Custom Hitachi Lube Vehicle Boosts Moatize Mine’s Safety and Productivity
Mozambique’s premier coalmine will improve equipment effectiveness for total production management
Tete, Mozambique, 16 April, 2018
Hitachi Construction Machinery Africa in conjunction with their subsidiary dealership, Hitachi Construction Machinery Mozambique has designed a custom built lubricant vehicle for Vale, one of the world’s largest mining companies, and provided it to enhance the availability of excavators, trucks and other utility equipment at the group’s Moatize coal mine.
The lubricant vehicle enhances safety and optimises equipment availability by providing essential lubricants, coolant including degreaser where the equipment is being used. This minimises preventative and planned maintenance downtime, improves productivity, reduces operating expenses, increases equipment utilisation, and offers greater machine hour productivity.
“Machine hour availability is crucial to be successful on an operation the size of our Moatize undertaking,” says Wilco Uys, Coal Executive Manager at Moatize Mine in Mozambique. “The mine has operated since 2010 and in 2017 achieved an annual production milestone of 11.3 million tonnes of coal 5.8 million tonnes more than in 2016. With the planned production ramp-up of over 15 million tonnes for FY18 it currently is the premier coal mining operation in Mozambique and the biggest Vale investment outside of Brazil. Its location in Tete, Central Mozambique however, provides substantial logistical challenges and we expect this custom built new lubricant vehicle, which provides a complete mobile support solution for our production and maintenance crews, to appreciably improve machine hour productivity.”
Figure 1 (below) – At the handover in Moatize Mine in Mozambique proudly presented by Kentaro Goto, President of Hitachi Construction Machinery Mozambique on the left and Wilco Uys, Coal Executive Manager at Moatize, on the right.
Toshiaki Takase, President of Hitachi Construction Machinery Africa, says: “The success of our equipment is tied to the success of our customer’s operation, which makes the delivery of this unique custom built lubricant vehicle mutually beneficial. Equipment availability is a crucial factor to the continued success of one of Mozambique’s most critical natural resource facilities. This new vehicle enhances the maintenance efficiencies by providing critical lubricants, coolant and degreaser fluids directly where it is required for safe, convenient, and sustainable operations.”
The lubricant unit, fitted to a field-proven Hitachi chassis, includes its own 40Kw, 12V hydraulic drive motor. This secondary power unit isolates the vehicle’s main drive engine, which can be switched off during transfers, which makes field operations safer and more economical.
The lubricant unit contains six tanks that range from 250-litre to 10 000-litre capacities and includes oils, coolant, degreaser, and a high pressure cleaner essential for effective in field maintenance practices. It also features a ring of 10 LED maintenance lights for night operations. It has a fast fill station for ground level filling in all product tanks, overfill protection valves for every tank, a battery pack with electrical sockets, and a sophisticated, automated fire suppression system. It is controlled via a digital management system with automated distribution control. And it has 15 metre hoses with universal couplers for depot filling and standard distribution connections.
Kentaro Goto, President of Hitachi Construction Machinery Mozambique, says: “Vehicle maintenance is an industry-wide challenge that heavily impacts productivity and also safety. This mobile lubricant vehicle enables a considerable mine such as Moatize to provide more proactive maintenance for its working fleet to avoid downtime, delays and incidents and sustain a high level of equipment availability. The features specific to this vehicle, with a host of automated digital optimisations, ensure the best environmental sustainability, safety and efficiency for the maintenance crews and support our maintenance and repair contractual obligations.”
João Monteiro, Excavator Maintenance Manager at Moatize, adds: “Overall equipment effectiveness is an integral part of total production management and therefore crucial to achieving one of the most efficient and productive operations in order to increase capability in Moatize, with reliable lubrication service and continuously focus on sustainability of business, positive environmental impact and personal safety. This new addition ensures we are at the forefront of innovative practices, even in a remote location, in line with our site based focus on asset care and compliance to preventative maintenance plans.”
Figure 2 (below) – The Hitachi EH1100 Lubrication Unit in the background with the hand over from Kentaro Goto, President of Hitachi Construction Machinery Mozambique on the left and João Monteiro, Excavator Maintenance Manager at Moatize, on the right.
Figure 3 (below) – The Hitachi EH1100 is a proven and reliable chassis that includes many innovative features for its custom lubricant role at Moatize Mine. The digital distribution system is exposed for view in this picture with the dust and safety panel slid aft. It also contains a host of safety features, such as the numerous guard rails and the sloping stairs to access the cab. Also visible are the LED lights for night time operations.
Figure 4 (below) – The Hitachi lubricant vehicle supplied to Vale’s Moatize Mine, which provides a hefty boost to the mine’s productivity, efficiency, safety, and environmental sustainability, demonstrates its Hitachi Truck roots with the lubricant unit having the unique ability to tip rearwards. Retaining this capability affords ease of access for efficient maintenance. Contained in the lubricant unit are six tanks that range in capacity from 250 litres to 10 000 litres. The tanks contain a variety of all essential oils including coolant, degreaser and grease, as well as capacity for draining fluid effluent from operating vehicles for safe and environmentally sustainable removal and disposal to the maintenance depot.
About Hitachi Construction Machinery Africa (Pty) Ltd.
Hitachi Construction Machinery Africa (Pty) Ltd. headquartered in Boksburg, Johannesburg, is a Southern African distributor for Hitachi Construction Machinery Co., Ltd., based in Japan. Hitachi Construction Machinery Africa has three subsidiary dealers located in South Africa, Zambia and Mozambique. Hitachi Construction Machinery Africa also expanded into countries within the Southern Africa continent as independent dealers in Botswana, Zimbabwe, Mauritius including Seychelles and Namibia. Hitachi Construction Machinery will focus more than ever on the Construction and Mining Machinery Business, which includes Hydraulic Excavators, Wheel Loaders, Rigid Dump Trucks, Applications and Mine Management Systems.
For more information on Hitachi Construction Machinery, please visit the company’s website at