Press

Lights at the End of the Tunnel

Release date: 8/1/2015

International Mining - The AIMEX show this year comes on the back of a very tough period for the mining industry and its suppliers in Australasia. Paul Moore reviews the recent situation but then focuses on the positives in terms of the unique solutions offered by Australian mining technology companies

ASSET HEALTH STRATEGIES
Strategic implementation of an Asset Health System via a Remote Operations Centre (ROC) is a “significant untapped lever for increasing efficiency and improving performance in maintenance”, says Dingo Software (based Wilston, Queensland). “While a considerable number of mining operations believe that they already have effective Asset Health programs in place, we have found that very few mines actually do. Based on performance data spanning more than 50 mining operations across Canada, Australia, the US and Indonesia, we have concrete data showing that 33% of major components are operating in a ‘warning’ state, and more than 11% are running in critical condition.”
 
This lacklustre performance isn’t due to a shortage of information. With all of the new monitoring technologies, maintenance operations are collecting high volumes of condition data, including onboard, fluid, vibration, thermography, and visual inspections. “However, most mines aren’t maximising on that information because they don’t have a good system in place to manage and extract meaning from the data, and they don’t have the subject matter expertise to glean insights from all of the different types of data. Frankly, all of the new data has created somewhat of a mess.”
 
One cost-effective solution that has proven to be effective is the implementation of a centralised ROC that is dedicated to managing the health and operating life of assets. Anglo American is a good example of a company that is driving efficiency across mines through this type of system. At its Central Asset Monitoring Centre, it uses platforms, such as Dingo’s Trakka® condition management software, to monitor the performance and condition of equipment in both underground and surface mines. “The team has partnered with Dingo to translate this information into predictive maintenance actions that will keep these assets in peak operating condition. By leveraging a centralised system and team of subject matter experts, Anglo American has improved its maintenance operations across the board in an extremely cost- effective way.”

A few of Dingo’s Condition Intelligence experts at the company’s Asset Health Centre in Brisbane

Remote operations centres can also be highly beneficial to isolated mining operations. Dingo helped increase productivity at Newmont’s Batu Hijau mine in Indonesia by running its condition management program from an ROC in Brisbane. Prior to working with Dingo, Newmont had a significant number of expats managing maintenance at the mine, but it was costly and difficult to get the right expertise required to run the operation effectively. To address these challenges, Newmont partnered with Dingo, which helped the local team implement a disciplined system for managing the health of their assets. “Not only does Dingo serve as a continuous source of maintenance expertise, but they also help manage the Asset Health program by providing structure and focus through weekly WebEx meetings, monthly reporting, and ongoing KPI development and management. Regardless of the scale or location of a mining operation, a remote operations centre can help companies quickly and cost-effectively implement a best-in-class asset health program, resulting in material cost and productivity savings.”
 
Excerpted from the Australian Technology feature in the August 2015 edition of International Mining
By Paul Moore