The mining industry is challenging and complex, with many maintenance challenges that must be addressed to ensure safe, reliable and cost-effective operations. From the onset, asset management is central to equipment availability and reliability when planning a new mine and getting plant equipment maintenance ready, right through commissioning (when several assets are already in operation) to operating the mine.
While several external factors impact mining operations, mining managers can exert some control over the condition and availability of mining equipment to support operations.
Changing technology and the digitalisation of processes allow for much better forecasting, control and reporting. Predictive maintenance and reliability engineering focus has a significant role in reducing downtime and extending the life of critical equipment. Unfortunately, many mining operations still struggle with frequent equipment breakdowns that hamper operations, incidents causing severe environmental damage or loss of life, and low staff morale.
With our extensive experience, we can help mining companies to combat their maintenance challenges.
The mining industry faces extensive legal compliance requirements due to high accident risks and potential loss of life, production, and environmental damage. Stringent maintenance practices are crucial for equipment safety. Accurate reporting of maintenance tasks is vital to avoid disciplinary charges or legal action.
Mining houses rely on internal resources and contractors, emphasising the importance of agreed standards and procedures. Effective enterprise asset management systems (EAMS) and work management apps, like the On Key Field Engineering app, facilitate planning, management, and enforcement of maintenance work.
Asset risk management involves everyone in the business, and Pragma’s approach includes training and a functional framework. Unskilled resources play a significant role in accidents, highlighting the need for practical maintenance courses to comply with regulations and mitigate risks.
Due to stricter legislation and advancing mining processes and equipment, mining companies require competent technical staff. Qualified planners, schedulers, artisans, and business intelligence engineers must oversee maintenance activities without project delays or downtime. Automation and technology require programmers and data analysts with a deep understanding of maintenance and asset management.
Pragma offers resourcing benefits, providing skilled resources for advisory projects and long-term asset care service contracts. Their Academy trains learners in asset management, offering recommended learning pathways for role-specific skills and aiding in succession planning for clients.
Mining companies face the challenge of managing costs with declining maintenance budgets, leading to neglected maintenance and frequent breakdowns. Decreased budgets result in lower productivity, revenue, safety hazards, and environmental incidents. To optimise budget spending:
Standardising maintenance processes in mining improves safety, efficiency, and equipment maintenance. Ways to achieve this include developing preventive maintenance programs, implementing computerised maintenance management systems (CMMS) like On Key, establishing standard operating procedures (SOPs), and fostering a culture of continuous improvement. Pragma’s solutions, such as asset health monitoring using IoT technologies and mobile work management applications, support these efforts. Standardisation ensures consistent and correct work execution, reduces errors, and enables effective management of maintenance plans and resources. Regular evaluation and improvement enhance overall performance and safety. Standardising maintenance processes control costs, improve equipment reliability, and ensure compliance with mining safety and environmental regulations.
Cutting-edge technologies are transforming the manufacturing workforce by automating routine tasks. However, skilled workers are still essential for operating, maintaining, and troubleshooting these technologies. This may involve training or upskilling existing workers for new roles.
Skills shortages pose a common challenge for companies, but Pragma addresses this issue by providing services that bridge critical skills gaps.
Our scalable asset care service assists clients of various sizes and needs with maintenance management requirements. Our engineers can work alongside a client’s team or take full responsibility for their maintenance management function. We can also bring in specific skill sets as needed.
Formal maintenance plans are insufficient to ensure optimal equipment functioning and plant reliability. That’s where reliability engineering comes into play – it is the key to identifying and eliminating defects in critical assets to maximise their performance throughout their entire lifespan. For instance, by resolving recurring blockages in a spray gun at an automotive plant or addressing the root cause of faulty calibration in a pharmaceutical filling station, reliability engineering can minimise rework, waste, costs, and potential damage to reputation. At the core of reliability engineering lies the development of maintenance plans tailored to the specific needs of each asset. This entails selecting the most suitable maintenance tactics, considering the asset’s criticality, age, usage, and operating conditions.
Effective work management is vital for successful maintenance programs in manufacturing plants. It encompasses various elements such as asset creation, acquisition, efficient operation, standard maintenance, risk assessment, and outage management.
Although the concept may seem simple, work management is a complex process that requires expertise to execute effectively. Pragma understands this well and offers comprehensive best practices to streamline maintenance processes while ensuring safety and compliance.
Our best practices are beneficial for standardising work practices, rates, and completion times across different plants and coordinating work between internal technicians and contractors. By implementing our work management processes, you can maximise asset uptime, minimise downtime, and achieve optimal plant performance.
If your team needs support in managing your asset management programme, we can help.
With the aid of On Key and the Focused Improvement business process, it assisted us in decreasing the downtime at the headliners section.
Due to the implementation of the level sensor we can see that the OEE started to increase on plant 2 and contribute to our on time in dispatch as well.
Pragma consultants developed a detailed Asset Care Plan Development process which was adopted. This included standards, templates and guidance on Criticality Analysis and Asset Care Plan Development.