“Based on our benchmarking, we observe a global average overall equipment effectiveness (OEE) performance of 27 percent for underground mining, 39 percent for open-pit mining, and 69 percent for crushing and grinding— compared with 88 percent for upstream oil and gas, 90 percent for steel, and 92 percent for oil refining.” – McKinsey Global Institute 2016
That’s a scary statement for us miners, right?
Clearly, there is a lot of room for improvement in the way equipment is monitored, managed and optimized in the mining environment – on surface and underground.
There are plenty of reasons why a higher Overall Equipment Effectiveness (OEE) rating is not at the level of other industries. Getting the most out of our mining equipment is not easy . . . ensuring high availability is a challenge; ensuring high utilization is a challenge; and, ensuring efficient operations is a challenge.
As a first step to addressing these challenges, RAMJACK believes firmly that technology needs to play a significant role in the mining industry if we are to make any significant improvements to these numbers.
Fortunately, at Ramjack, we have the technology and know-how to specify, implement and optimize top-class technology solutions that can rapidly increase OEE within your operation.
A perfect example of using technology to improve OEE is the implementation of real-time payload management at source, i.e. managing payload on digging units instead of on haulage vehicles. Both on-surface and underground payload management at source has proven to be one of the most effective ways to improve efficiency and rapidly increase OEE for mines.
- Surface Mining. For surface/open-pit mining operations, we recommend the Pegasys and/or Argus solutions (by MineWare). These ‘digger-based’ payload-monitoring solutions manage payload in real-time – on draglines, face-shovels, excavators and front-end-loaders – at a point in the mining cycle when the digger operator can still effect improvements in his/her performance. With years of experience and implementation success at mines across the globe, implementing MineWare’s payload solutions is guaranteed to improve operator performance, mine compliance, production, maintenance and safety.
- Underground Mining. In underground mines, the best strategy for improving OEE that we’ve seen is to retrofit all Load-Haul-Dump (LHD) units with payload monitoring sensors tracked in real-time using the purpose-built Newtrax platform. This system makes use of boom position and hydraulic pressure information to measure payload and analyse the dump cycle pattern. It can be retrofitted to any age, make and model of underground equipment and configured to provide reports on important KPIs, such as payload, carry back, cycle count and loaded vs. empty state ratio.
Whether on surface or underground, payload management at source is a guaranteed way to improve the efficiency of your equipment. In fact, RAMJACK is prepared to provide actual guarantees to mines that are ready to implement one of our recommended solutions – by MineWare on surface or by Newtrax underground – and that are willing participate in a formal case study documenting the results.
As a concept used extensively in manufacturing environments as the universal standard for measuring manufacturing productivity, applying OEE (Overall Equipment Effectiveness) to mining operations provides a useful, standardized way to measure the efficiency of the contribution your equipment makes to your mine. Ensuring your equipment is fitted with the right state-of-the-art technology to accurately measure performance is a decision any mine can make to help improve our industry’s OEE performance.