From Aichhalden
The Fortescue Metals Group (FMG) is an Australian company based in Perth and is one of the country’s largest producers of iron ore. The mines owned by FMG include Cloudbreak Mine and Christmas Creek Mine. Wirtgen surface miners are used at both to extract iron ore.

From Aichhalden

to Australia and back: with new findings and good ideas for Betek in his bags

To develop a good solution the Betek product managers are always prepared to go the extra mile. On this occasion that meant going from Aichhalden to Australia in order to perfect the bits for a Wirtgen surface miner. Six weeks later, junior product manager Christoph Haberstroh returned armed with new findings and good ideas. The result is called the BETEK WSM-27-42-85-VPH.

“We wanted to develop the best solution for the client,” recounts junior product manager Christoph Haberstroh, giving an insight into his working routine, which is one of great variety and considerable responsibility. “Before I set off, we had already worked intensively on the requirements placed on bits in iron ore extraction and further developed two bit types, which were then specially produced for the test. We then sent these two bit ver­sions off to Australia.” Christoph Haberstroh follow­ed them. For him it’s all part of the job to monitor such a test on site – no matter where the mine is!

In this case in Australia. “We tested the bits in great detail on the surface miners as they worked for six weeks on extracting iron ore at the Cloudbreak Mine.” Haberstroh, an enthusiastic engineer, personally worked with the ‘bit team’, which is responsible for tool changes. “That gives you a good feel for the product itself – in that way I know at once what the people are talking about.” Once the 26-year-old had become familiar with the on-site conditions, he knew what bit properties needed to be improved in order to reduce machine downtime to a minimum. In order to be even better in iron ore extraction one of his recommendations was to shorten the collet sleeve. The highly wear-resistant tungsten carbide plating is now also being used more efficiently in order to counter steel erosion.

Best possible holder protection and cutting capacity

“We succeeded in making handling of the bit significantly better and in creating a good way of identifying wear. We also achieved the best possible implementation of holder protection and cutting capacity.” Haberstroh is only satisfied when his customers are satisfied and with this solution he achieved his goal. The people at partners Wirtgen are impressed by the high productivity and the long machine running times.