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.