The Need to Digitize Conventional Maintenance in Mining

In an asset-intensive industry like mining, equipment availability plays an integral role in meeting daily production targets and improving mine profitability. Amidst challenging economic times, mining companies must take all efforts to ensure production continuity, and prevent unplanned downtime due to equipment failure, an event that can have grave implications on the bottom line. Equipment breakdowns also pose a serious threat to the safety of mining personnel. Miners are required to ensure their equipment and worksites are compliant with MSHA regulations, failing which, they are subject to monetary penalties. In this backdrop, an optimized equipment maintenance system in mining is cardinal to ensure safe and profitable operations.

The use of paper forms for conventional maintenance in mining activities is still prevalent in the industry, but this method of recording data is no longer viable. Conventional maintenance in mining refers to the longstanding method of planned maintenance where equipment is brought in at fixed intervals of engine hours, miles, or another metric on a rule-of-thumb basis. Paper forms are subject to manual errors and processing delays, which means that critical information is not always available when needed. The absence of the right paperwork on equipment and worksite inspections can lead to unplanned downtime and safety threats, while also resulting in MSHA citations. In such a scenario, the use of digital forms presents opportunities for automated and hassle-free maintenance. Digital conventional maintenance refers to the use of digital forms, along with validations, throughout the sequence of activities associated with the conventional maintenance of equipment.

With the adoption of a digital mobile maintenance platform, one of your operators can inspect a piece of equipment and those records will immediately be saved for MSHA. Even better, the appropriate follow-up maintenance task will be created automatically. Taking a digital approach to maintenance can enable you to create a customized digital process for scheduling and creating task checklists for maintenance engineers, while also allowing you to track and manage inspections from any time, anywhere. The availability of data from inspections and regular maintenance checks empowers mining personnel to respond to issues in near real-time, minimizing preventable downtime and maximizing compliance with safety regulations.

When evaluating digital maintenance systems, it is important to make sure that they offer at least the following functions:
  1. Accepts pre-shift inspections.
  2. Accepts preventative maintenance inspections.
  3. Tracks and archives inspections for MSHA.
  4. Tracks repair tasks and/or integrates with repair systems.
  5. Returns metrics on fleet health.
  6. Integrates with your ERP or core business process management software.
  7. Provides analytics around activities happening on the platform, e.g., number of requests fulfilled by operator per shift, distribution of requests by equipment type, and inventory levels of parts.

GroundHog SIC’s Short Interval Control System features a fully customizable digital inspection process for effective and precise auditing and provides the functions listed above. Reports integrate with back-end systems and can be viewed anytime, anywhere. Digital fleet inspections work in conjunction with production scheduling and location tracking to empower mines to keep their equipment running at 100 percent while maximizing compliance.


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