Engineering & Mining Journal

MAR 2019

Engineering and Mining Journal - Whether the market is copper, gold, nickel, iron ore, lead/zinc, PGM, diamonds or other commodities, E&MJ takes the lead in projecting trends, following development and reporting on the most efficient operating pr

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Page 56 of 67

MARCH 2019 • E&MJ 55 OPERATING STRATEGIES tance, increased surface hardness, low electrical-contact resistance or corrosion protection; all important considerations for new mining industry equipment. The cost of replacing OHV is often prohibitive, but traditional approaches to repair are frequently ineffi cient and threaten both service continuity and rev- enue fl ow. It is no surprise therefore that remanufacturing specialists are turning to selective brush plating as an innovative overhaul and cost-effective repair solution to restore end-of-life goods to their original working condition. Off-highway equipment is one of the most remanufacturing-inten- sive sectors alongside the aerospace, loco- motive and machinery arenas. Many remanufacturing plants have found selective brush plating a convenient addition to their existing facility, given its portability and minimal setup processes, allowing them to remanufacture the larger or hard to reach parts of heavy machines as part of a wider product overhaul. The SIFCO Process was developed more than 50 years ago and was initial- ly used for industrial repair applications, with early acceptance by the U.S. Navy. Over the years, the SIFCO Process has been developed to service a wide range of industrial repair and manufacturing applications. The range of metals used in selective plating is extensive. The SIFCO Process is used to apply any metals that are traditionally carried out by tank elec- troplating, the most common being nick- el, copper, cobalt, nickel-tungsten, cobalt chromium carbide, silver, gold and plati- num. The process can be carried out man- ually, it can be mechanized, or it can be automated for high volume applications. The process comprises several prepara- tory steps in which a work area is prepared to receive an adherant deposit. The appro- priate preparatory procedure is determined by both the substrate of the component and the plating solution to be applied. The thickness of the plating is accurately controlled through use of an ampere-hour meter and once the required ampere hours are reached, plating is stopped and fi n- ished with a fi nal water rinse and dry. In a recent application example, re- search conducted by a leading remanu- facurer of large surface mining equipment found that approximately 35% of all cyl- inder head failures were due to fretting, wear and corrosion. Determined to reduce the scrap rate of this critical component by identifying the most effective salvage method, the remanufacturer evaluated the performance of both selecting plating and traditional welding processes. Welding unsurprisingly proved to be the slightly cheaper option for this par- ticular component, but delivered insuffi - cient quality deposits and showed poten- tial for heat distortion. In the second part of the assessment, each cylnder was se- lectively plated with nickel for dimension- al restoration and wear resistance. While costing more, selective plating provided a fast, high-quality deposit, with little risk for part distortion since the process is performed at room temperature. Since evaluating both remanufactur- ing methods, the company has repaired multiple cylinder head components with SIFCO ASC's selective plating system, providing an overall benefi t of almost $100,000 in annual savings. For more information on selective brush plating, visit

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