With a major focus on offering innovative and value-added solutions to the customers, TIPL, the wholly owned subsidiary of TIL, has launched a 50,000 sq ft, state-of-the-art Component Rebuild Centre (CRC). Equipment India finds out the details about the facilities from G Sivaramakrishnan, Advisor, Center of Excellence & Mining, TIPL.Located in Asansol, West Bengal, in close proximity of the mining belt, this modern state-of-the-art facility is equipped to test and rebuild all major components of the equipment Caterpillar produces today, and is designed to restore engine and drive-train components to factory standards, thereby meeting the world-class Caterpillar benchmark of safety, quality and contamination standards. "The facility has been developed to meet the Five-Star Contamination Control criteria by Caterpillar and can undertake component repair of large mining trucks, wheel loaders and tractors. The facility is conveniently located for major mining customers of TIPL and is designed to efficiently restore engine and drive-train components to factory standards," says GVR Murthy, Joint Managing Director, TIPL.Features like high-pressure washers for both small and big components, the Magnaflux detector to check internal s, engine dynamometer capable of testing maximum 3,500 HP engine, pressurised ventilator for contamination control, CRC offers its customers a clear differentiating experience for their service and maintenance needs. "This complete facility is a nerve centre for our Maintenance & Repair Contract (MARC) projects wherein we manage the entire fleet of equipment for the customer. CRC helps to meet components rebuild schedules and a link to each of the MARC project. A large parts warehouse supports the operation in making parts to be readily available for meeting the promised delivery dates," says G Sivaramakrishnan, Advisor, Center of Excellence & Mining, TIPL.Points out Sivaramakrishnan, "In order to enhance our value-added solution packages, we have invested in a state-of-the-art facility, the CRC, wherein component repairs and rebuilds are undertaken in a dust and contamination- free environment facilitating a matching life as that of a new component assembly. This would ensure a uniform cost per hour and also in the case of construction and mining equipment in terms of lower cost per tonne.""Our service includes total solution offering to customer from identifying the right machine for his application and the fleet sizing to ramp up production requirements for the next 5-10 years depending on the industry environment in which the machines/engines will be working. Customers are advised on the various attachments which would help them increase their productivity and ability to meet their committed project plan schedule at an optimum cost to ensure maximum profits to be generated out of their business. We pitch in our product support packages to cater to the exact requirement; driving lower operating cost enhancing the equipment life and ensuring machine reliability for continuous production," he further adds.This 50,000-sq-ft Centre offers component repairs and also provides exchange of component assemblies to support quick re-commissioning of the machine without needing to wait for the component overhaul to be completed for re-commissioning the machine; ensuring the lowest cost of operation with highest machine uptime. "The facility is equipped to carry out repairs of the smallest machine in our range today, namely, CAT 424 backhoe loader components to a large mining truck of 240T class CAT 793 model and exchange engines and repairs for the gas and diesel gensets used in various industries, Sivaramakrishnan explains.Speaking about the response from the customer, Sivaramakrishnan says, "Since its inauguration, many of our esteemed customers have visited the facility and have acknowledged that this world-class facility represents TIPL's commitment towards quality, reliability and profitability to customer. Keeping the needs of the customer, we have also quickly added machine repair bays in the facility to rebuild various types of machines to provide a second useful life for the machine. This initiative substantially reduces capital investment yet achieving the same level of production. The other advantage is that it effectively addresses the demand-supply gaps, to meet with the demand growth from mining and construction segment leading to machine delivery constraints and long-term procurement plans is totally removed from the constraints that customer faces today."THE FACILITY FLOWWashing and cleaning: The facility starts with an unloading ramp from where components/machines move to washing and cleaning area where the components are externally cleaned thoroughly before moving to the dis-assembly bay, the next stage in the operation. Before going, all the dirt and grime in the wash area drains into an effluent treatment plant.Dis-assembly bay: The dis-assembly bay has grilled flooring to permit draining of left-over oils. The dis-assembled components are thoroughly washed in high-pressure cabinet washers specially built for thorough cleaning of various oil passages and external surfaces of the engine, transmission and other power-train components. There are two washers, one, for ferrous and the other for non-ferrous application. The dis-assembly bay