Excellent service on the lubrication systems of mobile equipment on a gold mine in West Africa over the past two years has delivered increased uptime and substantial cost savings, earning Lincoln Lubrication South Africa’s Africa Export team an extension of their service contract by another 24 months.

When the Senegalese gold mine started losing mobile equipment with subsequent frequent costly downtime due to a lack of proper lubrication maintenance planning, they called on the Africa Export Lincoln team for a solution. “In October 2018, the mine accepted our proposal for a 24-month service contract on the lubrication systems on all their mobile equipment,” says Lincoln Lubrication South Africa’s, Export Sales Manager, Joseph Kumwimba.

Kumwimba, together with team member, Obakeng Malao, who is responsible for customer service, took complete control of the lubrication systems on all the mine’s mobile equipment over the two year period. “By maintaining and repairing lubrication systems, we reduced grease consumption, increased equipment uptime, avoided equipment failure, and saved on maintenance man-hours, ultimately delivering tremendous cost savings and ensuring optimum protection of our customers’ assets,” notes Kumwimba. He adds that the customer’s CAPEX (capital expenditure) was also reduced due to the repair of pumps and injectors for re-use.

The tremendous value adds that customers and end-users stand to gain makes implementation of a lubrication service contract a no brainer. The optimal functioning of lubrication systems reduces costly unplanned lubrication-related downtime, ensuring high availability and smooth operation of their mobile machines. So when the first lubrication service contract came to an end in October 2020, the mine, recognising the benefits, immediately extended the contract for a further 24 months.

“We are particularly proud of what we managed to achieve, especially taking into account that all countries where under strict lockdown measures 16 months into the first service contract which presented us with numerous challenges. The fact that we have a technician in Senegal for six months definitely worked in our favour.”

In line with the new contract, the Africa Export Lincoln team will continue servicing the factory-fitted CentroMatic Lube systems on 52 machines including excavators, wheel loaders, crawl dozers, bulldozer, graders and mine trucks. The CentroMatic Lube system complete with the South Africa manufactured AutoLube controller, includes SLV, SL-1, SLV-X, and SL-11 injectors with PowerMaster and FlowMaster grease pumps. “We provide some modification where necessary to fit the tough African conditions and in some instances we install new lubrication systems,” notes Kumwimba, adding that they also have the capabilities should the mine decide to add more machines for lube service.

“The fact that we have a permanent presence on the mine site means that every time a mobile machine pulls into service bay, we are on hand ready to conduct a complete check of the status of the lubrication systems.” The full scope of work includes checks on pump operation and sufficient pressure build-up and the functioning of metering devices and SL-V Injectors. “Following inspection and identification of requirements, we make recommendations on necessary repair and replacement work on each machine. Once we have completed the repairs we make sure that the machine is in 100% working order complete with a written report.” To ensure prompt repairs, the team holds a certain level of stock consignment on site, setting up a low level for replenishment. As part of the service contract, on-the-job training is given to mine technicians. Lincoln Lubrication South Africa established the Africa Export Lincoln team four years ago with the objective of becoming the leader in the lubrication industry in various markets throughout sub-Saharan Africa. “Our mandate is to increase revenue as well as to ensure smooth operation throughout sub-Saharan Africa’s export industry,” says Kumwimba. He points out that the lubrication business requires a great deal of time and patience to develop and even more so in the African market. “Trust needs to be earned before the end-user can even consider looking at the solution proposition. The market requires perseverance, consistency, regular customer visits and mental toughness and, most importantly, a purpose-driven personality,” he concludes.

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