As a manufacturer of earthmoving attachments for the global construction and mining equipment markets, Antech Attachments must ensure that its products can stand up to tough working conditions.
“Before we used Hardox in our excavator buckets, we were constantly battling with bent cutting edges and bucket floors due to the lower tensile strength of the steel we used,” says Henry Liao, Antech Attachments’ Company Director. “Cracks around the wear lining were common due to its poor weldability and low impact toughness.”
As a result, the company was forced to build its buckets with heavier gauge steel in order to maintain bucket life, which made the buckets heavier and more costly to produce.
By using Hardox wear plate in its products, the company was able to cut bucket weight by as much as 30 percent, while maintaining the same or better wear life. “Hardox’s superior wear performance, good weldability and formability allow us to produce high-performing attachments and keeps us ahead of our competition,” says Liao.
As the company gained success by using Hardox in its products, many of its competitors also adopted similar types of wear-resistant steel from various sources. “Though they all claim to be quenched and tempered wear steel, we believe the quality does vary,” confirms Liao.
We believe that joining the Hardox in My Body program will improve our product image by spreading a clear message to our clients that we are using high-quality, wear-resistant steel to ensure long product life and performance,” explains Liao.
Before Hardox was used, the liner plates of the hoppers quickly wore out during the company’s heavy daily operations. Frequently changing the plates increased workload and downtime, since the process took two weeks to complete and caused maintenance difficulties.
“The abrasion on the ore-extraction system has troubled us for a long time,” says Huang Chuanlu, equipment manager for Dexing’s railway transportation section.
“The service life of the liner plate can be extended two or even three times,” Huang says. “This reduces the maintenance frequency and reaches our target of changing the plate once every two years. The engine load is also reduced as the thinner Hardox wear plate makes the hopper much lighter.”
“Relying on Hardox, the downtime of the system has shrunk by half and production has increased. This guarantees sustainable operations and remarkably improves our turnover. We will continue to work with SSAB to change the remaining systems as well.”
To shorten the tough sugar cane before it is mashed in a huge mill, the sugar plant’s knives had to slice through the fiber-rich cane stalk as well as resist the acid-like sugar juice. Only tough, wear-resistant blades could get the job done.
Ingenio de Atencingo decided to switch its knife steel to wear-resistant Hardox 500, making its knife blades last three times longer than the ones it previously used.
“The Hardox steel in the knives helps us to slash maintenance time,” says Plant Manager Metrobio Garcia. “Being able to avoid unnecessary downtime is really vital for us. Not only are the blades lasting longer, but the end result is better, too.”
When SITA Deutschland GmbH wanted 12 new, state-of-the-art waste disposal trucks with specially developed containers, it relied on the partnership of Becker Machine Construction and Containerbau Hameln for high quality and on-time delivery.
Containerbau Hameln, a partner of Becker Machine Construction for nearly 30 years and member of the Hardox in My Body™ program, produced the containers.
“Thanks to Hardox wear plate, no bracing was necessary to stabilize the containers,” explains Volker Greiner, Containerbau Hameln representative. “Instead there is a depression on the sides, which keeps the containers from extending or deforming.”
Because of the light but strong Hardox plates, it was possible to construct the sides using 3.2 mm Hardox and the floor 4.0 mm. The effect: the containers are a tonne lighter and the truck with trailer can take up to two tonnes more load. This represents a 20% increase in payload.
In addition, the containers have a moveable inner wall, which makes it possible to separate glass by color into two different compartments when, for example, collecting glass. This saves fuel and time.
When delivering the trucks to Hassfurt, Germany, SITA representative Gerd Baumann praised the commitment of all the parties involved.
“Quality requires reliability, and reliability has a price,” says Baumann. “But thanks to their advantages as opposed to cheaper alternatives, these high-quality trucks save costs through higher work efficiency and a longer lifespan.”
Jürgen Mielke, CEO of Becker Machine Construction, is also very pleased. “Thanks to its partners’ commitment and ideas, SITA has achieved an innovative and unique solution that is tailor-made for its use in waste disposal,” he says.
