Indian mining customer Hilltop Hirise was targeting 5,000 hours of operation per year with the Volvo EC480DL — but the machine delivered around 7,000 hours per year. For four years, the excavator worked up to 22 hours a day in the toughest of environments, averaging an uptime of more than 90% thanks to Volvo’s superior design and an industry-leading service package.
Dhanbad is the ‘Coal Capital’ of India, and some of the largest coal mines in the country can be found in the city. With production levels on the rise, local mine operators need heavy-duty machines that are durable enough to withstand the punishing conditions and productive enough to meet rising targets.
Signed Gold service contracts
One mine in the area is the Kankanee Colliery Coal Mines, run by Hilltop Hirise. The company purchased an EC480DL to handle overburden removal back in November 2014, and to ensure the machine produced maximum uptime, it signed a Gold Customer Support Agreement (CSA). This Volvo agreement guarantees the highest levels of maintenance, inspection, repair and service for all parts. This is executed by the local dealer — in this case, Infra Equip, the Volvo dealer for the states of Jharkand and Bihar.
Impressive performance figures
As part of a Gold CSA, all dealer technicians working on the machine must have completed a comprehensive Volvo training program. As soon as the Gold CSA was effective, the technicians from Infra Equip worked daily if necessary to ensure the EC480DL enjoyed near-uninterrupted production. As a result, it avoided major breakdowns and recorded impressive performance figures.
Working up to 22 hours a day, seven days a week, alongside 56 Volvo FMX 440 tipper trucks, the EC480DL chalked up 24,000 hours of operation in its first three-and-a-half years. Considering Hilltop Hirise was targeting 5,000 hours per year, this represents a dramatic increase over anticipated productivity.
Output above 150%
“The preventive maintenance schedule devised by Volvo helped us push our output above 150% at times,” said Navin Tulsyan, director at Hilltop Hirise. “The machine has performed flawlessly with an average availability of over 93%, and the Gold CSA support provided by Infra Equip has proven very good value.”
On the Kankanee Colliery Coal Mines, potential problems on the Volvo machine were identified at an early stage, enabling relevant repairs to take place with minimal disruption to operations.
“The experience of Volvo-trained technicians means they know what to look for in any particular machine,” said Dimitrov Krishnan, Vice President and head of Volvo CE India. “Customers love Volvo machines for their high performance, but maintaining that performance is all about taking a professional attitude to machine support. To limit an EC480DL to minor stoppages over 24,000 working hours at a mine is a great achievement, and the whole team at Infra Equip deserves a lot of credit. In addition, we calculated that the Gold CSA saved Hilltop Hirise about INR 31 lakhs (US$47,923) in spare parts costs.”
Analysis tools and services like Care Track, Volvo Oil Analysis and MATRIS analysis can also be included in a Gold CSA. All CSAs are managed by Volvo CE and executed in partnership with its distributors.
With a much better understanding of the EC480DL, Hilltop Hirise has now opted for periodic machine inspections and preventive maintenance, to be managed locally by the dealer.
The EC480DL is the best-selling high capacity excavator in India. Its 265-kW engine features an automatic idling system which reduces engine speed to idle when the levers and pedals are not activated, lowering fuel consumption. The reinforced heavy-duty boom and arm are built from high-strength steel for added reliability in severe applications.
Hilltop Hirise was incorporated in 2010, and provides various coal mining services, including overburden removal, coal extraction, drilling, site levelling and grading, and transportation