Poor design and implementation of transfer points can result in increased maintenance costs for minerals processing systems. This is made worse by a lack of proactive, scheduled maintenance and can result in excessive downtime and severely reduced profitability. Faizal Mahomed, After Sales Manager at M&J Engineering said “The transfer points, due to the nature of their application, should be carefully considered as they can easily become the obstacle to efficient operation. The critical issue here is that the uncontrolled discharge of bulk materials through conventional chutes is associated with escalated maintenance and replacement costs”.Mahomed suggests that a common understanding in the industry is that the project is finished once the transfer points and chutes have been installed and commissioned. “This is not the case, as once the chutes are in active operation problems can arise due to wear and a lack of maintenance. We are aware of the fact that inspections and maintenance are not the core business of the mines, which is why we recommend they invest in a maintenance contract that clearly outlines the after sales responsibilities of the supplier.”Ironically, due to the reliable nature of the Weba Chute Systems, routine maintenance is often not carried out on systems. “However, normal wear and tear does occur and even a seemingly minor deflection, such as a slight spillage, can result in a significant loss of productivity over time,” Mahomed adds.A comprehensive maintenance contract will include random and scheduled on-site inspections as well as pre-specified appointments to undertake maintenance work. “M&J Engineering thoroughly checks the condition of the chutes’ wear components to ensure that the chutes operate within their engineered parameters. By timeously identifying issues, we are able to alleviate equipment failure,” says Mahomed.The company undertakes to continuously monitor its Weba Chute Systems from the date of installation. “This allows us to determine the wear rate and to ensure that the transfer point is performing optimally. A technician regularly inspects and monitors all transfer points. In instances where a mine has a large number of transfer points, this is extremely advantageous,” Mahomed explains.After a routine check a comprehensive report, including a detailed cost analysis, is compiled and issued to the customer. It includes information on the condition of the chute and identifies areas where maintenance is required, including the replacement of wear parts that have reached the end of their life.M&J Engineering promotes a customer centric support programme that is underpinned by extensive experience and expertise in a large number of installations. “By developing enduring relationships with our customers, we are able to define their exacting needs. Customisation of products and a tailored maintenance contract provide customers with the assurance that their transfer point and chute system will eliminate unnecessary downtime. The end result is increased productivity and a handsome return on investment,” Mahomed concludes.