Tag Archives: asset management

Tronox’s Cooljarloo mine feels the benefits of Weir Minerals Total Asset Management Plan

Weir Minerals says it has further strengthened its partnership with Tronox following the signing of an exclusive arrangement to take ownership of maintenance, asset management and optimisation of the mine’s key assets.

Weir Minerals’ Total Asset Management Plan is a “unique and innovative” service contract that is revolutionising mining operations, with improved performance and a reduction in unplanned maintenance time, the company says.

Such a plan was successfully implemented at the Tronox mine in Cooljarloo, Western Australia, with Weir Minerals managing 20 assets including slurry pumps on the plant, two floating dredges and a floating concentrator which processes over 3,000 t/h of heavy mineral concentrate.

Tronox produces more than 770,000 t/y of heavy mineral concentrate using a dredging operation and dry mining techniques at Cooljarloo, Tronox says. The dredging operation recovers heavy minerals from the sand and clay using a series of gravity spirals, with the dry mine using earthmoving equipment to extract ore located above the water table, feeding it to a land-based concentrator for separation using a hopper and conveyor system.

Daniel Fleckhammer, Weir Minerals Director, said: “The Weir Minerals team worked closely with Tronox to determine what their goals and vision for their mine were. The team then developed a tailored Total Asset Management Plan which aimed to look after the customer’s assets, improve their wear life and keep the mine running.”

Weir Minerals successfully helped Tronox reduce its maintenance costs by 10% and cut unplanned maintenance by 30%, according to the company. The miner is also now able to transition from a six-month shutdown cycle to an eight-month shutdown cycle, which will save the mine over A$1 million/y ($774,802/y) on maintenance costs. Weir estimates this increased reliability is potentially worth over A$1 million/y in additional productivity.

Dave Netherway, Tronox Maintenance Manager at Cooljarloo, said the Total Asset Management Plan the company has in place with Weir Minerals means it pays “on a cents per tonne” arrangement based on the throughput through the plant.

“Weir have skin in the game with the way we operate,” he said.

Being located on site, the Weir Minerals team is prepared for crucial maintenance and gains vital insights into the customer’s issues.

“By leveraging their worldwide expertise in pump technology, the team proactively evaluate each asset and provide outstanding service to Tronox,” the company says.

A clear set of key performance indicators developed in conjunction with Tronox enable Weir Minerals to increase savings and improve the reliability of assets, it says. Both companies work towards a common goal that is mutually beneficial to all.

Ian Rennie, Tronox Site Director at Cooljarloo, said: “If other companies around the world are looking at this type of agreement, I’d really encourage them to explore it. At Tronox, we’ve only been touching the surface for a year now and we really see some huge benefits already.”

RPMGlobal offers ‘real-time, zero-based maintenance budgeting’ with AMT upgrade

RPMGlobal has unveiled major functionality upgrades in the latest release of its dedicated asset lifecycle costing software – AMT, designed to, it says, accelerate the maintenance budget generation process for miners.

In the release of AMT 8.21, improved maintenance budgeting integration is a key focus, with upgrades drastically improving the speed of the budgeting and forecasting process.

“AMT is already one of the only products on the market that is purpose-built for maintenance cost budgeting that works seamlessly with any miner’s ERP, and this functionality upgrade will further reduce the time it takes teams to produce maintenance budgets,” the company said.

The ability to conduct real-time, zero-based maintenance budgeting instead of relying on static maintenance plans helps operations gauge the true costs of operating equipment, according to the company.

RPMGlobal Chief Technology Officer, Paul Beesley, said innovative technologies such as AMT formed the foundation for smarter asset management decision making.

“As the leading maintenance cost budgeting solution specifically designed for the mining industry, this release has been about taking our clients’ feedback and advancing the maintenance cost budgeting component of AMT’s functionality,” he said.

“With many of our global customers in budget planning mode, this release comes at a great time for operations seeking to speed up analysis of different budget and forecasting options, which leads to improved accuracy and decision making.”

While the focus on this release is centred on upgrading the maintenance budgeting integration process, AMT 8.21 also includes several usability enhancements that improve the experience of the Asset Manager, according to the company.

Some of the notable enhancements include Dynamic Life Cycle Costing engine performance improvements, depreciation forecasting, standard job versions that supports baselining changes made to maintenance strategies, new and redesigned reports, and other functionality enhancements.

AMT is used by hundreds of mine sites worldwide as well as all major OEMs to manage their assets and asset maintenance contracts, according to the company. “With AMT, operators have a holistic life cycle cost view of their asset base to deliver proactive asset management capability,” it said.

