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by Abby Meister

Michael McCafferty, PHIL's Director of Mining Products (pictured), has been working in the mining industry since 1989 and has been with Philippi-Hagenbuch, Inc. for 18 of those years. Over the course of his time in the industry, he has gained great insight in customer service - specifically, what it means to truly listen to what customers are saying and to work tirelessly to find solutions to their problems. The PHIL Material Spreader was an idea that began to formulate after talking with a customer. Here are his responses to some questions we asked him.

 PHIL Spreader In action
PHIL Material Spreader on a PHIL Rear Eject Body in Action

Q. Where did the idea of the Spreader Attachment come from/when did you first start thinking  of adding an attachment to the Rear Eject Body?

A. Initially the thought came from using the rear eject as way to feed a stemming attachment as most mine sites have stemming trucks but they are a variation on a heavy duty on-highway truck.  If you have ever viewed an area where a blast pattern has been drilled you can see why the life of the on-highway trucks is short lived.  When Josh [Swank] and I were visiting Detour Gold in March of 2015, we met with Craig Rintoul, Operations Manager at Detour Gold and during our discussion he asked if we had anything that might work…we showed him Abby’s illustration of the stemming body and one thing led to the next…hopefully soon to a stemming attachment.

 

Q. Why was getting this product designed and functional important to you?

A. As with all PHIL products they ultimately pay for themselves through productivity enhancements, cost savings, operational improvements, etc., which allows the customer to invest in our products.  We are looking at this long term along with the ability to use the material spreader for more than just sanding roads in the winter time.  

 

Q. Why should operations choose the PHIL Material Spreader Attachment for PHIL Rear Eject Bodies over other sanding equipment? (What does it have that makes is better?)

A. Typical material spreaders operate in a passive mode of having the material move within the body to the material spinners by utilizing steep slopes within the body which unsafely raises the vertical center of gravity.  Even though these units have vibratory devices on them the material will still have the tendency to bridge which adversely affects the operation of the equipment not to mention the safety concerns on manually having to address the material bridging.

With the PHIL system we have an active system which physically moves the material to the material spreading device via the combination of the rear eject apron/blade and the cross auger in the material spreader attachment to the material spinners.    One of the key words in your question is the word attachment, which PHIL benefits the customer as the customer has the ability to utilize the equipment as a stand-alone rear eject body, a material spreader, or purchase another PHIL attachment, for example the Material Stemming Unit.

An area where we believe there is great opportunity for these products will be at mines where they are using leaching operations where Portland cement, lime, or ash is used.  The PHIL material spreader will have the ability to more evenly distribute the leaching catalyst improving the efficiency.  Plus the haul trucks will no longer need to alter their haul cycle to pass by the catalyst material silo which should improve the cycle times providing a positive impact on the productivity.

 

Q. Listening to customers and designing/building equipment that fits their needs is a big part of PHIL’s business philosophy. In your experience, what kind of impact does this approach to business have on customers – knowing that PHIL is doing all that can be done to work out a solution to their production problems?

A. PHIL is a solutions provider plain and simple.  There have been instances where we are sitting right alongside the customer when they are writing the economic justification for the equipment.  This is representative in the trust the customer places in the relationship between PHIL and the customer.

 

Q: What does customer service mean to you?

A: Exceeding the customer’s expectations not only with the PHIL product but also with our support.

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