Pacific Shredder, located in Newcastle, New South Wales, was looking for a steel that was stronger and lasted longer. Normal steel is prone to cracking and wear, and has to be replaced often.
“A car shredder is basically a 60-tonne drum made of eleven rotor disks, with twelve or sixteen manganese hammers attached to it,” explains Joe Beentjes, owner of the company. “The rotor rotates at 500 rpm and the hammers smash the car against a series of anvils, breaker bars and grids. The inside is armored with wear plates that stop the flying metal from simply eroding the whole structure.”
In a business where a breakdown doesn’t just mean a loss of productivity — a 200-tonne crane must be hauled in to lift the rotor out and repair it — durability is paramount.
“Steel recycling is all about dollar-cost per tonne," says Beentjes. “The cost of scrap and the price for recycled steel are pretty much fixed, so one of the only ways to boost the bottom line is by improving the life of the shredder. This is why we use Hardox HiTuf steel for our components.”
He continues, “SSAB’s steel is the best we’ve ever used for these components, for a number of reasons. First, it’s simply the best high-tensile wear-resistant plate in the world. The stuff from the competition just doesn’t have the through-hardness that you need in a shredder.”
“Secondly, SSAB is the only manufacturer that produces this sort of highly resistant plate in the 100 mm and 120 mm thicknesses we need. This is critical to our designs because the extra thickness and extra toughness gives our shredders much longer life. Our wear plates and rotor disks keep on going when others have turned into scrap themselves.”
Pacific Shredder also praises SSAB’s technical expertise and support. “Whether it’s machining, welding, cutting, they make sure we understand everything we need to know about pre-heat, post-heat, welding wire types, and so on.”
The German company previously used aluminum to make its containers, but needed a material that was stronger and lighter.
Ellermann now uses Hardox® wear steel from SSAB for the floor and sidewalls of its containers. This increases the load space from 40 cubic meters to 42. And as an added bonus, the containers are now substantially lighter, which delivers weight benefits.
“Thanks to the new design we can take an extra 1.5 tonnes of weight per container and 3 tonnes on a 20-tonne load. That represents a 15 percent increase in load capacity,” says Tobias Ellermann, president of Ellermann GmbH.
The Italian company is recognized for its quality, technical expertise, design flexibility and production response time. Committed to product development, it works tirelessly to innovate standards for buckets, fixed and rotating crushers, mini-excavators and sand timber grapple shears.
Enter Speedy Pipe, a result of close collaboration between Corazza and SSAB. Made from extremely robust and durable Hardox 400, the new pipe offered a solution to the unstable chains.
Thanks to the high quality of Hardox 400, Corazza’s Speedy Pipe pipe lifter is extremely strong, robust and long lasting. Speedy Pipe can be attached to excavators weighing 5 to 60 tonnes with a loading capacity of 1.5 to 8 tonnes.
It solves stability problems, offers maximum safety in the work area and eliminates the need for labor on the ground and in the dig. This means time spent on a job is reduced by 50% — a tangible benefit no other competitor is able to offer.
Over the past five years, Corazza’s purchase of Hardox has doubled. The entire Hardox product range is used for different applications, in thicknesses spanning 6 to 100 mm.
Emanuele Loperfido, sales manager at Corazza, says “Thanks to Hardox, our brand is known all over the world. If I had it my way, everything would be made from Hardox!”
A regular MosKomMash garbage truck had an 8 mm thick tail produced from mild steel with reinforcements on the bottom. When the economic climate changed, the company sought greater efficiency in its production and construction materials.
“During the boom days, we never thought twice about Hardox as we focused more on mass production than on innovations, even though product improvement was always important for us,” says Chief Designer Alexander Melnik. “We’d heard about Hardox, but it was only during the downturn when SSAB’s Moscow representative visited us that we decided to test Hardox in our garbage trucks.”
The 8 mm thick tail was replaced in two test trucks with 5 mm thick Hardox 450 without reinforcements. The results, Melnik says, exceeded all his expectations. The tail made of Hardox 450 lasted three times longer than the normal tail made from mild steel, and weight and production costs were reduced since less welding was needed. The company also received welding recommendations from SSAB.
