Off highway vehicles face demanding environments. And every component of that vehicle is essential.

For the largest coal mining operation in Kalimantan, Indonesia, that critical component was a wheel hub assembly. The wheel hub assembly allows the vehicle to steer freely, and is critical to the anti-lock braking and traction control systems. But when a tire is changed, often multiple times as in the mining industry, the bolt holes become worn and oversized – not allowing the bolt shank to retain its position.

So, when 18 bolt holes of the wheel hub assembly needed resized, there was only a couple of options – electroplating or welding and machining. Build up by welding and machining, however, requires complex equipment, extensive downtime, and potential heat distortion and mis-machining. Electroplating, on the other hand, has no risk for heat distortion and can be plated to size. But, since tank plating was not an option due to the masking required to protect the rest of the component, they decided to contacted P.T. Rep Sal Indo, a SIFCO ASC partner in Jakarta-Indonesia who specializes in the SIFCO Process® of selective plating.

Selective plating is the portable method of electroplating and is used to apply electroplated deposits and anodized coatings in localized areas of a part without the use of an immersion tank. By using the SIFCO Process®, P.T. Rep Sal Indo was able to restore dimension to 18 bolt holes, by first building up the area with Copper 2050, then capping the holes with Nickel 5644 for wear resistance. The total internal dimension of bore was plated within 0.02mm of the required thickness.

Mining companies will continue to face the everyday challenge of wear and tear on their machinery, therefore forcing them to reduce costs through rebuilding and remanufacturing their critical components. With the use of the SIFCO Process® these components can be restored to their OEM standards with superior adhesion and minimal downtime – helping mining companies move forward towards more continuous, cost-efficient and sustainable operations.