Customer case

Hardox® 450 guarantees maximum payload and the highest level of toughness in Volmex dump boxes

November 30, 2020 6 min read

Case details

Country Mexico
Company Volmex
Industry Trailers and body builders
Brand Program Hardox® In My Body

Since 2015, as a member of the Hardox® in the My Body program, VOLMEX has intensified its production using Hardox® 450 steel, thereby increasing the useful life of equipment by 50%. Always seeking continuous improvement, in October 2020 VOLMEX launched an innovative dump box made of Hardox® 500 Tuf steel that can withstand heavier jobs due to its extreme resistance to wear and impacts.

"Between 2019 and the first half of 2020, the company produced 100 dump box units in Hardox® 450 steel. Our projection for the close of 2020 is to produce 30 units in this second half, half of which in Hardox® 500 Tuf steel. "

José Luis Macías Alonso, Commercial Manager of Volmex

To maintain the quality of its products, primarily for the most severe challenges faced in mine operations, VOLMEX, with a market presence of more than 12 years and dedicated to the metal industry, has specialized in producing dump boxes with Hardox® 450 steel from SSAB, a Swedish multinational company and a world leader in the manufacture of steels considered among the world’s toughest. Ten years ago, when the equipment was made of ASTM-A36 commercial steel, the plate thickness was 3/8", and the equipment had a volume capacity of 14 cubic meters and weighed 3.4 tonnes.

VOLMEX, as a member of the Hardox® in My Body program, which certifies the company to manufacture equipment in Hardox® wear steel, has been using ¼ inch Hardox® 450 and producing a product weighing 2.6 tonnes, giving customers about 800 kg of additional payload.

Jose Luis Macías Alonso, Commercial Manager at Volmex, is preparing to upgrade the dump box material from Hardox® 450 to Hardox® 500 Tuf, the new generation of extremely tough Hardox® plates for operations that require resistance to impacts and wear . “We are very excited and want the market to know about Hardox® 500 Tuf material. We continue to make dump trucks with Hardox® 450, and expect to make them from SSAB’s new material in this second half of the year," he says.

Upgrading to this material will increase payload and extend the useful life of customers' equipment. Hardox® 500 Tuf offers high resistance, exceptional hardness and guaranteed toughness in a single wear resistant plate. Outstanding wear resistance prolongs the useful life of end products that can withstand severe impacts.

Strength required by the customer

VOLMEX's Commercial Manager stated that customers began to order equipment made from Hardox® 450 in 2012. In 2015, when the company was certified as a member of the Hardox® in My Body program, it noticed the differences and benefits of having equipment manufactured using high-strength steels: higher payload, greater levels of resistance to high punishment loads and longer service life.

“We specialized heavily in design, material specifications and special configurations for the manufacture of dump boxes and were able to develop a product that met the requirements of much of the mining industry in Mexico, Central America and Colombia. Since 2019, nearly 80% of mining customers who use dump boxes have requested that they be made of Hardox® material," says José Luis Macias.

The Hardox® in My Body sign of quality represents first-class equipment that delivers unmatched wear resistance and impact toughness.

Real benefits

Apart from the weight savings from thinner thicknesses because of the properties and the yield strength of the material, Hardox® 450 makes it possible for dump bodies to withstand greater impacts than a box made of normal materials could withstand. “Not only does its thickness help make it lighter, it can also withstand harsher operations, and the possibility of cracking or deformation is greatly reduced," José emphasizes.

Two years ago, VOLMEX combined some parts of the equipment that were previously made of commercial steel. “The box frame - the floor, the door, the sides and the top - is made of 100% Hardox® 450 steel and now the structural elements, such as the edges and some bracing, are made of Strenx® high-strength structural steel, so they have very similar strengths," he explains. “This has proven to be a very good point, because now in the Mexican market, many dump box manufacturers using Hardox® 450 continue to mix and use commercial steels, such as ASTM-A36, in some body parts.”

"Our customers have not only noticed a substantial improvement in the useful life of the dump boxes, they now also tell us that they have considerably reduced compulsory sidelining of their equipment with tipper models made from commercial steels due to the constant cracks and deformations, achieving a noticeable increase in the efficiency of their operations with the new products.

Performance is also the manufacturer's problem. Since dump boxes made of commercial steels were produced with greater thicknesses, they required more filler material for welding. With Hardox® 450 material, Jose Luis says the team gained in internal efficiency and a cleaner design. “This means 11% time savings in production and the product has a European look - it’s quite aesthetic and that’s attractive to customers," he emphasizes.

Future with Hardox® 500 Tuf steel

Hardox® 500 Tuf has proven its worth in dump boxes, buckets, liners, containers and all types of wear parts for companies in Italy, Arabia, the United States and Argentina.

In the coming months, VOLMEX will be investing in the manufacture of equipment using high-strength steels. “Between 2019 and the first half of 2020, the company produced 100 dump box units in Hardox® 450 steel. Our projection for the close of 2020 is to have produced 30 units in the second half, with 50% of them using Hardox® 500 Tuf steel," confirms Jose Luis Macías of VOLMEX. This option is available to our customers from mid-October, when the company launches production of dump boxes in Hardox 500® Tuf steel.

VOLMEX is in an ideal central location in the State of Aguascalientes and has been in the market for 12 years, manufacturing high-quality dump equipment, semi-trailers and specialized designs to meet the requirements and expectations of its customers by applying process improvement methodologies on a continuous basis. In addition to achieving great success in the domestic market, VOLMEX has evolved into an export company for all of Central America and Colombia, and is strengthening its position as the region’s benchmark with its dump truck models.

Find out how upgrading pays off

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