atlas copco gia

Atlas Copco GIA

Mining specialist Atlas Copco GIA has embarked on an exciting journey. Right now, all the cloths are being added to pave the way for a really increased growth. Cadcraft helps to create more efficient CAD processes - a first important cornerstone for a powerful, global offensive.

South Africa, Asia, Russia, Africa, Australia… The market is not next door to Atlas Copco GIA in Grängesberg, which has been part of the worldwide Atlas Copco Group for just over a year. The merger was a marriage with great mutual affection. Atlas Copco already had a number of businesses that were niche for the mining industry. At GIA, there was a whole concept complete with a number of different types of vehicles required to extract ore and minerals underground with Kiruna Electric, a uniquely powerful electric mining truck. Together they had everything.


– Here in Grängesberg, the merger means that we are moving away from custom-built machines to series production of more standardized trucks. We expect significantly larger sales than before and therefore we are now striving for a way of working that can pave the way for new higher production targets. Cadcraft helps us with the adaptations required in our development environment – everything they can contribute in the form of more efficient design tools and methods, affects how we can work in other departments, says Stefan Granqvist, engineering manager at Atlas Copco GIA.


The construction is business-critical

The design department acts as a pacemaker for the entire company, Stefan Granqvist explains. The pace and quality of the work is decisive for how efficiently you can work in other departments. Therefore, you must first of all invest in system development, which provides more efficient methods and working methods.


In order to meet a greater demand without having significantly increased production costs “on the purchase”, a methodology is also required that supports scalability and modularization – where you divide constructions or products into modules that can be reused within the same product category.


But let’s start from the very beginning, down deep underground – in the middle of the noisy, sweaty, dark and sometimes dangerous mining environment. The drilling rigs, the trucks that carry the drilling units, and which are manufactured by Atlas Copco in Örebro, come out first in the quarry’s process chain. They drill an array of holes in the rock. Then comes the truck – from GIA – with its staff, and fills the boreholes with liquid explosives. A synchronized ointment ignites all charged holes and thunders down a giant piece of cake with ore and rock. So far, so good.


Scrapers, loaders, transport trucks

But – now it is far from certain that all the rock has really come loose and collapsed as it was intended. When the fog and powder smoke have eased, the “scrapers” therefore follow with their hydraulic skewers, and loosen loose pieces of stone from walls and ceilings. Loaders then move the masses to dump trucks or mining locomotives that transport the ore out of the mine. For this purpose, Atlas Copco GIA manufactures a number of different machines, ranging from different types of “Häggloaders” to mining locomotives and shuttle wagons. But not even then it is all clear. In many mines, roofs and walls must be reinforced in order for the work to continue. At the end of the loop, therefore, a special “cable bolt” rolls in, which reinforces the rock with the help of steel wire and concrete. Only now is the chain complete, the area secured, the work environment under control – and the whole process begins again.


Complete together

It is in this long chain of work machines that GIA and Atlas Copco fit together so perfectly, Stefan Granqvist explains.


– What is not with us, is with other companies within Atlas Copco and together we can offer a complete set-up of machines for most mines in the world. We believe that it will be a hard to beat concept for customers. Profitability in the mining industry is very much about the degree of service and wholeness, then it is both efficient and flexible to only have one supplier to turn to for all machines.


GIA also has a supplier that contributes with everything – Cadcraft. In Grängesberg, a whole range of specialists from Cadcraft are currently intensively employed with efficiencies that will create the desired scalability. These are three areas – organizational scalability, scalable and module-based product development and scalable production.


– We are producing a method manual for CAD and PDM, to create the best standardized  working method as possible, says Stefan Granqvist.


– It becomes costly, vulnerable and inflexible if you have many different ways of working. Our working groups are getting bigger and bigger, then we must have a standardized way of working that can be quickly adopted and means that all employees are fully synchronized.


Critical bottleneck

The very heart of GIA’s system is Inventor and the PDM system Vault, which is connected to the business system Monitor. Vault will be replicated against other design departments within Atlas Copco with the next upgrade, says Stefan Granqvist.


– We are the heart and bloodstream of the company, a very critical bottleneck. If we now enter a completely new way of working with larger volumes, the design department must simply be able to play at a higher rate. During the spring, all of GIA’s article numbers in the PDM system were adapted to Atlas Copco’s general system. In the wake of the great work, the method development continues.


– We have become quite tight with Cadcraft. The journey with them began in earnest when we were about to implement Vault and at the same time integrate it with Monitor. Cadcraft is skilled in systems and method integration and for us, the need for system changes that require that type of expertise has increased since we became part of Atlas Copco. In addition, we have almost doubled the number of licenses, which also leads to changed roles, higher requirements for support and the need for methodological support, says Stefan Granqvist.


Cadcraft’s Patrik Borgenhard is customer responsible for Atlas Copco GIA and coordinates the efforts of Cadcraft’s team:


– It is a very ambitious investment that GIA is now making, he states. For us, it is exciting to be part of a project like this where we really get to see how effective product development can make a difference. We look forward to follow them into the global market with new qualifications.


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Patrik Borgenhard

Marketing Manager & Key Account Manager