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December 7, 2021

Seal the Deal with Chesterton

Category: Mining

This article was featured in Australia’s Mining Monthly.




Mining is a tough gig that demands even tougher mining equipment.

Operating in harsh and remote environments, these big heavy-duty machines need regular maintenance due to stress, dust, dirt, and corrosion, all of which has huge impacts on reliability and uptime. While a lot of attention focuses on the large parts and components of fluid power reciprocating equipment, rotary, and specialty equipment, smaller elements are also vital, with apparatus reliant on the performance of multiple internal seals. Degraded seals can result in expensive equipment shutdowns, repair and replacement, environmental and safety issues, and unbudgeted extra labour costs.

To ensure equipment delivers peak performance for maximum productivity, polymer seal manufacturer Chesterton Customseal offers customised solutions that can enhance operations through increased reliability and performance whilst also bolstering the operational bottom line. The Western Australia-based company produces high-performance elastomeric polymer seals for a wide range of hydraulic, pneumatic and rotary equipment, including hydraulic seals, rotary seals, spring energized seals and customised polymer seals.

Made from global OEM Chesterton’s raw material – AWC 860, these seals have high tolerance, quality and durability for abrasive environments, and are available in mining kits for a range of excavator brands, including Liebherr, Cat, Hitachi and Komatsu.

The company also has turnkey cylinder repair kits that match proprietary polymer technologies with unique seal geometries, to help improve the performance of off-road mining equipment. The aftermarket hydraulic cylinder seal kits feature upgraded seals and components for longer service life, greater reliability, and improved performance. The kits contain all the necessary seals and components in one box with one unique item number, eliminating the need to inventory multiple items.​

The mobile mining kits​ offer:

  • Turnkey custom cylinder repair kits
  • Skilled in-field technical support
  • On-site inspection and troubleshooting
  • Experienced application engineers and designers

According to Chesterton Customseal mining manager Ben Speijers, the company is an alternative seal supplier to an OEM.

“Everything we supply is made to order. We don’t hold lots of stock on the shelf; we make everything custom to the sizes specified by the customer,” he said.

“Rather than saying ‘here, use our standard kit and enjoy, let’s hope it fits,’ we make it exactly to the job they’re doing there and then.”

The advantages of choosing premium seals include:

  • Increased time to failure – more service hours of equipment
  • Better reliability – less unexpected breakdowns
  • Easier servicing, thanks to more reliable maintenance intervals.

Speijers said he often visits sites where machinery keeps failing in certain ways.

“We don’t just tell them they’re using it wrong, we actually address the problem and quickly turn around new custom designs,” he said. “Customers don’t get that off-the-shelf fit with OEM’s who aren’t going to change their design, I’ll tell you that much.”

Speijers said a customer recently wanted a seal kit for a vehicle on a salt mine where there was a lot of salt build-up, so they custom designed materials to suit the application, rather than the machine.

“Shifting to custom-made orders brings increases in reliability and service life,” he said. “The biggest cost is not the seal kit, it’s the downtime, as changing out cylinders costs a huge amount of money, man hours and downtime, compared to a seal kit.”

He said the longer mining equipment stayed in service the less often it needed changing, which could boost cylinder wear life by up to 50%.

Choosing Chesterton Customseal helped one customer save thousands in downtime and labour costs.

The copper miner was experiencing premature seal and cylinder failure on the stick cylinders of a large hydraulic excavator, which were exposed to severe operating conditions including shock and radial load, pressure peaks and a harsh environment. The miner wanted to extend the operating hours between maintenance intervals of the cylinders to improve the availability of the excavator, as the cylinders provided with the original seal repair kit lasted just 4000hrs. They wanted a more reliable seal system to prolong the life of the cylinder’s metal components.

Chesterton 21K Wiper.

That’s where Chesterton Customseal came in.

A custom seal kit was installed on the excavator, including a Chesterton 21K wiper, 22KE rod seal, 20KB buffer seal, 20K piston seal, 20KD static seals, trash rings and bearing bands. The seals lasted between 9000-13,000hrs of continuous operation, compared to 4000hrs with the original seals, which in turn improved performance and reliability and increased availability of critical equipment for production.

Chesterton Customseal’s elastomeric polymer seals are manufactured in a state-of-the-art production facility in Wangara that is fitted out with advanced computer-controlled equipment, including computer numerical control lathes, flexible tools and processed raw materials. Chesterton Customseal also offers hundreds of standard computerised profiles for hydraulic and pneumatic sealing applications, a range of raw materials imported from around the globe and speed of service that is unrivalled in the industry.

Chesterton Customseal is a joint venture between A.W. Chesterton Company and Customseal Australia. For over 135 years, Chesterton has been recognised as a leading international brand of industrial fluid sealing systems and industrial process industry applications. Customseal Australia has been operating for 15 years now, building an incredible reputation servicing the hydraulic and pneumatic needs for many clients across numerous industries throughout the Asia Pacific region.

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