Unexpected failure of key assets is a big problem in mining operations around the world.
The resulting loss of production adds up to countless millions of dollars worth of lost revenue, much of which could have been avoided. In our experience, a high percentage of ‘unexpected’ failures are simply down to poor or ineffective maintenance regimes.
So what’s the solution?
In a word, planning. A sound maintenance plan will help you stay on top of asset wear. But there’s a catch – in order to develop an effective plan, you need reliable, real time data about the condition of your assets. And this is where many operations miss the mark because they simply don’t have a robust system in place.
One of our clients, an underground coalmine in Australia, provides a good example of this situation.
They identified that idler delays were increasing at an alarming rate to over 180 hours per year. That’s over ONE WEEK of unplanned downtime per year.
The mine was experiencing accelerated shell failure due to corrosion but had no system for recording and analysing idler delays nor managing the associated maintenance.
Maintenance costs were sky high due to inefficient planning and lack of training in detecting failing idlers.
PDS conducted an audit of idler usage and, in collaboration with the workforce,
implemented PDS Idler to capture failure records, report on corrective work required and provide statistical evidence of failures. We also provided thorough training and support to ensure that everyone involved understood the PDS Idler product and how to use it correctly.
The results were pretty dramatic.
Idler delays were reduced by more than 50% with a cost benefit through efficient planning of labour resulting in an operating cost saving of around $1.5 million per annum.