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5 tips for tracking and monitoring mining machinery usage and productivity

Underground mining boasts one of the largest initial investments in any leg of industry today. The machinery used in mining is specialized and expensive equipment that must be maintained to ensure both operator safety and company productivity.

In terms of monitoring machinery, the current CMMS options are much more than simple maintenance record files. Let’s look at 5 ways you can track and monitor mining machinery for usage and productivity:

Use Asset Tags

Using a bar-code and scanner system may still seem alien to some of the more seasoned mechanics on your maintenance staff, but the fact is that tagging assets removes the human error element to tracking mining machinery. By tracking every transaction that is associated with a particular asset, you’re encapsulating not only the maintenance records, but you can also auto check in/out heavy equipment, use the portal to schedule heavy equipment for particular jobs or blocks of time, and also GPS track your mining machinery in real time, complete with SMS mobile alerts on unexpected equipment movement.

Utilize the Web Portal and SMS alerts

Using all of the features offered in your CMMS web portal is the easiest way to ensure that you’re maximizing your mining machineries productivity. Every detail from high speed alert SMS messaging to operator ID technology is offered to ensure that you can get a complete snapshot of the health of your machinery, the compliance of your machinery, and the manner in which your machinery is being utilized.

By taking advantage of the web portal features in conjunction with the SMS alert features on your CMMS, you’ve turned it into more than a simple maintenance stopwatch. The benefits of a total picture of a machine’s health not only justifies capital purchases and replacement, but can also speak to the effectiveness of your preventative maintenance program. By looking at the overall view regularly, it is a great tool for locating weaknesses in the PM program, and also for identifying which areas in your PM program are worth modeling other areas after.

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Track both machinery and maintenance in a Centralized Monitoring System

One of the most notable features of the new CMMS portals is the ability to not only keep a centralized database of machinery maintenance records, but to have the capability to access machinery health records simply by downloading a report. When your software can send a total picture of the equipment directly to your cell phone, you remove the risk of catastrophic breakdowns that cost money for every minute that equipment is sitting still.

The major upside of a centralized portal is the ability to avoid operating equipment that shouldn’t be in the field, either due to regulatory and safety issues, or because of a lack of preventative maintenance. Preventative maintenance was once an entity all on its own, but that isn’t the case any longer. By merging an electronic GPS and equipment motion portal with the preventative maintenance schedule and records system, the result is the CMMS we see today.

Track diesel consumption and machine hours

In construction and mining industries alike, fuel theft is a major loss because of the rising costs of fossil fuels. But what if you could mind your fuel consumption as you do the battery life on your machinery? That is actually not only something that you can do, it’s a task that is being handled by maintenance staff and project managers everywhere.

Many of the machines that operate in mining today are maintained by the number of hours that the machinery is in use, versus maintaining by mileage, as is done in many passenger vehicles. This doesn’t pose a problem for the GPS and CMMS portals, as many of them can keep records by both mileage and equipment use hours.

Keep an eye on the OEE

Overall Equipment Effectiveness, or OEE, is the total snapshot of how your equipment is performing at the work site. It is the health of your equipment, the preventative and regulatory maintenance records, and the percentage of uptime attributed to the machinery. In essence, it is the exact snapshot that you can gather by using your GPS or CMMS portal as it was designed to be used.

By keeping your eye on the OEE, you’re not only ensuring that proper attention is being given to the maintenance on the machinery, you’re also utilizing features that give you alerts on speed, overloading, engine status and temperature, and even still and video camera features that can lend insight on everything your machinery is being dealt while on the job site. You can equate your OEE with your basic bottom line when monitoring mining machinery usage and productivity, as a thorough tracking portal and maintenance scheduler you can maximize your profits and the life of your equipment, as well.

By Talmage Wagstaff, Co-Founder and CEO of REDLIST

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