At the core of RPMGlobal’s powerful asset management solution is a unique Dynamic Life Cycle Costing engine which enables organisations to be proactive about asset management. As a result, miners have the ability to control and curtail maintenance costs, identify asset life cycle risks and opportunities, and reduce unplanned downtime.

RPMGlobal Chief Executive Officer, Richard Mathews, said: “RPMGlobal’s investment commitment in the industry’s leading asset management solution would continue apace, with additional exciting releases planned over the next 12 months.

“AMT is a major part of our business, and with every release, more enterprise functionality and integration is added.

“We anticipate mining companies will remain focused on keeping their operational costs as low as possible as they seek to unlock greater value from operations. AMT is the proven solution that enables our customers to identify asset lifecycle risks and opportunities to control and reduce maintenance spend which is vital in this current environment.”

RPMGlobal’s AMT helps National Plant & Equipment bolster fleet availability

National Plant & Equipment has successfully increased fleet availability during a heightened period of growth after implementing RPMGlobal’s leading asset management solution, AMT™.

Mark Ackroyd, National Group Managing Director, said: “AMT assisted the company in adopting a forward-looking, proactive approach to asset management that has been critical to its success.

“National Plant & Equipment has been on a strong growth trajectory and AMT has enabled us to scale effectively during this period.”

He said the asset management solution permitted the company to gauge the true costs of operating equipment across a multitude of sites while simplifying issues that accompany growth.

AMT, RPMGlobal’s intelligent asset management software, helps mining companies, contractors, original equipment manufacturers and their dealers effectively manage their assets using a unique Dynamic Life Cycle Costing (DLCC) engine, RPMGlobal says.

This DLCC engine enables mining organisations to take a proactive approach to asset management. This includes the ability to identify asset life cycle risks and opportunities; control and curtail maintenance costs; reduce unplanned downtime; and report and analyse the critical engineering, maintenance process, application, and operational drivers of asset performance.

National Plant & Equipment selected AMT during a period of growth that enabled it to consistently meet reliability and availability targets by harnessing AMT’s DLCC engine, RPMGlobal said.

With enhanced visibility of day-to-day asset maintenance requirements that could scale alongside its growth, National Plant & Equipment was able to gauge the costs of operating equipment across more than 40 different sites.

“AMT can seamlessly integrate with any Enterprise Resource Planning system and provides a live zero-based forecast at any time, ensuring National Plant & Equipment consistently achieves an accurate, on-demand maintenance budget at all times,” the company said.

Prior to implementing AMT, National Plant & Equipment managed its assets through multiple spreadsheets. As a result, this made it very difficult to nurture relationships with its customers and optimise asset effectiveness, according to RPMGlobal.

“We are now able to conduct real-time maintenance budgeting instead of relying on static maintenance plans, which has eliminated room for error,” Ackroyd said. “With AMT, we now have one source of truth for the business nation-wide, giving us an accurate view of asset management.”

RPMGlobal Australian General Manager, Michael Baldwin, said it was critical for mining contractors to have a centralised management solution to optimise asset management activities.

“Being proactive about asset management is a key competitive advantage for contractors, providing the ability to reduce unplanned downtime of equipment and keep operational costs low to maximise overall asset performance,” he said.

“RPMGlobal remains passionate about empowering our customers so they can better measure and manage their asset management improvement journey, and it’s great to see companies such as National Plant & Equipment achieve such a high level of success with AMT.”

Quartile One helping Emeco improve equipment fleet reliability

In its 2019 financial year update presentation, contractor Emeco Holdings flagged up a partnership with Quartile One that has seen the company improve the component life and reliability of its expanding equipment fleet.

The contractor has grown in recent years, adding, in 2018, rental specialist Matilda Equipment to the portfolio. It also recently bolstered its fleet with “strategic core assets” comprising mainly 240-t haul trucks and Cat D10/D11 dozers.

This has seen the company’s focus on Australia coking coal operations increase to around two-thirds of the overall business, with the remainder coming from Australia thermal coal.

The reliability of its fleet, which it characterises as young compared with the average across the industry, is crucial to its overall success in winning and retaining mining business.

During the update today, Emeco said it maximises component life within its fleet through centralised planning and a reliability engineering ability to rebuild components in house. Much of this is enabled by an asset management solution from Quartile One.

Quartile One, which is expected to be acquired by Aurecon next month after a deal was announced in April, is a key player in the data analytics space, helping companies manage physical and other infrastructure assets to meet “the performance and pricing challenges of the commodity markets”, Aurecon said.

