Reduce costs through efficient hauling

Increasing equipment efficiency through dispatch systems has been a primary focus for several years, but the potential advantages of improving precision and adherence to plan are sometimes not examined with respect to their impact on production. New advancements in high-precision machine guidance enable fine-tuning excavation, reduce dozer rework, and cut down thousands of dollars in costs incurred through inefficient hauling. Modern mining software can leverage data across high-precision machine guidance and feedback from dispatch and haul truck sensors to identify efficiency gains and empower mines for superior hauling and loading.

Optimizing each step of the value chain can impact the efficiency of the next — especially drilling. High-precision drilling enables operators to place blast holes at the right depth and location for optimal fragmentation and ore body quality. Even fragmentation creates material with an appropriate density that excavators can dig and load at a steady rate, eliminating slowdowns caused by encountering hard rock.

When trucks are hauling, high-precision guidance ensures efficiency by maintaining flat, even roads. Rough haul roads force operators to drive slowly to avoid losing material or damaging their units, reducing the number of cycles possible per shift. High-precision guidance keeps mine roads level, creating surfaces with centimetre-level accuracy — decreasing rework and improving speeds to give your mine a greater number of loads each shift.

 

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Automate dispatching to decrease wait times

Excessive waiting can produce a substantial drain on a mine’s overall production and cost per ton. The minutes lost in every haul cycle through underoptimized breaks and fueling add up to fewer payloads per shift. But, advanced dispatching algorithms can be tuned to optimize your hauling performance – reducing wait times, so efficiency stays high and costs stay low. Advanced algorithms extend to manage breaks and fueling to get even more loads per shift.

Dynamic Dispatch take a site’s current operational data and processes it through its fleet distribution algorithm. It manages all available trucks, shovel locations, target blend percentage, equipment associations, current wait times, and more. Then, it selects the optimal location to send trucks to maintain the lowest wait times throughout your entire operation. Equipment remains in steady motion instead of stalled in unproductive queues. Alone, this application has proven to reduce costs per ton up to 14%, saving mines millions of dollars.

Fuel Dispatch and Activity Dispatch give similar efficiency improvements to fueling and tie-down processes. They use real-time data to determine the ideal times and locations for trucks to fuel or for operators to break for shift changes, meals, and other routine interruptions. Wait times and other inefficiencies decrease, lowering cost per ton for your operation. Customers report these systems have reduced their waiting periods by at least 10%. Leveraging economies of scale, these shorter wait times save customers tens of thousands of dollars every year.

 

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Eliminate unplanned maintenance

Unplanned maintenance presents the biggest financial drain for many mining operations. Every time a truck goes down, it can spell $100,000 or more in lost productivity. Down equipment also requires towing, new parts, and hours of skilled labour that increase the associated costs well beyond the time wasted in the shop. Preventive maintenance and tire monitoring systems can end these costly surprises — and even extend the lifespan of your equipment.

Tires form a top expense for many operations, yet most mines only use tires for 65% of their lifespans due to poor monitoring and inventory management. Tire monitoring systems like Wenco’s TireMax track the real-time condition of tires, informing maintenance or tire managers the moment it detects a change in performance. This system assesses key tire parameters and works interoperably with popular tire pressure monitoring systems to gauge accurate pressure and temperature. This data enables mines to predict potential tire failures long before any risks become reality.

Predictive maintenance systems like Wenco’s ReadyLine enable mines to monitor the health of all critical equipment in real-time and use the data collected to better predict failures. This functionality prevents unexpected downs, saving millions in lost productivity and expensive and premature component replacement.

Proactive ReadyLine users can get even greater cost savings. By examining ReadyLine data, maintenance teams can identify historical patterns in performance and factors that predict failure. They can then confidently extend component life well beyond normal timeframes without risk of catastrophic failure.

mine haul truck down for unplanned maintenance
 

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Smarter decisions for lower overhead

Mines have traditionally had disparate systems with enormous amounts of data — geospatial, dispatch, planning, machine guidance, fueling, payloads, ore quality, and more. Historically, it was very difficult to identify the root cause of problems or to quantify the effects of certain actions on production or cost per ton.

New developments in the management and presentation of data are empowering miners to get actionable insights from all mining systems with ease. This requires extensive work by technology vendors to ensure data is properly cleansed and stored in a special data warehouse that enables mine-specific reporting and intuitive drill-down on key performance indicators (KPIs).

Mine business intelligence brings together data from across the mine to delivers answers to persistent questions about mine performance. Miners can easily dig into any KPI from a single shift or ask bigger questions spanning the life of the mine, uncovering opportunities for more cost reductions. Questions like “Which shovel operator’s payloads are consistently low?” Questions about granular issues like correlations between haul speed and dozer performance. Questions that would require week-long analysis, now available to non-technical users with ease, unlocking more opportunities for reduced cost per ton.

 

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