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In Africa and Europe, BIA has forged a reputation as an overhaul expert and, more precisely, an expert in the complete overhaul of construction machines and mining equipment.
A new lease of life at low cost
In Africa, giving a second or even a third life to mobile machines is justified from an economic point of view, especially for heavy machines such as Komatsu and Sandvik, which are generally used by mines or mining contractors.
In Europe, where the machines are not nearly as big, an overhaul also has many advantages for the customer. It provides an advantageous alternative to purchasing new equipment: lower cost, tax advantages, and guaranteed quality of reconditioned parts.
To be economically beneficial to the customer, the total cost of reconditioning components varies from 40 to 70% of the price of a new part, for an equivalent working life.
During the overhaul, the machine is completely disassembled and each part is inspected in detail: rear axle, transmission, differential, suspension, front axle, cab, tanks, radiators, etc.
The chassis is stripped down and every bore is measured in both directions and reconditioned if the tolerance is no longer compliant. The bearings, liner inserts, hydraulic hoses, and safety components are systematically replaced, and every part is carefully cleaned to avoid any contamination of the hydraulic and cooling circuits.
A 1600 m² workshop in Belgium
Belgian subsidiary BIA Services, located in Fleurus, includes a 1600 m² workshop fully equipped for large-scale overhaul projects. This workshop also prepares and personalises new machines, and handles the repair and maintenance of BIA’s customers’ machines. An average overhaul occupies the team full-time for about three months. According to the size of the machine, a team of two or three dedicated technicians is assigned to the task. BIA Services is entrusted with three or four overhaul projects every year, but the number of opportunities is increasing.
Overhaul on and off mining sites…
In Africa, the situation is different. Machine overhauls involve two types of operation: operations on the mining site (the used parts are replaced by reconditioned parts) and off-site operations (the used parts are reconditioned for re-use in another overhaul).
Parts are generally reconditioned off site for the following reasons:
- To avoid contamination and repair parts to give them similar performance characteristics to new parts, the work environment must be perfectly clean. The maintenance workshop available on site cannot provide that level of cleanliness.
- Reconditioning requires a very precise and systematic process to be set up. A process that requires experienced, specialist technicians and special tools.
These off-site operations are either executed by Komatsu Indonesia, particularly for engines and transmissions, or the components are exchanged within the framework of the Reman programme, or reconditioning is handled by the BIA workshops as in Dakar, Senegal and Kitwe, Zambia.
The Zambian workshop in Kitwe will mainly deal with large mechanical components for diesel and electric dump trucks. We have already begun the procedure to obtain Komatsu certification, guaranteeing the highest standard.
Renovations for construction are also arriving in Africa.
BIA Africa is committed to building other component and construction vehicle reconditioning workshops in the future, in order to reinforce its customer support. The next workshops will open in Ouagadougou and Abidjan.
Finally, overhaul operations allow BIA to offer its customers non-negligible added value. In the current economic context, a growing number of customers are attracted to this less expensive alternative.
Because each customer is unique and each project is specific, BIA provides its customers with a tailored service to better meet their demands.
No matter what the type of project is, BIA’s experienced engineers are there to guide customers from the initial stages of the project to its conclusion.
From the first phase of the project, customers will benefit from the support of BIA engineers for everything regarding:
* The recommended type of machines (size, weight, power, special options)
* The number of machines needed for the required production
* Estimate of the overall cost of engines throughout their life cycle (life cycle cost)
* The necessary infrastructure (workshop, warehouse, etc.)
* The auxiliary machines and tooling needed for maintenance
Then comes the question of the service to be provided to customers. With service agreements extending as far as Full Repair and Maintenance Program contracts, BIA provides its customers with continuous support. Thanks to these service contracts, customers have the guarantee that their machines are maintained and repaired perfectly according to OEM standards.
So, throughout the project development phase, BIA supports its customers by setting up a series of services. Among the services provided by BIA are:
*Recommendations on stock of parts to be built up
*Reconditioning of components
*Support for all the administrative and legislative questions associated with the specifics of the country concerned (taxes, local laws) etc.
At each stage of the project, BIA will therefore provide a suitable plan to each of its customers, depending on their own requirements. By planning, organising and controlling the specific resources, BIA’s customers can confident that their project will be successfully and efficiently completed. This allows them the concentrate on their core business.
BIA considers each customer to be unique, and the quality of our after-sales services is a priority. That is why 75% of BIA personnel are qualified technicians and engineers.
In this spirit of premium service, BIA has developed a range of service agreements that have the advantage of being modular, to respond to the specific needs of customers.
With this wide choice of service contracts, BIA supports its customers at every stage of their project. From maintenance contracts to custom service contracts and RAMP (Full Repair and Maintenance Package) schemes, BIA offers its customers continuous assistance. Thanks to these service agreements, customers can be confident that their machines will be perfectly maintained and repaired in accordance with OEM standards. BIA also guarantees that it uses only certified original factory replacement parts. In short: the special customer care provided by BIA lets customers focus on their core business, with optimum budget planning and high machine availability.
The technical support that BIA brings to its customers is not limited to simple maintenance operations. In fact, this support comprises:
* Follow up and improvement of communication flows with customers and BIA suppliers (OEM)
* Guarantee Management
* Following up and management of process and internal procedure improvements
* Training in “best practices”
* Site audits in view of the continuous improvement program in which BIA is involved
* Technical Support
For all the territories in which BIA works, BIA is responsible for its equipment and the technical support provided to its customers. This is why BIA regularly visits its customers and the sites on which they work in order to check the practices in force. The visit then gives rise to a report, and matters arising from these will be directly communicated to manufacturers (with a view to future improvement).
Depending on the needs of the customer, of the project concerned and the type of contract entered into with the customer, BIA is proud to be able to recruit, train and coordinate all the operational functions needed for the maintenance and repair of machines on site. So BIA provides its customers with a specialised team of qualified engineers and technicians who benefit from a continuous training program. The customer also benefits from teams expert in the maintenance and repair of machines directly on site.
Thanks to BIA’s experienced technical support, the customer is sure to obtain optimum efficiency from its machines.
1. Investment credit
On BIA’s initiative, local and offshore banks help customers with their equipment purchases and operational expenditure related to parts and maintenance (classic loans, equipment financing, dedicated investments).
BIA helps customers hook up with the best financial organisations and put together their loan application, for a successful outcome.
2. Trade finance
Because BIA works with a large number of well-known banks and export credit agencies (ECA), customers can receive advice concerning their acquisition of financial products (efficient structuring of deferred payments and longer-term due dates).
BIA maintains strong relationships with European and Pan-African banking networks, which are able to assist customers from the start of their operations. BIA works mainly with LCs, SBLCs, and Avalised and Accepted Drafts.
3. Export financing — purchaser credit
For all matters relating to long-term projects, the BIA financing department gathers the best institutional and banking agents to structure its customers’ export financing loans, and mainly purchaser credits. This type of structure naturally takes longer to create and finalise, but it provides access to long-term offshore financing.
From CAPEX to OPEX, credit is a very common financing method in Europe, and is growing in Africa.
The BIA financing department works closely with its customers to introduce them to high-performance credit agencies able to support their activities via financial and operational loans to suit their needs.
BIA works with customers to find the ideal financing solution with regard to term, residual value, price, and service.