You can import a part that ‘fits’ ok, but for parts that are micron perfect, certified and built to last, you need a team of experienced metallurgical, mechanical and design engineers on the job. See how this local manufacturer is setting the standard.
Greg Kennard, MASPRO Managing Director, is uncompromising when it comes to quality.
“Mining is high pressure with a lot at stake in terms of safety and costs. Having been in the game for decades, we learnt very early on that there’s no room for downtime. If something’s not right and there’s a failure deep underground, we’ll hear about it in no uncertain terms. And so we should!
“That’s why we put so much effort into every single part… selecting raw materials, precision machining and grinding, heat treatment, testing and quality inspection at every point, even packaging… we leave nothing to chance.
“Everything we manufacture has a huge amount of engineering behind it. We’re not buying parts from overseas and rebadging them. We design, manufacture, test and control every aspect from start to finish.”
It starts with the best raw materials
From USA, UK, China, Germany and France, MASPRO scours the world for first-class suppliers of certified material including forgings, bar stock, extrusions, wire rope and engineering plastics.
Once received, the material undergoes pre-production testing to ensure it complies with the specifications and that its properties will perform in the required application.
“Before creating a part, we assess the required material composition and the manufacturing processes down to microscopic levels. Our analysis covers the specification of every element, down to case depth, profile plotting, and types of tempering. The analytics behind it are huge.”
Experienced metallurgists conduct chemical analysis with a spectrometer to confirm the composition. The materials are also magnified to undergo microstructure analysis to ensure they meet the specifications.
Each batch of metal will be granted a pre-manufacture certificate by the metallurgist confirming it is up to scratch.
To define the precise specifications, a sample part is placed in MASPRO’s climate controlled inspection room and probed on a coordinate measuring machine (CMM) to generate an exact 3D CAD model of the part with measurements accurate to 2 microns (0.002mm – 2μm).
This model becomes the roadmap for every part. Depending on the part, manufacture will involve turning it in a lathe, milling the shape, adding the teeth and getting it tapped.
As part of the process, a sample part is sent to an independent National Association of Testing Authorities (NATA) accredited laboratory for complete analysis, testing and reporting including:
- Chemical analysis
- Mechanical testing (tensile, impact, ductility)
- Microscopic examination
- Heat treatment testing
- Hardness testing
The First Article Inspection (FAI) – in the form of a 25+ page report – is the final tick of approval that every dimension has been precisely tested and manufactured to the original specifications 100%. Finally, the parts are granted a post-manufacturing certificate to ensure they are fit for purpose and meet quality controls.
More complex parts with multiple components – like hydraulic cylinders, gear boxes or rock drills – are also fully assembled and tested as if they are operating.
Identification and traceability
The manufacture of critical parts includes documented processes, formal certificates and verifiable reporting every step of the way. Parts are given a unique serial number and stamped so that everything is auditable, identifiable and traceable. This process conforms to ISO9001:2015.
Mick Blunt, Product Support & Service Manager, explains MASPRO’s end-to end approach to quality.
“We take responsibility for our products during shipping too. Our custom-designed packaging ensure they don’t get damaged on the journey – these days that can be as far afield as Tanzania, Egypt, Papua New Guinea, Ghana, Burkina Faso, New Zealand and North America.
“We treat repairs in the same way. For example, when we get a broken hydraulic cylinder, we don’t repair the wearable components. We replace them with new ones and then rebuild the entire part from scratch.
“So our clients get the same quality and service life as a brand new part, typically for around 40-60% of the price. With high-value parts, that really adds up to a big saving.”
For Greg Kennard quality is an art as well as a science.
“Everything falls down if parts are anything less than perfect.Greg Kennard, MASPRO Managing Director
To me each part is a work of art!”