Outotec Oyj is one of the leading minerals processing technology manufacturers in the world. The company’s technology is used in over 80 different countries around the world. FinnProfiles has been part of the supplier network of this minerals and metals technology manufacturer since 2013.
Outotec’s Product Support Manager Mark Elphinston and Service Product Engineer Oskari Wegelius recently visited FinnProfiles’s factory in Sastamala, Finland. The visit’s program included, e.g., discussion on the importance of the quality of subcontracted components, such as seals, used in the minerals processing technology industry, as well as a tour in the production facilities of the Sastamala factory.
Outotec and FinnProfiles have been collaborating for a long time in connection with the oil seals used in the bearing housings of grinding mills. Grinding mills are one of Outotec’s well-known minerals processing technologies, and they are used for grinding mined rock material so that the valuable ore can be separated from tailings.
The bearing housing oil seal manufactured by FinnProfiles is a rather sturdy wear-resistant sealing profile that prevents dirt from entering the bearing housing and keeps the oil inside it. Thus, the seal has an important role to play in the operation of the grinding mill, and the example provided by Elphinston leaves no doubt of the significance of its quality.
“If the production of our grinding mill has to be interrupted due to some unplanned maintenance work, each lost five-minute period may cost our client as much as 10,000 US dollars.”
Regarding The Statistics Portal (www.statista.com), in 2017, the mining industry’s leading companies had a total revenue of approximately 600 billion U.S. dollars, which, for its part, explains the importance of every minute.
“The income losses due to production shutdowns are the reason why there are carefully scheduled maintenance downtime periods for the grinding mills. It may even be more profitable to continue production with a broken component than shut the machine down and perform the unplanned maintenance,” Elphinston points out.
“FinnProfiles was able to offer us a comprehensive service that includes the sealing itself, the fasteners for the seals, and the fittings required for fastening the seals”Oskari Wegelius, Outotec’s Service Product Engineer
The collaboration between FinnProfiles and Outotec began when Outotec had trouble finding a sealing supplier that would also have been willing to provide service in relation to the accessory procurement for the manufactured seals.
“FinnProfiles was able to offer us a comprehensive service that includes the sealing itself, the fasteners for the seals, and the fittings required for fastening the seals,” says Service Product Engineer Oskari Wegelius from Outotec.
In practice, FinnProfiles supplies Outotec with two types of sealing profiles: both complete rings and open profiles. The seals that are manufactured for new mills are ring profiles that are already joined by vulcanization during the further processing operations of FinnProfiles. The sealing profiles manufactured for maintenance purposes are open profile strips that are cut to the correct length on the client’s premises and attached around the bearing housings during maintenance work.
The fact that it is impossible to change a seal while the grinding mill is being operated makes the component very critical for the production. In addition, Outotec has set three years as the minimum service life of the seals.
Even though the requirements have been strict, FinnProfiles has managed to serve this major company in the requested manner and Outotec has so far been pleased with the collaboration.
“The quality of the seals supplied by FinnProfiles has not only been extremely high but also constant. As Mark suggested earlier, we would face very expensive problems if the seal in question were to fail and the production had to be halted,” Wegelius confirms.
Outotec develops leading technologies and services for the sustainable use of Earth’s natural resources. Our 4,000 top experts are driven by each customer’s unique challenges across the world. Outotec’s comprehensive offering creates the best value for our customers in the mining, metal, energy, and chemical industries. Outotec had sales of EUR 1.1 billion in 2017, and its shares are listed on NASDAQ Helsinki.
FinnProfiles is a Finnish sealing and insulation manufacturer whose production factories are located in Sastamala and Ii, Finland. FinnProfiles specializes in the design and manufacturing of unique profile solutions for companies who value superior quality and project expertise. FinnProfiles has been delivering its sealing and insulation solutions for various branches of industry, such as the construction, marine, railway, and pharmaceutical industries, all over the world for nearly thirty years.