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How to Maintain Efficiency? Successfully Conducting Mining Operations

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The significance of the mining industry on world economies cannot be understated. The mining industry is an essential part of growing our economy, from mining minerals for construction purposes to powering manufacturing operations. This industry has supplied important materials to a diverse portfolio of sectors since before the Industrial Revolution, and even before the birth of Jesus Christ.

In 2022, the top 40 global mining companies generated a revenue of $943 billion, highlighting the significance of this industry. Nonetheless, the outcomes of mining operations are not based only on resource availability but operational efficiency plays a pivotal role as well.

Why is equipment maintenance significant in mining?

Efficiency is the lifeblood of mining operations and has a direct bearing on all the core aspects of productivity, profitability, safety and sustainability

The mining process hinges on the efficiency and smooth running of machinery operations, whether it be the extraction process or the transportation of resources.

This is thus key that efficiency is maintained and achieved during mining operations. 

We will take a deep dive into the significance of good equipment maintenance in conducting mining operations. We will explore the common maintenance challenges prominently experienced by mining companies. Additionally, we shall highlight real specialised solutions for each challenge which should prepare you and your company better to ensure you keep running at maximum efficiency.

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What are common maintenance challenges faced by mining companies?

There are a multitude of factors that can deter a mining operation. In a mining operation environment, several problems can damage the operation’s effectiveness leading to costly malfunctions and workplace injuries. The identification of these maintenance issues is invaluable as they assist in avoiding expensive repairs and interruptions from unexpected downtime.

Environmental Factors: One of the major factors that can influence the performance of mining equipment is the weather conditions and the consequential abrasive nature of exhumed materials. Gradual degradation of equipment efficiency and higher energy use are often caused by prolonged exposure to these elements during mining operations. Harsh climate parameters such as high temperatures, extreme humidity and soil instability cause the equipment to wear out faster and accumulate dust and debris, affecting internal components such as the exhaust and the different filters. Knowing in advance how environmental factors affect a machine’s operation enables the companies to prevent or reduce the excessive time for repair.

Ineffective Maintenance Strategies: Unlike machines that are used in construction or landscaping, mining equipment works in very harsh and extreme conditions. Thus, there are unique requirements in terms of maintenance protocols to cater to such conditions. Implementation of a systematic maintenance system can rarely guarantee 100% equipment reliability, resulting in the possibility of equipment failures. A thorough maintenance plan that takes into account mining conditions is necessary to ensure the equipment’s performance and reliability are being monitored. Nowadays, the use of heavy equipment software such as B2W or Equipment360 is capable of simplifying fleet maintenance management on mining sites and thus can increase mining process productivity.

Lack of Employee Training: Proper machine operator training is of critical significance in this regard and serves as a basis for keeping equipment in top order and decreasing downtime. In the specific and challenging environment faced during mining operations, well-trained operators are paramount in identifying and addressing equipment defects promptly. Employees who not only know how to run machinery but also know how to perform routine inspections and maintenance of critical components will contribute greatly to the proactive maintenance efforts and efficiency of the operation. Conducting comprehensive training programs is, thus, essential to enable operators to identify the wear and tear signs, minimizing the probability of equipment failure and enhancing the overall operational effectiveness.

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Common maintenance methods deployed by mining companies

Running maintenance is paramount for mining companies to ensure equipment reliability and the continuity of mining operations in hazardous conditions and harsh environments. Following safety rules imposed by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) ultimately results in the frequency of maintenance activities. Different forms of maintenance techniques are used to address the unique issues faced by mining companies which serve to enhance the lifespan of equipment and reduce downtime.

Routine maintenance lies at the heart of the equipment’s upkeep since the regularly performed maintenance tasks form the basis of all maintenance activities. These procedures cover comprehensive cleaning, inspections, and oil changes to service equipment to continue to perform successfully and prevent breakdowns. 

Preventative maintenance moves a step ahead with replacements of components like air filters and in-depth inspections to prevent gradual component deterioration. Under this preventative approach, all machinery is properly lubricated while operators are trained in equipment inspection, oil checking, and other maintenance services to prevent machine wear and ensure the longevity of its lifespan.

Predictive maintenance utilises cutting-edge sensor technology which evaluates the condition of equipment in the field in real-time and helps prevent failure by anticipating it and making the repairs early. Based on this information gathered, technicians can prevent the gradatim deterioration of specific components and arrange for future restoration to the machinery.

However, reactive maintenance is considered to be the most common type of maintenance in the mining industry. While the impromptu nature of this type of maintenance may lead to a fast deterioration of the equipment and an increase in operating costs in the long run, the simplicity and rapidity of deploying this method in the short run make it alluring to many companies. 

This method is listed to bring awareness to the industry’s common methods, and thus shouldn’t be considered the primary option when performing maintenance due to the short-sighted nature of the methodology.

The usage of these maintenance plans for specific demands during a mining operation can aid companies in navigating difficulties during said operations. Harsh operating conditions and intricate equipment management benefit from a thorough maintenance program encompassing proactiveness or preventativeness. This minimises the downtime and repair costs as well as maximising mining equipment efficiency to ensure an overall successful mining operation.

Introduction to Specialised Maintenance Solutions

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Specialised maintenance solutions are crucial when we consider enhancing the reliability and efficiency of mining operations. Mining companies make use of the services provided by specialised suppliers to help ensure a smooth operation, providing special consideration to the operation’s harsh environment and the complex issues when dealing with the machinery. 

A multitude of companies specialises in providing specific maintenance needs within the mining sector, contributing expert advice and innovative solutions to resolve maintenance issues. From this group, MammothEquip stands out for its commitment to providing quality service and upholding customer satisfaction.

Mammoth Equip offers a range of maintenance services tailored for the mining industry. These include but are not limited to, DPF cleaning, exhaust solutions, freeze guard blankets, and air cleaners. These services are designed to enhance equipment performance and longevity in demanding mining environments.

A range of tailored maintenance solutions are available for all sorts of mining needs. 

Notably, MammothEquip can prepare your equipment for harsh environments with services such as Diesel Particulate Filtering (DPF) cleaning, significantly extending the serviceable life of emissions control components. 

MammothEquip’s services are created to ensure equipment efficiency and long-term use even in adverse mining conditions. From universal exhaust components made of top-quality materials to high-end air intake solutions designed to increase operating lifespan and protect equipment, MammothEquip is the first choice for the industry in aftermarket solutions. 

The achievement of MammothEquip within the industry is attributed to its expert technicians, modern technologies, and understanding of mining equipment. As a result of years of experience, MammothEquip’s failure-proof products are effective and reliable, echoed through their customer testimonials: “no issues”.

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Conclusion

To summarise, the maintenance of equipment is an indispensable cornerstone for maximising productivity in the industry. The business needs to make sure that the machines perform at their maximum potential. By doing this, the downtime can be minimised, the equipment life span can be extended and the safety is enhanced. Service providers are reliable partners in this process and provide maintenance services to mining operations optimised to their unique requirements.

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