The Shaanxi province is famous across the globe, primarily thanks to the Terracotta Army located here. This was discovered in 1974 by farmers while digging a well in the grave of the first Chinese emperor Qin Shihuangdi, who ruled from 221 to 209 BC and united the vast empire. The world cultural heritage site near Xi’an, China's first capital city and currently the capital of the Shaanxi province, is today one of the most visited tourist attractions in the country.
Yet a rather different "buried treasure" is currently of key importance for the economy in the region – its "black gold". This is, for example, mined in the Hanjiawan coal mine of the Northern Shaanxi Mining Co., which is part of the Shaanxi Coal and Chemical Industry Group and located at the border to the autonomous Inner Mongolia region. Covering a total area of 12.6 square kilometers, it boasts coal deposits of around 144 million tons, around 85.4 million tons of which should be able to be mined.
Yet the mine is battling various issues – as experienced by Zheng Tonglei, Sales Engineer Mining at FUCHS LUBRICANTS (CHINA), when establishing trusting contacts with the company. The problem revolved around the hydraulic shield support system, which is used as standard in coal mining but was only working very slowly. There were also indications of a blockage in the electro-hydraulically controlled valve bank. Many of the staff were also complaining of an unpleasant smell.
A joint investigation conducted by Zheng with the management of the mine revealed the solution. The lubricant supplied by a local company was causing the blockage of the valve bank, which in turn resulted in the slow progress in installing the shield supports and leading to rust on the cylinders. A water sample was also taken from the mine and sent to the R&D department at FUCHS. The results were soon available and were presented by Michael Barnes, Mining Product Manager, as well as Application Engineers Tian Jianhui and Zheng Tonglei – together with a specimen of Solcenic 2BW-C, an emulsified oil that FUCHS developed specially for corresponding usage in the field of mining.
Things then really took off. The management of the mine organized a technical exchange, during which FUCHS, its products, and above all the benefits of Solcenic 2BW-C were presented – underpinned by numerous best practice examples and success stories that reinforced the awareness and understanding of FUCHS and its products.
This was followed by a local comparison of water samples after applying the product from FUCHS and the local competition. The results were unequivocal. Several members of the mine management team – from the Mine Manager, through the Head of Electromechanical Services, all the way up to the Head of Production – were in agreement: Solcenic 2BW-C was far superior to the competitor in all aspects – not only in terms of appearance, but also in terms of the quality of lubrication and defoaming.
During a visit to the mine, Barnes, Tian, and Zheng developed a plan as to how the lubricants could be perfectly replaced – and were delighted to receive praise from management for the professionalism and attention to detail displayed by FUCHS.
FUCHS also supported the customer during implementation of the switchover. Li Zhigang, Mining Support Engineer, gave the employees of the mine a full week of training to guarantee a smooth switchover of the lubricants – perfectly tailored to the specific conditions on site.
The good preparations paid off. After replacing the lubricant with the FUCHS product, the hydraulic systems worked perfectly, while the blockage of the valve bank was largely eliminated. The unpleasant smell also became a thing of the past.
From establishing good contacts, through identification of the project and the technical exchange, all the way up to training sessions – the team from FUCHS LUBRICANTS (CHINA) really impressed the new customer.