Unlocking transparency in loading

JBI Industrial Solutions, the distributor of the PFREUNDT range of load weighing systems in South Africa, has launched the WK60 hydraulic excavator scale in the local market. With its digital weighing data acquisition, precise measurement and intuitive operation, the system unlocks transparency in material flow. By Munesu Shoko.
The JBI Industrial Solutions team installing the PFREUNDT WK60 on a Sumitomo excavator.

JBI Industrial Solutions, together with its German principal, PFREUNDT, used the Institute of Quarrying Southern Africa (IQSA) conference in April to officially introduce the new WK60 hydraulic excavator scale to the South African market.

Stephen Luediger, sales manager at PFREUNDT, tells Quarrying Africa that the new excavator scale makes its South African debut following its official factory launch in late 2023. “We initially introduced the WK60 to the German market in October last year, before rolling it out to the global market at the start of 2024. We have to date seen an impressive uptake, with more than 80 installations in a very short space of time. The feedback from customers has been very positive. We are excited to launch the WK60 in South Africa, a growing market for our systems,” says Luediger.

Jaco Beukes, MD of JBI Industrial Solutions, says local mining and quarrying companies are increasingly cognisant of the fact that loading weighing systems play a significant role in optimising their operations and are looking to take advantage of the improvements that this technology can make to their loading and hauling operations.

“Every dump truck has a target payload. When that payload is not being measured, it is possible that the truck is not carrying the rated payload in every cycle. At the same time, overloading trucks can cause structural damage, increase fuel burn, reduce component life and negatively impact tyre life. With the WK60 excavator scale, all these issues are addressed to ensure productive and efficient loading operations,” says Beukes.

The WK60 ensures transparency of material flow from the pit to the stockpiles.

Key benefits

One of the key benefits of the WK60, says Beukes, is the provision of optimal loading of haulers with permissible payload, thus avoiding overloading and underloading. This helps operators avoid double handling of material by loading the right weight the first time. In addition, operations can optimise loadout operations and track productivity through real-time visibility of material movement.

“With the arrival of the WK60 excavator scale, local quarrying and mining operations can now measure bucket-by-bucket payloads and ensure trucks are loaded accurately the first time. In addition, mine managers can also use the system to track their cycle times and see how long each dump truck takes at the loading point. This helps identify and eliminate any possible bottlenecks in the system to ensure optimal cycle times,” says Beukes.

Knowing accurate load cycle counts allows for more effective management of excavators and material. In-field time stamped reports additionally monitor material inventories and production for easy reporting of loading activity throughout the day. Accurate excavator payloads assist in calculating blast totals. Bucket counts, payload data and trip counts assist mine planning to work closer to mine design, and aids in the planning process for new mines.

With the WK60, mine managers can also track and monitor loading of trucks and tonnes moved on a daily, weekly or monthly basis. Information on the tonnes loaded and moved by each dumper is readily available.

“The WK60 ensures transparency of material flow from the pit to the stockpiles. By analysing and evaluating the recorded data via the PFREUNDT Web Portal, internal material movements can be traced. This helps to optimise operating processes, for example, by avoiding unnecessary idling, thus energy is saved and costs are reduced,” explains Beukes. “By installing this solution, operations can simplify their loading processes and save time and money.”

Before the official launch in April, JBI Industrial Solutions had been trialling the system at a mine in Rustenburg, North West Province.

Local trials

Before the official launch in April, JBI Industrial Solutions had been trialling the system at a mine in Rustenburg, North West Province. After three months of trialling the system, the mine has expressed great satisfaction. In fact, the operators, the actual users of the system, have commended the WK60 for its ese of use. The operators were quick to understand the system because it offers simple and intuitive operation through a touch display.

Stephen Luediger, sales manager at PFREUNDT (left) with Jaco Beukes, MD of JBI Industrial Solutions, at IQSA conference where the WK60 made its local official debut.

“We exposed a total of seven operators to the excavator installed with the WK60 to gauge the accuracy of the system, especially given that each operator has an individual style of operation. Despite the difference in the level of operating skills, the system recorded loading accuracies of between 96% and 97%. Impressed by the system, the customer has gone on to place an order of three WK60 scales, marking the first commercial sale in South Africa. Judging by the number of enquiries thus far, we expect to commission more systems during this year,” concludes Beukes.

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