Reliability and maintainability models for mobile underground haulage equipment
Competitive pressures dictate that the mining industry moves to larger mobile underground haulage equipment with more advanced equipment mechanization, higher levels of autonomous operation of machines, and longer periods between access by maintenance personnel. Since such new machines will of necessity be more complex than existing designs, machine reliability has become a key issue in progressing toward advanced mobile underground haulage equipment. Reliability and maintainability models of such equipment are practically non-existent in the literature. This paper addresses the issue of reliability and maintainability of mobile underground haulage equipment on two fronts: reliability modelling to enhance decision making for maintenance planning; and reliability simulation to enable evaluation of more rigorous production planning scenarios. A case study from a gold mine in the Chilean Andes is presented, for which reliability models of mobile underground haulage equipment, specifically load-haul-dump vehicles and underground haul trucks, are developed, and a reliability-based simulation implemented.