The Integration of Condition Monitoring into the Maintenance Process

CIM Montreal 2003
Michael W. Lewis,
Abstract Weak metal prices, declining head grade, and increased operational costs are forcing many open pit mining companies to look to their balance sheets for significant cost reductions in order to remain competitive. Maintenance continues to represent a significant proportion of the total operating costs in the mining industry. Compared with the other major cost components of the mining process very little effort has gone into maintenance optimization. The potential payoff from maintenance optimization on the cash cost of the commodity is enormous. A large percentage of these costs are incurred in unscheduled maintenance events, which typically cause serious disruptions to the production process. These maintenance induced production losses can be a significant contributor to the overall operating costs. A structured proactive maintenance approach using the latest advances in technology can achieve dramatic cost reductions and productivity improvements. Remote condition monitoring systems are becoming increasingly commonplace and have the potential to identify problems prior to failure. Detection of equipment degradation prior to failure will enable repairs to be scheduled thereby reducing costs and interruptions to production. Remote condition monitoring technology has evolved rapidly in recent years, with a host of new tools becoming available to assist mine operators in improving their maintenance operations. These tools have capabilities such as: remote real-time vital signs and performance monitoring, alarm/event handling trend analysis, and maintenance workflow management. When these monitoring tools are used in conjunction with a mine management system the vital signs data can be integrated and associated with maintenance history, predictive maintenance data, operational information, and geographical information. This integrated approach to the management of vital maintenance data will help shift the mobile equipment maintenance paradigm from reactive to proactive. This paper will introduce a proactive approach to the management of the maintenance process and the tools required to facilitate this process.
Keywords: Real-time, vital signs, Mine management system, tools, Productivity, Integration, Remote, Maintenance, Condition monitoring, Proactive
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