The company is one of Europe’s largest producers of mining machinery and equipment used in extracting copper, coal and other raw materials with 2,500 employees and annual revenue of about 15 billion EUR. Their equipment is essential to mining operations and unscheduled downtime can disrupt production and potentially create safety issues.
Because of the critical nature of the equipment, maintenance is performed on a fixed schedule regardless of the amount of time in service. This means the hydraulic filters may be in service for a variable length of time between changes and that the filter elements must be available at the maintenance site when needed regardless of the time of day or day of the week.
In addition, the filters must meet stringent quality and performance standards mandated both by the manufacturer and governmental regulations covering the mining operations. Finally, the customer requires reliable maintenance services and products.
The filter elements are designed for the typical used fluid (ISO VG 32 and 46) in an operating temperature range of 68 to 158 °F, working pressures up to 145 psi and flow rates between 26 and 106 gal/min.
The filters originally specified by the manufacturer did not perform at an acceptable rate which lead to more frequent replacement outside of scheduled service intervals and extended maintenance down-time, all of which negatively impacted mine productivity. Finding a more suitable replacement required extensive certification testing plus inventory and delivery arrangements for the new products.
Customer engineers worked with Eaton technicians to specify and certify Eaton TEF return-line filters in four different sizes to accommodate the whole range of mining vehicles then in production. Certification testing was carried out by the machine manufacturer under the supervision of the chief foreman responsible for maintenance of the machines used in a large copper mine. Data was collected on the service life of the filters, oil cleanliness and machine failures.
With a working pressure up to 145 psi, the Eaton TEF tank-top mounted return filter makes servicing simple. When the 01.E filter element is changed a detachable connection between the filter head and bowl keeps dirty fluid from draining back into the reservoir. The return filter is equipped with visual and electrical differential pressure indicators to monitor their performance.
Eaton TEF return-line filters are now standard equipment on the company’s mining vehicles and Eaton TEF filter elements are specified as replacement parts. The elements are stocked and delivered on schedule via Eaton distributors.
The Eaton TEF return-line filters have reduced filter element usage by up to 40-percent compared to the filters originally used by the manufacturer. Subsequent testing continues to confirm the superior performance of Eaton TEF filters and they continue to be standard equipment on the company’s mining vehicles.
Eaton has established a long-term business relationship with the company and many of its mining customers based on the performance of Eaton TEF return-line filters on the company’s vehicles. There have been no reported filtration failures since changing to Eaton TEF filters. The company also is using other Eaton filtration products for high and mid-pressure applications on their vehicles with similarly uniform results.