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Austin Engineering named Swedish Steel Prize 2019 Finalist

Steel News - Published on Fri, 25 Oct 2019

Image Source: SSAB
The Swedish Steel Prize, which celebrates its 20th anniversary this year, aims to recognize the good engineering, cooperation and steel innovations that lead to a better and more sustainable world. Austin Engineering, from Australia is one of the four finalists for this year’s prize, which will be awarded during a ceremony in Stockholm, Sweden on November 14. The award ceremony is part of a three-day event where hundreds of international participants will take part in seminars and a site visit at SSAB. Austin Engineering is nominated for its Two-Piece Mining Excavator Bucket, a design concept that utilizes a defined joint configuration between the upper and lower assemblies of a bucket, which allows for quick and efficient change-out during maintenance intervals. The two-piece bucket also has a modular design with inserts which can be customized to suit specific operations and easily removed and replaced if required.

Mr David Pichanick, Global Manager, Market Development & Innovation at Austin Engineering said that “To minimize wear and increase a bucket’s lifetime some people weld liners to the inside of a bucket. A few years ago, a customer approached us after an accident on the mine site, where there was a fatality due to spring back while replacing a bucket liner. The tragedy sent shockwaves through the mining industry and the customer challenged us to find a safer, liner-less bucket solution.”

The request was taken up directly by Austin Engineering’s dedicated innovation department, who came up with the idea and decided to make the upper structure for the two-piece bucket from Strenx® 700 steel as it is tough, easy to weld and has high strength. The lower bucket assembly is made from Hardox steel, which was chosen for its ability to withstand hard wear and tear. Hardox steel also meets the toughness and weldability criteria for the material needed in lightweight buckets operating in abrasive environments.

The two-piece bucket can be adapted to any current OEM excavator model and upper to lower bucket assembly installation time can be achieved in less than four minutes and be ready for final weld out within three hours. This means that mine site downtime can be minimized as spare lower assemblies can be kept in stock for direct replacement.

The total weight of the two-piece bucket can also be reduced, and costs can be saved as only the lower section needs to be changed out or refurbished. This accounts for a reduction in total cost of ownership by 25-30%.

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Posted By : Ratan Singh on Fri, 25 Oct 2019
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