Improving Overall Equipment Effectiveness in Underground Mines with Newtrax
“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… compared with 92 percent for oil refining”-McKinsey Global Institute 2016
The term “Overall Equipment Effectiveness (OEE)” draws its origin from the manufacturing industry, and its importance to the underground mining industry is easily transferable.
Measuring Overall Equipment Efficiency for in underground mines is increasingly becoming best practice. OEE is the single best metric for identifying losses, benchmarking progress, and improving the productivity of mining equipment (i.e., eliminating waste).
Most underground mines interested in digitizing their mines don’t start from a clean slate, and often grow with acquisitions. However, they frequently encounter stumbling blocks on their road to success which include:
- Lack of access to useful, standardized data from the entire fleet of heterogeneous, multi-OEM mix of mobile equipment. The equipment are instrumented with varying levels of electronic sensors and suffer from pre-processing and throttling of data on the telemetry port available to 3rd parties.
- Lack of real-time information from all faces, including development faces, due to various human and technical factors. It can include requirements to backhaul data to surface over a heterogenous mix of communication backbones with low to high levels of technological maturity
- Lack of actionable insights that can that can truly transform the way mine managers operate the mine, due to data overload and inability to connect the dots.
To address these roadblocks, Newtrax has developed an array of OEE solutions for their clients and partners. Here are some examples of Newtrax OEE successes.
Improved Hauling Efficiency: Case Study
A mining operation with a mixed fleet of mobile trucks, including CAT AD30s and Atlas MT436s, was looking for a solution to establish standardized payload monitoring systems.
Newtrax installed its Mobile Equipment Telemetry which interfaced with the original equipment manufacturer (OEM)’s existing sensor network. Newtrax also installed an availability switch, onboard payload scales, and an external/internal payload scoreboard. The payload information was retrofitted to display on the OEM’s load cells.
Four trucks were monitored closely for an eight week period with the approach to 1) Measure, 2) Manage, and 3) Improve using the traditional OEE calculation.
OEE = Availability(A)% x Utilization(U)% x Haulage Efficiency(Q)%
After the eight week period of data collection and observation, it was reported that Availability Time (A) was 93% and the Utilization Time (U) was 52% of the mine’s standard production time calendar. Analysis of the equipment’s payload data over the same time period showed a Haulage Efficiency (Q) of 64% with 19.4 tons out of 30 tons capacity.
These passively measured data points showed the operations OEE being 31%.
The Haulage Efficiency data point became a key area of focus to improve efficiencies in the workflow.
To improve truck effectiveness, Newtrax proposed an increase in dumper bed wall height to accommodate extra buckets, an addition of digital scoreboards on the trucks’ cab for LHD, and an activation of an alarm system on each truck to initiate an overloading situation warning.
- You can’t improve what you can’t measure.
- Technology is available to overcome stumbling blocks and enable management of mixed equipment fleets using timely data from active areas
- Offering actionable insight to both mine managers and operators can deliver significant value in a short period of time
- Improved haulage efficiency will ensure UG mining effectiveness increased above 27%