Jord International, BHP Partnership to Drive Industry-first Innovation for Filter Press Maintenance

BHP commence first Supplier Innovation Program pilot project with Jord International to collaborate on establishing a new industry benchmark for filter press maintenance.

Jord International have been awarded a contract at the BMA Caval Ridge Mine (CVM) in Queensland’s Bowen Basin to implement a unique solution for improving filter press maintenance processes and safety.

The project is the inaugural pilot awarded through the Supplier Innovation Program challenge process, which BHP launched in June 2020 in partnership with Austmine. The first challenge was focused on safety in BMA and garnered the interest of 235 suppliers across Australia with 21 providing expressions of interest to put forward a solution. Jord was selected as the standout submission from a highly competitive final field of 9 METS companies that presented a proposal to BMA.

This open innovation and collaborative challenge process is being replicated at other BMA sites in Queensland, along with BHP’s Western Australian Iron Ore (WAIO) and Olympic Dam operations.

Jord will now have the opportunity to work hand-in-hand with the Fixed Plant Maintenance Team at CVM to pilot their solution. If successful, it will potentially establish an industry benchmark for a known issue across the industry.

The solution proposed by Jord will eliminate the man and machine interaction with the development of a belt cartridge installer which is self-contained in a light weight steel body which allows lifting by the overhead gantry crane. The cartridge will also enable forklifts to transport it while on the ground. This process will remove the operator from the filter area.

James Agar, Group Procurement Officer, said the Supplier Innovation Program enabled BHP to crowd-source a broader range of unique and innovative solutions to business challenges.

“With filter press belt replacements, it is a time consuming task with lots of manual handling. While there are processes in place to control the risks around that task, the new solution proposed through this innovation program eliminates the need for maintainers to be in physical contact with the filter press altogether,’’ James said.

Kevin Barber, General Manager – Minerals, Jord International, said, “The (Supply Innovation Program) process was very open with feedback shared and accepted by both parties. It has been a great opportunity to be engaged in solving a problem that you would otherwise not have been aware of.”

Craig Samuel, Jord Senior Design Engineer, stated, “Creating a safer environment is the pinnacle of an engineer’s ethos and it’s incorporated in everything we design.”

Amanda O’Conner, Acting Vice President Procurement Excellence, said “We look forward to partnering with Jord to implement a successful solution eliminating safety risks and ensuring our people go home safe every day.”

BHP and Austmine are partnering on a number of current challenges within the Supplier Innovation Program focusing on areas such as reclaim tunnel cleaning, port safety, conveyor roller handling and oversize rock detection. We look forward to sharing more information about the results of these challenge processes over the coming months.

To keep up to date with the Supplier Innovation Program visit our webpage.