The mining sector is one of the country’s most difficult job industries. Mining activities are always concerned with cost control and profit margins. Mining becomes simpler, secure, and more productive when the equipment is reliable. The appropriate equipment can also increase mine site productivity while lowering costs.
What Is the Importance of Reliability in the Mining Industry?
Dependable equipment provides you and your operation with the peace of mind that your pieces of machinery will perform as expected whenever you need them and will not create hazardous work conditions. It is a critical component of your mining activities.
- It safeguards you’
Recent occupational mining fatality rate was significantly lower than in previous decades. This is mainly due to advancements and capabilities of sophisticated mining equipment designed with the safety of your employees in mind.
- It makes you marketable.
Consistent equipment allows you to take on mining projects while operating at the lowest cost per ton, giving you a competitive advantage. It increases employee confidence: One of the best ways to improve staff morale is to give them the equipment and materials they need to do their job well.
- It increases site efficiency.
Reliable equipment means less costly downtime and higher productivity across the mining site, with minor equipment repair and maintenance and parts replacement required.
The Significance of High-Quality Mining Equipment
When your mining machines are efficient, every piece of your fleet is functioning correctly. Mining equipment that is well-maintained and up to date is critical for your employees’ safety and keeping project costs minimal. It also saves you time, stress, and the risks of faulty equipment.
The significance of dependable mining equipment is that it provides:
Mining equipment was the second most common cause of mining fatalities in 2019. Efficient equipment reduces the hazards of stalls, dull brakes, fires, rollovers, electrocution, and other mining site hazards.
Efficiency brakes, wheels, tracks, and other well-maintained components can help your team complete the job more quickly and without interruption.
Efficient machines can also help you minimize your cost per ton and accomplish your daily ore goals with minimal material waste and expensive delays.
Maintain accurate logs of processing times, maintenance, dangerous occurrences, injuries, part replacements, and fuel prices to assess the efficiency of your equipment. Then, keep track of trends, patterns, and changes over time.
Three Ways to Increase Mining Productivity
In the mining industry, productivity means you:
- Maintain a consistent or increasing productivity for materials mined and moved.
- Are capable of successfully managing the crew’s, equipment, and surrounding environment’s safety.
- Protect the bottom line by looking for ways to cut costs and waste.
- Undertake various job tasks precisely while looking for new ways to enhance efficiency.
These three tips will teach you how to increase mining productivity.
- Keep a Strong Team
You already understand the importance of dependable and efficient mining equipment, but the people who operate them are even more important than the machines. Your team primarily determines your mine’s productivity.
Create a strong team by:
Implementing training opportunities: Invest in high-quality training programs for new and current employees. This involves continuous training classes all year round and as needed for adjustments in industry benchmarks, staff restructuring, new equipment, improved safety procedures, and before beginning any new work undertaking or site.
Collecting employee feedback: Gather employee feedback regularly through questionnaires, one-on-one conversations, and open meetings to learn what changes and improvements they require to do their jobs well. Making these changes fosters a more healthy work environment while providing your team with the tools they need to succeed.
Employee cross-training: Cross-train your best workers in other industries, mining components, job tasks, and special equipment. This lowers the cost of hiring more help while boosting long-term career progression for your current employees.
Preparing the team: Before beginning work on a project, provide your team with as much information about it. This includes site issues and prerequisites, long-term and short-term targets, and specific site guidelines for fast and safe equipment operation. If necessary, provide site-specific training.
Emphasizing safety and health: Nothing is more essential than the well-being of your employees. To avoid difficult and destructive life-threatening situations, prioritize health and safety in procurement and assignment decisions. Hazardous working conditions are dangerous, but they can also be costly. Mining injuries cause expensive downtime and may destroy equipment or resources.
- Make the most of your time and resources.
Leveraging your time and materials allows your team to work more effectively, helps protect profits, and gives your company a competitive advantage. Management of waste and automated systems are two ways to improve your toolkits, fleet, and practices significantly:
Waste management: By 2022, global mining waste is expected to total 87 million tons. Minimizing site and material waste is critical to remaining fruitful and protecting the environment, especially in nonrenewable resource sectors. You could also use your knowledge about green practices to adapt to new jobs with stricter mining regulations, reducing the need for extra training and giving you an edge over rivals who do not already have waste management training.
Some waste management practices include lowering your electricity usage for machinery and on-site structures and adhering to local environmental regulations. Some sites may also be suitable for treating and repurposing project wastewater. Some places provide incentives and grants in exchange for environmentally friendly practices.
Digitalized processes: Use techniques and materials equipment upgrades to automate as many routine processes as possible, such as supply inventory management to avoid costly oversupply, monitoring and filling purchase requisitions for additional materials, and automatically scheduling fleet preventive maintenance.
- Keep Track of Your Equipment
Manage your products and machinery to keep them in good working order and avoid costly repairs, replacements, and unplanned downtime. The best way to accomplish this is to create an equipment management plan that considers each machine’s requirements, such as periodic inspection, maintenance work, diagnostics, and fuel consumption.
Incorporate the following into your equipment management strategy:
Inspections: Your team should inspect equipment before and after each use and whenever any problems arise. Examine the machine’s interior and exterior. Establish a clear procedure for workers to follow if they discover anything suspicious during routine inspections.
Preventive service refers to regularly scheduled checkups by an equipment expert who inspects critical areas for performance and damage and then makes needed modifications to maintain the machine’s integrity. Preventive services assist you in detecting and correcting potentially hazardous malfunctions before they pose a safety risk or cause downtime.
Upkeep and repairs: When it comes to heavy machinery, you must never dismiss potential machine failure warning signs. Stop using the equipment and contact a specialist. When possible, use parts and connections from your machine’s brand to replace components as needed.
Energy conservation: Use data on energy consumption to identify patterns in your equipment’s fuel and energy usage, and then take action to minimize it. For example, if your typical worksite does not require a heavier-duty machine, you could shift to a more fuel-efficient system model. Repair leakage and other energy wasters as soon as possible. Monitoring your energy usage can also assist you in identifying and correcting usage spikes.
Upgrades and enhancements: Even the most dependable equipment can regularly benefit from upgrades and improvements. Machines become more intelligent as technology advances. Innovative technology in today’s mining equipment allows freedom of your fleet and ensures a safe, more productive workplace.