Austmine Member Liebherr - Having a Customer-Minded Approach to Mining Equipment
This article was originally published on Mining Global.
Liebherr Mining isn’t your ordinary equipment manufacturer. Committed to a very niche market, Liebherr is dedicated to enhancing the core aspects of mining activities (digging dirt and hauling it) by producing quality products in the most effective and cost-effective way possible.
The company has earned a solid reputation for building some of the largest and most advanced machinery the mining world has ever seen. With the help of a proven team of innovators driven by a customer-minded approach, Liebherr is striving to transform the way the mining industry does business.
Innovation lights the way
Superior products don’t happen overnight. It takes years of experience, proven R&D, innovative designs and some of the most forward-thinking minds the industry has to offer. Liebherr has them all.
The company has developed a dream team of staff committed to revolutionizing the way mining equipment operates.
“The majority of projects we’re working on center around ease of operations, cost reduction, and performance increase,” says Swann Blaise, Group Leader of Liebherr’s marketing department.
Along with creating bigger, faster and stronger machinery, Liebherr is focused on making equipment smarter.
Technology is the driving force behind Liebherr. The company is committed to cultivating new ideas as well as improving upon original ones.
“We believe that improved quality leads to reduction of cost, therefore our focus is to improve quality at three levels: during production and assembly in the factories; during assembly and commissioning on the mine site; and during machine operation.”
Liebherr is currently engaged in a variety of projects dedicated to improving certain components of its equipment. Continuous improvements include its Assistance Systems, which is comprised of health monitoring, application severity avoidance, performance survey and operator assistance. Liebherr is also focused on reducing machine dead weight by increasing net payload, generating faster cycle times and reducing load on structures.
Customer minded approach
What makes Liebherr stand out from the pack is its customer-minded approach to equipment. It has led the company into concentrating on the overall quality of its products as well as innovating new ideas for its customers.
For Liebherr, the main drivers to increasing quality are as followed:
• Training employees accordingly.
• Providing state-of-the-art working environment and tools for staff.
• Strong relationships with suppliers and continuous monitoring of their manufacturing processes and their component quality.
• Usage of Liebherr components and owned Service Companies wherever possible.
• Prevention and continuous improvement through FMECA studies to control the risks of non-compliances.
• Continuous monitoring of incidents in operation and their analysis by multidisciplinary groups plus issue resolving through defined processes.
Liebherr has developed a unique approach to ensure the company continues to focus on what customers want.
“We run a dedicated Mining Engineering group that holds close contacts with our sales and after sales support teams, customers and affiliates as well as other Engineering groups in the Liebherr Group of Companies,” says Blaise.
Along with the feedback from customers, Liebherr takes it one step further by utilizing data from its own equipment.
“We also have strong processes in place to collect and assess the data that comes back from our machines in the field. All this creates a source for straight forward product development and improvement and for innovation,” says Blaise.
Liebherr has implemented a vast network of customer support lines to secure total customer satisfaction ranging from mining training systems to operator training. According to Liebherr’s website, the company has even launched an exchange component program where customers can exchange worn out parts for new.
“Over the course of a machine’s lifetime major components must be replaced in order to ensure continued optimal performance. Replacing major components with genuine Liebherr reconditioned parts reduces costs without compromising quality.”
The future for Liebherr
With 2015 already upon us, Liebherr’s goal for the future is simple: Continue to produce the best mining equipment possible.
“We’re going to continue to expand our global product offerings including new mining excavators and mining trucks, new service support packages and tools, and expansion of the service networks,” says Blaise. “Our products will continue to be supported through an excellent support network with a customer minded approach for solution finding.”
“Our goal is to focus on the expansion of our worldwide Customer Service Support network,” says Blaise. “This includes general Sales, Customer Service Support but in particular regionally centralized Reman Center.
The company was on hand at the 2014 Bauma China expo to unveil their latest developments and technologies. One of the standouts from the event was its 110-ton hydraulic excavator. Powered with a 565kW Liebherr V12 engine, the machine is equipped with a 7-m3 Liebherr build bucket combined with the Liebherr ground engaging tools (GETs) for both improved penetration and a higher fill factor.
“The latest developments from Liebherr include the R9400E and R9800E, both of which are now available,” says Blaise.
“For 2015, we’re going to start rolling out the R9200, a new machine in the 200-t class and the T264, a new product in the 240-t class.”
With Liebherr at the helm, the mining industry is in good hands as the manufacturer is expected to continue innovating smarter and more efficient ways for companies to dig and haul dirt.
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