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Rand Air supplies 26000cfm compressed air for emergency hire at a mine.

March 11, 2024

Rand Air Emergency Support 26000cfm

Wednesday 24 January, 2024 was a usual busy day at Rand Air with machine hires going in and out of the yard in Jet Park, Johannesburg, when a frantic call came in from a prominent platinum mine near Rustenburg in the North West Province, urgently requesting 12 000cfm (cubic feet per minute) of compressed air to keep their underground mining operations going. 

The mine, which shares a proud long-standing business relationship with Rand Air, had experienced a breakdown of their air compressor, subsequently halting production. The compressor supplies critical air to power pneumatic equipment underground.

Understanding that every hour of down time incurs significant losses for the mine, the proficient Rand Air team, coordinated by Yolande Schmidt, Internal Sales, immediately flew into action. Sixteen high pressure oil-injected diesel compressors of varying sizes allocated to the project, were inspected by the service team and transported to site where they were connected to the mine’s main air supply line by a Rand Air service technician. Within 24 hours the units were fully operational, constricting the amount of downtime.

Tshepo Mashaba, External Sales at Rand Air, points out that the air has to travel a great distance from the surface to reach the underground equipment so it is absolutely critical to correctly spec the compressors to eliminate potential pressure drops and loss in air flow. “Hence we provided a combination of 800cfm, 1 000cfm and 1 200cfm machines to meet these requirements. Our service technician also visited the mine site daily to ensure that all sixteen compressors were running smoothly.”

Four days later, on 28 January, having suffered yet another breakdown, the mine reached out to Rand Air, requesting a further 14 000 cfm in order to maintain production.

“Undeterred by the fact that it was a Sunday, the well-oiled Rand Air team did not miss a beat,” says Yolande. “It so happened that we had just recently received a consignment of brand new PTS916 air compressors. We got nine of these fresh-off-the-container 1600cfm units to site and operational for our mine customer within a 24 hour turnaround time. Furthermore, our team educated customers on correct machine operation to boost uptime.”

The 25 hire compressors operated seamlessly on the mine site for 17 days with only one unit requiring some attention from Rand Air’s technician who was stationed nearby for the full duration of the hire. Once the mine’s air compressors were repaired, the hire machines were returned to Rand Air.

According to Yolande, these types of large-scale emergency hire projects, coupled with a demand for high air volumes, which she says happen more often than not, are testament to Rand Air’s ability to provide the right solution fast. “The fact that we have doubled our rental fleet over the past year has really paid dividends. It meant that, in addition to taking care of our normal day to day, medium and long-term hire commitments, we had the necessary machines available in our yard to meet our mine customer’s emergency high volume air requirements with minimum delay.”

 “Air is the life blood of pneumatic equipment and this experience once again illustrates how important it is to always be on point and to push hard to keep our customers’ downtime to the absolute bare minimum,” notes Tshepo. “Harnessing our strengths and capabilities, we restored air flow to underground mining equipment by ensuring that all 25 air compressors reached site, were connected and operational in no time.”

On a personal note, Yolande says that projects such as these make her job interesting. “This is what keeps us on our toes and drives our passion to help our customers by always striving to deliver our best product and service hire solutions. There is no greater reward than a successfully completed hire project and a satisfied customer.”

The old cliché - time is money - rings even more true today in a lethargic economy that is under constant pressure from local and global events. The team at Rand Air understands all too well that delivering the right hire solutions fast and efficiently to minimise production losses is what customers expect. Equally important to the quality of the equipment, is the quality of the service from Rand Air to supports their machines.

“Rand Air is known as a hire company that is reliable, consistent and efficient, earning our customers’ trust who come to us for emergency support,” states Yolande. “Many of our customers know what volumes they need and to accurately meet their air requirements we have the necessary experience to spec and match the right machines. Often something small, like an incorrect fitting, can lead to hours of delay. With fifty years of experience in providing industrial equipment hire solutions, we know what accessories are needed, avoiding unnecessary time wasting that costs our customers’ money. Our on-their-feet thinking technicians are always on standby to quickly take care of breakdowns.”

“The successful execution of this high volume emergency hire for our mine customer once again shows our agility in handling any size project with ease, cementing our reputation of being the home of specialised rental solutions and the go-to equipment rental partner,” conclude Yolande and Tshepo.                                  

About Rand-Air

Rand-Air, part of the global Atlas Copco Group, was established in 1973.

As far more than a rental equipment provider, Rand-Air is focused on making agility count for our customers: offering an adaptable, flexible and responsive partnership to address their technical and business challenges.

With a solid national footprint and serving a diverse customer base both locally and in sub-Saharan Africa, the company has a product portfolio which includes TUV-certified oil-free, diesel or electric air solutions; nitrogen solutions; power, flow (pumps), steam boilers and lighting solutions.

Rand-Air is ISO-9000, 14000 and 18000-certified and is a Level 2 B-BBEE-rated company.

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