The global metal mining industry continues to grapple with challenges related to hostile mining facilities, growing safety concerns, and aging mining equipment. Each of these factors makes machine maintenance all the more demanding for mining operators. The U.S. mining industry alone has accounted for 22 accidents (by August this year) resulting in 23 fatalities.
A majority of these mining accidents were preventable through optimized machine maintenance operations including preventive and corrective maintenance. In the age of Industry 4.0, it is both safer and smarter for mining facilities to prevent machine malfunctioning before the problem has occurred.
Data-driven maintenance operations can reduce costs and improve productivity by an estimated 10-20%. Here is how a Connected Workforce platform can optimize maintenance operations in the mining industry.
Connected Workforce Platform & Data-enabled Maintenance Operations
Provide real-time maintenance information to mining technicians
A Frontline Workforce platform is the best mode to provide real-time maintenance-related information to mining technicians working in remote mining facilities. Using a digitalized format, accurate work instructions and documentation about machine maintenance are now accessible through the connected digital platform.
Integrate maintenance data with the SAP & IBM Maximo work order
Be it through SAP or IBM Maximo, mining facilities can now automate work orders and purchase requisitions to third-party suppliers in the event of any machine part going down. Through proper integration, mining engineers can now optimize, plan, and execute critical maintenance-related operations.
Detect anomalies or issues
Anomaly detection is among the data-driven techniques used in preventive maintenance in Industry 4.0. Detected anomalies can be investigated by mining experts and used to confirm major deviations in machine operations during standard inspection routines.
Collect asset data.
The use of embedded sensors in mining assets is now enabling regular data collection and mining that can be converted into useful business intelligence. Through a connected platform, maintenance operators in the mining industry now have access to real-time asset data that can be leveraged to predict future equipment failures or to plan pre-emptive maintenance operations. Further, data tagging techniques for connected assets can be used to monitor their current condition.
Collaborate with maintenance technicians.
Thanks to the availability of digital technologies and online collaboration tools, maintenance technicians in remote mining facilities can be supported using real-time assistance. For instance, augmented reality (or AR) tools enable remote technicians to inspect all machines virtually – including any hazards in the surrounding environment.
Support maintenance operators with guided workflows.
Typically, any established mining company has over 40,000 distributed workflows. An automated guided workflow can act as a step-wise guide for maintenance operators so that they do not miss any crucial steps. Additionally, operators also have a real-time update of any additions or corrections in maintenance-related workflows.
Report the completed work.
Using the digital workforce platform, maintenance operators can digitally report any completed (or even pending) work to initiate the subsequent operations. Faster reporting can reduce machine downtime as well as productivity losses.
As part of Industry 4.0, the global mining industry needs to optimize its maintenance operations through a connected workforce platform.
With its connected workforce productivity platform, Atheer has enabled its mining customers with innovative solutions in maintenance operations. This solution provider has helped its customers address various pain points including preventive & corrective maintenance, as well as condition monitoring of mining assets and equipment.
Overall, Atheer serves as a one-stop solution by offering a wide range of services including AR-based video assistance, chat and group messaging, work instructions, business processes, learning and training, and document sharing.