“It costs around USD 117 more to replace the mild steel with Hardox, but I have to say that this is really nothing compared to the benefits that we, and end users, get,” Melnik says. Besides being the first company in Russia to use Hardox for this type of application, he firmly believes that it will dramatically improve the quality and reliability of MosKomMash’s trucks.
Intermix, one of Europe’s leading manufacturers of concrete mixers, values innovation, flexibility and quality in its mixers. In early 2012, the German company launched a lightweight concrete mixer using 3-millimeter Hardox steel plates for both the concrete drum and the inner spiral. The new mixer already makes up 60 percent of the company’s sales.
For truck mixers, a minimal empty weight is crucial for business. Weight reductions increase payload and lower the costs of fuel, tires, fees and taxes. And in some countries, weight reductions help companies comply with regulations on empty and total weight.
Intermix wanted to optimize the payload of its vehicles since concrete is heavy at 2.4 tonnes per cubic meter. German road regulations allow a maximum total weight of 32 tonnes, while an average four-axle concrete mixer weighs about 14 tonnes empty.
Hardox constructions have been around for a while in the field of dump trucks, but no attempts had been made to use it in a light concrete mixer. Intermix teamed up with SSAB to learn how to work with the thinner, highly wear-resistant Hardox plates. On January 16, 2012, the company received its Hardox in My Body™ license.
“We are proud to be the first on the world market with a Hardox in My Body concrete mixer,” says Harald Schmidt, sales director at Intermix. “Considering the huge interest we’re seeing in Germany and other countries, we expect it to sell well in a large part of the European market in the near future.”
“Compared to the 4.5-millimeter standard steel that we used before, the lightweight version reduces the weight of the structure by as much as 18 percent,” continues Schmidt. “The most important part is that Hardox is so wear resistant that the lifetime of the concrete mixer stays the same even with reduced steel thickness.”
The new lightweight Intermix concrete mixer addresses precisely this point. Thanks to the excellent properties of Hardox in terms of hardness, toughness, strength, and wear-and-tear, these low sheet thicknesses achieve the same service life with a reduced empty weight.
Each year, roughly 100 trucks from Longmei Engineering carry nearly 12 million tonnes of excavated earth and rock from a coal-bearing seam at the Xiaolongtan coal mine in the Yunnan province of China. With every truck covering 100,000 kilometers (62,137 miles) annually, the company knew that reducing the cost per trip could produce substantial savings. According to Chen Hao, plant manager at Longmei, the company knew that redesigning the truck bodies would bring cost efficiency.
SSAB technicians discussed the matter with engineers at Longmei, and showed them how they could use thinner Hardox plate to reduce the tare and maximize the trucks’ payload capacity.
“We were willing to try something new. We had several meetings and discussions with SSAB, and their technical team showed us examples of truck bodies that were used in Europe. The bodies were very attractive, so we decided to run a trial with Hardox,” recalls Chen.
But when the bodies were delivered, eyebrows were raised.
“The truck body was a shock to us at first, and our drivers refused to believe that such thin plate could cope with more load. But after a few months of service, the drivers agreed that the new Hardox bodies were up to the task,” he recalls.
The entire company backed the decision to continue with Hardox, and it was then decided to switch to a U-shaped body to lower the weight and increase the capacity even more. The result met with great success. Chen recalls that Hardox 450 enabled Longmei to reduce the body weight from 4.6 tonnes to 3.5 tonnes.
“Since we haul earth and rock, the empty weight of the truck is of major importance to us,” states Chen.
“Many truck body manufacturers in China use mild steel with many reinforcements. But Hardox 450 needs no stiffeners, which is a major design benefit,” says Sun Mangui, design and production manager at Longmei.
The Labrie Environmental Group manufactures some of the best equipment on the market for the waste management and recycling industries. Founded in 1933, the company has grown into the third largest North American manufacturer of equipment for waste management. Its vehicles are sold through roughly 50 distributors under the Leach, Labrie and Wittke brands.
Labrie offers some of the most technically advanced waste collection vehicles on the market and continually strives to build stronger, lighter and more durable vehicles. But because its truck bodies must constantly sustain a heavy load impact, the floor plates of its truck fleet began to show signs of too much wear. That’s where Hardox steel stepped in.
