Plant or machine downtime can be devastating in any industry, however, it is critical in the Mining & Metals industry. Unplanned breakdown of mining equipment can cost mining companies up to $180,000 due to lost production. Loss in production in each incident can cost $3,000 every hour and up to 60 hours of machine downtime.
Globally, metal mining facilities operate 24/7 around the year – and for many years or even decades. To avoid financial losses and loss of productivity, mining companies need to focus on reducing overall downtime. This can be largely achieved by streamlining plant commissioning and machine installation processes in mining facilities.
To this effect, trained and experienced mining engineers and technicians can minimize time and human errors in both plant commissioning and machine installation. The process of hiring and training inexperienced engineers can be costly and time-consuming.
How can the mining industry respond to this challenge? Is a Frontline Workforce Productivity platform the answer to reducing time and human errors during machine installation and plant commissioning? Let us take a look at it:
7 Ways of Improving the Mining Workforce Productivity in Frontline Operations
Here are 7 ways of improving workforce productivity during machine installation and plant commissioning that can reduce both implementation time and errors:
Provide accurate installation-related instructions to operators.
Using human-machine interactions, installation-related instructions can be provided with accuracy to mining operators working at various facilities. Based on the Augmented Reality (or AR) technology, smart glasses (or goggles) can now feed real-time information to engineers installing mining equipment or commissioning an entire plant.
A Frontline Workforce platform is the best mode of obtaining relevant instructions and procedures from the backend systems.
Use visual workflows.
How do mining engineers ensure that the installation and commissioning process is proper and accurate in the first instance? Through the use of visual workflows.
On its part, a visual workflow provides a “high-level” view of the steps involved in any process or task. Visual workflows are also compatible with AR technology. While the AR technology enables digital transformation by “visualizing” machine and plant operations in mining, it can also be integrated into visual workflows (enabled by a centralized Frontline Operations platform).
Ensuring successful installation and commissioning for first-time operators.
Plant and machine downtime can be minimized through proper installation and commissioning even by first-time mining operators or engineers. Through proper training and guidance, first-time operators are completely on board with the installation and commissioning process and can manage the entire operation on their own.
Further through workforce productivity platforms, they have access to previous records of successful commissioning and installing projects.
Manual or paper-based processes in the mining industry cannot tap into the tremendous insights that data-driven automated processes can deliver. For instance, mining operators and commissioning personnel cannot collaborate or share valuable documentation resources with other personnel. Besides that, paper-based processes also add to costly “human” errors.
A Frontline Workforce Productivity platform can automate all manual processes, thus deriving accurate insights for improved decision-making.
Consolidating all information sources.
Workforce productivity is dependent on the availability of various information sources including installation manuals, technical write-ups, and technical drawings. A centralized workforce platform works towards consolidating all these information sources (and more), thus making them available on a real-time basis to installation and commissioning personnel.
Digital tools in the form of online chats and video calls can improve collaboration among various frontline personnel involved in installation and commissioning projects. This facilitates smooth and real-time exchange of information, thus boosting productivity and reducing errors.
Plus, using online collaboration tools, a Workforce platform provides real-time information about the current project status. Mining companies thus can provide an accurate and easy-to-verify project audit report for their auditors.
Data collection and aggregation methods can enable mining companies to identify trends and patterns, as well as any anomalies (and their causes). A Frontline platform offers increased visibility into frontline operations and can leverage data-driven insights to improve their workforce training material.
With a Frontline workforce productivity platform, mining companies can effectively reduce the time and errors occurring during machine installation and plant commissioning. Besides, it can increase visibility into daily frontline operations at mining facilities.
With its AR-driven frontline workforce platform, Atheer has enabled mining companies to overcome many pain points in areas like facility commissioning, lack of visibility, and condition monitoring of their assets. Atheer can serve as a one-stop solution provider for your frontline workforce with solutions like AR-based video assistance, chat and group messaging, work instructions, business processes, learning and training, and document sharing.
Take a quick live and personalized demo to find out how Atheer’s innovative Front Line Worker Platform is helping transform the mining and metals industries.