Digging Deeper: Path to increased mining equipment productivity
Let’s define productivity as getting the job done faster. Increased mining equipment productivity helps miners do more with less. In the mining business, productivity is sometimes less space allocated to an engine, leaving extra room for more payload. Sometimes, it is less time for mine haul trucks to accelerate, thus maximizing the number of trips a day.
Miners have several opportunities to improve the productivity of mining equipment and machinery. This article focuses on two specific opportunities to improve the equipment productivity. These are most relevant to equipment ranging from haul trucks to excavators that operate among different types of mining.
No. 1: Extended maintenance intervals deliver higher productivity
The longer miners can run their mining equipment, the higher their productivity is. In most cases, mining equipment operates near continuously through days, weeks and months. This creates the need for periodic maintenance events for filters, fluids and beyond. In this quest towards higher equipment productivity, even these periodic planned maintenance events are open to questioning.
Dawson coal mine in Queensland, Australia had firsthand experience of productivity gains. A 74% reduction of maintenance hours, with the use of new filter and telematics technologies from Cummins Inc. A combination of advanced analytics and telematics have helped the mine operator extend service intervals for fuel, lube, water and air filters and for lube oil.
No. 2: Engines that deliver high productivity even in most extreme conditions
Miners are familiar with extreme conditions whether it is the elevation, temperature or accessibility. Miners also understand how these conditions impact the productivity of their mining equipment. For instance, reduced oxygen in high altitude locations result in losses in engine power. Loss of engine power could lead into more trucks doing the same work or slower progression of work. Neither are good solutions. More trucks would mean increased carbon footprint. Meanwhile, doing the work slower means low machine productivity.
Cummins engines accept the challenge of extreme conditions in a variety of applications at China’s largest copper mine site. Julong Copper Mine is located at an altitude of 5,500 meters, higher than the base camp for Mt. Everest. The mine features over 65 Cummins engines powering excavators, dump trucks, power generators, drillings and bulldozers. Haul trucks powered by Cummins QSK60 engines have continuous uptime in this severe environment. The productivity of these engines makes them the top engine of choice at Julong.
The mining industry will continue to find solutions to improve the productivity of its operations. Some of these, such as the extended maintenance intervals and engines capable to do more with less, will help miners both on sustainability and productivity fronts. This is a double gain for the industry,” said Steve Cummins, Director of Mining Business at Cummins.
Interested in additional mining perspectives? You might also like:
- Bringing together sustainable mining and the lowest cost of production
- Improving financial performance and reducing maintenance costs in mining
- Reducing machine downtime in mining
- Technologies behind sustainable mining and reduced environmental impact
- Increasing mining equipment's efficiency
- Sustainable mining starts with energy innovations (Listen on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts or Spotify)
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