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 damage to the environment or loss of life, and low staff morale.
With our extensive mining experience, we can help you improve the reliability and availability of your equipment and plant.
One of mining companies’ most significant challenges is managing costs within ever-decreasing maintenance budgets. With less money available, maintenance is often the first to be neglected. Mining equipment is often subjected to harsh working conditions, leading to frequent breakdowns and failures, resulting in lost productivity and revenue. Additionally, neglecting maintenance can lead to safety hazards for workers and potential environmental incidents. There are several ways to manage budgets better, and we touch on a few below.
First, prioritise maintenance on critical equipment while postponing or cutting back on less essential maintenance tasks. A criticality analysis and risk assessment support this approach, and using appropriate tactics can ensure even more optimal budget spending.
Secondly, consider implementing cost-saving measures, like predictive maintenance techniques or extending equipment life through repair and refurbishment rather than replacement. Using condition monitoring and IoT technologies will give you more visibility of potential failures and help you plan your budget better.
Life cycle costing and equipment replacement programmes will help to budget more accurately, while standardising types of equipment, spare parts, and tactics can drive costs down and reduce the skills required.
With an asset management strategy as the basis, we use structured business processes and asset care plans that are firmly integrated and managed through an EAM system to accomplish cost savings and ensure that every cent counts.