It is with this in mind that Pilot Crushtec and Metso have introduced the first five-year, 10 000 hour extended warranty plan for all Metso products on their crushing, screening and materials handling equipment. This move is unprecedented in the mining and quarrying industry and highlights the absolute confidence Pilot Crushtec and Metso have in the quality and reliability of their products.
Pilot Crushtec International, southern Africa’s leading supplier of quarrying and mining equipment, understands the particular challenges associated with these industries across the continent.
“When looking at standard warranties within the industry at large, we see that it is one year, 2000 hours,” says Francois Marais, sales and marketing director at Pilot Crushtec. “We have effectively taken this and turned it on its head. We have increased the standard factory warranty to two years and 4000 hours, and then we have added another three years and 6000 hours extended protection plan which covers all the critical components of the unit.”
“If we look at the standard factory warranty offered in the market it is essentially irrelevant. Looking specifically at crushing and screening equipment, incidents arising from abuse or high duty cycles, only really starts to set in after several hundred hours of operation. The first year (2000 hours) is really just running the machine in. It is after this that the true test of durability starts and when the customer really needs the reassurance that the OEM is still involved. Our extended warranty is our way of guaranteeing clients that we are committed to ensuring the machinery they have purchased will continue to deliver first-class service and will last a lot longer. We, as Pilot Crushtec, have a vested interest in the machine.”
Jorge Abelho, Technical Director at Pilot Crushtec echoes this sentiment. “We are getting involved in long-term relationships with our clients and this results in a real mind-set change. Our technicians on site, make sure that the machines are being operated correctly, and that operators are properly trained. Our aim is to get the machine to last, so if we see anything being done wrong, we make sure to highlight this to management so corrective measures may be implemented.”
The extended warranty is now offered as a standard feature on all Metso products and many customers have immediately recognised the inherent value.
“Those customers who have been around the block a few times understand the costs involved when a major component fails on a machine,” says Abelho. “This is not limited to the component itself, which can get costly, but there is downtime to take into consideration. When the machine is not sweating, someone is losing money. At Pilot Crushtec, we understand this and all clients on the extended warranty program receive priority attention if they experience a failure. Should a part breakdown and the customer calls us, Metso will, where possible, immediately put the part on a plane and airfreight it to us.”
“The concept can be compared to servicing and maintaining your car,” says Marais. “To ensure your car retains as much value as possible, and keeps running properly, you take it to the OEM dealer on a regular basis to be serviced. Taking it to an unqualified, unauthorised mechanic who uses sub-standard parts will affect both the performance and value of your vehicle. We, unfortunately, are seeing this happen in our industry with an influx of non-OEM repair services and parts. This results in parts not lasting as long as they should and the machine not performing optimally.”
“Additionally, once the one-year warranty has expired, we see so many people in our industry trying to service the machines themselves without Pilot Crushtec there to guide, advise, and assist in the process which can cause all sorts of chaos. This, hopefully, will become less prevalent among our customers as we are involved throughout the life of the machine. We guide, and offer the best advice possible to management and operators to ensure hassle free operation during the life of the machine. Essentially, you want to prevent a problem from occurring, as opposed to fixing a broken part.”
By partnering with Pilot Crushtec and Metso, there is inherent peace of mind attached to the purchase. “The reality is that the service technicians we use are certified and trained by Metso,” says Marais. “Metso has over 100 years of experience within the crushing and screening industry as manufacturers and that kind of intellectual capital is not easily picked up. Additionally, when we look at the components’ and spares, they have been designed and developed specifically for their machines. There are no discrepancies on angles, tools required, etc. – they fit, work perfectly, and last longer. We hope that we can change the mind-set of the operators who are only concerned with short-term operating costs as opposed to what the long-term benefits will be when it comes to efficiency, efficacy and productivity. Almost every single day we get call outs from clients who are having issues with non-OEM parts or un-authorised service and repair jobs that were not done properly.”
Abelho concludes by sharing a case study from a client who spent so much on repairing three major failures caused by non-OEM parts and poor servicing that the company could have bought a new crusher that year. “There is a reality, in every South African company, that savings must be made on operating expenses. It must, however, be better interpreted as to where the savings are coming from. As a business you will never be able to save yourself into profit. A big focus is always on operating expenses, but not enough attention is given to operating efficiencies. A 5% improvement in production will yield much bigger profits than a 5% reduction in operating expenses. One needs to look at the reality of what the production output of the machine is, and what the cost of using non-OEM parts is. So an alternative part may be cheaper, but at what cost in production? With us, there is a guarantee on the parts, without any compromise in performance of the machine, we are available 24/7, 365, and we will make sure you keep running.”