so it is easy for people to be more user-friendly and gives them a heads up to save them extra time.

“Our pieces are CNC-machined which gives a consistent product and you’re going to get a precision fit every time and it’s a lot easier to use.”

Insertus’ product can be used in mobile crushing plant designs to fixed crushing plants. The inserts and anchoring devices have the adaptability to be able to work on loader and excavator cutting edges to mobile impactors and vertical shaft impact crushers and everything in between.

The company uses a tailored design process using computer numerical control (CNC) laser cutters for the patent-pending product (patent number 2022902573) to ensure the best quality. While the process may be more involved than some, Medill said it was important the inserts fitted properly.

“It’s not about making one insert or anchor that fits all, with our inserts they’re specifically made to fit the thickness of the wear plate, we custom make them.”

“When it is done like that you know it is going to be right and fit for purpose.

“The hard work is done with all the centre lines being marked and with the precision of our build process you have peace of mind.”

All Insertus WPIA’s products are made from 4140-grade steel for a durable and consistent product. Medill and his team manufacture the goods in Townsville which ensures the products are suited for Australian conditions.

Being an Australian-based operation allows the company to have quick turnaround times for customers which saves on downtime for quarries.

“At the end of the day downtime is money and while that plant isn’t going it is losing money, so we need to be able to turn it around quickly for them,” Medill said.

While many products for quarries can be made overseas, Medill said it was important for the company to remain based in Australia. 

“That is really important to me, we live in the greatest country in the world as far as I am concerned and I want my products to be made in Australia,” Medill said.

“This way we can check the quality of the product and ensure it is right.

“We’re very excited for the future and for a lot more people to use it and get the benefits out of using it with the cost and time savings.” 

For more information visit insertus.com.au

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