At the project development and deposit exploitation stage, more focus is increasingly placed on converting the data generated by mining assets into near real time actionable insights that allow a faster reaction to the changing environment of operations.
Limited communication at the underground mine can create inefficiencies in scheduling and managing machines’ availability and uptime. These can include longer-than-planned maintenance periods, with more time spent on administrative tasks than actual revenue-driving activities. As a result, there is a need to eliminate variability and unknowns from production and equipment maintenance processes to keep up fleet availability.
Underground mining operations involving a lot of mobile machines, such as LHDs, dump trucks, drilling and auxiliary equipment, often become a closed silo of information. Once underground, the machine is hardly visible – both to the OEM that delivered it and to the central services of the mining company responsible for planning its maintenance and supplying relevant spare parts.
One example of addressing this issue is the cooperation between GHH and TALPA in implementing the GHH inSiTE digital analytics solution for a major mining company, which allowed for a reduction of equipment service costs by more than 35%/y, TALPA claims.
The system, which has been implemented in stages, began with the optimisation of service scheduling based on the information about the engine hours of the machines recorded in near real time automatic mode by the system. This was later complemented by displaying full sets of error codes and signals generated by the integrated machines. The virtual advisory to the service personnel was made available at the third stage, allowing all parties to understand issues registered at each unit and plan fit-for-purpose actions in a timely manner.
Furthermore, the system provides an interface to the central procurement system and provides equal information to the OEM, allowing for a timely supply of required spare parts and major stock optimisation opportunities.
The TALPA-powered solution enabled the mine operator to track and manage all its machines in a single system, allowing employees previously occupied with time-consuming tasks such as fault finding and service scheduling to focus on critical processes such as fleet availability for production. The customer leveraged GHH InSiTE powered by TALPA’s monitoring and analytics system’s deep capabilities to reduce costs and boost its productivity. The list of benefits included:
- Improved service scheduling by understanding the exact time to service a fleet of over 150 machines based on permanently available knowledge of engine hours left until the next service, the recent workload of particular machines and registered errors;
- Timely reactions to critical warnings and trends in the intervals between scheduled services in order to prevent damage to the machines requiring major overhauls;
- Precise preparations for the service events, knowing the exact technical conditions of the machines and allowing for the timely delivery of spare parts and components;
- Reduced downtime of machines, as the system allows for early detection of potential issues and prompt maintenance; and
- Increased equipment availability as the system allows for better planning.
And the system also offers safeguards to ensure any recommendations not acted on by machine operators are rectified by nominated personnel within the maintenance hierarchy.
TALPA explained: “Even if the driver forgets to add the oil as indicated by the in-cabin system, this will never get missed by the Maintenance Superintendent as the system will always provide an alarm on the critical issues in the GHH machine cabin and trigger actions from that end.”
TALPA’s Industrial AI Platform solves industry-specific problems and delivers fast time to value, the company says.
“Using GHH InSiTE maintenance dashboard, powered by TALPA, allows for improving key processes throughout the workflow, delivering a clear understanding of the technical state of the fleet based on OEM standards as well as real technical conditions, and allowing optimisation of aftersales services for OEMs and technical operations for the end user,” TALPA said. “Delivered to the full extent as a service, TALPA’s platform allows for cost-efficient and worry-free implementation regardless of the fleet size and location of the operations.”