According to Emeco, the Quartile One industry database contains 85,000 years of mobile equipment industry comparisons with assets on 150 sites globally. This enables benchmarking with best practice owners globally to drive improved performance alongside a valuable reference for optimised decision making.

Emeco said Quartile One’s “reliability engineers” monitor the performance of all components on its equipment fleet for signs of distress or abuse, while advanced financial and engineering analytics ensure data-driven decisions. This is backed up by asset telemetry, which provides real-time data on components.

Meanwhile, a central planning function accounts for component change out 12 months in advance, enabling the company to streamline maintenance ahead of time. Artificial intelligence tools are also in the mix, which support inventory optimisation, according to Emeco.

All of this adds up to a reduction in downtime, improvement in availability and reliability, visibility on major expenditure forecasts and plans, security of parts supply & lowest life cycle cost position, according to Emeco.

RPMGlobal goes mobile with latest release of AMT asset management software

RPMGlobal has focused on mobility for the latest release of its fast-growing asset management solution, AMT.

In this release of AMT – version 8.16 – RPM has streamlined the inspection work process in the AMT mobile app making it far easier to manage in the field. With a mobile device, users can access, edit and close work orders while working remotely.

Work can be created automatically from strategy tasks within AMT or an integrated ERP. This process becomes a seamless execution of inspection and checklist work for the mobile user, according to RPM, improving the useability and productivity with an easy and practical process for the user.

Since AMT’s acquisition by RPMGlobal in 2016, the solution has been deployed on every continent other than Antarctica, according to the company.

Michael Baldwin, Executive General Manager of Product Strategy for RPM, said “Mobility is critical to ensuring that information is in the hands of the right people as it is needed. One thing we have found in recent years is that giving people information with context amplifies their decision-making capabilities and there is no better way than to have it in their hands in the field when they need it.”

AMT has the Dynamic Life Cycle Costing engine, and inbuilt intelligence that no other system contains, RPM says. The mobile app is completely integrated into this engine.

“This means that reliability and life cycle costing are linked, enabling users to not just identify, or predict, maintenance issues, but understand their impact and accurately model the correct resolution.”

Baldwin added: “Our aim with AMT mobile is to ensure that the end users have an easy way to perform their job. Their focus should be on completing the task at hand, not working out how they will enter it into a system at some point in the future.”

There are also several improvements and enhancements to usability and budgeting in AMT 8.16, in addition to support for SQL Server 2016 platform.

“Through RPMGlobal’s online support portal and forums, users are continuously providing feedback that can improve the product and features they would like added. With each release of software these key features are developed and then ready to use as software is upgraded,” the company said.

Baldwin said AMT formed a critical part of the company’s business and with every release more and more integration throughout the suite was added.

AMT 8.16 also provides tighter integration to products like MinVu, which is capturing real time data from operational systems such as FMS and health systems in the field.

“Information like machine hours and health sensor information is critical to an asset management system, and that is completely automated within the RPM offering,” the company said.

Baldwin concluded: “As mining moves towards a digital, and then intelligent world, automation of data capture, validation and transfer is crucial. Once that part is automated, your people can focus on what they need to do to improve rather than entering and manipulating data between systems.”

ARC centre on mine asset maintenance receives Australia government backing

Universities and the mining industry are teaming up to tackle asset maintenance in the resources sector through the use of data science.

The new Australian Research Council Industrial Transformation Training Centre will be led by Curtin University in partnership with The University of Western Australia (UWA), CSIRO and the University of Adelaide, and industry partners Alcoa, BHP and Roy Hill, as well as CORE Innovation Hub and the Minerals Research Institute of Western Australia.

Curtin University was awarded A$3.9 million ($2.9 million) in ARC funding for the establishment of the centre, with planning for the new ARC Training Centre for Transforming Maintenance through Data Science starting immediately.

ARC Training Centre for Transforming Maintenance through Data Science Director, Professor Andrew Rohl (pictured), from the Curtin Institute for Computation, said: “The effective maintenance of engineering assets underpins the A$205 billion ($151 billion) annual export earnings from Australia’s resources sector.

“However, maintenance management practices have changed little in the last 20 years and are ripe for a digital overhaul that will bring developments in computational methods, statistics, applied mathematics and artificial intelligence to determine how, when and why maintenance is conducted.”

The new centre will enable the development and adoption of new practices to improve productivity and asset reliability for industry and to foster a new maintenance technology service sector for national and international markets, according to Professor Rohl.

UWA Professor Michael Small, CSIRO-UWA Chair of Complex Engineering Systems, said being able to effectively use data to create better systems, develop new technology and transform the way maintenance is carried out across the resources sector is critical and the creation of the new centre will allow industry to take huge steps towards this.