FLANDERS: Pioneering Sustainability through 75 Years of Repair, Reuse, and Recycling

FLANDERS, a sustainability-driven company with over 75 years of experience, has been committed to repairing, reusing, and recycling long before sustainability gained industry attention. Their focus lies in repairing and upgrading motors, allowing them to be utilized for extended periods instead of purchasing new ones.

Jim Elkins, Global Business Development – Mining Automation, explains, “Through our ground-breaking automated drilling solution, ARDVARC, we power drills and their essential components, enhancing their longevity. By providing operators with valuable maintenance data, we proactively address potential issues with the drill, especially those related to the engine. As a result, we effectively extend the lifespan of diesel-powered machines.”

Furthermore, FLANDERS’ commitment to recycling components and scrap metal showcases its efforts to minimize waste and highlights its dedication to building a sustainable future. With a vision to preserve the past and power the future, FLANDERS balances innovation and sustainability, breathing new life into aging motors while prioritizing environmental considerations.

Currently, FLANDERS is seeing increased demand for motor and system upgrades that can reduce costs, improve efficiency, and enhance the performance of production equipment. “In many cases, we can upgrade a motor to deliver higher torque or increased speeds,” Elkins explains. “This requires a holistic approach, considering the entire system to ensure the motor operates within the mechanical limits of the machine. However, it often leads to significant productivity improvements for the end user.”

Upgraded motors are typically combined with FLANDERS FREEDOM™ control systems, which deliver production increases, lower maintenance costs, and improved reliability. FLANDERS’ FREEDOM™ control system features an open architecture design that allows for the integration of third-party equipment and software to suit the specific needs of the customer and no “black boxes” that prevent the customer from accessing available data. Much like FLANDERS upgraded motors, FLANDERS engineers listen to customers’ needs, analyze the design of other control systems, and implemented solutions to remedy them in the FREEDOM™ control system. This design philosophy has been carried across draglines, shovels, trucks, and drills. 

While FLANDERS has earned a reputation for dragline and drill upgrades, FLANDERS recently completed the recommissioning of a shovel that utilizes the FREEDOM™ control system and operator interface to monitor and control an existing AC drive system – further demonstrating the flexibility and adaptability of the system. Since the installation, the shovel has set production records for this site. 

To date, FLANDERS has upgraded 38 shovels with the FREEDOM™ control system.

Another benefit offered by FLANDERS is higher productivity. Mike Casson, Business Development Director of Mining & Mills, states, “FLANDERS’ operates with four core pillars: safety, quality, reliability, and productivity. Increasing productivity while ensuring safety and reducing downtime results in a lower cost per ton, which is the ultimate objective in all mining applications.”

Another benefit is the cost savings compared to buying new. “The repair versus replacement cost percentage varies depending on factors such as AC versus DC, motor size, and application,” Casson explains. “However, even when the repair cost is a significant portion of the replacement cost, it often remains the best option. Often FLANDERS is able to surpass OEM performance.”

To minimize downtime during motor repairs, FLANDERS can establish an exchange program where motors critical to a customer’s operation are maintained in FLANDERS stock to ensure a replacement is available quickly to minimize downtime. Casson notes, “When a customer doesn’t have a spare or experiences consecutive losses of two units, we can often provide a spare, enabling the machine to resume production quickly instead of waiting for a rushed repair turnaround.”

FLANDERS offers a wide range of services for customers with limited staff, from remote support and onsite troubleshooting to turnkey maintenance programs. “Staffing and capabilities present a growing challenge in all industries,” Casson acknowledges. “For this reason, field service and field engineering have been significant parts of FLANDERS’ business for many years. In addition to our six North American Regional Service Centers and seven International Regional Service Centers, we have strategically positioned field service and engineering teams in locations to serve local customers better.”

The field service team operates as a cohesive unit rather than separate groups. “This allows us to assemble individuals or teams from different regions to provide service virtually anywhere,” Casson explains. “Likewise, with our spare exchange program, we can often dispatch a spare unit immediately, ensuring the customer doesn’t have to wait for a repair turnaround that might involve lengthy shipping delays.”

FLANDERS’ core pillars are safety, quality, reliability, and productivity, which represent the broad range of capabilities and services that FLANDERS can provide, from drive, control, and motor upgrades to service and support to ensure customers get the most out of their equipment while improving safety and lowering the total cost of ownership. 

FLANDERS’ commitment to serving the unmet needs of our customers has resulted in engineering breakthroughs and sophisticated manufacturing facilities that have enabled our team to engineer solutions specific to the needs of each customer. We provide industry-leading motors, generators, controls, drives, and automation systems. These industry-leading products are all backed by expert repair and field services, available 24/7, 365 days a year.