Equipment Health: Reducing Wear, Preventing Failure and Tracking Consumables

As surface miners begin to put new machine guidance and production monitoring technologies to work on their job sites, they’re discovering a number of additional benefits related to equipment health and maintenance—improvements that are increasing machine and component life and reducing costly unscheduled downtime.

At the top of the list is reduced wear and tear on equipment and tires. New machine guidance technologies help operators work to plan—ensuring smoother benches, better haul roads and more accurate grades. That translates into a “friendlier” mine site for the machines and trucks that move around it every day, lessening wear on haulage components, increasing tire life and lowering operational costs.

These new technologies also promote repair-before-failure strategies and give operators—who know their equipment best—more tools to identify and diagnose possible problems proactively. That’s because in-cab displays not only provide real-time production and guidance data, but also deliver up-to-the-minute machine health information.

This type of data alerts operators to potential problems—like tilt due to an unstable pad—so they can act quickly to prevent failures. Likewise, many of these systems also provide pre-operational checklists that help operators identify service and maintenance issues, enabling repair before failure and minimizing unscheduled downtime.

Finally, consumables tracking is another feature that comes standard with many machine guidance and production monitoring tools. It lets mine managers monitor the use and condition of commonly used components to ensure they’re replaced exactly when needed—before failure but not before the end of their useful life.

On mining drills, for example, sensors and logic systems monitor the bit, stabilizer and steels—recording revolutions, time in use and distance traveled over the life of the product. Knowing exactly how long and in what conditions these components have been operating allows maintenance managers to make informed decisions about replacement, which helps keep downtime and costs to a minimum.

Is equipment and tire wear an issue on your mine site? Do you have issues determining when consumables have reached the end of their useful life? Have you seen similar health and maintenance benefits from your equipment technologies? Give us your feedback on Facebook or Twitter.


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