The following is a user story from an Iron Ore Mine in Western Australia, the customer shares, in his words what he believes are the benefits they have experienced by implementing PDS Idler as part of their maintenance strategy onsite.
A before and after look at the benefits of implementing PDS Idler
Before the implementation of PDS Idler, we used manual tags to identify idler faults and a spreadsheet to track which idlers either needed to be changed short term, or within an upcoming shutdown.
Our workflow would be:
- Have the operator tag the idler and return the other half of the tag to the office.
- The tag data would be collated in a spreadsheet, by an administrator.
- After a shutdown, an administrator would remove the changed idlers, based on the list provided by the shutdown team.
Problems with our system:
- Idlers tags would go missing (from the idler frame).
- Idler tags wouldn’t make it back to the office to be collated in the spreadsheet.
- Based on the backlog of work of the administrator, the tags would take time to be entered into the system (limiting the currency of the spreadsheet data).
- We had issues with the data entered (human error / miscommunication / legibility of the tag information).
- Idlers would get changed out and not removed from the spreadsheet.
- Failed idlers would get changed out and not recorded on the spreadsheet.
In the end, we had to continually audit the spreadsheet for accuracy, on several occasions we just had to clear the spreadsheet and start fresh.
Now our operators use the iPDS iPad App and the PDS Web App. In the field, at the asset, the operator can confirm if the idler has previously been identified for changeout. We can identify and close out changed idlers at the job site, during breakdowns and shutdowns. As a leader of a team, if we have opportune downtime, I can produce a scope of work to be completed by priority, identify the parts, quantity and location.
Benefits we have seen since moving to PDS Idler:
- Live data available anytime / anywhere – at any time I can obtain a current list of idler risks across the plant giving us the ability to prioritise opportune work.
- Capture breakdown idler change events, as well as planned changeout events, in the field, at the asset.
- Accurate reliability failure data – through the data we can identify hotspots on a conveyor by location / frequency of changeout.
- Improved Planning Process – we know what resources (parts and labour) will be required for an upcoming shut.
- Increased efficiency – accurate scope provided to operator.
- Decrease risk of downtime and secondary damage to our assets – changing out assets by priority which pose a risk to production.
- Decreased downtime – changing out equipment in a planned or opportune manner lead to fewer breakdown changeout events.
- Decreased waste (parts and labour) – changing equipment based on condition, reduced the wastage from bulk replacement programs.
Courtesy of J. Turner (mine site withheld)