Four Ways a Mining Equipment Management Solution Drives Down Costs
When you can draw a direct line from the activity to the bottom line, it’s easier to justify the investment. Since the line between effective equipment and asset management and the bottom line of your mining operation may not be overtly obvious, we’re here to connect the dots. In this article, we’ll demonstrate how asset management enables miners to improve asset utilization and reliability, minimize downtime, streamline mine planning, optimize fleet resources — and yes, drive down operating costs.
Below are four ways an equipment management solution contributes to your mining operation’s success. It’s all part of our continuing series on ways that mining companies can use technology to drive down costs.
1. Improve Budgeting and Planning
Planning and budgeting for equipment assets include accounting for all aspects of the asset’s lifecycle and determining appropriate action steps regarding the acquisition, deployment, maintenance, and disposal of the asset. An effective asset management application helps mining companies develop a smart maintenance strategy that minimizes downtime and keeps assets running at full capacity, and will allow you to:
- Track the asset’s total costs during its lifecycle
- Allocate expenses to particular business units or projects
- Track equipment maintenance costs and compare to budget
- Anticipate and plan for the retirement of older equipment and the purchase of new
It takes a vast assortment of equipment to run a mining operation: trucks, tractors, conveyors, drills, cranes, machine tools, earth movers, blasting tools, crushing equipment, analysis equipment, feeding equipment, flow measurement systems, fuel systems, pumps, generators, welding equipment and the list goes on. An effective asset tracking application helps you track each piece of equipment, and the costs associated with running, maintaining and repairing them, including the ability to:
- Configure full preventative plans and track ad-hoc equipment maintenance
- Monitor useful life and equipment costs to date
- Predict and schedule equipment maintenance based on usage patterns
- Record and monitor meter values
- Schedule maintenance around operations
- Match employee skills to specific maintenance tasks
- Manage warranties and third-party service contracts
- Generate alerts if assets are working outside of their service contract parameters
- Monitor equipment locations and movement
3. Gain Data and Analytics
It’s not enough for an application to capture data. Transforming that data into usable information drives a mining company’s competitive advantage through optimized equipment usage and lower maintenance costs. Armed with accurate data covering the cost of asset operation, you’re able to make informed decisions throughout the lifecycle of the equipment. An effective mining asset tracking solution will uncover profound and practical insights, including:
- Equipment costs by project and/or location
- Include labour costs in calculations
- Report on Mean Time Between Failure (MTBF)
- Create service reports, including task analysis, and predictive parts requirements
- Real-time visibility into asset operation across multiple locations
- Calculate asset turnover ratio
4. Integration and Collaboration
The benefits a mining company realizes through the effective management of its capital equipment are multiplied when the asset tracking system is integrated with a business management software solution for the mining industry. An integrated solution eliminates duplicate data entry, improves overall accuracy, promotes cross-department collaboration, and facilitates corporate reporting. Points of integration should include:
- Integration with purchasing and inventory control streamlines the initial procurement of equipment and the ordering, receipt, and tracking of spare parts
- Integration with general ledger and payables simplifies cost tracking and expense reporting
Back to the Bottom Line
The mining industry faces unique challenges and more volatility than most. Technology has the power to overcome many of those challenges and allows you to pivot in response to changing conditions.
A capital asset and equipment management system will help accurately, effectively, and efficiently bring significant resources (and associated costs) under direct management. Optimizing capital equipment and asset management enables you to minimize downtime and unexpected costs, improve asset utilization, and boost your asset turnover ratio — all of which directly contribute to driving down operating costs.
Caron Mining Solutions is a comprehensive, robust and easy-to-use business management software solution for the mining industry, built on Sage 300, that addresses the challenges modern mining operations face. Learn more about Caron Mining Solutions here, or by contacting us here.