A remote asset monitoring service supplied by Caterpillar and Finning has been keeping De Beers Group’s Gahcho Kué diamond mine, in Canada’s Northwest Territories, powered up over the last few years, Cat reports.
Gahcho Kué lies a mere two degrees below the Arctic Circle and, because of its location, the mine is completely off the grid and self-reliant, with employees flying in and out of the operation.
The mine, which produces roughly 4.5 Mct/y, uses five C175-16 generators to power and heat the entire mine and, with temperatures regularly falling below -40°C during the winter, losing power even for a short time could be devastating, for people and production.
Terri Lewis, Technology and Solutions Manager for Electric Power, said: “We’ve spent over 90 years of engineering know-how, and hands-on experience from some of the most challenging projects to provide our customers with the best products and services today.
“For remote locations like mines, it is a requirement that they have power because there is no access to the grid.”
To tackle this challenge, Caterpillar teamed up with Finning Cat and De Beers Group to leverage Electric Power’s Remote Asset Monitoring – a digital service to help proactively identify repair and maintenance needs for the generator sets.
Caterpillar teams based in Mossville, USA, monitor the generator sets remotely and use predictive analytics to identify issues before they occur. When an issue is detected, the Caterpillar team utilises automated alerts and notifications to contact the Finning technicians living on-site at the mine who can then proactively complete repairs before there is a significant impact on operations, it says.
James Morrison, Performance Solutions Leader at Finning Cat, said: “Early identification of product opportunities ensures we have the right technicians and parts before anything goes wrong.”
In the three years Gahcho Kué has been in operation, the Caterpillar and Finning teams have successfully detected, diagnosed and safely solved multiple issues all through early detection using predictive analytics.
The company said: “If left unaddressed or the issue persists, the total cost of downtime, parts and labour can easily add up to millions of dollars.
“Early detection, along with swift action, is vital to helping to ensure the mine is up and running, keeping the plus-300 people who live and work there safe and, just as important, warm.”