Mantrac is an established distributor of Caterpillar construction machines, power systems and material-handling equipment, which offers a network of support across nine countries and three continents. This includes distributing and operating machinery in some of the world’s harshest environments.
In 1995, Mantrac contacted Ardent on behalf of a client working in Ghana and requested fire protection for numerous pieces of mobile equipment.
Ghana’s hot and humid climate placed considerable demands on both machinery and operators. The risk of fire was also increased by relentless 24-7 work schedules. The Newmont mine in particular operated over 80 machines and required continual support. With equipment costing several million, there was therefore a real need for effective everyday fire protection.
The challenge for Ardent was firstly to provide the dedicated support teams and tooling required to install the systems and keep the machinery operating safely. This meant overcoming the often haphazard logistics of the area and providing round-the-clock support in remote locations.
The Ardent team then had to find a solution that allowed us to install, test and train operators without causing disruption to the client’s demanding production schedule. The equipment in question regularly operated 24 hours a day, stopping only to refuel or change operators.
To deliver the everyday support required, we opened a dedicated office in Ghana. We then moved experienced UK Engineers to the region to provide the necessary system experience. In the case of the Newmont mine, we located two Engineers close to the site, to guarantee 24/7 back-up.
As one of the few specialists to provide on-site training and translators, we were also able to create regional Ardent ‘academies’. This allowed local operators to undertake instant repairs and system maintenance without the need to call in external specialists. For added peace of mind, we supplemented this with a 6-month service check to ensure equipment always operates at the optimum level.
Having looked closely at the production schedule, we noted that the equipment required servicing every 1,000 hours. To avoid disruption during the working day, our Engineers used this ‘servicing window’ to install, service and maintain the fire suppression equipment. Over the following months, we subsequently installed purpose-built Twin Agent systems on the client’s equipment. This proven system releases a dry chemical, which knocks down the ﬁre in hazardous areas and a wet chemical, which cools the surrounding areas and reduces the possibility of re-ignition.
After more than 20 years, Ardent continues to have a strong relationship with Mantrac’s clients in Ghana and has installed over 600 fire suppression systems on valuable mobile equipment. Thanks to our extensive training programme, our Ghana office is now also staffed solely by local specialists and offers a responsive support service, day and night.
“We work in challenging environments so we need our fire suppression experts to be comfortable with those territories. Wherever we go – Ghana, Tanzania, Egypt – the Ardent team is there to support us. We’ve been working with Ardent for so long, we know we can trust them to deliver, whatever the project and whatever the challenges.”
Martin Williams, General Manager
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