Reducing maintenance costs through predictive fault detection

Abstract In the mining industry, maintenance is a key priority and a major expense. As mining equipment is large in scale, high in cost, and difficult to tow, it is key to maintain equipment on a timely basis. Breakdown in -40°C or away from a maintenance station can cause great costs in repair as well as lost production.

It has often been quoted that about 5% of the North American production is lost every year due to unscheduled downtime. About one-third of the downtime is attributable to equipment failures. From this fact alone, it is evident that proper equipment maintenance can add tremendous value to the bottom line.

As organizations and equipment become more sophisticated, maintenance expectations begin to evolve. This evolution can be traced through three generations:

The first generation (1940–1950): A “fix it when it broke” attitude prevailed during that time, mostly because the industry was not highly automated.

The second generation (1950–1980): Automation and mechanization of the industry increased. The industry now was dependent on machines performing the majority of the work. Preventive maintenance (overhauls at fixed intervals) appeared as the first maintenance practice. Maintenance costs started to rise rapidly.

The third generation (1980–): Assets become more complex. Failure modes are better understood and computerized maintenance methods are becoming mainstream. Condition-based maintenance (CBM) starts to gain ground as a cost-effective alternative, replacing the fixed interval overhauls. As corporations amalgamate and market places are becoming more complex, multi-functional teams become responsible for maintenance.

At the beginning of the third generation, maintenance organizations began embracing technology to provide efficiencies in maintenance management. A strong push was made to transition from reactive maintenance to proactive maintenance. At the forefront of this push is condition-based maintenance.
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Summary: The objective of this investigation was to determine how the losses of nickel, copper and cobalt in fayalite slags could be controlled for nickel mattes with iron contents below 5 wt%. Laboratory-converting and slag-cleaning experiments were carried out at 1250°C.

Several variables were investigated during and after converting to help minimize the amount of nickel and cobalt that reports to the slag. The variables used were oxygen concentration in the blast, coke breeze addition and nitrogen...
Publication: CIM Bulletin
Author(s): P. Toscano
Keywords: Bessemer mattes, Slags, Nickel, Copper, Cobalt
Issue: 1076
Volume: 97
Year: 2004
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Summary: A mine’s inherent capacity is dictated by factors such as equipment, design, people, processes, and environment. Actual production may approach, but never surpass, the inherent capacity limit. The inherent capacity ceiling can only be increased through re-engineering. Autonomous haulage systems have the potential to significantly increase a mine’s inherent and realized capacity. Realized capacity may be maximized through the optimization of soft factors such as the processes,...
Publication: CIM Bulletin
Author(s): M.W. Lewis, J. Werner, B. Sambirsky
Keywords: Capacity, Maintenance, Utilization, Mining, Remote condition monitoring, Mobile equipment
Issue: 1076
Volume: 97
Year: 2004
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Summary: This paper describes how Automated Mining Systems (AMS) is evolving the state-of-the-art in guidance systems for autonomous underground vehicles. The techniques, trade-offs, and lessons learned from these systems are described, including the safety regime that has been implemented.

First generation autonomous guidance systems for underground vehicles relied on infrastructure for the vehicle to follow. However, there are additional costs associated with that approach.

The current generation...
Publication: CIM Bulletin
Author(s): L. Bloomquist, J. Law, C. Arnoldi
Keywords: Automated Mining Systems, Infrastructureless guidance systems, Underground vehicles, Guidance system safety, 3D vision systems
Issue: 1076
Volume: 97
Year: 2004
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Summary: Information and communication technology (ICT) is seen as a key source of future productivity improvements in mines. The information technology infrastructure (ITI) necessary to achieve these productivity improvements will come in the form of data integrated from multiple source systems throughout the mining value chain. Two pure approaches are available: supplier-controlled or operations-controlled data structures; each strategy has its own advantages and disadvantages. Case studies...
Publication: CIM Bulletin
Author(s): S. Dessureault, J. Porter, M. Woodhall
Keywords: Information and communication technology (ICT), Information technology infrastructure (ITI), Data integration, Mining value chain
Issue: 1076
Volume: 97
Year: 2004
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