Filtration manufacturer Cummins Filtration continuously works with its parent company global engine supplier Cummins to ensure that it conducts product research and development (R&D) in conjunction with engine development.
This enables Cummins Filtration to test its filters’ capabilities in many engine test cells and field trials globally.
Cummins Filtration sales manager Chernise Naicker notes that, through its R&D, the company has developed Fleetguard NanoNet filters – used inside the Fleetguard range and specifically designed for the higher pressures and tighter tolerances of a modular common-rail system engine.
The filters are paper-like material that removes dust, pollen, pet dander and other particles, and is designed to improve indoor air quality.
The Fleetguard NanoNet filters provide cleaner fuel of up to 13 times for Cummins Tier 4 engines, a longer service life of up to 14 times, and fuel injection protection over the service life of the filter.
Further, NanoForce air filters – one of the filter ranges offered by Cummins – have been extensively subjected to real-life trials globally in a broad range of segments and equipment, Naicker adds.
In many heavy duty applications, there are fine contaminant particles and about 75% of these particles that reach the air filter are smaller than 5 μm; therefore, these particles can “wreak havoc” on critical engine parts such as pistons, rings and liners, she explains.
“NanoForce air filters deliver the cleanest combustion air possible for on- and off- highway engine applications. Even in the most severe mining environments, such as at coal, copper, iron-ore and platinum mines, with temperatures ranging from -45 °C to 50 °C, these filters consistently achieve the desired performance.”
Cummins Filtration – together with one of South Africa’s largest mining companies – is doing a comprehensive trial study using Cummins Filtration products at different mine sites.
The products used will result in service-interval extension for equipment operating at various mine sites, the company said in a statement released last month. Cummins Filtration noted that the success of this trial has been replicated on other sites.
The mine sites targeted for this trial include opencast platinum, coal and iron-ore mines prone to high levels of dust, which generally results in higher maintenance costs.
By extending the cycle replacement hours, the ultimate goal was to increase savings associated with maintenance costs and increased uptime, thereby improving overall productivity, explains Naicker.
“Cummins Filtration aims to be proactive in maintenance practices and in using technology. Our filters and coolants provide the best engine protection and lowest total cost of ownership by minimising the number of repairs and maximising the life of the engine and providing the longest service intervals.
Our approach is to get involved at site level, train and work hand in hand with the personnel of the respective mining operations to understand and resolve any challenges.”
Naicker adds that, in terms of an extensive trial, such as this one, the Cummins team establishes the expectations of the end-user, provides recommendations and then starts with the trial. Weekly reporting is shared with the mining operations to ensure transparency and customer expectations are met.
Once the initial expectations are met, they are discussed with the relevant personnel at mining operations. If the product has exceeded expectations and the team can extend its life even further, the trial can be extended.
Once the trial has been concluded, the recommendations following the results will be implemented through a local Cummins Filtration distributor and support team.
Cummins Filtration’s Fleetguard NanoForce Air filters and Fleetguard lube filters and centrifuges formed part of a tailor-made solution – which also includes its Fleetguard NanoNet fuel filters –for this mining client.
Naicker adds that the Fleetguard filtration solutions supplied for this trial not only achieved but also surpassed the mine’s minimum requirements.
“The trial results yielded a 150% improvement in replacement hours, with an average of 1 500 replacement hours achieved across all filtration products for air, lubricants, and oil at the various mine sites. Also, the machine fleet achieved a lower downtime, owing to the extended service intervals, thereby reducing the total cost of ownership by a significant margin and improving productivity at the sites.”
The mining operations for this trial were also provided with recommendations regarding fuel and oil quality standards, as well as proposed oil-monitoring procedures to ensure that a minimum of 1 000 hours is achieved going forward, concludes Naicker.