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Banks mining appoints Pirtek Tyne & Wear to help minimise plant downtime at Northumberland surface mines

26/08/2015 | General

North East employer Banks Mining has awarded a two-year contract to a regional supplier to help maximise the operational availability of mining plant at its two surface mines in South East Northumberland.

The Durham-headquartered firm has appointed Pirtek Tyne & Wear to provide a new on-site repair service at its Brenkley Lane and Shotton sites near Cramlington, with a new local technician being recruited by Pirtek to carry out repairs between 8am and 530pm from Monday to Friday.

Pirtek's Total Hose Management service will see any hydraulic hose breakdowns on Banks Mining's plant and vehicle fleet being repaired on the spot, thus reducing any production losses related to having machinery out of action.

Pre-service checks will also be carried out by the on-site Pirtek technician, with cloud-based reports showing the reasons behind failures and analysing how vehicle repairs have been carried out being filed to provide Banks' plant team with greater insight into how their fleet can best be managed.

Pirtek Tyne & Wear has been awarded the service contract as part of the family-owned Banks Group's long-standing policy of working with local suppliers wherever possible.

Kevin Monaghan, operations director at Pirtek Tyne & Wear, which specialises in hydraulic hoses, pipe fittings and couplings and work from offices on the Team Valley Industrial Estate, says: "Mechanical breakdowns have a direct impact on the efficiency of Banks Mining's operations, as well as on their production capacity, so the quicker we can carry out repairs, the smaller these impacts will be.

"Having a client like Banks Mining on our doorstep is a real advantage for both us and them, and we're aiming to build a strong working relationship with the Shotton and Brenkley Lane teams over the next couple of years and beyond."

Banks Mining has worked in South East Northumberland for more than three decades, and currently employs over 200 people across the Shotton and Brenkley Lane mining sites.

The two sites contribute around £35m to the regional economy every year through wages, investments and the local supply chain, as well as more than £700,000 in annual business rates to Northumberland County Council and Newcastle City Council, and have enabled Banks Mining to donate around £800,000 to local groups and good causes in Northumberland over the last decade alone through the Banks Community Fund.

Robbie Bentham, plant director at Banks Mining, adds: "Pirtek Tyne & Wear has shown both the mechanical expertise and the service commitment that we needed for this contract, and it's especially pleasing to be helping them create a new job for a local technician through this new arrangement.

"We have a wide range of high-quality suppliers based within our home region from which we're able to source a high proportion of the products and services required for our North East mining sites, and their collective expertise, combined with that of our mining, plant and construction teams, enables us to work with maximum efficiency.

"The coal we produce at our Northumberland sites sustains substantial numbers of jobs for local people, supports British industry and electricity generation, creates considerable capital for investment in community improvement projects, heats homes across our region and helps to provide a responsible and reliable source of indigenous coal that reduces the UK's reliance on imports that may have travelled thousands of miles to reach us."

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