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Geographe & voestalpine have undertaken work for Woodside Energy to find an innovative 3D printing solution for the replacement of stainless steel inducers on Woodside’s floating production storage and offloading (FPSO) facilities. Geographe & voestalpine have undertaken work for Woodside Energy to find an innovative 3D printing solution for the replacement of stainless steel inducers on Woodside’s floating production storage and offloading (FPSO) facilities.

Solving the Challenges of Difficult & Dangerous Bull Stud Changeouts

In 2017, Fortescue Metals Group (FMG) was experiencing significant maintenance cost blowouts due to excessive time and resources needed to extract seized ball studs on their Caterpillar haul truck fleet. The ball studs in the steering arms of these trucks had effectively become welded in position due to the harsh and dusty work environments. Removing them for routine maintenance required a lot of effort and posed a potential danger of damaging other steering components around the ball stud.

How We Reduced Maintenance Times for Caterpillar Haul Trucks

To solve this problem, Geographe developed a patented Ball Stud Removal Tool (BSRT), a hydraulic pressing tool that could be operated by a single person in both workshop and field breakdown scenarios. The BSRT is made from a forged high-tensile alloy and undergoes rigorous heat treatment to ensure durability and reliability in high-stress environments. With the Geographe BSRT, the time and effort required to remove ball studs is significantly reduced, resulting in increased productivity and reduced downtime. The tool is currently applicable to suit the 785, 789, and 793 trucks, with an additional variant scheduled for release in 2024 to fit the 777 truck.

Improvement Factors

  • Improves safety by limiting high-risk practices.
  • Reduces effort and downtime significantly.
  • Eliminates double shift changeouts.
  • Adaptable to suit various CAT haul trucks.
  • Portable and suitable for a single operator to use.
  • Waterproof, customised wheeled Pelican TM case ensures easy transportation and secure kit storage.
  • No electricity is required, allowing full adaptability to each mine site’s circumstances.
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Used by Tier 1 Miners and Off-site Repairers Around the World

With over 100 Ball Stud Removal Tools present in mine site operations around the world, including Africa, Australia, North & South America, Southeast Asia, and New Zealand, our customers have saved thousands of labour hours, reduced downtime and, most importantly, provided safer working practices for their maintenance teams.

Companies like BHP, Newcrest, Thiess Mongolia, and Peabody have embraced Geographe's BSRT, witnessing transformative improvements in their maintenance operations.

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Download our Case Studies to learn more about how Geographe can help with challenges on your mine site through enhanced performance solutions.
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'The Caterpillar Haul Truck Ball Stud Removal Tool has reduced the time to remove ball studs from 12 hours per truck to just 1 hour.

The risk of damaging jacks throughout the process has also been removed. This initiative represents a significant cost and time reduction while also improving safety for our maintainers”

Truck Maintenance Superintendent
- Fortescue Metals Group

BP 2024 Produce 001

'The Caterpillar Haul Truck Ball Stud Removal Tool has reduced the time to remove ball studs from 12 hours per truck to just 1 hour.

The risk of damaging jacks throughout the process has also been removed. This initiative represents a significant cost and time reduction while also improving safety for our maintainers”

Truck Maintenance Superintendent
- Fortescue Metals Group

BP 2024 Produce 001

When equipment failure is not an option, partner with us.

From existing products available for all type of OEM Mining Equipment to solving your unique challenges through custom design and trials, we can help.
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