Chief Production Engineer Division of BELAZ Celebrates its 70th Anniversary

7 december 2020


These days, Chief Production Engineer Division, one of BELAZ’s oldest divisions, celebrates its 70th anniversary.

The production engineering department of our company was founded in the distant 1950. Eleven years remained until the first in-house development of the factory designers - the 27-ton BELAZ-540 mining dump truck - was embodied in metal. Those were very difficult years when the company was established and grew, when its production facilities were built and developed and when the new equipment required by the national economy destroyed by the war was designed and went into production. The own production base was very weak, and at that time the ingenuity, enthusiasm and dedication of our specialists often helped out. In those trying circumstances, the company managed not only to create machines, but also to save resources and reduce the labor content, while maintaining and improving the quality of the produced equipment. Years passed, more than one generation of BELAZ workers changed. Hundreds and thousands of experts – ordinary engineers and managers – worked in a devoted and creative way and made a significant contribution to the development of the production engineering department. The experience accumulated in the first years was carefully preserved and multiplied by them.

Armed with advanced technologies

Today's generation of technicians is working in a new reality that is completely different from what it used to be. One of the important directions in their work at the present stage is the creation of new high-performance facilities that will allow using the machine operating time of the equipment when operating in a three-shift mode. In this case, it is planned to use the third shift without active human intervention.

Production engineers successfully find solutions to the problems which their predecessors could only dream of and which they had been approaching for decades. There has been introduced the technology for finishing spline holes after hardening, which makes it possible to increase the accuracy of manufacturing hydromechanical gears and motor-wheel reduction gears. Two new painting and drying complexes with the use of 2K materials were built. Almost complete is the third one that uses the innovative technology of material application (cataphoretic coating and 2 layers of powder enamel) and will significantly improve the appearance and increase the service life of the paintwork of the produced mining dump trucks. The introduction of a closed circuit power stand for testing motor-wheel reduction gears of mining dump trucks with the payload capacity of 90 tons and above, which will allow carrying out life tests of one of the main units of our trucks, is nearing completion.

Over the past seven decades, in terms of improving the technology of production of BELAZ equipment, Chief Production Engineer Division has made significant steps forward, but one thing has remained unchanged - the strive of BELAZ production engineers to create production facilities that are at the same high level as the best world machine-building brands.

Today’s projects are a key to the future

The process of modernization of the equipment stock of the main workshops is a difficult task requiring patient work and a very thoughtful approach. Therefore, to replace the equipment, which once allowed the company to improve the quality and significantly increase the volume of production, but is obsolete now and does not allow modern processing technologies, the Chief Production Engineer Division has conducted an analysis of the global trends in the organization of production and processing technology for body and rotary parts. The company's experts have opted for the implementation of a flexible production system (FPS), which consists of vertical turning and milling machines and horizontal boring machines connected by a single palletizing system, a control system, storages for tools and blanks, briquetting presses for metal chips, and devices for preliminary tool setting outside the machine. Introduction of the FPS will reduce the time for technological preparation of the production process, expand the range of processed parts, reduce the number of key workers and get as close as possible to the introduction of unmanned machining technology. In 2019, a tender was held for the procurement of this kind of equipment. The winner was Pietro Carnaghi S.p.A. (Italy), which is one of the global leaders in the implementation of GPS at machine-building enterprises. Currently, the technical and financial components of the contract are being negotiated.

BELAZ production engineers are also involved in the projects that are being implemented at the companies that are a part of BELAZ-HOLDING. OJSC “BELAZ” has developed a schedule for the implementation of the investment project named “Organization of ring rolling production at OJSC “PAK Plant” with the reconstruction of a block of production shops”. This will ensure the provision of ring blanks for the production for BELAZ mining dump trucks, as well as ensure the sale of products to any interested companies. In summer 2020, a contractor, Danieli S.p.A (Italy), was selected by means of a tender. Now the content of the contract and its annexes are being negotiated, and the final version of the long-term financing of the project is being worked out.

At present, OJSC “BELAZ” is also implementing an investment project named “Modernization of the production facilities of OJSC “BELAZ” – Management Company of Holding “BELAZ-HOLDING” for 2020-2025” aimed at modernizing the existing production facilities and mastering new technologies to update and expand production capacities for the production of mining dump trucks, road construction equipment and special equipment, and increasing the competitiveness of products. The estimated cost of this investment project is 140 million Euros. It is assumed that it will affect all technological conversions.

Allied with science

One of the main activities of any company that counts on success in the today's conditions of tough competition and universal digitalization is to improve the quality of knowledge and skills of its employees, from top-level managers to machine workers. This is especially true for the enterprises focused on the production of hi-tech and knowledge-intensive products, which are also the trucks manufactured by BELAZ. Today the challenge is not to create a truck at any cost. The consumer needs the equipment that ensures minimal operational cost, is reliable and does not require any complicated maintenance. Such equipment can only be created by highly qualified specialists with the skills of engineering calculations, and only in a close alliance with scientists. BELAZ has all the conditions for the development of creative capacities, since the company has long-standing close ties with the National Academy of Sciences of Belarus and its scientific institutions: the United Institute of Mechanical Engineering, where the Mining Equipment scientific and technical center has been established and is successfully working, the Physics and Technology Institute and the Metal Technologies Institute. BELAZ itself is the captain of the domestic engineering industry and an excellent platform for searching and developing new technical solutions and implementation them into real products.

Young specialists, who are happy to have their first job at BELAZ, have good theoretical training and easily find their place in the team. The company needs creative and smart young people capable of continuing the work of those who stood at the origins of BELAZ.