An Equipment Strategy Can Help Maximize the Productivity of Your Mining Operation
With the technology on equipment today, we have a better opportunity than ever to measure and maximize productivity. But when the focus is only on total cost of ownership, any significant improvements in your mining operations can be a challenge to maintain.
The key is to start thinking about your equipment strategy in terms of cost per ton. The result? Your equipment becomes part of a larger, longer term strategy and a real change can start to occur across your organization. Knowing where to start is sometimes the biggest challenge. Here are three ways you can use equipment and technology to help achieve your productivity goals.
Focus on the Benefits of Technology
Some of the biggest benefits of technology are the advancements made in autonomous and semi-autonomous solutions. Autonomous technologies are helping sites run safer by keeping operators out of harm’s way while at the same time creating greater efficiencies. Technology is 100 per cent accurate and takes the guesswork out of the equation. When your operator is running a truck, you may not be able to control how they brake or change gears, but with the help of technology you can maintain the same level of operation for each user.
Technology can also help when it comes to equipment utilization – machines can complete tasks without any shift changes and can run 24/7 if needed – turning once unproductive hours into productive ones. Another benefit is maintenance and repairs – technologies like telematics can help you track progress and notify site managers when a machine is in need of service to schedule maintenance and repairs.
Use Data to Help Reduce Costs
Costs for operating in remote locations can be high and when you add in unplanned equipment failures or other issues, they can escalate quickly. Gaining access to data on equipment health is crucial.
Gathered by using electronic sensors and control systems on equipment, this data can be used to track machine health and condition, hours, location and usage, optimize workflows and production cycles, and maximize machine uptime.
When you focus on optimizing performance by using data, it unleashes the potential for big productivity improvements, maximizing equipment usage, eliminating unnecessary hauling and reducing component failures. Even in efficient mines, the use of data can help reduce your cost per ton and lower owning and operating costs.
Take an Integrated Approach
An integrated approach to managing operations involves using both equipment and technology as a strategic tool to lower cost per ton. Higher quality equipment may cost more up front but offers big advantages that pay off in the long run. Coming factory-direct with the latest technology, they are more efficient, using less fuel and working faster.
Using technology as a strategic tool to address safety concerns, increase haulage, productivity, and lower your cost per ton takes a collaborative effort between the mine management team and the equipment technology provider. Partnering with an equipment technology dealer who understands your business is the key. By applying their deep category experience, analytics, and actionable insights they can help drive operational efficiency across your organization.
If you want to achieve more in your mine operation, you have to start with an investment in the right equipment AND the right equipment dealer. Finning Canada works closely with mining customers to develop customized technology and preventative maintenance solutions. Whether you’re involved in surface or underground mining, this combined expertise in both equipment and technology can provide the right support and solutions for your mining operation.
About the Author
As mining industry solutions manager for Finning Canada, Shawn and his team support all mining customers in their short and long term growth strategy with mining technology solutions. His team covers British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, The Northwest Territories, and the Yukon.
Finning is the world’s largest Caterpillar dealer delivering unrivalled service for over 85 years. We sell, rent and provide parts and service for equipment and engines to customers in various industries, including mining, construction, petroleum, forestry and a wide range of power systems applications.
Since 1933, when Finning was first established in Canada by Earl B. Finning, our name has conveyed integrity, reliability and resourcefulness. Over the years, the company has grown as a result of a genuine commitment to earning customer loyalty.
With our broad product support infrastructure and unmatched service capabilities, we deliver solutions that enable customers to achieve the lowest equipment owning and operating costs while maximizing uptime.