The company chose Hardox as a stronger, lighter alternative for the truck bodies. Noha Mandour, group communications director at Labrie, says, “When we were using other steels, we had to change parts and carry out maintenance work more often. A customer who operates 60–70 vehicles will cut the maintenance costs substantially if we use Hardox.”
Customers can experience other benefits, too. Lighter bodies enable vehicles to carry higher payloads within the legal limitations and operate more efficiently, since the durability of SSAB steel also contributes to raising the quality of the vehicles.
Hardox also enables Labrie to use whole plates in the side walls of the bodies.
“Compared to two or three plates that are welded together, a single Hardox plate is both stronger and more resistant to corrosion, since there are no welded joints. One Hardox plate also looks better, since customers have a much larger flat surface that can be used for advertising and pictures,” declares Mandour.
By prioritizing product quality, VERCO has succeeded in retaining its position as one of the leading Italian suppliers of wear parts for mining and quarrying machines. The company specializes in buckets for mining excavators and wheeled loaders, up to 30 cubic meters of capacity, and in liners for crushers and recycling equipment. VERCO was one of the first companies in Italy to build excavator buckets entirely of Hardox wear plate.
According to Daniele Arrighi, export manager at VERCO, minimizing maintenance costs in these applications poses a great challenge. VERCO customers depend on the company to deliver not only superior products, but even technical expertise.
“We have a good distributor network in Italy and abroad, and are now penetrating new markets and new segments. So we must be prepared to tackle new technical issues. Our objective for the future is to introduce SSAB and VERCO products to as many companies as possible,” says Arrighi.
“We offer durable wear parts with low maintenance requirements, which reduces the number of stoppages and cuts costs. Our customers are buying equipment from us that can be mounted on excavators of 300-400 tonnes of operating weight. Such machine stoppages are extremely expensive. With our help, they can improve the reliability and cost efficiency of their enormous equipment.”
As a member of Hardox in My Body™ and Hardox Wearparts, VERCO has access to SSAB’s technical expertise and can thus offer its customers the latest applications for Hardox and Strenx steels.
“We have a strong, long-term relationship with SSAB representatives and can always rely on technical support from them whenever we need it. We use Hardox 400, 450 and 500, HiTuf and Strenx 700*, too, for excavator buckets used at very low temperatures,” says Arrighi.
“When customers face problems in their plants, we visit them together with an SSAB engineer who can offer advice on site, assess their technical requirements and assist in solving the problem – often by specifying a stronger steel. This type of cooperation benefits all parties,” he says.
*Formerly named Weldox 700
Founded in 1961 as a repairer of vehicle track shoes, Bergauer broadened its portfolio to include the production and repair of a wide range of other machine and wear parts, including excavator buckets, equipment for rock quarries, and wear parts like hammers and knives for the recycling industry. Because of the aggressive wear the machine parts are subjected to, the company always needs high-quality steels that exhibit high impact strength. Bergauer chose Hardox® for the first time in 1978, and has been a faithful customer ever since.
Cooperative tests on Hardox have strengthened the bond between the companies. Robert Bergauer values the direct, active contact that he and his company have with SSAB and its technical support team.
“The tests enable us to analyze wear-related problems. Both SSAB and we work towards finding solutions that extend the useful life, which in turn translates into improved profitability for all concerned. Wear parts made of Hardox wear plate last longer, need less maintenance, and lower the total lifecycle costs,” says Bergauer.
He recalls a recent example from a recycling company: “After only six months of service in a shredder for binders, files and office paper, the 40 hammers were so deformed and partially destroyed that the machine no longer worked. This happened even though the manufacturer had sent a set of spare parts free of charge.”
The manufacturer blamed the breakdown on “foreign objects.” But the problem was that the hammers with a hardness of around 320 HBW deformed and broke up when they struck the anvil. The splinters flying around then accelerated the damage to the shredder.
“In consultation with SSAB, we suggested using Hardox 500 and 600. The machine has now been in operation for more than a month and the plant manager is pleased with both the speed at which we succeeded in solving the problem and with the competitive price we had quoted,” says Bergauer.