Mining manufacturer 3D Engineering Services contracted BOC to implement an end-to-end Cryospeed gas supply solution that has delivered a 20% cost reduction in welding consumables and enabled the company to deliver superior products to its large mining customers.

Based in Mackay, Queensland, 3D Engineering in Mackay is one of the top mining suppliers of engineering solutions in Australia and manufactures heavy earthmoving equipment, buckets and truck bodies. With over 80 years combined experience in the management team in servicing the mining, agriculture and coal ports sector, 3D Engineering offers integrated engineering solutions for its customers by combining workshop facilities, on-site labour and support, site measurement and design/drafting capabilities, quality control and safe work practices. Mining customers include many large companies operating in the Bowen Basin, such as Rio Tinto, Thiess, Downer EDI, DBCT, BMA and BHP Billiton, along with local industries.

BOC approached 3D Engineering to help increase efficiencies in its manufacturing workshop and improve the company’s ability to service customers after a slowdown of mining projects across Australia. According to Tony Muscat, Business Development Manager at 3D Engineering, a significant amount of time was being spent by the team to manually keep an inventory of manifold cylinder packs (MCPs) being used for its welding operations.

“Our welders were working at welding bays that were connected to a MCP,” says Muscat. “When you factor in the ten minutes it took to replace and reconnect an empty MCP, it was becoming quite costly. We also had to keep two reserve MCPs so we had to pay significant rental fees for each.”

The solution

After conducting a full analysis of 3D Engineering’s workshop gases and welding infrastructure, BOC’s expert technicians identified that its Cryospeed solution could immediately produce greater efficiencies that would reduce production costs and save money. Cryospeed is an intermediate gas supply solution between MCPs and bulk supply. Cryospeed is ideal for mining workshops and facilities that use between 50 and 450 cubic metres of welding gas per week.

BOC worked with 3D Engineering to transition its storage setup from MCPs to a single Cryospeed Cryotank gas storage vessel installed outside its workshop. A copper pipeline was utilised to supply gas from the vessel to each individual welding bay.

“This unique mid-size storage solution was perfect for us because our gas supply needs were greater than MCPs but not enough to warrant getting a bulk storage vessel,” says Muscat.

Since adopting the new storage and gas supply solution to its welding workshop, 3D Engineering has reduced its welding consumables costs by 20% and saved significant time, which the team can now spend servicing its customers.

“Migrating to the Cryospeed solution has provided us with a fast, steady supply of gas and has eliminated the need to reorder our gas,” Muscat adds. “Our team no longer needs to keep an inventory of MCPs as our Cryospeed vessel is replenished automatically by BOC’s Cryospeed truck. Our supply is now lasting us 14 days instead of seven days, which has reduced our service and delivery costs.

“It has also reduced the space needed to store multiple MCPs on site and improved safety as welders do not need to manually connect the MCP to the workshop’s welding mains.”