Perfecting The Cemex Model


In an ideal world, experts get together to make things happen, people share ideas, tell others of their experiences and work together to create innovative solutions to everyday problems. It sounds like the sort of idyllic situation usually only found in companies such as Apple and Google, not the likes of the plant and equipment sector.

But for CEMEX its long term working relationship with Finning and Caterpillar® has resulted in the UK’s first integrated equipment management contract at its Dove Holes limestone quarry in Buxton. The eight-year £11m contract sees Finning and CEMEX working together with Caterpillar and Cat Finance to deliver a whole site solution, incorporating the latest equipment, technology and quarry management expertise.

This new approach, the vision of CEMEX VP Lex Russell, is designed to deliver long-term shareholder value from what is the biggest CEMEX quarry site in the UK. He believes the model is a first for CEMEX and the industry as a whole, saying: “It breaks a traditional mould and allows us to move the business forward with a clear competitive edge.

“We saw a real opportunity to develop a solution that delivers numerous benefits, including £1.4m of fuel savings. By undertaking a true partnership with Finning and Cat Finance, two businesses that we have worked with for many years, we are able to realise existing asset value, whilst developing a highly productive mobile fleet solution.”

The new managed solution was 18 months in the making, beginning with an extensive analysis of the operation at Dove Holes by experts from the Finning Managed Solutions team and Caterpillar. By combining the latest Caterpillar technology with the on-the-ground experience of the CEMEX site team, Finning were able to develop a managed solution that would deliver key improvements to the site.

Lex Russell CEMEX UK Chief Executive

These included a 15% increase in production and a 10% reduction in machine operating hours, in addition to practical changes to the layout of the site. A key part of the delivery of these improvements is the ongoing performance management and optimisation of new and used equipment onsite, which will see the overall fleet reduced in size by 6%.

Even before a new fleet, including seven Cat 775G off highway trucks was brought to site, Finning supported the transition phase with four Cat 775D’s from its own fleet, which were delivered to site six months before the new equipment arrived. “It was important throughout the whole process that CEMEX were able to maintain productivity levels and that the site was fully supported. We recognised that the ageing fleet onsite would not be able to boost productivity as required, so to minimise the risk of major component failure, we made the units available, guaranteeing uptime and fleet support” said Mick Knight, Business Development Manager for Finning Managed Solutions.

Mick continues: “With the new fleet recently delivered to site, the work really starts now, as we will be providing a fully managed solution for all of the equipment onsite. This includes a rolling fleet replacement package that will enable the replacement of existing assets as they reach the end of their optimum lifecycles.”

Using the latest communications technology, fitted to new and existing equipment, the whole fleet will be monitored by Finsight engineers. This team will liaise with onsite Finning engineers that form part of the CEMEX team, to manage the preventative maintenance and repair programme of all Cat and competitor machinery, ensuring contractual uptime targets and efficiency gains are achieved.

In addition to equipment health, the Finsight team provides CEMEX with daily reports on productivity levels and machine performance, including cycle times, payloads, fuel usage and operator performance. With the CEMEX operators already benefitting from the Eco-Drive™ training programme, further familiarisation and advanced training will also be made available. This will ensure the CEMEX team onsite will be running one of the UK’s most fuel efficient and productive quarry operations.

“With this project we wanted to really push the boundaries of site efficiency and performance, with a fresh set of eyes analysing the overall operation and not just the equipment. We have left no stone unturned in this process and by committing to a long-term contract with Finning; we are able to challenge them to enhance performance throughout the contract period.

Ever penny saved, in every part of the process, really counts in this current climate and with room to increase production built into the solution, we know we can take advantage of any upturn in the market.” Neil Farmer, Aggregates Director, Dove Holes.