measures 15 m x 36 m and is equipped with 12.5T overhead crane.The parts are skin-wrapped to protect from dust and contamination. These parts are only opened at the time of assembly in the CRC."In the dis-assembly area, we have repair facility for engine cylinder heads, valves and valve seats. There are also inspection and test facilities including a Magnaflux tester for detecting sub-surface s on major components like blocks, crankshafts and cylinder head assemblies. The cylinder heads are also tested for leakages upon assembling to valves and valve seats. The shop also inspects critical component like connecting rods before deciding on the reusability. The checking fixtures not only checks bend and alignment of bolts but also allows for the correction of the bolts. All this ensures rebuilds similar to that of a new manufacturing facility. This bay segregates reusable components and those that need to be scrapped. Having segregated the scrap and reusable material, the scrap is further segregated into perishable and non-perishable items to ensure an environment-friendly treatment on waste management," he points out.Sivaramakrishnan further elucidates, "The dis-assembly area has computer systems installed which connect to our main server and facilitates parts ordering for various assemblies to allow for easy identification and assembly. The parts are supplied as standard kit to facilitate quick assembly process. Additional parts specific to engine are also ordered for supplying along with its standard kits. All materials are held in staging area at the warehouse specifically dedicated to CRC which is also protected from external contamination as per Caterpillar standards."Effluent treatment: All the dirt and grime from dis-assembly area are routed to effluent treatment plant, a strict adherence to environmental protection policy followed in the developed countries. The clean water out of effluent treatment plant is utilised for the purpose of gardening, thus saving water resources.Component repair assembly bays: Engine shop has 14 bays for rebuilding. Sub-assemblies and final engine assembly; this is equipped with 16T overhead crane and 3T jib cranes serving each bay. Each bay is equipped with its own tooling arrangements including special-purpose tooling for specific assembly. The compressed air lines both dry and lubricated are available at each of the stations for components cleaning/air gauges/impact wrench application. Each bay is equipped with small parts washers for assuring extra cleanliness. Each area has contamination measurement to assure cleanliness. Above all, each bay is equipped with safety equipment and the complete workforce at the CRC is trained on safety requirement meeting international standard and is supported by Caterpillar, USA.Dynamometer room: The engine from the engine shop directly enters a dynamometer room wherein the engine is tested on a dynamometer capable of testing maximum 3,500 HP engine. This dynamometer, supplied by Power Test Inc, USA is capable of testing the engine at incremental loads to ensure smooth power generation and engine performance. The CRC has also transmission, power-train and hydraulic rebuild shop with equal number of bays as that of engine, ie, 14 bays and has a dedicated 16T overhead crane. Each bay has similar arrangements as that of engine to ensure high quality assembly and totally contaminant free to ensure design life of the rebuilt engine is attained by the customer.Hydraulic and transmission test bench: All the components built in the transmission and hydraulic rebuild shop are thoroughly tested in the hydraulic test room adjacent to the dynamometer test room. All components are tested to meet CAT test specifications and performance standards. Both engine and the transmission bays are completely pressurised to prevent dust ingress and permit a comfortable working environment for the technicians.Paint booth: There is a separate paint booth supplied by Bullows to ensure high quality painting meeting CAT specs which allows dispatching components aesthetically in an absolutely new condition.Summarising the quality process at CRC, Sivaramakrishnan says, "At our CRC, each rebuild follows a Cat-approved process, beginning with a thorough cleaning of every component and ending with rigorous testing to ensure quality. Engines are completely stripped to the bare block and checked down to the bolts and continually audited for cleanliness and meet stringent standards set by Caterpillar. Close attention to contamination control enhances productivity, increases component longevity and results in decreased downtime. TIPL's CRC is not only about the state-of-the-art facility, but also about the world-class technicians trained by Caterpillar experts to rebuild Caterpillar components."A separate bay is dedicated for training technicians for CRC as well as for field service operations. This service facility is designed to follow CAT Certified Learning Centre for development of TIPL technicians in the CAT machinery and components. The other half of this shop is currently used for rebuilding machines."We now have a unique world-class solution to meet the complete needs of customer equipment management and are proud of our CRC which goes with our Chairman's vision in making our customers more profitable," sums up Sivaramakrishnan.