Epiroc, a Swedish infrastructure and mining equipment manufacturer, has introduced a project focused on 3D printing spare parts for the mining industry.
Anders Johansson, Product Manager at Epiroc, said that 3D printing “allows companies to transfer digital models around the world in minutes to manufacture spare parts right on the spot where they are needed,”
“Working with 3D technologies opens up unlimited opportunities for the company to create complex geometric shapes and maintain high quality standards.”
Developing the 6th sense
Epiroc was formed in 2018 from Atlas Copco, one of the oldest Swedish industrial equipment manufacturers. It produces industrial drill rigs, excavators, trucks, and loaders for mining and other infrastructure applications such as tunnelling and dam construction. In addition to this, Epiroc also provides parts and services to its customers, and has a clear commitment to advanced manufacturing solutions for sustainable mining.
This week Epiroc announced its ‘6th Sense’ project, which aims to bring enhanced digitalization and automation solutions to the industry. Examples of this are the highly automated drill rig called SmartROC D65, currently in operation at the Hollinger mine in Canada, and an autonomous electric drill mining at the Aitik copper mine in Sweden.
On the 6th Sense project, Helena Hedblom, Epiroc Senior Executive Vice President Mining and Infrastructure, said, “The 6th Sense approach is based on our customers’ needs for implementing digitalisation, automation and new process integrations.”
Digital inventory storage enables the manufacturing of spare parts on-demand. This, among other things, saves warehouse storage and transportation costs, which are some of the reasons more and more industries are integrating 3D printing into their manufacturing chain.
Now, with the addition of 3D printing to Epiroc’s technology solutions portfolio, Johansson said, “we will be able to serve our customers in new ways and, at the same time, reduce environmental impacts throughout the world, which is high on our agenda as a modern global company.”
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Featured image shows an autonomous electric 351 PitViper drill by Epiroc at the Aitik mine in Sweden. Image via Epiroc.