International Mining – Robert Pell looks at how mining companies and equipment manufacturers are avoiding equipment failures through advances in monitoring, scheduled and predictive maintenance, and lubrication.
-excerpted from Maintenance feature Small cog in a big machine
DINGO Mining’s Trakka™ Software offers the world’s largest fleet health benchmarking information database. DINGO told IM that the primary selling point of Trakka is that it helps maintenance teams reduce operating costs by maximising the life of major components and increasing availability through the reduction of unplanned failures. It provides an easy and cost effective way to run a predictive maintenance programme with a mine’s existing resources.
A DINGO spokesperson said: “To date, we have saved our customers over $275 million* by helping them implement a systematic approach for managing the health of their assets (*reflects savings as of March 2016). The use of cloud platforms to monitor equipment performance is not as prevalent in mining as one would expect with today’s technology. Most of the cloud-based based monitoring systems that DINGO interacts with are at the large, well-resourced mines with the latest equipment. Although, we are starting to see some of the more advanced mining companies move towards centralised operating centres, such as IROC at BHP Billiton.”
A key benefit of Trakka is that it provides a platform for any type of mining operation to quickly and cost-effectively migrate to a centralised, cloud-based predictive maintenance system. A number of DINGO customers use Trakka at the regional and enterprise level to help monitor performance and drive improvements across the company.
Trakka manages short and long-term maintenance actions via a comprehensive prioritisation system. Maintenance tasks are created and assigned based on a composite of asset criticality, component health, and alert level severity. Depending on the nature of the identified problem and the importance of the equipment to the operation, corrective maintenance actions are assigned priority levels in order to minimise downtime and optimise component life.
One of the ways DINGO helps customers reduce maintenance costs is by extending the life of components through its Component Life Extension program. “In our experience, most mines are using condition monitoring data to avoid potential short-term equipment failures, but they aren’t focusing on overall component life achievement. The aim of the Component Life Extension program is to optimise the service life of each replaceable component through a structured maintenance management process.
“For example in 2009, a coal mine in British Columbia engaged with DINGO to implement a comprehensive Condition Management program. One of the goals was to reduce maintenance costs by extending the life of their Komatsu 830E and 930E wheel motors, which can which can cost to $200,000 to replace. “When our Condition Intelligence experts saw that the average life of this mine’s GE GDY106 AC wheel motors was only 13,000 hours, based on DINGO’s extensive benchmarking capabilities, they knew that there was a tremendous opportunity for improvement.
DINGO quickly implemented its Component Life Extension program, and in the first year alone, the partnership produced a 67% improvement in wheel motor life, increasing the average life to over 22,000 hours. To date, this operation has saved over $15 million through wheel motor life extension, and is leading the industry with a budgeted life of 30,000 hours for its most costly Komatsu wheel motors.”
Trakka can be used to improve operational efficiency on any equipment that has condition data. Generally speaking, the highest return is generated by the assets that are the most capital intensive and/or vital to production. While all of DINGO’s customers use Trakka to optimise the performance of their mobile fleets, a significant number have expanded their coverage to mission critical areas such as draglines, longwalls, and processing plants.
Excerpted from the Small Cog in a Big Machine maintenance feature in International Mining
By Robert Pell