Some maintenance jobs are just too big or require too much precision to be done on site.  In those instances, mining companies opt for fully equipped workshops with the processes and machinery to tackle the largest jobs and deliver quality work on time.

J&S Engineering and Maintenance, in the Hunter Valley, is the largest of the privately owned engineering workshops in the region and has set itself up with enormous machining capacity and the most advanced CNC tooling to complete any repair, service or maintenance requirement.

Its Rutherford workshop has more than 125t of cranage and a specialised machine shop built to handle large excavators, track frames, drag line components and truck drivelines.

The Big End of Town

In pride of place within the workshop is the enormous 11-axis Soraluce FP CNC travelling column.

This high precision giant features a 40t rotary table, total horizontal travel of 10m, 3.2m of vertical travel and has a 30t head.

Its spindle can produce full torque from 1rpm, enabling it to carry out interpolation turning like a CNC lathe.  Thanks to an integral Renishaw touch probe, it can also scan items and create a 3D program.

J&S Engineering recognised early in its 30-year history that a lot of mining maintenance and repair work simply cannot be done properly and with the required degree of precision on site.

Another example of its high precision capabilities is the metrology arm, capable of scanning across 5m of travel with a Renishaw touch probe.  Utilising Geomagic software, this process generates highly detailed, high speed images of a job for either reverse engineering or QA applications.

By integrating these advanced scanning, repair, machining and finishing capabilities, J&S is able to inspect any piece of equipment in finite detail and then determine the best course of action for its repair – all the while advising and updating the client at every step if required.

The workshop has a steady flow of booms and sticks, large excavator car bodies and track frames, which are transformed from worn and dirty hulks to fully blasted, crack tested, repaired, machined and freshly painted components ready for thousands more productive hours on site.

A dipper lip change-out.

Drill Rods and Carousels

J&S Engineering has other strings to its bow.

The first is a blast drill rod manufacturing and repair facility that houses numerous multi-axis CNC lathes and specialised pipe lathes.  These lathes allow new drill rods to be manufactured right here in Australia but it also allows worn drill rods to be repaired and re-threaded.  J&S has the ability to get three lives from each drill rod, which dramatically reduces the cost of blasting operations over the life of mine.

The company monitors thread wear and erosion on these consumables to keep outright rod replacement to an absolute minimum.

J&S’s intellectual property extends to drill rig carousels, where it has developed the know-how to keep these critical pieces of equipment operating correctly – a real boon for any drilling crew.

Heavy Engineering

In addition to large scale CNC machining and drill rod manufacture, J&S also has a heavy engineering division.

This department rebuilds drag line and dipper buckets and repairs even the largest excavators and dump trucks.

Once again, J&S’ intellectual property extends to CAT track frames, where it has developed a number of proprietary repair procedures for the service and repair of heavy undercarriage components.

This extends to dozer blades and push arms.  OEM repairs for Hitachi equipment is also conducted in-house.

In fact, J&S has developed a process with Hitachi, which has recently been further enhanced, which utilises metal spraying to reclaim worn material from bearing mounting surfaces on Hitachi wheel hubs.

Once the damaged surface has been reclaimed with new metal, it can be machined back to OEM specifications and new bearings installed.

Apart from excavator boom sticks, the company also repairs, services and maintains other componentry such as hydraulic tanks, steering spindles and axle boxes.

Ground engagement tools and wear plate replacement and even repairs to massive Komatsu 4100s 90t face shovel buckets are all in a day’s work at the heavy engineering workshop.

Machining an excavator car body.

Sheave Reclaiming

Another very popular repair at J&S Engineering is sheave reclaiming.  Wire ropes under hundreds of tonnes of strain eventually grind their way through the grooves on these huge pulleys.  The company is equipped to fully remanufacture these sheaves with some further, heavy duty equipment.

The first of this is the 25t rotator, capable of turning sheaves from 1m to 3.5m in diameter and between 6-7t in weight at a constant rate, enabling sub-arc welders to do their bit, reclaiming the eroded metal after a specialised pre-heating process.

Once the welding is complete, new grooves with correctly tapered sides are machined into the sheave’s circumference and the unit is once again suitable for service.

Long History, Bright Future

So, after 30-years of mining engineering and maintenance, carrying out high precision work for some of Australia’s biggest blue chip mining companies, J&S Engineering now has the equipment to take on the biggest jobs in the industry.

But machinery is only one part of the equation.  The company’s greatest assets are its 100 employees, who bring a long-term, experienced work force to the table to perfectly complement the workshop’s state-of-the-art measuring and machining capabilities.

J&S Engineering continues to build on its long history because it is passionate about becoming the premier repairer to the mining industry. For those who shovel rock, they salute you!

More information:
J&S Engineering and Maintenance
02 4932 7379