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Reducing Production Downtime in the Mining & Metals Industry

Be it a manufacturing or mining company, unplanned production downtimes are a growing bane that is impacting overall productivity and operational efficiency. To counter this, mining companies are beginning to appreciate the benefits that digital tools and technologies can bring in reducing their production downtime. ABI Research estimates that global spending on digital technologies in the mining industry is projected to reach $9.3 billion by the year 2030.

Unplanned production downtime occurs due to many reasons such as human error, mechanical issues, or poor oversight. At the same time, machine downtime (for example, a mining truck or excavator) is costing mining companies thousands of dollars for every hour.

So, how can a Frontline Workforce Productivity platform help in reducing production downtime in the mining industry? Let us discuss.

 

6 Ways of reducing production downtime

 

Here is a look at how a Frontline Workforce platform can reduce production downtime in 6 effective ways:

Just-in-time access to work instructions during maintenance operations

To reduce production downtime, maintenance operators need to have on-time access to work instructions when executing their work. Manual or paper-based instructions make it challenging to search for relevant instructions.

On the other hand, work instructions delivered through a digital platform are easy to access and help operators complete their maintenance tasks efficiently. This is where an automated workforce platform accessible to remote mining operators plays a crucial role.

Optimization of mining equipment start-up or shutdown

For ensuring long life and durability, mining equipment needs to be regularly shut down for conducting preventive maintenance work. An extended cycle time between shutdowns and start-ups can add to the overall downtime and loss of productivity. 

To optimize this cycle time, automated and intuitive workflows (with simple-to-understand instructions) can be an effective aid for maintenance operators in the mining field.

Remote assistance for mining technicians

To counter challenges in physical mining sites, technologies like Augmented Reality (or AR) are now widely adopted to improve workplace safety and productivity. This technology is now being used to provide remote assistance for field technicians working at remote mining sites. Using AR-based video assistance, visual work instructions can be provided to improve workforce productivity at reduced costs. 

Optimization of machine idle time

An idling time of 1,000 hours (for 27 machines) can cost mining companies up to $1.28 million each year. While idling or waiting time cannot be completed avoided, running and non-productive machines still incur a high operational cost and add to emissions.

A Workforce productivity platform can identify inefficiencies in existing processes (or workflows) and suggest improvements that can reduce machine idle time.

Improvement in technician’s competency

Incomplete technical knowledge on part of the maintenance technicians can be a factor contributing to high production downtime in the mining sector. To address their training and learning needs, technicians need to invest time into upskilling or reskilling to meet modern-day demands.

A connected productivity platform with self-assist training and guidance can be a valuable digital asset for remote technicians with its microlearning modules and best practice guides.

Faster resolution time

A faster resolution time can cut down losses occurring due to production downtime in mining facilities. With the workforce productivity platform, maintenance engineers can immediately detect and escalate mechanical issues or deviations on a real-time basis, thus resulting in faster resolutions.

Finally, a comprehensive Frontline Workforce productivity platform acts as a centralized repository for storing all work-related instruction guides, work diagrams, and troubleshooting guides for faster access and work execution.

 

Conclusion

To summarize, a connected workforce digital platform is an asset for any mining company looking to reduce its production downtime.

Through its Frontline Workforce Productivity platform, Atheer has been a technology partner for global mining companies. On its part, Atheer enables its customers to monitor the condition of their mining assets and equipment with solutions ranging from AR-based video assistance, chat and group messaging, work instructions, and workforce training.

Interested in knowing how Atheer can help in reducing your production downtime? Click here.


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