Then and now, improving maintenance systems through implementing operational reliability methods

CIM Vancouver 2016
Mr Scott GBritton (General Manager, Rabbit Lake Operations - Cameco, Inc.)
In line with Cameco’s vision, strategy and measures of success, in 2011 a third party subject matter expert - a reliability consulting firm - performed an assessment of the maintenance and reliability programs at their Rabbit Lake – Eagle Point Mine, the oldest operating uranium mine and mill in North America. The site achieved an overall score of 0.259 in relation to an overall potential score of 1.000, or 26%. This is in the Reactive range of the Reliability Excellence scale. The rating of reactive indicates that day to day business and work activities react to unplanned or unanticipated events rather than progressing in a planned, well-organized schedule. Of the 29 elements scored in the assessment, 25 elements scored in the reactive range, 4 scored in the emerging range with no elements scoring in the proactive range or excellence range.
During 2013 till the present, the mining operation proceeded to implement a program to focus and develop operational reliability within their maintenance systems. In 2015, an assessment was undertaken. An assessment tool was constructed that was based on the tool used by the original SME firm in order to provide a comparison to the original assessments. The results show that Rabbit Lake Mine and Mill received an Emerging rating, with an accumulated score of 51.9% representing a substantial improvement from Rabbit Lake’s score of 25.9% when assessed in 2011.
This paper discusses the operational reliability processes and journey to date at the Rabbit Lake Operations since it was assessed in 2011. Many of the principals have been embraced and a number of process elements have been implemented, some of which the team assessed at the level of excellence due to their substantial or full implementation and ongoing attention including but not limited to: i) Work Order System ii) Maintenance Costs; and iii) Shutdown Management. There was evidence throughout the plant that a work order system is being used to drive maintenance activities by plant supervision and workers alike. Maintenance costs are being tracked and reviewed regularly and are used for effective decision making. It was also clear that effective planning takes place prior to shutdown and is executed during shutdowns to ensure all necessary work is completed on time and on budget. The paper will include a review of the significant strengths and significant opportunities that remain for the site.
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