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JSW digs Scania’s core values

When Scania repowered one of JSW Australia’s drill rigs, the specialist drilling company made a spectacular discovery.

The full speed ahead Western Australian mining boom depends on companies such as JSW Australia mapping out potential new resource-rich locations for excavation.

JSW Australia is a leading reverse circulation and water well drilling company, servicing the mining, petroleum/gas and government sectors in specialist drilling applications.

The 120-strong company runs 16 drilling rigs across WA, many of which are working 10 - 12 hours a day, 7 days a week, collecting samples for mine companies to analyse.

JSW demands high uptime, reliability, as well as light, environmentally friendly, efficient, powerful engines to run its drilling business.

When a drill rig recently needed yet another engine rebuild, Operations Director Steve Payne contacted Jeremy Tennant of Scania Engines in WA for help.

“Our previous engine supplier had discontinued that model without providing a suitable replacement, so we were forced to spend the last 3-4 years rebuilding a number of older engines. But the rebuilds did not last long,” Steve said.

“We spent a fortune rebuilding them but not getting much life out of them. There would be problems with the liner not sealing in the block and allowing coolant to enter the engine sump, also parts were becoming hard to find. “We thought there was nothing on the market to replace them with, and because we built the rig to fit the engine, we couldn’t find a small enough replacement engine that generated enough power.

“Then Wade Bransgrove, our Maintenance Manager, driving in north western WA read an article in a truck magazine about the launch of the new 730 hp Scania. Wade and I wondered if the 730 hp truck engine might fit our rig. So Wade got hold of Jeremy in WA and we went from there,” Steve said.

JSW was unaware that Scania offers a full range of stationary industrial and marine engines suitable for power generation, heavy-duty machinery or working boats.

“We ended up air-freighting the DC16 74A 700 hp V8 engine into Australia direct from the production line because the drill rig was waiting to be repowered. It is spending the rest of the year at Laverton, 350 km northeast of Kalgoorlie, working for Crescent Gold.”

“The rig has been in the field for a few months and the results are amazing. When we did the calculations we thought the engine would be running at 80-90% load, but it is running at only 70%, which means greater reliability.

“It is also using about 50 percent less fuel!

“We have seen fuel use fall from around 900-litres to about 500-litres a day, which is not only a significant cash saving but also means less emissions are being pumped into the atmosphere, and less downtime for refuelling, etc.,” Steve said.

“But the most impressive element to the deal is the service we have had from Scania WA. They have been unbelievable. Jeremy and the boys came out when we installed the engine, came out again for the first running, and then visited us in the field to ensure it was all OK. That is fantastic service.

“A lot of companies don’t give service anymore, so this really stands out. Jeremy and his team had a very refreshing attitude to working with us, to help us achieve our goals. Jeremy really knows his product and answered any questions we had about the engine with ease.

“They worked with us to build a customised water-cooled charge system for the engine, because in the heat, air-to-air cooling is insufficient. We modified the old system from the original engine to check it would work, before commissioning a custom unit for the new engine.

“We service our engines on a strict routine. We run in dirt and heat in the Pilbara so we do the oil and filters every 250 hours the oil and fuel filters are so well placed around the engine it makes service time quick and easy. The oil company asks us why we throw away so much oil, but I always say ‘new oil must be better than old oil’ and it is cheaper to replace the oil and filters than do a rebuild, not to mention the downtime saving.

“One technical feature I like is that Scania uses an oil spinner on all its engines. The centrifuge spins out the heavy particles. They are a great way to trap muck in the oil.

“We have also looked at some Scania 6-cylinder engines as well as more V8 engines for some other applications in the fleet, as well as some Scania trucks. It is very efficient that all the cylinders and heads are common, which makes parts supply easy,” Steve said.

Scania’s Jeremy Tennant says that the fuel savings JSW is achieving with the new engine delights him. “I would put the savings down to the fact that our engines produce a lot of power at very low revs, which helps save fuel,” Jeremy said.

“When the engine was initially run on site, the JSW team thought the fuel tank gauge sender was broken, because they couldn’t understand how the engine could use so little fuel. We sent them a replacement gauge, but of course the readings were identical. They even manually dipped the tanks because they still didn’t believe the engine could be so efficient.

“In fact, we estimate that the savings from running one Scania engine over the course of a year could be more than enough to fund the purchase of another engine!

“The compact nature of our engine, plus the fact that it has been engineered to deliver far more horsepower than JSW actually needs, means that it should be reliable and durable, delivering excellent service over a long period.

“Although the working conditions are arduous, we are confident that with correct servicing and maintenance, JSW will enjoy many years of good service from this engine.

“And many more engines, too, in due course,” he said.