Best Practice, World Class, Gold Standard in Mining Maintenance and Reliability
What do these “terms” mean to you? Nirvana? Lofty goals that, for the most part, are unreachable? Or, with some minor tweaks and adjustments, we’re there? Does it mean having an asset performance management system that enables predictive analytics? Or a fully digital functioning maintenance department?
Whatever your perspective and current level of performance, there are a few truths that we must accept as conditions for even being considered amongst those practicing excellence in maintenance and reliability. The road to best-in-class maintenance and reliability is not always clear – it can quickly change from the autobahn to a goat trail. What is clear is the need for a solid foundation built around your people, processes, and systems. Let’s look at how each of those “terms” might apply.
Do you have well-defined practices and procedures? Do your people consistently apply and execute them across your organization? Are there clear accountabilities and responsibilities associated with each critical process step? Have your people been trained or coached on executing these practices effectively? Are your people aligned with the practice or process? Do they value and believe that in carrying out the process, there will be a benefit to them and the organization?
Mining is a capital-intensive industry employing physical assets on a broad scale. Set up the asset hierarchy in your CMMS to enable those assets to be most effectively managed. Establish asset classes to provide a means to consolidate and understand costs, monitor group performance, identify common failure modes, and rationalize spares inventories. Classify your critical plant to allow you to call out and apply special requirements for your high-risk assets.
Are there clear standards for the safe and responsible execution of maintenance and reliability work? Do you have standards established, understood, and followed for Lock out, Tag out, confined space entry, working at heights, etc.? What about risk identification and mitigation and work prioritization? Are there standards for the minimum requirements for mobile equipment used on the site? Do you have an established and functioning standard job library? Are your communication protocols standardized and followed?
Getting those foundational pieces in place and functioning is no easy task. Senior leaders must understand and support the efforts of the people dedicated to establishing those practices, classes, and standards. The potential benefits of a solid foundation include:
- The correct work is identified, prioritized, scheduled, and executed
- Equipment risks are identified, mitigated, and controlled
- Assets, parts, and materials are effectively managed
- Asset Bill of Materials and standard jobs drive work efficiency
- The production and maintenance teams actively communicate and collaborate
Establish the foundation, and you might be surprised at how close you are to a world-class Maintenance and Reliability standard at the mine site.
Outliers Mining Solutions supports our partners with the skills needed to effectively manage and train your people, identifying weak points in the current asset management/equipment reliability program and comprehensive planning to achieve asset maintenance and performance goals.
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